Letter. "Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, to "My patriotic soldier friend" [Oliver Waldo West], Suffolk, Virginia
Stilson responds to comments in West's letters of November and December (now lost); mentions acquaintances now in the army (including the artist and photographer Andrew J. Russell, Co. F, 141st New York Infantry); speaks of reading Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.'s novel Elsie Venner and the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (some of whose poems she apparently enclosed); expresses dismay over the recent defeat at Fredericksburg: "I am afraid it is one of two things, either that we must give up and divide and allow secession and lose all the precious blood that has been spilt,—all wasted,— or this war must touch every man in the Union. Which? What? Where???"