Elmer, Ebenezer (1752-1843) to Hannah Seeley
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.165.01 Author/Creator: Elmer, Ebenezer (1752-1843) Place Written: Middlebrook, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 June 1777 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 21 x 16.5 cm.
Discusses army life. Says he enjoys writting her in his spare time. Tells her that "The movements of a rambling army...exposed to the dangers of leaded weapons...slaughter & bloodshed affor nothing but maloncholy scenes...too shocking for matter o communication to ladies." If she really desires details she should ask Mr. Machey. Army life is hard and the only reason "that soldiers themselves are anyways pleased with the life" is "owing to the animating drum and fife." He himself "can see or feel but little solid satisfaction in this way of life but that of serving my country." Has heard rumors that they are engaged to be married to each other. Says he would marry her if he could return home, and if she loved him as much as he loves her. But must dispell these ideas for the time being. Written at "Camp Middlebrook," a town now called Bound Brook. Signed "Eben Elmer"
Ebenezer Elmer served as a surgeon during the revolution, and later a New Jersey Congressman.
Middle Brook Camp ----
D Miss ---
A leisure minute I once more with pleasure employ in writing to you, tho' am not able to tell whether the reception of my incorrect sorrows affords you any satisfaction; yet as they yield me the most plea-sure of any thing I can convert my leisure moments to; shall think myself fully - and if they only tend to divert your mind bring in remembrance the Silly author. ---
The Movements of a rambling [illegible] Army, exposed to the vicissitudes of Seasons as well as, the dangers of Leaded weapons [illegible] Slaughter & Bloodshed afford nothing, but maloncholy scenes of the Merciful effects of war Scenes too shocking for matter of Communication to Ladies. But if curiosity should prompt you in this particular by applying to Mr. Machey to whome I have wrote largely you may be satisfied. -- Tis owing to the Animating Drum & Piercing fife that Soldiers themselves are any ways pleased with the Life; Indeed I can See or feel but little Solid Satisfaction in this way but that of Serving my Country.
 I cannot help mentioning the News which Dr Howell informed me of on his return from Cumberland, which was, that it was currently reported there that I was to be married to you on my return from Camp; whence or from what circumstances this took its not I cannot tell; yet as according to the old saying "what every body says must be true" Prehaps [sic] such a thing may
possibly happen, tho' at present I am not acquainted with any Symptoms which Indicated such a happy renovation of times to me - Nevertheless were you as fully presuaded [sic] of [struck: Your] merit as I am of your's, there would be the fullest probability, of such an Occurrence fraught I hopes of a life of Conjugal felicity, yet such Pleasing dreams without any solid foundation will tend only to no purpose, must therefore banish them till some favorable turn in Providence shall grant me the fulfilment thereof. --
My kind respects to Mamma Sisters &c & May the God of Heaven be a shield & guard to us in these times of difficulty & distress, & grant that we may Shortly enjoy each others company in Peace Amen
June 20:th 1777
Miss Hannah Seeley
beware of false
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