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S.W. Britten to Joseph P. Gilliam, March 22, 1861

MSS 3593
Special Collections Department, University of Virginia

Petersburg Va
March 22nd 1861

Dear Joe,

I received your letter yesterday and hasten to answer it. I have (as you said) intended to write to you ever since you left home but circumstances prohibited my doing so. It is very dull here now, and has been ever since you left Petersburg. It seems as if our convention assembled in Richmond does not intend doing anything at all but expending money for the State of Va. There has been since you left Va. considerable change in the sentiments of the people of Southern Virginia in favor of Secession

We of Petersburg elected Tom Branch a submission candidate for the convention but I believe if it was to be over again the secession candidate would carry it to a unit.

You spoke of your old sweethart in your letter. I suppose you wish me to tell you something of her movements since you left here. She is looking extremely well and fascinating. I believe she gets prettier and lovelier every day (that is, if it is possible) She has the same Beaux now that she had when you were here; But I believe the Drug man as you termed him, is the accepted suitor by the way. here they go up the street now together in R (illegible) carriage. I reckon from what I hear that he averages (4) four times a week in going up there. You spoke also of me and my sweethart, I am not as far advanced now, (as far as matrimonial affairs and concerned,) as I was when you were here. She discarded me about a fortnight ago, but as the old saying is, I (illegible) intend to give it up so Mr. Brown.

I suppose you all down there do not consider us foreigners yet awhile? I hope we of Va will before long join the Southern Confederacy. But as far as present prospects are concerned I don't think we will join it sooner than next fall.

have you been up to see Miss Johnson yet, Uncle William's sister in law I mean. As am interrupted by some young men I must stop. Give my respects to Uncle and cousin John when you see them.

Your horse has improved a great deal since you left. I am very much obliged to you for him & keep him at Raylands Stable.

I remain as ever your
S.W. Britten