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Civil War Letters of the Christie Family
CHRISTIE HOME

Author: William G. Christie
Date: April 12, 1863
Location: Lake Providence, Louisiana
Addressee: Alexander S. Christie
Description: William describes his philosophy on life.



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Lake Providence La: April the 12th 1863.

Dear Brother. This is Sunday night: and seeing I victimised Father By writing to him last night I will do the same By you tonight, For do you see I have got the very curious Idea intoo my Head. (therefore it must out) that if I only knew enough about how to spell properly; and Put in the Pauses in there right Place, In fact if only I Knew the rules of grammar, I would then Be able to write an excellent letter. So seeing the A flattus : or rather the A flat me, Divine or Diabolic, in on me I must write, write; write or bust. And Being very egotistical I must say a very little about others and a good Deal about myself. Now I will begin by asking a question. Have you ever Noticed That there are great numbers of People, that are shoved up and on, By circumstances, instead of outgrowing them, Now I Beleive I am just such a one. Probably you will ask how. Well just By not Being as strong in the Battle of life as I should have been, letting my lack of eneregy ; or rather by not using the Powers God gave me I have often gone under, when I could have Been on the top: I am not so much afraid, for you in that respect, as I am for David: I am inclined to think he is more apt, to take the mere skimmings of his Present advantages: and think he has the solids, Now my advice to him would Be for him to take all the insight, intoo Arithmetic, that you and Sarah can give him, also to listen. (this for all three) very earnestly to What Father and Mother may say to you in the way of advice. Both of them having seen much of life from Different standpoints: I know now when I look Back. tis very seldom I have ever known Father to advise in a wrong Direction, Now I think that a man knowing how to Climb over or on circumstances, must have a strong will Properly goverend By Reason. And Reason must be Backed By a full Passional nature: Both of these under the correct control of your moral faculties. Now I have but a very uneven, moral and mental Development, then rather a small combativeness: so I have been one of the shoved: By Circumstances instead of having a good healthy natural growth: And knowing some little about your Build I have a desire to caution you, against the liabillaties: you are very likely to fall into: if you do not try to mend up the low Places in the wall: The fact of the matter is this: you may read History: and studdy Arithmetic in all its various Branches: you may studdy Phisiology: and all the other Phisical sciences and Be very wise in a way. you may know the Best Points about a horse; or a Cow: also how to take the Best end of a Bargain, aquire Riches: and all such things; and still if you do not know when to say yes: or No: it will Be as nothing. And the way to be able to make circumstances be your servants, is to have a good moral Development, and I Know you can make yours Better than it is, Not By going to Protracted Revival Prayer meeting: or getting intoo an undue condition of excitement, The time spent in such Places: are nearly if not quite wasted But let your judgment looke closely intoo the works of nature, and see the adaptation of means to an end and that end happiness, to all, unbounded happiness Watch how the actions of Individuals: react upon themselves, or others to Produce : or subtract from that happiness, look and see. Beauty and use in every thing in the universe and then you will feel a curious sensation: within you, Promting you to ask how these are just as you see them: you Reason on this matter, think it over in your own mind. Come to this conclusion By saying I am a Reasoning Being, every thing round about me is subject to laws Just, in all there Parts, and Benefical in there results: Therefore whatever Power Created me, and all other things, must be Wise. Just, and Good. So if I am wise; Good and Just, I will be in accord: with this Power, therefore happy. so you see: you must be Charitable. For this Power is Charitable you can draw the inferences, for I must Prepare to go on guard soon, Good night, for the Present. This morning it Rains. Did you ever notice how ants, would run hither an thither, when there Roof was disturbed. I Remember the first time I ever saw such a sight: was many years ago. Father had taken me out to Wilks Bress Where we could see the sea. twas on a steep part of the slope where the grass was very green, under the trees, that Father saw a flat stone lieing on the ground. he took me to it and turning it up oppenned Part of the mysteries of an ant hill, how quickly they took alarm at the condition of affairs; each one Picking up and carrying away, whatever came nearest them in the shape of Larvea; intoo the deep chambers of there colony. How like an ant hive is a nation in its every day life. God lifts off Part of the cover we keep over ourselves. to keep out the Bright light of Heaven. and then what a rushing, and running to an fro: There is among us and a trying to save our old Ideas, at every expense, There is to Be another two Regiments of Black ants, raised here they say, If that is so, I have a mind to apply for a Commission among them, For let me tell you for as well as the Prisident May intend to do By the Black: there some very poor samples of mankind that has got Posts as Captains and Leut. men totally unfit for such Places: Who have gone in for what they will be able to make in money, and other such things; By Robbing the Blacks of there Rations. Taugh how I have heard some such men swear at the Damned Niger, While there Breath was redolent of rotgut and Tobacce We are so used now to the Boats Passing up and down the River that we hardly ever look at them. But somtimes when a regular mud turtle goes Past, we climb the Levee: to get a sight at it one such went Past yesterday afternoon, having twelve guns mounted, and there is no doubt of it But they are hard things to take, if the crews are only of the right stamp. I say lads take care your minds don't get to Be like an old Band Box, full of all kinds of trumpry mixed up in very confused manner. For I find mine is just such a concern: with a few glass Beads at the Bottom, Which I want to make myself and others Believe to Be Diamonds: of the first water. So you see I begine my letter about myself, end it about the same interesting subject, And I verily Believe if my Ears were only a few Inches longer, I would make a splendid Ass:, write soon, give my Assinine Respsects to all. I suppose they would get them from the heel. W. G. Christie




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