To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS
December 23, [1864?], Wheeling
My dear Annie
I send you the Christmas greetings with a warmth of meaning—new and deeper to me than ever before, I think.
The past year has come to us so bright with blessing—with the mark of His hand so fresh and clear on it. The day too glows with sunlight windows in my old home. There is such quiet happiness—
The old life and the new coming together in this time of tender memories and fresh hopes. One loves the old friends better for every new love that opens the heart—so dear friend, I give you new and more earnest affection and trust to any than ever before.
Clarke brought me your message last Wednesday when he arrived— If I were near you I would give you a good hearty kiss in our Western fashion for your beautiful token. How many we have from you and ‘your Jamie’! In our dear little cozery at home every where our eyes turn there is something which says to remember that Boston is more to us than any [point? part?]of a universe—a very heart warm soulful place in our memory—for it so much means—you!
Until now my visit here has been sad and anxious. My mother was away on a visit to some friends when I came—and etc.—But she is at home now—and Clarke has come—so the world has moved into daylight again. We are busy preparing a Christmas tree for the baby—his uncle and father have just abandoned all common sense so far as that infant is concerned. The only hope of his remaining unspoiled is his mother—
We are going back before New Year—I want so much to see your childrens paper—it will be waiting for us when we go back. By the way, I have a terribly neglected & set-aside feeling about that said paper. But ‘J.T.F.’ did not know I used to be the ‘favorite’ fairy-story writer for a circle of little cousins and had them for critics long before I knew him—
It is so long since I have written or received a long letter from you dear Annie—that I feel as if many threads had been dropped. Do you not think you will come to Phila. this winter? Remember we are at home now and come to us at once— I have been writing this by snatches—the day has been disturbed in many ways—and these babies do break up time into fragments so provokingly. Ma and Wilse (my brother who was in Boston) send you both their kindest regards & wishes of the season. Clarke his love with mine—& hopes of happiness for this coming year and all years—for both—I am so glad to hear of your mother & brother’s safe recovery. Does your brother return to the army soon?  While he is with you, you are saved from an anxious heart at least. Write soon, dear Annie, directing to Phila— We will be there before the New Year.
1. Rachel Leet Wilson Harding (1808-1884).
2. Probably RHD’s eldest brother, Hugh Wilson Harding (1835-1906).
3. Dr. Zabdiel Boylston Adams, Jr. (1829-1902) was a surgeon in the Union Army.