May 16, 1863


Dear William,

I have written to you but once since you left home. I am alone this afternoon, and it very quiet, so I will write a few lines.

Mrs. L.W. Rounds of Malden wrote to Catharine and gave her an invitation to visit her in the month of May, which invitation she has accepted, and started upon her journey this morning, to be gon a fortnight.

Malkey writes he expects to be on his way home in five weeks, it is not probable that he will be at home again for some time, can you not make your arrangements so as to be at home, this summer? If it is only for a short time, it would be very pleasant, for you both and all of us.

I do not see any prospect of the war being ended. There are awfull battles, without any decided victory. Do you think we have one great, good man in the country? (I mean “among the powers that be”) it seems to me that each one is seeking his own individual interest and honor and not that of the nation. […]

Your affectionate Mother

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

February 12, 1863

Hd Qtrs 8th Regt Maine Vols Hilton Head S.C.

Dear Mother:

Sometimes I come across a piece of poetry that I wish to save, same as is your habit. Cut it out and lay aside. Enclosed i send you several such. The African’s song in Whittier’s “At Port Royal” does really make us turn away. “With a secret pain, and smiles that seem akin to tears, to hear the wild refrain.”

And the last verse in “Jonathan and John” quite comes up to my standard.

God’s price is high. We have held our blessed government too cheaply. Strange, we never could realize it’s value!

I should not have a peaceful moment if I did not think that after passing through an awful trial we should have the good old government and we never can except by the entire suppression of the Rebellion and ‘As’ every element and cause. Even then I fear there will be a mistaken party at the North who shall have been converted to this idea that a stranger government is necessary, forgetting that while the lack of executive power invited the rebellion the attachment of the people to it and their patriotism was a sufficient shield against all attacks and forgetting for that this suppression, and then Rebellion is not worth a possibility. […]

Affectionately your son, William

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