My dear Fred,
I must preface this letter with many apologies for my neglect of yourself the last few days. We had a wedding here. I was called upon to tune my fiddle for the dancing and afterwards, I opened my house to a family with five children (the bride's cousins) for the night. I simply could not find the time enough to write as I am wont.
I shall just briefly catch you up, before going into more details again.
The 14th saw a couple of skirmishes. The first was when a Federal excursion broke up a Confederate camp on the Virginia side of the Potomac near Point of Rocks, Maryland.
(Follow the Potomac down from Harper's Ferry and you will find Point of Rocks.)
There was another skirmish that day on the road between Raleigh and Fayetteville (both western Virginia). A second skirmish between the same forces took place at McCoy's Mill, W.Va.
Friday, November 15th was the day that Captain Wilkes arrived at Fort Monroe with Slidell and Mason; whom, you will recall, he had taken from the British ship Trent.
In addition to that much celebrated event (in the North, of course, the South was outraged), 15 November saw the placement of Union Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell over the Department of Ohio.
The Confederate Navy Department solicited offers for the construction of iron clads.
16 Novemeber, 1861 Two Federal foraging parties were apprehended by the Confederates. One at Doolan's Farm, Virginia and one around Pleasant Hill, Missouri.
Of the first, I am able to attach a selection the reports...
These are Federal:
The following reports are Confederate:
Mayhap Charles and yourself can discover the approximate location of Doolan's Farm. I myself have not taken the trouble to do so as of yet.
These events bring up up to today, 17 November.
Skirmishing occurred at Cypress Bridge, near Rumsey, Kentucky.
The U.S.S. Connecticut captured a British blockader off Cape Canaveral (Florida). This boat was heavily laden with good for the South.
I do greatly hope, my dearest Fred, to write in more detail on the morrow. Study diligently for your arithmetic exam and encourage your friend to do the same.