Here I am, back with the first scene!
By the time this letter reaches you, you will no doubt have heard the news that America has declared war.
Matthew and Edward are going to go, of course. In just a few days--they'll be gone. It'll be such a change...of course I have Charity...but what if she should lose a brother? What if she loses both?
There are some times when I feel an awful sense of foreboding. Oh, I'm proud; proud that my sons will go--proud that America is asserting herself--but...but somehow, it doesn't matter when I think that my starry-eyed Matt and little curious Edward will be gone. Even if they should survive, I know what war is like. I've heard tales...seen things with my own eyes...seen things that make me shudder to recall.
But there! The war isn't even properly started yet, and perhaps I'm borrowing trouble. I find that I get morbid and useless if I begin to think on these things too long. But I HAD to talk to someone--and I've been trying to keep fear hidden--and I know I can always talk to YOU. It's already a relief to have said it all out.
Charity sends her love; she's getting to be a great help. I know you prophesied over her cradle that she would grow into a great flirt due to those golden curls and big blue eyes, but her looks don't seem to be occupying her much--yet. One can never be sure with sixteen-year-olds.
How is Carl? Is his back still troubling him? And are you well?
Ugh. I can't keep up this talking of nothing when something of such importance and shadow is looming over my head every second of the day. I know I shall find my courage and cheerfulness again in a moment, but just now I simply CAN'T. It never was easy to pretend to you, Emma.
I am quite well, and believe me to be
Your loving sister,