ALD, Beautiful Children Followed

When Mollie began to talk she gave everyboyd* names. She was confused as my father called my mother “Sarah” and the rest of us called her Mama. She puzzled her brain and evolved the name Mama Sarah. Then for her father, she gave the name Daddy Bob, for me Annie Ma, coupling the two names. Then one day she said to my father, “Papa what is your name. He said James, and then with a very satisfied air she said “Papa James.”


That summer my brother John came. She called him Johnny and was very fond of him. He could only stay a month. Later in the season my brother Jimmy came. He puzzled her greatly. She gazed at him and finally she gave a little laugh and said, “This is black Johnny”. And he was always black Johnny. His complexion was very dark.

Mercer stayed at Mr. Airy a good deal with Liv. Hansbrough. Edith, Nellie and Dick with Jeannie. We now had to move again, our rented house sold and we moved to the Miller house. Aunt Martha came often to see us. Here November 27, 1864 Elsie was born. She had a fine, face, and grew to be very pretty. She did much that was interesting. My brother Jimmy On March 1875 came from University of Virginia with pneumonia. He had taught school and was pursuing studies in an academic course there. He came to us every summer so he saved his money. His ultimate desire was to enter the ministry. He was a most gifted man, handsome physically, brilliant in mind, a lovely disposition, and a well-rounded character at 21. He needed no training, So God loved the young man and took him unto himself. He remained with us until he died. My mother and I nursed him. As poor as we were, he suffered for nothing, and how I cherish the hours I spent with him.

He loved my* as much as I did him and trusted me as I did him. I thank God I had the care of him and could do what I did. Dr. Bittle of Roanoke College came often to see him and preached his funeral and wrote his obituary.


I went this summer to see Bob’s mother in Newport, Giles county, carrying the two dear little girls. We enjoyed the trip in a carriage over the mountains and had every kindness from Addison and this wife.

I still taught school in the mornings with Mrs. Michel (General Johnston’s sister) a very clever and agreeable old lady. I had to keep up school, as Edith, Nellie, and Strother were still at school and I still gave music lessons. This kept me busy. I had no time for social duties, but kept up my church duties, singing in the choir and playing the organ. My mother being with me, I could do it. She often said this to me, “Anna, we could not live without each other.”

The march after Jim’s death, mu* husband bought me a home on Broad street. We had moved so often we bought this place. We lived happily there. Mercer went to the seminary at Alexandria, Edith got a position to teach in Maryland. Joe decided to study law. I asked my cousin James Patton of Union, West Virginia to take him as a favor to me, so he was nicely fixed we hoped.


And so Strother was the only permanent one left, though they call came every year. Edith and Mercer were with us for the summerand* the others for a month. Nellie was of course with us. She was a most satisfactory child, had a talent for music and a pretty voice. She was with us until her health gave way. Dear Nellie, we had the best doctor and I took her to New port. She enjoyed her visit and the ride over. Everyone loved her. She was one of the prettiest little girls I ever saw, but was not when grown, but so satisfactory with such a fine character.

(*summer and)

Edith was so very pretty. In the fall of this year she grew weaker and we knew she would leave us, though for a beautiful home He’d gone to prepare. We were terribly grieved. My health was very bad. I could not go up stairs, nor she come to me, so she would send me word to sing and I would open my door and sing as long as she wanted me to.

On February 27th, 1876 another dear little girl was born. I was unable to walk for two months. I had my good nurse Emma. Aunt Martha stayed all the time should could. My dear mother had all she could do to take care of Nellie who needed a great deal of care. Dear child she suffered so. In the spring she left us and how we missed her. And when the boys and eith* came we had a sad reunion. They enjoyed the homecoming and the three little girls, all so pretty and good. And they were such a comfort to my bereved* partants* who now lived with us. A more generous man than my husband I have never know*. His house was the house of my brothers and sisters when they needed one every summer. God has, I earnestly pray blessed him forever for it. He had only his profession, no other help. His mother died of pneumonia February 27th, the day Sadie was born. She had a small property, most of it she left her other son. She left some mountain land to Bob which I afterwards sold for $500 and have invested in Salem town bonds.

(*Edith, *bereaved, *parents, *known)

My brother John had now formed partnerships with Mr. Willis and brought him to spend the month. I did not like, I never trusted him. They enjoyed their visit. George came from Atlanta, Mercer from the suminary*, Joe from S. Virginia. He was in the office of Caperton and Patton. Edith was there too for the summer. All these were there the summer after Nellie died. Mother and I had our hands full. Mollie and Elsie were now most interesting and Sadie was the prettiest of all. The public school was now absorbing all others, and as I had paid my debts for the paint and some on the silver, and there were three children my husband advised me to give up the school and give only music lessons, which I did for several years.


My husband had a good practice. My brother George married in 1877 to Miss Lettie Grant of Atlanta, Ga. and came to see us. They stayed several weeks. We liked her very much and became much attached to her. On July 17, 1878 My son John delighted our hearts by being a boy. He was exceedingly ugly. I remember my dear aunt said when she saw him, “Well, boy, you are very ugly but you have lots of sense or I am mistaken.” Which proved true, sand he grew to be a wonderfully handsome man.

My dear aunt died and how we missed her, one of the best women God ever made. She died November, 1878. Dear old doctor Griffin died in the fall of 1879. We lived along as usual, with family reunion the summer. I went over to Union, W. Virginia in the buggy with Joe on his return to visit Jim Patton and his wife. Nellie was there. I enjoyed stopping at Sweet Springs for dinner and at White Sulphur  for the night. My health was not good so all agreed I had better go off for a while. I had two nurses, as Sadie could not walk. I had a very pleasant visit and went with Willie Patton and wife to Lexington where he had a professorship at V.M.I.  I Met at Jim’s Rita Hughs’ daughter and two of Eliza Gilmer’s sons and George Gilmer who married Rita and whose I saw many years afterward in Lynchburg. I am glad they knew who I was. I was devoted to all the Pattons from my childhood. Cousin Patton was related through the Williams and Claytons.

She was an elegant woman. In* enjoyed my visit with Willie and wife and I was interested in V.M.I. My Uncle John’s name was the first enrolled there and at Washington college my grandfather, Rev. Joseph D. Logan was one of the first, if not the first teachers. It was then called Amherst college. My uncle Joseph Logan was a graduate of Washington college and so was my Uncle Philip Clayton Strother. Then my friends General Lee and General Custis Lee were presidents. General Lee died there and has the Valentinis statue in memorial. After the Lees, Hon. John Randolph Tucker was president, and he was followed by his son, Harry St. George Tucker.


I came home after a nice visit, glad to see my babies and to relieve my dear mother. I found all well.

About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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