Washington, D.C., December 28, 1855

Washington, D.C., 28 Dec [18]55

Dear Marion,

I don’t know why so long a time has elapsed without my writing to you. I think I was waiting to hear from home. I feel very lonely, a sensation that I have not known for nearly ten years + I was sop wishing that the friends at home would write me. Lib wrote me of late + although she could say nothing but what was very sad, yet it was soothing. Dear sister in calling to mind our poor lost brother + every thing associated with him, how lovely is the past, but what a bitter though is the future, “I see the future strewn all dark” and “troubled as a rainy sea.” Each day brings new griefs. Hardly a reflection but in some way connects itself to our great sorrow. You will see by the above date that just a month has passed since the scene of poor Arch’s suffering closed. + Oh Marion, month after month will pass till we count years, and yet our brother sleeps; then will come + maybe erelong the time for us to lie down to rest + then we shall see our early lost darling one + oh not till then! My last view of him was so grrateful after the terrible contrast I witnessed in him as I found him compared with what he was when I last saw him on the 26{?} of Sept. Just as dawn had broken + day light shown upon his face, it looked so weary + yet so calm + hopeful. Suffering had all ceased. His breathing grew softer + softer, morning light grew clearer and bright and when the day had fully come he had as gradutally + as {impeccably?} gone. So peacefully! So gently! So will thy sweet memory rest gently + soothingly upon our bereaved hearts. My beloved brother! Thy tender heart and gentle emotion was respected ever by the great destroyer + thy last sigh was as soft + gentle as thy heart. I have received a notice in the Ithaca paper of his sickness + death + a published funeral sermon by the Rev’d ____ Walker both of which if you have not seen, I will send.

[Hugh Watson McNeil]