Center for Archival Collections
|Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage|
Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
Jan 2nd 1865
Dear absent Soldier:
It has been so long since I have written to you. I scarcely know where to begin. I went home Sadurday to spend New Year. Found a letter there from you dated Nov 27th. I had almost given up all hope of hearing from you again. Six weeks seemed an age and then to make matters worse I heard you was married. Jess Sparr came to Gilboa last week wanted to know if I had heard the report of your marriage said it was all over the country. I know you will think I was foolish for letting such a story trouble me but not hearing from you for so long and then hearing such a report I could'nt help thinking of it a great deal. I have been reading Elfrida. I think it is very good. I could scarcely stop reading long enough to answer your letter. I had promised to read no more novels but as you sent this and recommended it so highly I could not resist the temptation. I find that the more I read these tales and romances the more I want to read them and works that are more solid such as history or the Bible. I have no taste for, I am very sure that novel reading is injurious to the mind.
This Elfrida is good. Was'nt that Irish Lord a jolly fellow. Gerald Andros was a kind hearted soul. There are few very few like him a pity there is more like him. I have not read all of yet. I am going to finish it befour I go to bed.
You still seem to be favorably situated. I am glad you are getting along as well. How did you spend Christmas and New Year? No doubt you enjoyed yourself. We had had balls and oysters suppers here with out number I attended one Christmas eve. I did not participate in the dancing as you know that is not in my line. I received a note soliciting me to attended an oyster supper New Years eve answered the note in the negative as I intended going home that eve. Cpt. Allen was burried in Ottawa New Years day by masonic honors. There was a great many people out. Andrew McLough was married last Thursday. They went to Gal Brooks after they were married. Han and Sallie and Eliza was there. I heard they had a gay time I expect. The girles bored Andy well and he is just about green enough to let them. Maggie P. received a letter from Lieut Wallace, I read it, was very good. He is a smart old chap, I guess Maggie will be about even with him. Be careful who call a yaller gal. Better keep that in the dark, you will be sorry if you don't.
When I write to Libbie Shaw I will give her your kindest regards. Indeed she is a particular friend of mine and as you was speaking of my dying I don't think there is much danger not while you are so far away but if I should be so fortunate as to die I don't think I would resign you into better hands than Libbies she surly would make you happy. She has gone to spend the winter with her husbands folks. They live in Millersburg, Holmes Co. O. and by the way I had almost forgotten to tell you that I had my fortune told this winter. He told what was past all truth too. I hope the future may prove to be as true. The fortune teller says I am to be married within fifteen months to the one I am now engaged to. He described the person very minutly. Told his disposition to a key said he was very fond of lady society said as he ____ ____ us then ____ _____ but as ever and God _____ any thing about. I began to get frightened over ____ is have him stop [of raid] he ______ tell something that I ____ ___ about hearing myself _____ he went on to say that I would be ___ wealthy was going to travel perhaps to Europe at the age of 40 I am to lose my husband marry again my second husband is to be light complexion sandy hair. I am to have a small family not more than two children. One daughter was to be an accomplished lady and I am going to take great pains in educating her. I cant say whether there is any truth in it or not only time will tell. _____ and _____ are getting along finely and that is not a story either. I am sorry that you ____ no more confidence in me than to think I would tell you a story. McGinis told me told me he had heard from you. I believe I have written all week often there is nothing else for one to live for but your letters. With my best wishes to Wallace and my love to Ira I am still your own.
A kiss and good night I am going to bed.
There you called me again. I wont excuse you. I have not seen that letter that Wallace wrote to you yet. I seen none of your folks since you went away. I have received several letters from the girls. I wrote a letter this morning to Han in reading over the old letters you brought home I found one Anderson wrote to you. It was rather spicy for AA. I wonder if his finger is getting any better. You are a great boys Han and I will ____ when you get home.
Jan 26 
My Dear old Friend
As turkey roasts and oyster suppers have nearly played out perhaps you will not object to a line from your old friend. It seems a long time since I have had the pleasure of conversing with you through this silent messinger. Nearly four weeks since I have received your last and I had just come to the conclusion not to write again untill I heard from you. The last four weeks have been the most miserable of my life. Every person I see wants to know whether Ira is married or not. It is the general topic of conversation for miles around I don't think there could be more excitement if the whole Union army had got married. I heard so much about it that I realy begun to think it must be so. But it is immaterial to me whether you are. Any person else man or not just so I can get a letter once in while to know whether you are alive and well. You can marry all the women in Tenn if you choose. They can't have you any longer than eight months at the least calculation. You was very kind not to blame me for your not receiving letters.
How could you blame my dear when it wasn't my fault. I always answer immediately on receiving. Oyster suppers are very good yet I never neglected you to attend an oyester supper now do you think I ever did
I went up to the Squires last friday Eve staid till Sunday. They are going around there about you getting married and not asking their advice.
Han say's she expects they will all get to smoking and chewing and snuffing when Ira's woman comes home. I should think it was about time you was writing home and telling them something about it.
Sallie and I went with your Pa to Findlay sadurday [Saturday.] seen your school mate. Amelia wanted to know when we had heard from Ira. Cap. Mathias is paying his distresses to Jinnie Downing
Jo Mathias has come home from California. he brought a young fellow with him. Jo is after Sallie and Mr. Currens is after me they came home to marry and as you are married for six months I am a candidate for the same length of time you need not be surprised to hear that I am Mrs Currens on my way to California
Charles and Lyda are married. The wedding was a grand affair Isic M has gone back to the army. I received a letter from my friend Lizzie Shaw. She is having a nice time visiting her father inlaws. She wanted to know how Ira was getting along. I told her that I didn't get a letter more than once a month from you but I thought you was getting along pretty well as you was married. Received a letter from George this eve. He is near Savannah. He had seen John Shaw. What a good chat they had together. There is talk of the war closing soon, perhaps before your time is out. What will you do with your wife then[.] Calling me your dear little Slim [A]gain you are a mean Plug that is what you are and I had a great mind not to answer this letter. If I can't be your Jennie I won't be yours at all[.] I have come to the conclusion to read novels untill you come home won't you lend them[.] direct your next to Gilboa. I would like to have the pleasure of taking a letter out of the Office once[.] I have not been to Ottawa for four weeks I have 16 days to teach. I suppose I need not look for an answer until next month. Till then farewell from your little Jen to Plug.
[margin of 3rd page]I [hope] your throat has got well by this time. If Not you have had a long spell of the sore throat.
Jan 29 
My own Dear Soldier:----
This seems to have been one of the lonliest Sabbaths of my life. I had intended going to Uncle Bowers today but was disapointed with my calculations. No preaching in town today. Consequently, I had to stay at home and content myself with thinking of the past which of course would only tend to making me feel more lonly.
Oh how often I wished to bury the past in eternal oblivion and only see the future, bright with the prospect of happiness and then I think of hours of enjoyment which are past and gone[,] the remembrance of which, gold could not purchase from the memories of the past.
I went to Ottawa yesterday, stayed long enough to get dinner then started back again. Rather a short visit[;] still better than not getting home at all. I was doubly paid for going when I found a letter in the Office for me which proved to be yours of Jan 19",
I scarcely know where to begin to answer your letter. Seems I have been writing things that you cannot fully understand. You also think that you offered me everything that you could offer. Still I persist in doubting you.
Ira I must acknowledge that I did have a great many doubts concerning you immediately after your departure for Knoxville and if you would stop and think soberly of the circumstances in which I was placed you sur[e]ly will not cannot blame me for doubting you. I do think you have done everything that lay in your power to make me comfortable and happy and whatever my doubts may have been I am fully satisfied that you mean to live up to your promises.
I think I should have felt much better satisfied had we married before you went away and I am sure it would have saved me of a great deal of uneasiness and anxiety of mind. Still I wasn't going to put you to all that trouble just to accommodate me. Since things have turned out different from my expectations two or three months ago I am perfectly satisfied and think it all for the best that we did not get married. Now my friend if I have written anything in a previous letter that has caused you to think I am doubting your word and honor I ask your forgiveness. Just think that Jennie was excited and did not know what she was writing. I must confess that I didn't know what I was writing. Seemed when I sat down to write to you my mind became confused and after the letter was gone then I could see where in I had done wrong in writing to you in that way and troubling your mind with my complaints. I didn't do it purposely to trouble you but that was on my mind and I could think of nothing else either sleeping or waking. You see--a letter from Miss Amelia and you are going to answer I have dropped my boy friend correspondent for the present. We received another letter from George. He is well. I will excuse the briefness of your letter if you will promise a more length one in the future. I think you must be kept very busy. Don't you get tired writing[.] I should think you would. I presume you have gotten over the effects of that march and milk by this time. Wallace is coming to this part of the country is he when his time expires. He couldn't get to a better country or where there was better looking or gayer girls than here.
[Top margin on first page] Well I wish I had those novels to read that you spoke of sending. I could pass the evening very well with them, or if you would just send Ira C. instead that would suit me much better. I could chat with him a week or two and then not get through[.] Time is flying very fast perhaps I shall get my wish in the course of 7 or 8 months. I am still your own Jennie
Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001 | Contact Us | Campus Map | Accessibility Policy