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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
My own dear _____,
I received your most welcome of Apr 12th yesterday I had almost given up all hopes of ever hearing from you again, but after a delay of 20 days on the road the letter came through and you [might?] guess there was one glad boy in comp G.
Well Jennie I sent you a few lines Friday last inviting you to write if you intended to for I thought you had quit but I guess you are of the same opinion of your humble servant as he is of you and that is I am not going to get rid of you so easy and the Lord knows I don't wish to get rid of you.
You say you did'nt make an engagement without a great deal of fore thought and consideration. I believe you and I never thought you was very fickle minded and I am glad to hear you think so much of your engagement I hope you will continue to think so I'll tell you what I thought when the question was asked me. I thought that all the women in Ky could'nt induce me to break off my engagement with my ___ in Ohio as you say I meant that engagement for a lifetime and the people up there that are so keen for me to marry a southern lady need not put themselves to any uneasiness for they are not going to hinder me from marrying you so easy as they may suppose. I am as Old Dunnahue said as the preacher prayed that he might be removed by death or some other means. I swear I wont go. Well enough of this.
Jennie you say Ellen told you that she had heard people say they did'nt know what Jane Bysel meant by letting Ira Conine go with her I don't know either, one thing I do know she did let him go and that is none of her (Ellen) or any body elses business although I will admit I was alway a pretty rough boy but I take notice them rough kind of boy's always take pretty well not including myself at all for you know I never did take very well any where and I alway thought the reason was that I never got away from home very often but as for mother ever telling Ellen she would rather I would marry Alice Alward is a lie it was just the reverse I was setting in the room there at home one day when Ellen asked mother which she would rather have me marry? You or Alice mother told her I could use my own judgement but if she had any choice to make it would be you. Ellen spoke up said she did'nt know what I could see about you that gave me such an exalted idea of you in prefference to Alice I told her that was my business not hers that I knew you both perhaps better than she did. She said that might be but she thought a great deal more of Alice than she did of you I said no more but got up and walked out to keep from giving her a cursing.
Now that was just the words that was uttered and if you believe anything Ellen says you believe more lie than truth. I did think I would'nt come home on furlough this summer but I guess if I get a chance I will come home along toward winter on purpose to straighten up some of their talk although I would rather not come till the war is over then I could come to stay. Those letters you wrote about I just sent them to you to read or take care of in any way you wished at any rate I cared nothing about the content of either of them. Jennie you say Jim George is going to start a [dancing?] school nice business I think Han Ward is in fine business running around with other men running to dances with them and dance till 4 oclock in the morning and her with a husband in the army. Lord how I would like to have such a wife Han Ward and some more of the neighbors had a fine time talking about me the time I went home with Jo Mullen's wife from our house they thought that was an awful thing I would like to know now who has a chance to talk she had better never let Jim Ward know how she is conducting herself if she wants to ever live with him again. I think Andrew McCullough had better come to the army save his country first then if he wants to marry let him go in on his ------.
You say John Mathias wrote that he was coming home to make a visit this summer it may be but I got a letter from him the other day he thinks now he wont come home till the war is over. You say Han and Sallie opened one of your letters that you was going to send me I think they was in big business but I don't much believe Sallie --- ------ in it but I would'nt put it past them a bit I would'nt trust her any farther than I can throw a --- year old by the tail.
Well Jennie you wanted to know whether I thought you was entirely to blame for so much talk of course I donot blame you in the least I am sure if it was some girls there would have been a great deal more fuss than there has been but I guess I had better drop this subject for the present.
Jennie I was sorry to hear you had been having the sore throat I hope this will find you enjoying better health and as for me making you a visit this summer I may and I may not. Anderson will be home certain as soon as he can get there, I am well and doing well and if I would quit the army and come home 10 or 15 days I would get sick The army is just the place for me suits me exactly thinking of spending the remainder of my life in the service of the United States don't you think that would be [illegible] thing. I could do it (especially a rough fellow like me) Well Jennie how are you getting along with your school and have you heard from George lately. I never have heard from him yet I think he is a great boy give my best respects to all the girls up there. Han wrote to Anderson that John Shaw was running up to the Old Squares to see Sall how I would like to happen in there some time when he was there I'll bet I would initiate him please answer immediately on receipt of this
Yours & c. & c.
Ira B. Conine
I received yours of May 10th yesterday, and was glad to hear that you was well and getting along as well as you are. You say the night you received my letters, you also received two from Nashville; and that Fred would'nt let you have the ones I had written until you read the others and that he knew you cared nothing for them in comparison to the ones from me. I don't think he knew any such thing, from your last letter I should take it that you thought a considerable of some of your letter from Nashville, but it is all right. As you say I don't think there is much fun in trying to get a person that no one else wants, although I Detest seeing too many Rivals, after I consider a person mine. For my part I think I have had my share of them, (Rivals) but I may be wrong in thinking so at least I shall trust to your honesty. Although I may trust too much but I hope not. You say you have been looking for me home Jennie you need not look for me home till you see me coming. I may come and I may not, no telling but I shall endeavor to come if possible, for I know you want to see me no worse than I want to see you. Jennie I think that charming poetry that you and John are exchanging but it is all right I can stand it if you can. I received a letter from John this week he wanted to know whether I heard from you any more or not, your letter explained the reason he asked the question; but it is all right I can answer in the negative which would suit him I know, especially if he thought it was true.
Jennie you think unless I come home this summer you will never see me. I should very much dislike to think even for one moment that unless I seen you this summer I would never see you again, although such might be the case. God forbid!!
Well the next I see is concerning Han Ward still riding around with Dave, I think she will feel rather mean if she finds herself running around the country with another ______ on her arm before Jim gets home of which there is no doubt she will unless she carries herself pretty strait[straight]. There is one thing certain it will not be Dave's fault if she don't. But enough of this, Jennie you say you have received 3 letters from Capt Mathias since you got one from me. I think you and John are carrying on a pretty heavy correspondence, that accounts for me not hearing from you any more regular but I cant blame you if you can enjoy yourself more writing to others I say write to them any way to enjoy yourself. So just go in on your mus' [?]; but while you are paying your distresses to him I hope you will not entirely forget your humble servant. (I.R.C.) Remember that he is still in the United States Service and if it is God's will that he should fall, remember he fell a martyr for his country. You stated that John said that Angie and him had broken the ties that binds two hearts together. I never thought his affection for Angie were very great although I may be mistaken I presume he now wants to find his heart with yours. (I take it from his writing so regular) You also stated that you was corresponding with P.H. McKinnis I think you have correspondents enough to keep you busy if you don't hear from me quite so often Jennie you will please write to me where Kate Todd is, I must turn my attention to other female correspondents as that is getting to be all the go or I will get behind, it wont do to correspond with one young lady alone; (getting out of fashion) Well you stated that Kent Leiter was married to a widower I not only think that he was in a hurry but also think that she was pretty hard up I expect that is the way all the girls will turn out if this war lasts 3 years and the only chance the soldiers will have is to marry Southern ladies if such be the case I think I shall die a bachelor which according to the reading of the 7th Chap of the first Corinthians would be a very honorable death. Jennie you say Eliza Humphrey has more beaux than she knows what to do with, tell her not to get in too big a
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I received yours of May 24th last Sabbath it done me a great deal of good to hear from you again as you know it always does nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear from that one whom I have placed my greatest confidence in. That one who has been ever dear to me, and be assured ever will be.
Jennie you think I expressed myself pretty freely in my last I don't know but I did but I hope you took no offense from it for you know I always speak pretty plain and I don't know but at times I am too much so and if so I hope you will pardon me.
You said John knew what relation you and I sustained to each other. I knew what relation Mad Stout and Jennie Radabaugh sustained to each other but what did I care for that little did that concern me it was the girl I was after not that I wanted to marry her for I never had any such intention but I thought if I could run her a while just for my own diversion without asking any odds of Mr Stout why it was anybody's business. (only yours).
But I was glad to hear you say you had the pluck to tell Mr. Mathias whenever you thought he was tresspassing upon my rights and I don't doubt for one moment but you would do so. (For I know very well you used to tell me of it pretty quick when you thought I was tresspassing upon your rights and I know I always had to quit it too, although not with my own free will.)
Jennie I had my fortune told last week. She told me of things that had happened things that were going on at present and so on. She said there was a dark haired girl that I loved better than my own life that there was a light complected fellow corresponding with her also that there was a dark complected man and woman that was doing all they could against me that sometimes she would about half believe some of their lies and would get a little spunky at other times she would'nt pay any attention to them but that she thought a great deal of me but was bothered a great deal she said I would have a good deal of trouble getting her but that her and me would marry. She says I am to be taken prisoner but that I will get away she told me of a great many things that has already transpired and of things that are to come. She told me of so many things that was so I cant help but believe some of the future will come true.
There is one man in that part of the country that had better say his prayers if Wm. Haddox, A. Apger, or myself ever gets to see him, his sentence is passed. I think if he wants to run two women he had better go to Utah where the law allows it. I think that is getting to be the next thing to an uncivilized neighborhood. I should think Jo and Hara would be sent to their comp ere long they are making a pretty good stay, has Jo's wife got any one to take care of yet more than herself and Jo, and where do they live.
I got a letter from John Mathias last week he don't believe the story I told him. I will send you what I wrote to him was'nt it heavy I think it was but then you know it was true and that is what makes it worse John is a good boy but he must not correspond with a lady that I am corresponding with and then think I will tell him all that I know. He is foolish. I have known fellows to get the mitten by bragging what they could do but if I never get the mitten till I get it for that I don't think I will ever get it for you know I never had a very winning way much less to brag about it to make it worse. Oscar brought the news back that John had quit Angie and that she talked of sueing him. She is a fool if she does if I was disappointed by a dozen I never would sue one I would'nt let people know that I was such a fool.
Jennie you say you got a letter from David Saunders I would like to hear from him if you will give me his address I will write to him but you can tell him where I am but as for Katie Todd's address you need not mind that I was only joking if I had wished to write to her I could have done so without writing for her address I knew where she was. I also knew where Julia Grand and Jennie Radabaugh rec'd their letters. There is also a couple of very nice young ladies in Ky that I had the address of. There is Miss Bradford of Falmouth and Miss McLaughlin of Havilandsville also Miss Hattie Redmon of Paris Ky. I have had the pleasure of all 3 of those ladies company and was requested to write to them but I rejected I cant find time to write to one as I should much less writing to others who I care nothing for any more than to respect them as ladies for I know them all to be such. There is Miss Redmon, as pretty a lass as I ever saw and a perfect lady. Tell Eliza I cant have her till after you die then I will talk to her. Give her my best respects keep the love for yourself and write soon. Ira.
Near Cynthiana Ky
June 25th 1863
I received your very kind and ever welcome letter stating that I expressed my self rather cold in my last I don't know how I could get cold here for I assure you I never saw warmer weather that we have here --- Jennie I think it was nothing more than imagination on your part and neglect in me by not expressing my self more affectionate ---
You appeared to be a little out of humor when you who writing, went so far as to almost wish you had never been born! Why what do you think would have become of me had you never been born? You say you received John's miniature but you have never sent him yours in return and you dont think there would be any harm in it if you should I don't think there would myself!
Howsomever our thinking so does'nt make it so. You think if I would send my miniature to Angie now we would be even. I have wainted on some few girls at home but one lady carried my miniature as yet although it has been requested by different ones both at home and in Ky.
Although some of my friends up there say these Ky ladies are not respectable or that wouldnt let a soldier wait on them. The ladies that I have waited upon since I have been here are just as virtuous as Kate Guear [?] ever was and I dont know but I would be safe in saying a great deal more so. I know I would be safe in saying that much of Herr [?] Ward --- For my fears -- I can truly say that I never kept company with but one girl in my life that I didn't consider strictly virtuous and that lady you know as well as I do and spoke of it as the time for fear you have forgotten the circumstance I will give you the initials it was Miss J. G [?] ... and there is not doubt but there is worse girls that even her.
Tell Eliza that girls have been in the habit of writing to me first I hav'nt written to a lady since I have been in the service that did'nt write to me first.
I think of you you neighbors must have big time up there let Dave run on with his slang I will settle him if I am fortunate enough to ver return home!! The boys are all well including myself write soon
Ever Yours Ira B. Conine
Miss Jennie Bysel
Near Cynthiana Ky
June 28th 1863
Another week has passed and Sabbath finds me well and responding to some friend's letter but not yours your last has been answered 2 day since.
But as I have been having my Photograph taken and had one left I though I would send you one you may think it dont favor me much I dont think myself it looks much like I did when I left home I will send this one now and another one in a few days have you a Photograph Album I may send you some of the boys Photographs home and I want you to take good care of them till I return home I will write the names of the different ones as I send them.
I got another letter from Miss Dilworth this week she said that she had the pleasure of answering one of John's letters that day so I guess they hav'nt entirely dissolved partnership as yet, and I hope they wont.
I am afraid he might try to take my girl away from me and for ought I know he might succeed but I shall run the risk of that I dont know what is the matter with John I did'nt get a letter from him this week he generally writes me every week well Jennie write as often as you can
Ira B. Conine
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