Columbus Miss. 3 Nov 1895
My dear Louise:
I am very much obliged for your kind
letter. The University fire was a great shock to me.
It haunted me night & day at first. I felt & feel as though
a temple had been profaned. No loyal alumnus can
fail to feel a personal loss. If the alumni's ability
equaled their inclinations, I feel sure the work
of restoration would be but a matter of time, and
that the shortest necessary. The limitations of poverty in
such crises are most sorely felt. What a pleasure it
would be to be able to give a million straight down
at once to restore and re-equip the buildings,
in such order and style as the authorities might
deem best! As it is, while my heart was full and
my purse empty, I had to force back the words that
rushed forward for expression of my sympathy &
sorrow and content myself with sending Dr. Thornton
a meagre declaration of my willingness to do anything
in the power of an impecunious alumnus! I knew
he would be deluged with telegrams & letters, so I was brief.
Philip recd. a letter today from Bowdoin. He speaks
of coming to Miss. on a hunt with some friend. Of course
we will nab him if he passes this way. I am sorry
you have no definite plans for Atlanta. We had
hoped you would surely come and give us a
few weeks. Cannot you still do this? It
would give us great pleasure, although
you would have a very quiet time.
“Society” is unusually tame in Columbus
this autumn, but we would enjoy you all
the more for having you all to ourselves.
Our love to all. Write me or send
me papers with plans of restoration when
published. I shall be deeply interested in it all.
I am glad you made your mother
take a holiday and delighted to hear of the
improvement in her health. I have no doubt
Fontaine will be delighted to spend his xmas
holiday at the University, or with the boys if they
go to Lower Bremo. Can you pack him away
without inconvenience? The EHS has 98
students. .... Bowdoin met Miss Bell in
Atlanta, so he writes. Phil has gone tonight to call
on her, but he is very faithful to his N.O. girl.
Write whenever you can. Present me cordially to
Dr. Thornton. He must have his hands fuller than ever.
Very affectionately yours, Chas H Cocke