Academy of Visitation, April 24th, 1861
DEAR FATHER: I suppose that you will be surprised at the reception of this letter, but you can not imagine the anxiety I feel all of the time, for as the mails are stopped I have not heard a word from Mother for two weeks. Nearly all of the girls are going home, twenty-six have gone already, and Sister Bernard has telegraphed to the parents of the others, for she does not think that they ought to stay here with the country in the state it is now. It is not at all probable that we shall have any Distribution this year, and as we have been all over our examination we shall lose nothing by going away. Please let me go home, for I cannot study when I know that you are liable to be sent to war at any time. Nor do I think that Mother would wish me to stay if she could not hear from me. If you do not think it best that I should go, I think I shall join the secessionists. My toes seem to be going without my consent, for my shoes are much more “holy than righteous,” as I am keeping my new ones for my journey home. Of course I could not expect you to go with me, for I know that this would be impossible; but if any of your numerous friends are going to Lowell you can send me with them. As this letter will reach you through the influence of Col. somebody (I never can remember names), and I have to write to Mother, I must close. Goodbye and believe me
Your ever devoted
BLANCHE is mistaken about the telegraph, but the poor child seems so anxious about you and about her mother. We are not the least alarmed, but since the secession of Virginia parents seem to be very much so, and are sending daily for their children. Do not be uneasy about Blanche. She is perfectly safe, but I do hope that you will soon get to Washington. Excuse haste.
S. MARY BERNARD
SOURCE: Jessie Ames Marshall, Editor, Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler During the Period of the Civil War, Volume 1: April 1860 – June 1862, p. 36-7