It strikes me we might be a little more sisterly in the way of corresponding and yet I know it takes a good deal of time to write letters and you especially have very little to spare with your little family and your letters to Otis. For my own part, I don’t know but it is as much laziness as anything else that keeps me from writing for I have been intending to send you my love and congratulations ever since the deal little baby came. But you have them now and will you please kiss the little fellow for his Auntie. I want very much to see him. I wish it wasn’t such a journey between Augusta and Farmington – and such an almost impossible journey with little children. I do wish you could come up and bring all four of them this summer. Is it quite out of the question? I should so love to have you. [...]
Mary Ellen Patten [Ella] to her sister-in-law Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]
Dear Brother Otis
I write you tonight in preference to Frank and Charles to both of whom I believe I owe letters because Guy is here and I know you will wish to hear about him!
He came up last Tues from Bruns. with Ms. Patten. The next day we went to a “sugaring off” at Mr. Titcombs and he had plenty of maple syrup. He went to school one day with Frankie and Otis Sargent and has played with them a good deal. He has worked for me two hours upon different days at 6 cts. per hour piling some dry store novel and shingles. [...] Guy wants to get enough to buy a drum but he put 3 ct. in the contribution of the L.S.
[...] We have seen the order for you to change to the 4th Corps. but are entirely ignorant of that command and hardly know whether to congratulate you or not. All western troops lacking in discipline and cleanliness we fear. As I hear of the gathering of these mighty hosts to battle, I feel we need a real fast. I hope we will have the monthly letter. [...]
Your Aff. Bro., Rowland
Rowland Howard to his brother, Oliver Otis Howard [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]