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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
June 19, 1865
My Dear Jennie:
If I had any excuses to offer for my long silence how readily would I offer them and just as readily would they be accepted by that much "adored Jennie." But Jennie, it is negligence. After writing you the 18th of March, I started on a raid into North Carolina, and the first fifteen days on the march I received for and issued too 6,000 men every other day without a particle of help. There I had no time to write. I got negligent received no letter and wrote none. And now Jennie I must beg you to pardon that gross neglect and please accept the promise from one who has been long severed from that fond embrace and one who hopes at some future time (and I thank God that time is not far distant) to again enjoy the pleasures of hours surrounded by friends most dear to me. You will see from the heading of this letter we are stationed at Greenville, Tenn. It is a very enterprising and beautiful little place. And the citizens do all in their power to make it agreeable to strangers and I must give the ladies the praise of being the most entertaining of any village I ever saw. I am boarding with a widow lady (Mrs. Hewitt). She has no children of her own, but has a nephew and niece living with her. I have a very nice and well furnished room all to myself and yet I am not content. There is something lacking to make the real beauty of nature and the comforts by which I am surrounded look beautiful and endearing to me-"Jennie it is you." You are not here to share those pleasures with me. There is a ball in town Wednesday night. Cant you come down and shake your foot a little with us. We average about three balls per week here.
Jennie before going further I will tell you I am once more a citizen of this Grand U.S. I was mustered out and received my discharge last Saturday, but the officer I was clerking for did'nt want me to come home yet and offered me $100 per month to stay with him a month or two untill he could get his business settled up, and as there was such a rush on the trains now and such warm disagreeable traveling, I concluded upon the whole to remain here a month or two. Jennie I have a thousand little things to tell you but as this is the first letter I have written for three months you must know I am not in very good for letterwriting, out of practice. I want to put this in the mail so that it will go out in the morning and it is now 8 o'clock and 30 minutes. Jennie write immediately and address
Ira B. Conine
Box 27 Greenville, Tenn
I shall await your answer. I am as ever yours,
June 29, 1865
It is gone ten days since I last wrote you but as I have been silent so long I think it no more than fair that I be allowed to write two letters to your one. This evening finds me well and as usual enjoying myself. I have attended one cotillion party, one candy pulling, one singing school and been to meeting twice within the last week-now isn't that improving the time? Tomorrow is a busy day with us, using an army phrase it is "Ration day." Also all the troops are to be mustered for pay, but that don't hit me this time. They have quit mustering me-what a nice thing to be a "free man."
Jennie how are you going to spend the Fourth of July? We have a celebration here. I have also a solicit to attend a celebration and ball at Jonesboro 25 miles above here on the R.R. and a most cordial invitation from a young lady at Elizabethtown 45 miles above here on R.R. to attend a picnic and a ball there on the Fourth. The lady's name, Miss Addie Johnson. [Vansickle] can tell you any thing you wish to know of her.
Jennie I attended a ball in this town Monday night and had the honor as well as the pleasure of seeing home the queen of the party-"Hurrah for Me." The ladies here all call me coz, or the little Ohioan. And I make them think I like them harder than thunder can bump stumps. Have my own fun and who can blame me! Do you ever hear from George and what has become of him. Has any body married since I left that I know or that I don't know? I presume you have no notion of marrying have you!
Tell John [Vansickle] I knocked that man that wears those leaves on his shoulder so high the other night in the estimation of Miss Willson that he has never been able to go back. Took very suddenly and most seriously sick at the heart and I doubt very much whether he will ever recover the attack. Shoulder Straps don't stand much show in this town. Went to a picnic few days since, officers got on a drunk and Private got in a little muss with them knocked down two Staff Officers and several others; took their ladies away from them and brought them home. Officers had to get up and skeddaddle, privates too many for them. War is over now and privates think they can do about as they please while the Officers must let them. Let us change the subject. I got a letter from Han day or two since. Says she scarcely ever thinks of me unless some of the neighbors enquire about me and says Jennie don't care whether I ever write again or not. The latter might be, but the former I don't believe, this I know, I don't wish to hear from those who never think of me only when they hear others speaking of me and further--whether you wish to hear from me or not I shall continue to scribble untill you request me to discontinue our correspondence. I know I was negligent about my letter writing for a time, yet I thought of you thousands of times. You are ever uppermost in my mind but I have sundry reasons for not writing and very good ones too bad there is no use making excuses for I know they would only be scoffed at consequently have none to offer. Only have this to say-them that does'nt like my style better sell out.
Hoping this may find you enjoying health I bid you good evening.
I am very respectfully yours,
Ira B. Conine
P.O. Box 27 Greenville, Tenn
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