Frances Marvin Smith Webster1847-01-19Lucien BonaparteFort Pickens, FL30.3219098-87.2168712I did not write you, my dear husband, as usual last week, on account of an inflammation in my eyes which prevented my doing anything that required vision. I am better now though not well and therefore shall send you but a few lines. Fanny is sitting by me singing, "Come Holy Pillit, ebenly dub, wis all thy kickenin powos," etc., ["Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, with all thy quickening powers" -- hymn by Isaac Watts]; you can judge of her pronunciation from this specimen, but she goes through her performance with the utmost gravity, and allows no one to laugh at it. Santa (as we call him) is creeping about the floor, and Josie is sitting by the window reading. . . .I hope I shall be able to go to Vermont and pass part of next summer with your father and mother. I have a great desire to do so and if you can get a leave of absence and join me there, the past year of torment will be forgotten. But I am complaining which I did not intend to do, for in truth I ought to be thankful that your life, and that of others who are dear to me has thus far been spared to me. While so many others have lost their nearest and dearest friends.I left the room a few moments since to get something for Fanny, and fortunately was not absent but one or two minutes for on my return I found that our youngest prodigy had crept up to the fire and was belaboring the coals most manfully with a stick, highly delighted at seeing the bright coals flying about him. I snatched him up just in time to prevent his taking up a handful of live coals and told him I should report him to you. This threat however did not alarm him at all. . . .You see by the papers the new Army bill. It is said here that the bill for this retired list and for the ten new regiments has passed both houses. I have not yet seen the papers containing this news. If it is the case you are all but a Major. . . .