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Frances Marvin Smith Webster1847-11-22Lucien BonaparteFort McHenry, MD39.2641151-76.5798874I hope my dear husband that you are more fortunate in receiving my letters than I am in receiving yours. It is now almost three months since the date of your last (28 August) and I begin to feel extremely anxious about you. I write so very often that it seems as if each successive letter was but a repetition of the last, but if the guerrillas get possession of them, as I fear they do, this is of little consequence.I heard a few days since from Mrs. Russell that Mr. [James] Phalen had returned from England, and had at your request brought you a military mess chest, which the doctor intended forwarding to you by the first vessel bound to Brazos. I immediately wrote to her that I thought unless you had given some directions about it, it had better remain in New York. . . .I hear that General Taylor is on his return to the United States, and fear very much that his poor skeleton branch of the Army will be exposed to attacks, which its limited numbers will be inadequate to repel. While he was with his forces his very name carried such terror to the hearts of the Mexicans that they feared to attack them. Now swelled by the numbers who have fled from General Scott I fear they will pounce upon you. May God prevent any more bloodshed, and hold you in especial protection.How often do I wish that I had been with you in Saltillo. More than ten months have you been quietly there, and your family being with you would have incommoded nobody. How much happier should I and the children have been. I think if I had found that you were to remain there so long, I should have found my way through all the dangers of the route. . . .General Scott's reports of the various battles in the Valley of Mexico has been published. I will endeavor to obtain copies of the various reports and send them to you. The papers all talk of peace, but all the private letters from-- NA --the Army which I have seen speak of it as farther off than ever, say there is no prospect of it unless an overwhelming force be sent into the country immediately. To be sure the Mexicans will if possible lull us into a false security, and deceive us with prospects of peace which have no foundation. They are a most treacherous people, devoid of the most common principles of honesty, and no confidence can be placed in any of them, however high their position.The children are both well with the exception of Josephine's eyes, which are still very troublesome. I have, however, requested Dr. [Samuel] DeCamp to prescribe, and he thinks he can effect a cure. She will be almost a young lady by the time you see her if you remain much longer in Mexico. Fanny is a rosy merry little thing, and talks a great deal about her papa, romances not a little about the way he shoots Mexicans, and tells the most wonderful exploits of his performing all invented on the spot. I doubt, however, if she has any distinct recollection of this hero of her imagination, for yesterday when Dr. DeCamp called she asked if he was her papa.I hope you have received some of my late letters. In one or two of them I have asked you to send me a statement of your claims upon General Peter Sken Smith. I will call upon him when I go through Philadelphia, and see if anything can be obtained from him. I also advised you to try and dispose of your property near St. Augustine to your English acquaintance who talks of removing there; if he would like to rent or purchase a house, he might be pleased with our old residence.I received yesterday a most touching letter from Kirby's poor wife. She lost her reason for several days after the reception of the sad news, and her friends were apprehensive of permanent derangement, but she has now recovered her senses and trying to resign herself to her hard fate.I hear that "Charley May" 1 is disgusting everybody with the airs he assumes, that he is allowed to remain and lionize in the United States because he declines going to Mexico to be commanded by Colonel [Thomas] Fauntleroy, and sink down to mere company duty after commanding a regiment. This, and some other difficulty about brevets, it is surmised will prevent any brevets, or at least cause very few to be given this session of Congress.Remember me to Donaldson, Bowen and all friends. Captain [James] Hill and Dr. DeCamp desire to be remembered to you. The children send kisses and wish you a Merry Christmas. God bless you. . . .