Hilton Head, South Carolina
March 24th 1862
My dear sister,
It is with pleasure that I seat myself to answer your kind letter that I received last night. Yours found me well and rugged. I hope that this will find you the same. You told me some news concerning your marriage. I didn’t think that you would be married just yet but here I am well pleased with the match. I feel satisfied. I am willing to own Millet as a brother. I heard of poor old Uncle Henderson’s death before. Millet told me. I see that time alters everything. I hope that his death will be a warning to others.
You spoke of that money. You thought it would not be honest to exchange it if it was not good. I did not think it would be any hard for me to exchange while it was good. Then we feared that England was going to interfere and if she had, she would have whipped us and then our United States money would not a been good. But England will not interfere. I rejoice in our northern troops’ success. I hope that this rebellion will soon be crushed and I shall be at home with you all.
You spoke of that money that I owed to William Wicker. I want you to pay him five dollars and thirty-three cents. Tell him that I am very sorry that he has had to wait so long. You spoke of your sending me two letters that you had not had any answer to yet. I have received them both and answered them. I cannot think much of any news to write this time.
Perhaps you would like to know how I am getting along. I feel somewhat gloomy at the present but still I am determined to press my way through all clouds of opposition as I feel that I will meet you all in heaven if not on earth. I will write a few lines to my brother Millet now.
I received your picture. I forgot to tell you of it before. I was glad to get it. The Milton Boys is all well at the present. I must now close. Write soon. Answer all of my letters. This is from your brother, — Stephen Downs
to his sister, Lydia E. Bragdon
Oh Lydia, by the way, I want you to tell me where to direct a letter to Nemiah Drew for I want to see what he will do about settling. If you do not know, ask William Wicker and he will tell you. Do you not think it would be a good plan to try and pay that debt? — S. F. D.