Special Collections Department, University of Virginia
March 27th 1861.
I have not heard from you since I left home; but, thank God, with a vigorous constitution, I have been able to bear up and have been enjoying tolerable good health. My reason for not enjoying my Christmas with you was on account of a trifling difficulty I had, and I was consequently confined during Christmas week. I do earnestly hope this may find you all enjoying Heaven's best gift to man--health, and may the sunshine of prosperity follow in its footsteps.
I can hardly be home before about the 1st of June; but I want you to answer this letter by the 13th of April, as I expect to leave here about that time.
The Convention setting in this city with regard to secession or non-secession still claims a large portion of the people's attention, but the fact is, they have done nothing yet except to squander near a hundred thousand dollars of money for the State. A large part of the delegates are certainly most consummate fools and worse drunkards. One day we have strong secession talk and the next opposition talk, but the general impression is that Virginia will ultimately secede and join the other Southern States, which will be the signal for war if the North desires it. South Carolina has been for over a month making preparations for war, and is daily expected to strike the first blow. She has bought several hundred thousand dollars of cannon, cannon balls, shot, and shell in this city, and had them sent on to Charleston. Let us hope for the best, if the worst does come.
Give Miss Nancy my love, and tell her I have not forgotten her, and hope it will not be long before I see her.
Give my love to mother, and all enquiring friends.
When you write, let me know all who have married, and all the news about home.
Do not forget to answer soon, and direct your letter to "J.W. Parrish, Richmond City, Va." and it will come safe to hand