United States of America

April 28th, 1898

Atlanta, Georgia. Thursday morning

My Beloved Angee,

I am hoping to reach New Orleans on Saturday and shall not receive your letters due at New York last Saturday until then. I left Jacksonville on Monday night last reaching here soon after 5 next morning – one thing was most delightful and that was the change in the temperature of about 20 degrees – this place is 1,100 feet above the sea level and is dry as well as cool – after breakfast I got to work and had interviews with five of the leading men but they were not in any business mood as all business was suspended about midday it being Commemoration day when the people carry bunches of flowers to lay on the soldiers' graves. There is a population of about 120 thousand here and the suburbs around are very fine. Well after the midday meal I hired a carriage with a nigger[1] driver who was very reasonable in his charges and went for a two hours' drive which I enjoyed very much and was not long after supper in getting to bed feeling the want of the rest I had been deprived of the night before. This through mercy I had in spite of the roar of trains and bells going all night long – my hotel being closer to the depot through which there is a sort Clapham Junction traffic N., S., E. & West – my nigger[1] driver and I started for the work y'day morning and strange to say I had the best day's work I have as yet had since landing in New York – all the five men gave me decent orders and more than that were very kind and courteous – the aggregate made up quite a large quantity for America at any rate. Well I had made very earnest prayer to God about it all before starting in the morning and what could I do now but to bow down and give thanks and continue to trust in Him. There was a brother in the Lord here and a little gathering but I had not been able to find him the first day and tried again subsequently and succeeded in locating him as they call it here – there was quite a nice little Hall for the meeting opposite our brother's house and the saints came together in the evening at 7.30 – the Lord granted us a time of refreshment over His word – after the meeting I returned to our brother's house with his wife and children and spent an hour with them and it was very interesting to hear their talk. Lord Cecil had laboured among them and others well known to me. They had heard of my being in the States and there were two in the meeting who had previously met me in other parts. They knew all about my visit to Cincinnati 10 years ago when I went out in the country to see farmer Prim who lent me a horse to ride back a few miles to the river. I dare say you remember the circumstance. I am now moving South which I do not like I assure you as I see the temperature at New Orleans is 80 and the rest which means wet shirts and collars, but I shall get through it quickly as possible into more genial northern latitudes.

The war fever still runs high and outside every paper office the people congregate in the groups waiting for the latest bulletins which are written in large letters. There is still a good deal of uncertainty about the movements of Spanish warships and it is feared that they intend bombarding unexpected cities on the Atlantic coast or it may be in the Gulf of Mexico where I am now bound but the path of duty is the path of safety so I move along under His protection and guidance who is mightier than the mightiest. The people here are very pleased in having the sympathy of the English and no praise is too great now for England and the Anglo-saxon race. The issues of war are with God and the world's records show that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.

Trust you and all our loved ones are being preserved and sustained day by day – my best love to each one of them whose names I bear up before God in prayer unceasingly and now with truest love to you my dearest Angee believe me.

Being very affectionate Husband

Very thankful to hear that all goes on so peacefully at Ifracombe – How is dear Mrs Hobbs?


[1] We recognise that this is an offensive term today. However, Edward Petter used the term "Nigger" as a neutral term to refer to black people. It is clear from the context that no negative connotation is implied. The use of the term on this website does not condone the modern usage. See further here.

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