December 6, 1863

12 6My Dear Mother:

I have received Father’s letter in which were enclosed, copied by you, those beautiful lines of the Dean of Canterbury –

“One fragment of the blessed Word,
Into the Spirit burned,
As better than the whole, half burned,
And by our interest turned.

Yes, the discipline of our Heaven by Father is best, but at times how hard it seems. We shrink from trials, and disappointment is bitter to us. Yet, how it purifies; and how glad it makes the spirit, when, leaning on them, we walk strongly through all.

I have also recd a long interesting letter from Catherine which in a few days, perhaps, I will try to answer.[…]

I am quite comfortably situated in every respect.

William McArthur to his mother, Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 14, 1863

Dear Malley,

It is Saturday evening, and there is little leisure, and will devote it to you. I suppose you will like to hear how we have been getting along since you left home. Cathrine [sic] went to Portland twice to see Dr Fitch, he gave her medicine, told her eat beef and ride, and keep out of doors as much as possible, for a while she was better and grew worse, one night was very sick, I went in for Mrs Clark, and got Mr Clark to go for Dr Livett, that was there three weeks last Thursday. He thought her very sick. He advised not to go out, she has not been out since, and is a great deal better. I feel quite encouraged now, think if she is carefull  she will get quite well. […]

How are you getting along at West Point? That interests me and all of us. Try will all of your might, to do your very best, the happiness that you will confer in your friends, by so doing, will amply repay you, so, don’t let your ambition flag, or get discouraged, at the difficulties. I should like to have you write to me, how you like your new studies, if they are interesting, or if you find them very hard. Anything about yourself is exceedingly interesting to me. Do you have the same room mate? Do you take lessons in dancing? In riding? Is you [sic] time agreeably spent, as it was last year? Please write me one good long letter. Do you look back upon your vacation with pleasure? I regret that I did not make it more interesting, and pleasant, about home, so that you could feel truly, ‘there is no place like home.’ Now my dear son, I do hope you will try to do your very best in your studies, in your conduct that you can look back upon your life at West Point with pleasure. […]

Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur to her son, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 9, 1863


Dear Malley,

I want you to write me a good long letter, let me know how you are getting along with your studies, are they very hard; I see by the report your rank is not so high as last year, I want you to try with all your might to do your very best- don’t  relax your effort in the least. I want you to take a high stand in every respect in murrals [sic] and religion, as well as in intellectual and scientific culture. I wish you would write me a good long letter once in a while. I will answer all your questions, and write all the news.

With Love,

Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur to her son, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]