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Frances Marvin Smith Webster1847-11-28Lucien BonaparteFort McHenry, MD39.2641151-76.5798874. . . .I have collected all the newspaper scraps that I could find in the house and send them to you without taking the time to read them, so that I hardly know what I send to you. I sent you a few days since a eulogium on-- NA --Donaldson. There has since appeared in the Sun a rather lame correction of some of the statements in that paragraph. I cannot at present find a copy of it for you, but will endeavor to do so. There have been also several notices of poor Kirby but I have not been able to obtain one as yet. I hope to do so in the course of the week.We received letters from St. Augustine this morning. Poor Mother is of course in the greatest affliction. Kirby was always her idol, and the idea that she has no home for his destitute children partly through her own fault must now press upon her in the most painful manner. 1The children are both well, and talk a great deal about their father. Would to God there were some prospect of his return to them soon. Indeed my dear husband I feel very anxious for you. The force with General Taylor's part of the Army is certainly insufficient to repel any large force of the enemy, and it is much to be feared (now that Scott has repulsed them) that they will make a rush upon the Rio Grande, particularly if they learn that General Taylor is about leaving there.The last letter I received from you was dated August 28th, now nearly three months since. You had not then heard of the death of our dear boy. How have afflictions accumulated around me since we parted, added to the grief caused by your absence, I have been called to weep for my father, my son, and my brother, so many of the closest ties which bind me to earth severed by the hand of death. God grant that no more of the family are to be immediately taken, but I live in continual anxiety. What a wicked government that suffers its heroic soldiers to perish for want of proper reinforcements, and can only be influenced by political and interested motives. Mr. Polk and his advisers certainly have much to answer for in the grief, distress and bloodshed which they have caused.I think I shall remain here through the winter though I am not yet positively decided on the subject. Winfield is with his young wife in Philadelphia, and as Aunt Harriet will be alone if I leave her she is very anxious to have me remain here. If I find that I can do so consistently with economy and comfort, I shall have to draw again on Mr. Davies for remittance. I have already received $100 from him, but am now entirely out of money. I have purchased some necessary articles of mourning apparel here, which with a dentist's bill for Josie and myself have somewhat increased my expenses. I had rather have your pay accounts if you can send them, and I wish you would make me a monthly allowance, as most officers do, only all I can save out of it I shall consider my own, to do as I please with.Mary Mills is still with me, and tries to do well. I think she improves slowly. Captain [Henry] Swartwout is here. Mrs. Alden, his mother-in-law, lives with him and desires to be remembered to you particularly. . . .