Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell Davis
[Richmond], June 19 1862
I bore the trip [from Raleigh, where the first family had been sent, to Richmond] very well and partook heartily of the lunch you put up for us. Dr. [A. Y. P.] Garnett insisted upon tasting the no Garnett whiskey. I found Joe and the household all well. Mr. [Edward G.] Eggeling informed me that it was well I had returned for Jim had announced that he could not wait for me another day and E. seemed to think he would have been off to Raleigh. Genl. Dick Taylor was here during my absence he spoke in handsome terms of the gallant conduct of Capt Kearey. The La. Brigade has won extraordinary fame and I think has fairly and fully earned it. I send you the little pistol in it's box. It is capped and loaded, you can get out in the woods and each of the family take a shot, then you can have all the chambers reloaded and when you go out again see how much your previous practice has improved you. Mrs. [Rose] Greenhow when she came brought me three oranges and a box of Jelly. One orange I sent to Custis Lee one to Genl. [Joseph E.] Johnston, Becca asked for one, the box of Jelly was left on the mantel piece when I came back it was still there but had been broken open, it goes in its altered state with the pistol. I directed a bundle of assorted candy for the Children to be put in the bundle, the inventory of which is completed by the addition /of Joes cap and/ of Helen's shawl for the use of which I return my thanks. The vision of my angel baby [William Howell Davis] in pain and exhaustion haunts me ever. God grant to him a speedy recovery. Kiss my dear children whose sweet faces I last saw in sleep, and from whose door I turned reluctantly in the morning upon your announcing "all sound" with a manner that warned me against waking them.
I left a soft pencil for you on your mantel piece, having noticed you had none. I hope you found it as they are rare with us now. The postage stamps were given to Col. [William Preston] Johnston and I thought they had been sent to you but found that he had them and when we were parting on the cars he gave them to me. I left them with you. Nothing important here, except movements not understood by the public and of which you will hear in due time. Lee is working systematically co-operating cordially and the army is said to feel the beneficial effect of it.
[P. G. T.] Beauregard left his command to seek rest, and restore his health. The sedentary life at Corinth must have been hard to bear as he reports himself exhausted and his army undergoing reorganization. [Earl] Van Dorn goes to Jackson &c
Farewell dear Wife ever affectionately
From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Volume 8, pp. 253-55. Transcribed from the original in the National Archives, RG109, Citizens file.