Pelham to his mother

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My dear Mother, You can't imagine how glad I was to get a letter from you- I had been looking for it for a long, long time. You may expect to see me home by the first of February, 1861. I regret the circumstances which make it neccessary, but I don't see any remedy. Alabama seems determined to leave the Union before the middle of January, and I think it would be dishonorable in me to withhold my services when they will be needed. It seems pretty hard that I should toil for four and a half years for a diploma and then have to leave without it. I am studying hard and think I shall be higher after the coming January examinations than I have ever been before; but my standing will not do me any good. I always (nearly always) get over my lessons and read a chapter in my Bible a short time before eleven at night. I am not allowed to have a light after this hour. For the past two years and a half I have read my Bible regularly, one chapter almost every night; and when I neglected it one night I made up for it the next. I must write a short note to father tonight.

Lovingly your son, John