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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
[letter fragment March 1865?]
Your letters were dated Feb 23" 26". You thought mine of Feb 18" long time coming. Not any longer than some of yours are coming to one but I am sorry to have kept you on suspense. I am quite glad to hear of your health and prosperity hope you will continue while you remain in Knoxville.
I am getting along as usual with the exceptions of an awful headache that I have been having for the few days past (and as Anderson writes sometimes) when there few lines come to hand I hope they will find you enjoying the same blessing
Your letters are not too frequent--wouldn't be too frequent if they should come everyday. You complain of my letters being to brief I always write all that I think will interest you. In fact there is never little here to interest me that as a matter of course I think it will be no news to you.
Jennie A has quit writing has she that is one string less your bow.
You are not going to send me any more letters to comment on--use your own pleasure--but when your do send them I shall say what I think of them even at the risk of incurring your displeasure Miss Amelia's letters do very well but I would prefer Mrs C's for a correspondent.
Your think Eric had better staid in the Reble prison than to have married that "Scotch Maggot" and you wonder if she is as lively as she was when you was home in /63. I think in all probability she is more sober by this time
That was sad news of the Division to which you belong being shipwrecked in their own way to join Sherman. How lucky that it was that you didn't go along with them.
I think you are rather hard on Gilboa although I do think it one of the meanest places in existence and there is nothing that could induce me to stay in Gilboa an hour after my school closes. There is a ball in town this eve of the McClure Hall. They had one last week. I was there about an hour just long enough to eat the oysters. Don't think I will attend this eve.
It is now nearly two months since we have heard from George[.] very few letters are received from Shermans men. I should have been glad if my brother could have pro-cured a good situation but as it is I am satisfied and only hope that he will discharge his duties as a soldier honorably and live to get home and gladden the hearts of his friends who are praying for his safe return[.]
Who could that old lady have been that told her daughters you "needed watching." I say it is ridiculous for any person to talk so of harmless a creature as I always took you to be. I am confident that you didn't need watching when in company with me. That old lady had better never tell me such stuff[.] I should undoubtedly give her a piece of my mind if she did[.] Mrs. Fisher was wondering whether it would be to much trouble for you to procure another lock of that hair to put in her buttery. The lock you did send did send acted like a charm in keeping the rats out of the cupboard and she is afraid to remove it for for fear the rats might come back. You know rats are such a pest in a house.
I am sorry that I can't give you no reliable information as to the whereabouts of Miss Maggie. I have no doubt but she and her husband are settled in some little cottage west of the Rocky Mountains. How does Wallace appear to take the french leave she gave him.
March 10th 1865
Those two young ladies dressed in male attire armed with carbin[e]s and revolvers must have looked gay. Rather romantic I think but if those rebles should kill and of "my loved ones" I should most assurdly swear vengeance to the whole Southern Confederacy. I would'nt want to be detailed at some H quarters as clerk either. I should want a situation in which I could kill the most Rebles.
In looking over the letters I have written to you since your return to Knoxville you found more written in December. If I wrote no letters in December to you that is a sure indication that I received none to answer. I think we are about even. You thought you would send me a copy of what you wrote to Miss Amelia so that I would not get jealous. Why, do you think there is any danger of me getting jealous? Dear knows there is plenty to make me jealous if I was the least bit jealous hearted. Now Ira honestly don't you think there is enough to make me jealous. What a dunce I am to be asking you such a question. You wouldn't tell me if you did think so - would you?
Your answer to Mrs. Fisher we had a good laugh over it. No indeed I don't believe you will ever get forgiveness for the falsehoods you have told since you have been in the army. I guess you have got in such a habit of telling stories that you tell me one occasionally about you. Ira do you remember that big story you told me once when we were sitting on the front porch at old Glen Cottage. That you had to go to California and I had'nt found you out then. Did'nt know you as well I do now.
There must have been an exciting time at Knoxville celebrating Washington's birthday and then hearing the cheering news of Charleston and Sumpter but wont the news be still more cheering when the Rebles are whipped and this "cruel was is over." And out soldiers are coming home. Our folks talk of moving back to Glen Cottage in the course of a month or two. I am sorry too I was just beginning to enjoy myself in Ottawa but then it does'nt make much difference where our folks live when I am only at home five months of the year. I expect to teach this summer consequently I shall be at home but a short time this spring. Hoping this will find you and your "little son" enjoying good health. I shall bring my scribbling to a close for this time.
I am still yours,
It is raining here this eve but not like the d- as it was at Knoxville when you wrote. Will Compton has his right arm shot off. Jess Spar started to the army this morning.
McComb Rose Cottage O
March 28th 1865
My own dear Ira,
This morning finds me well and as your Pa is going to McComb this morning I thought if I wanted to hear from you very soon again I had better write and tell you where to direct. My school closed last Wednesday and glad I was to leave Gilboa after being confined to the school room for 88 days. Since then I have been visiting at uncle Bowers. Yesterday I came to your fathers. They are all well excepting your Ma she has a bad cold. Anderson's mother dies last Sadurday. Mr. Apgar is sick also one of the girls Anderson wrote he was coming home on a six day furlough. They are looking for him this evening. Our folks will move the last of this week or the first of next. It is now two weeks since I was at Ottawa. The last letter I received from you was dated March 5th. Father is coming from Ottawa to day and I expect letters from you. Seems so long since I heard from you. You must write often. I shall be lonely for a while coming into the country where we will only get the mail twice a week. We have not heard from George yet - heard yesterday William Mathias was murdered by guerrillas. He is down with Sherman. Wont Jane feel bad! John Mathias is to married Thursday to Miss Harris of Lipsic.
Dan Wood was married last week. Started for the army Sunday. I am afraid there will be no girls left for you and Wallace in this region of country unless you come home soon. Julie Howel was here yesterday. She says she is going to marry this fall. Mrs. Hermans brother and Julie are corresponding. He is working at the carpenter trade in Nashville Tennessee. "Dunn" and Sallie have just gone to the sugar camp to boil sugar water. "Goit" is washing dishes. Ma says tell Ira she will be glad to hear from him whenever he gets ready to write and I think you had better be getting ready pretty soon. Your Pa is ready to start and I will have to quit writing. With my regards to Wallace and love to Ira I am still
Your own little Jennie
Miss Jennie M. Bysel
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