[Undated. It could be any time in the last week of November or the first week of December 1861.]

My dear Alexander

Orders having been issued from the Post Office General [=Postmaster General?] that all American letters must be sent off today instead of Friday 6th in consequence of the probability of a war with your adopted country, I write with no very pleasant feelings as to the future. Indeed, my dear Alex, what a scourge is war. I fear after all you and your brother will be embroiled in it. Then there are your wives and the dear children. Oh I wish you were all here, safe & happy.

4 great men the Union has captured - 2 on their way to England and two ex senators from California. Then the battle at Beauford - surely things are beginning to look up for the Union - (torn) truly says "if the people were wise, war is a game Kings would not play at" (or Presidents either). I fear there will be great uncertainty about our letters in future but rest assured my thoughts will be with you and my prayers for you and yours. What does Andrea think about the war? Is she not alarmed and Mercedes too? Oh the times are horrible but "man's extremity is God's opportunity" and I do hope that in the Providence of God a door may be opened for peace.

I quite admire the likenesses on leather and shall not feel satisfied until you have ours. It is very kind of you to send them. Andrea looks very thoughtful and good looking. It does make me so happy to know - (torn) one as a slave.

We are coming on as usual and are both in good health. I have no family news this time to communicate. I am writing with borrowed spectacles that my eyes ache so badly I scarcely know how to write but I was unwilling that the letter should be sent off without a word from me.

It gives me great pleasure to find you are progressing so nicely in business. Make your fortune if you can and come over to England. I should so like to see you and Andrea. Present my love to her. I would write but I cannot this time. Present my love to Mercedes; kiss the children for - (torn). - (torn) found his way to you. I think you are better without him.

We shall soon have Christmas - may it be a happy one to you and yours and may the New Year be as prosperous to you as the last has been in your temporal affairs. May God bless you and keep you from all harm and by his spirit lead you into the way of all truth. Read your bible - think of me and ever believe that I am

Your affectionate Mother

Sarah Murray