1865: Annie R. Bostick to Cousin


How Annie might have looked

This letter was written by Annie Rutledge Bostick, the daughter of John Eli Bostick (1821-1894) and Penelope K. Rutledge (1819-1868). John and Penelope married in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1845 and according to the 1860 U.S. Census, the children of John and Penelope included John Rutledge Bostick (1841), Mary Bostick (1847), Anna Bostick (1848), Elizabeth Bostick (1850), Dolores Bostick (1852), and John H. Bostick (1856).

Annie’s mother, Penelope, died on 15 August 1868 (age 49) in New Orleans; she was a native of Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland. Her first marriage was to William P. Welch (1821-18xx) and their only child, Jane Blanch Welch (1839-1887) is the “Jane” mentioned by Annie in her letter.

Annie wrote the letter to her cousin whom she never addresses by any other name than “cousin” so I have not been able to identify the recipient; she was probably a niece of her mother’s family (Rutledge) residing in the Harford County, Maryland, area.

Annie refers to her father’s service in the Confederate army. Military records indicate that John first served in Co. F, 11th Louisiana Regiment. This regiment fought at the Battle of Belmont and then were captured at Island No. 10 in April 1862. After they were exchanged, the men who re-enlisted joined other units. John joined Austin’s 14th Battalion of Sharpshooters in late 1862 and remained with them until they surrendered in May 1865. Before the war, John was employed as a carpenter. After the war, he earned a living as a butcher and resided at 465 Fulton Street.


New Orleans [Louisiana]
September 5th 1865

Dear Cousin,

I received your kind letter a few days ago and tongue cannot express how glad we were to hear from all you. You said in your letter that you owed me an apology for not answering my letter but, dear cousin, I can assure you that there was none necessary for I know how you felt after your Brother’s return home from the war. But the war is over and of course the Yankees have the credit of gaining the day. But if they did gain it, I despise them worse now than ever I did. I think they had better go home to their own Yankey states and not stay here to insult their betters, for in my estimation, a good negro is better than some Yankees. But I shan’t begin to run them down for the worst word is too good for them.

Dear Cousin, you can’t imagine how changed Father is since he came home from the war. Everyone says he looks five years younger. When he first came home, he did not want to sleep in the bed. He told Ma to give him a blanket and he would sleep in the floor; but I can tell you we very soon put those soldier notions out of his Rebel head.

Dear cousin, you said that you hoped that I had got the promotion in my studies that I was working so hard for. Well I did get it. We have had vacation for three months but are commencing school again but I can assure you that I shan’t  relish it any too well. I am all the time begging Ma to let me leave but she will not consent. Ma would let me leave in a minute if sister Jane [Welch] would only say yes for you know she is madam of the house. She says I am wild enough now without leaving school. But never mind. Some of these days she will be getting herself in the matrimonial scrape and then I shan’t ask her. Oh how glad I shall be when she does get married for then I shall be as free as a grasshopper. They all say home that I am a hard nut to crack. You may be sure hard to beat.

Sister Mollie takes after Father. She is very reserved. You would hardly know she was about the house. She is always scolding me about being so wild, but I tell her that still water runs deep but there is always something at the bottom. What do you think, cousin, she has got a beau — but she is so bashful that he is afraid to make love to her. I know he has come a dozen times to pop the question and each time he has been disappointed. I only wish it was me on the carpet in place of her. I would say yes, and thank you sir! But you know I must wait until I am seventeen. Anyhow, it would not do for three to be out at once, so I think I shall lay back awhile yet. Ma says she is going to send to her country to get me a husband; so I tell all the girls that my husband is going to be an imported one. ¹

Ma sends her love to all the family. Give my love to all aunts and uncles and cousins. Tell cousin Joe we all wish her much joy through life.

From your loving cousin, — Annie R. Bostick

¹ Annie’s mother was born and raised in Maryland. Annie is humorously referring to the United States as her mother’s country (as opposed to the Confederate States of America).



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