The following excerpt is from the diary of Eveline Price (Adeline’s sister).
This has been a very somber day for our family. We had the unhappy duty of burying my brother-in-law, Charles, who was murdered by persons as yet unknown, while tending to his animals on Monday last. Addie is beside herself with grief and none of us can understand how someone so well-liked could come through a major battle unscathed only to be cut down yards away from his cabin door. William, Robert Randall and White Wolf are scouring the forest for whatever coward saw fit to shoot my dear brother-in-law in the back.
Addie was writing in her journal when it occurred and the shot startled her. She immediately ran out to the lean-to in time to see Charles attempting to crawl to the cabin. She told us that he managed to say,” Sorry, Addie” and then died in her arms. At first, she didn’t completely take in what had happened. Then, she , in a daze, saddled her horse, Goldie, and rode all the way to the O’Meara’s where she found Arthur. Arthur said she was hysterical, but he and his wife, made her tea and heard the story. Then he went to get Robert and Mr. Randall, who drove the wagon to Blueberry Creek for the body.
I was setting the table for supper when Father, as pale as the snow, came rushing in to tell us that Mr. Randall had arrived with Charles’ body. He said that Robert and Arthur were not far behind with Adeline. Mother immediately sent Henry to fetch William.
Adeline is inconsolable, but Mother says that it is best that she cry now. I know that she is trying not to upset us, but she cried herself to sleep beside me last night and when I woke up her cheeks were wet. My heart aches for her. She didn’t want anything to eat, but I pressed her to at least have some toast and tea. She ate it and then immediately fled to the outhouse. I suppose that is to be expected under the circumstances.
November 24, 1813
I have been Mrs. Charles Houghton for such a short time and now….now I am a widow. I can hardly write this, but mother thinks it might help me. I must apologize for all the smudges. The tears come on me unbidden. I am trying to keep busy, but I break down so often, I’m of little use. The funeral was very brief – it is winter. In the spring we will bury Charles in the orchard beside Uncle Andrew and dear little Virginia. Mr. Randall built a good coffin and we lined it with my wedding dress , I could never wear it again. Father is preparing a fine field stone memorial with his initials and the date. I have tried to write his parents, but how do I write such awful news to people I’ve never met, people who have never even acknowledged our marriage?
Everyone has been very kind, although I did have to answer a lot of questions from the Lt. Colonel because Charles was murdered. I am so fortunate that my family is known and respected, because I have no witnesses and Charles….was shot in the back. Such a cowardly act! I keep thinking, that if only I had gone to look after the animals as usual, Charles might still be alive.
Last night, after Evvy fell asleep, Mother came upstairs and sat beside me on the bed. She held me in her arms and whispered that she had hoped that I would never have to suffer such a terrible loss so young. Then we both cried.
From now on I shall take my tears outside. I don’t wish to add my grief to what Mother bears already. Somehow, I must gather myself together and carry on. I have a farm to manage and animals for which to care. Father wants me to stay here for the winter…I’m not sure. Robert and Arthur have vowed to find the villain, but all I can remember of that terrible day is the sound of the musket and Pirate barking.
Your heartbroken friend,
I tried to post a comment but was denied. A powerful story. Well written. So simple, and such an impact. Well done. Vicki
Thank you so much, Vicki. I value your opinion highly.