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Francis Stewart Papers: Transcripts - MS 744
January 18th 
Mr. Frank Stewart,
I presume you have come to the conclusion that I had forgot to answer your epistle. I looked for you home the week I received yours but I think their was a disapointment all round because we had no snow[.] I visited my sisters last week[.] they was looking for a big sled load of us. Mr. May and Adda are here now[.] where did you spend your Holydays[?] I in co. with Miss Sarah Chilcoat visited Mr. Chilcoats School Christmas day and Mr. Richards on New Years Day[.] stayed for spelling school both evenings. We are going to Findlay just as soon as the roads gets good, sleighing or no sleighing so Jim says[.] we would like to have your company if you could make it suit to go with us. Frank you need not think I am stingy because I am sending half sheet for it is all I have and I could not go to Town this week to get anymore[.] you will have to excuse me this time and I will write more to you can read in one week the next time I write you.
I was sorry to learn you had lost your health since you left Wood County--I think you had better come back untill you get well. I presume you have saw your visiters before this. Those Ladies you speak of, write as soon as you get this and tell everything you can think of. Fill a big fooscap full your lasts was not a bit to full. I could of read a letter as long again. This is all nonsence but you know that is all that I ever write so
Mollie Till Foreman
Browns Corner Sept 22/61
I received yours of the 11th last evening. I was very sorry to learn of your sickness but hapy to hear that you had got well again, also that you enjoyed camp Life, since it is your lot to live so. This is a very gloomy day it has been raining all day, just the kind of day to write to absent Friends. You know when we are conversing with eachother we can forget all the cares that such weather, throws around us (especially Those of us that is troubled with the blues). I visited Mr. Chilcoat and sister yesterday[.] almost the first word she said to me was have you heard from camp yet[.] she had not received a Letter from Russell & was quite anxious to hear from him. I will have to remind you of Friends that I have in the same Regiment you are in & desire you to tell me how they are geting along[.] if you do not tell me without, by so doing I can write oftener to you as it so hard for me to write to many[.] The People in our Neighborhood are all well except Jerry Nesselroad has been sick 3 or 4 days. Ann sayed he was better yesterday. I saw at Squires she very politely invited me up to visit her. John May & Adda were at Home this week. John is going to war just as soon as he gets a company. Tom Noris is geting up a company & John Keefer has enlisted. Brother John has given the Idea of going & is going to stay with Add this winter and go to school. John May thought it best & you know what he sayes is Law & gospel here. You do not know how much I think of my Dear Brother May[.] he has been better than a Father to me he is next to a mother & you know their is but one he is closer than a Mother. Adda sayes he is dear to her of course but she is no bettern than others that has parted with their near friends... I was at your Fathers Last Saturday Eve. Ell sayed it appeared to her that half the Family was Dead since you left. It is so lonesome here but we hope for the time to come when war will come to an end & Brethren will live in Peace with each other. Sallie Keefer got a letter from Will Gulie [?] yesterday. He has not been well since he had the measles. The rest of the Co. company are well. Frank have you forgotten to send your Likeness or have you not had it Taken yet. I saw Aunt Susan's yesterday & & it is so much more like you than mine is. I thought I would hurrah you up in sending the otehr do not wait to long abut having it drawn unless you are waiting for those mustaches to grow longer & remember your Promise to not have them cut off before you come back. I should like to step into camp under masque some day just to see you boys perform. Do you thinkI could keep from speaking to some of you. Perhaps I would wish my masque off & be recognized by some of my old Friends. Well Frank I will send you a short Letter this time but I will do better the next time I write. You wished me to write immediately & by doing so I have to write in a hurrah for John is going to Town and will have to let this sheet suffice. Thanking you for writing so soon and for the description of your Barracks. I will close by giving my best regards and well wishes also my Prayers for the Preservation of my Friend hoping to meet if not on earth in a more congenial clime above where Parting is never known
As ever your friend
Browns Corners October 12, /61
Dear Friend Frank
Yours of the 6th came to hand last night[.] you asked what I was doing that rainy day. in answer to that question I will have to tell you where I was and what I was doing. I was seated on the stairs (as I am now [)]writing to you. I wrote a sheet and a half for your benefit but alas when I looked over it their was nothing interesting in it. Therefore I did not mail it. So I will try to do better this [time]. I will send this at any rate & if it does not interest you enough to read it just say so. My health is still improving and the blues is gradualy leaving. I have been at two parties since you left one was at Mr. Pattersons it was made for Wilson & Nathan & Orin Stearns just the night before the[y] left for camp. Their Rgt is in camp at Norwalk Huron Co. Wils Patterson and Till Drake were to of been married on Thursday & he left on Wednesday. Till is almost crazy about it. I heard she did not know that he was going untill he went to bid her goodbye. Mary Draks Husband left her and she did not know he was going untill he was nearly at Cleveland. He left rather abruptly for a husband. She as a young babe just 2 weeks old & old Drake sayes she shant stay at his house. Poor girl how much she should be frittered.[?] It is strange that People can go together and have no mor confidence in each other to think of leaving a wife in such circumstances with out telling her anything about it shows that Love did not dwell in that heart. Our Friend Asa Loman has enlisted & is in camp in Findlay. His wife made an awful fuss about his going. She said he never loved her as he should or he never would have enlisted. Sensible Wife to talk so when our country is in so great a Peril. I had almost forgoten to tell you that one of our Middlesex Friends visited us since I last wrote you. It was Mrs. Hattie Shirk. John Mays sister the only Lady one among them. Frank I know you would like her she is not boisterous like Call & she is as tidy as Call is slovenly. Quite a contrast in the 3 sisters. I know Add will be proud of her I am sure I was. The Cousin that I told you I was looking for is married. Julia is good looking & I hope she has got a good man for handsome should have. By the way the new Preachers have come[.] One Preached 2 weeks ago and the other will be here to morrow. They are both old things (I was in hopes one would be single). O I saw Friend Feeble Sunday. He was going to Bloom Chaple[.] That reminds me of old times when Rob & Call Frank & Till took that Stiff down their. Mr. & Mrs. Russell were inquiring for you[.] They were her[e] last week. They were telling Hattie Shirk about you so of course you have new friends their. I am just getting acquainted with Squire & he is one of the Chaps if he is odd. Alf Russell is married to a Lady in Paulding. He has not recovered his health yet. When he was married he was not hardly able to stand on the floor after that took afew on an was crazy some time & would hardly alow his wife to come into the room[.] He immagined she was going to poison him. He would say that is awful strange to think a woman could be so Predudiced against a man so soon after tehy married to want to poison him. Poor Alf. It will make him feel awful bad if he gets well to think he used her so bad before the Honeymoon was over. Be carefull that you do not do so. You wished me to tell you all the news. I do not think their is any here for all that is thought of & talked about is war & the boys that are gone. I heard yesterday that Tarley was sick but whether dangerously ill or not I could not say. Jim refr [?] after Molly Enos to work for them but she is engaged at Mr. Coopers & could not go. John Bosler went to Michigan & joined the cavilry company at Detroit[.] Between you & I, I think they had intended to mary this fall. She left Mr. Browns to get ready at any rate & she had most all of her close repaired & was talking of new ones when she received a letter from him that he had Volunteered. All things were give up for 2 years now. Frank if you tell this I never will forgive you because she would be ever so mad if she knew I told you & you know I have always made you my confident & hope to always confide in you. But if you burn this sheet I will Thank you for it. Then no other eyes can read it. By the way Frank which one of the Hollepeters was it that sent their compliments. I am mutch obliged & will send mine in return, that is if you see fit to give them als to Russell. Tell him I often think of him. Eddie & Allen are [overstrike]her[overstrike] here now[.] Their folks are well. I saw your mother Wednesday eve. They were well. We received a letter from Brother George this week[.] They had received marching orders & were to leave immediatlely for Kentucky. Perhaps you will see him before you get this, Sabbath Night. Well Frank I had to stop writing yesterday to get dinner. After dinner I went down to see my old friend Mrs. Robins[.] Perhaps you think I keep rather strange company for a girl of my years but one half day spent in her society is worth more than on dozen in Halls of pleasure. I rather sit at her feet & hear her Talk of our precious Redeemer than go to a party. She is certainly one of Christ chosen ones. I attended Church today and heard an excellent Sermon from Mr. Poe. He has left Fostoria & joined the army. One of our Preachers has taken his place & Mr. Andrew Hayes has consented to take Mr. Lunts place on our circuit. A very agreeable exchange for my part. I did not like Lunt. While listening to Poe I felt like giving my whole soul to God & renewing my covenant with him[.] I felt tonight Frank that it is my duty to lay aside all worldly cares & come to Jesus. I had almost despaired of ever gaining entrance in that blessed Mansion above but Jesus is calling why should I stand back. Do pray for me Frank that I may live a true Christian that when the hour of my dissolution comes I may be ready to enter my Father's home on high . O that we could be to gather this Sabbath Evening to converse togather. It would do us both good or we could spend an other Sabbath under a certain apple Tree in the Orchard. By the way Rob and Carrie came yesterday[.] Carrie is quite a girl now & is so pretty. Rob is Proud of her as a friend the man was that we met on the road coming from Roses I presume you have a slight recolection of him (I know you would not forget that Baby),Miss Nancy Simmons came over last evening & stayed untill this eve. After sermon we had quite a pleasant Horseback ride togather (an other secret). She has that young Dr. likeness in a case with hers. His is taken in his uniform. One is on one side of the case & the other is on the other side. She wears his Likeness in a Lockett around her neck with out his uniform & Silas in a Pin. Don't you think she has enough to carry[?] For my Part I do. Sally Keefer gets letters from Co G or Ed have forgotten which John Beng how she sends her compliments to you & desires you to write to her. By her talk she & J.B. are engaged. He heads his letters in this way Dearly Beloved friend. Rathe[r] strong suspicion in that line. You spoke of Orin's Compliment to me & said you was afraid it would raise my vanity. You need not fear that it might if I had deserved so great a compliment from Him but knowing that I do not it rather makes me feel bad to think I have deceived him so badly. As for him I can return the same compliment. You know it is nothing more than I have said before you spoke about the exchange you & Orin had made it would be a joke if the Exchange would be made again althoug I am sure I am suited if the rest is not. He is the only next to you that I care for & you know how deep my love is their.
I hear from my little Store keeper occasionaly. He does not like to hear Mag speak about my Preacher Beau for that is what she calls you. Mag sayes his face gets scarlet when she sayes anything about you. I told her about the circumstance that hapened at that Party & my reply to him. She come to conclusion Frank was ahead there & you know what an unmercyful Torment she is so she uses the Preachers name the oftener before him just to tease him. Although she thinks as much of Smith as you & I do of Hayes. I am going outto Findlay soon. Perhaps this week we will raise our barn. This week Iwill give you an invitation. The foundation was laid yesterday. Till's compliments To Mr. Frank Stewarta & most cordialy solicits his company & help in the Kitchen on Friday Oct. 18 as she expects to have a great many dishes to wash Oct 18/61. That is as good an invite as I can give you & I assure you If you come & help me I will help you cook for bothe your House and Barn Building & raising is that not fare enough. I heard to day that your Gear was married to Jake Foster. I know you will feel almost ready to cry but do not despair for Ohio is full of good girls yet & if you cant find any here to suit you when you come back just come to Pennsylvania & will get you one. Pappa sayes if Jimmy Hayes gets this Guardien & he is going to have Lawyer Brown get his Estate for him if he has aright to it I say let justice be done. We have good security for our farm but Mr. Cellars rather doubts Conely. We go to May & he to Brandybery so their is no danger of us being thowed out of house & home if we do go back it would do me good to meet you in my dear old Home. Perhaps I will not comply with your request of writing every 2 weeks. I think if you felt as lonesome as I do some times you would not either but write oftener. I will w[r]ite ever 2 weeks & when I get lonesome I will write between times.
Yours as ever,
Excus bad writing & spelling it wrote in a hurrah
Browns Corner Oct. 19th
Yours of the 27th came to hand too weeks ago. I was glad to hear that you was hapy as ever, for my part I have not enjoyed myself very well since you visited us. I have been sick most of the time with the cold. I am just getting over a spell of Bilious fever. Therefore I think you will be kind enough to forgive bad handwriting and poor composition. I shall give you a reason for George not comeing down accoding to promise my cousin Jim Calhoun came out on a visit and spent about a week with us just about the time George set to go.. We had a great time while he stayed with us. We went to an [illegible] pairing up to Mr. Stewart's and Miss Caroline Cross came home with Cousin Jim. Let Republic beat that if it can. I have been to four pairings [?] and was invited to six or 8.
The young People are all enjoying them selves well this fall and are handsome as ever. I forgot to tell you the doleful news that reached me the other day. Our beautiful and intelligent John J. Keefer is a going to get married and leave us. Miss Mary Jane Almon is the Lady that captivated him. I believe that is all the weddings. Theodore and Sarah Jane are too so I understand. She took his Likeness to meeting Sunday to give back to him. Mr. French waits on her now. Clarra Crabs is keeping House for Jo Conely, Maria Coon lives at Mr. Cooper's. That makes four girls in our town increasing rapidly. Soon have to class off [?] I think. The gentleman of this vilage is old. Mr. Conley[,] old Johnthan Conelly, Joseph and George just a beau a piece.
Mr. Asa Loman has been up here. he looks quite natural.
Mr. Stewart's Old woman was also in the Neighborhood Sunday but the cook did not think worth while to come along. I think we will have to thank you for coming. We have a new Preacher on this circuit. he spoke sunday, his name is Kelvin[?], and they say he is a good oldfashioned fellow.
I shall now thank for talking about short letters. I don't like to read short epistles either but when it cannot be helped I forgive them and make a long letter by reading them over twice.
I shall now bring this to a close hoping to hear from you soon.
M. M. Foreman
Perry, October 27, 1861
Once more will endeavor to converse with you through the medium of the Pencil. It is Sabbath and the Family are preparing for Church. Therefore I will have to write in haste. We have been enjoying ourselves for the last 2 weeks. Rob and Callie were here. Rob is the same old Rob but Callie has improved since she left Wood Co. The[y] have gone back to Ashland and took Jane with them. You sayed in your last that you would like to take Supper with me the evening you wrote. I am sure I would of been quite a treat to had your Company to Tea. I prepared Tea my self that eve. Lieu Wm. Brownell Rob & Call took Tea with us after Tea we enjoyed a pleasant chat had some singing done then formed a company in the yard to Drill. Will was our Capt. He sayed we did well for the first time. I have just returned from church. One of the new Preachers preached to-day form Romans 12 Chapter & 11vse. It was a poor affair if you do not do any better when you commence preaching I shall be quite ashamed of you but I trust you will. You will have to excuse me the mistake I made in the last letter I wrote you. I will explain it, it was Preacher beau not Bean Mag calls you. The reason she calls you that is this[:] I always sayed I would not have a man unless he would be a preacher. She asked me one time what you were studying for, I told she for the ministry of course. I would not have any other but a Preacher for a beau. I saw your Father and Brother today but did not speak to them. They left before Class, the Family were well except Jim[.] Thursday he had a severe cold. Frank we have a good joke on Orin Hayes[.] He left his likeness at the Dagurrean Room in Fostoria & Mariah Resler stole it. She showed to some of the girls, tell him he might of given his likeness to some of of his Friends & not to such a girl as Maria. Mrs. Caroline Hayes and I had quite a Laugh over it as she wanted his likeness herself. I have looked long for your Pleasant face to appear but it has not come yet. The old Likeness improves greatly of late. I did not know it could look as well. Come out on a visit this winter do not stay a year. I had almost forgoten to say that we had a surprise at Mr. Cellars last Tuesday Eve I had an invitation but would not go their to a party we had quite a plasant time a Tuesday night. I went to Eagleville with Rob & Callie Thursday. We took dinner at Brownells and Tea at Mr. Cellars. O how I wished for the absent one to make up our number. I did not think I could miss you so from our circle having been so little togather for the last year. The first thought is when I enter our social parties where is Frank how is he enjoying himself tonight. The horrors of war when will it come to an end. I fear we will have an awful time before it will stop[.] Their is a society forming in Ohio called Knights of the Golden Circle that are genuine Seceshonist[.] If they are not soon abolished we will be in the greatest danger our men are nearly all gone & we will have no one to fight for us but we will Trust in God. I had quite an argument with a democratic Lady Friday. She hope the slaves will not be freed. I told I hoped they would. God never alowed his people to be in Bondage. She sayed if he did he would Liberate them & she did not think he would of kept them so long. I refered her to the children of Isreal. She spit out a few more mouthfulls that did not suit me and I warned her against such sentiments in my Presence told her the consequence of so doing. She cooled of in a minute. Their is Northern Blood in my veins & it will be spilled before I submit to the South. She sayes that if the slaves are freed we will all suffer their Barborous treatment. She sayes they are so mean & low. I told her they could not be worse than the whites had been with them her reply was be carefull yourself you may be the first to fall a victim. Very well then I will fall a martyr in my masters cause. Enough of this. John received a letter from you[.] He sayes you will have to excuse him for not answering it[.] He has a sore Thumb but will as soon he can. Is it Destiny that you spoke of being dead. I had forgotten to tell you my weight. I weight 112 does that look like a sick person. I received a letter from George since I lasat wrote. He is in Ky his adress is Nocholasville Jessamine Co. Ky Co. A 21st Regt in care of Capt. Stoughton. He is 2 Lieutenant, John Keefer has backed out and is working for John Hayes. Sallie was over yesterday. I gave her the message you sent to her. I was rather astonished you considered yourself to big to wash dishes. I was ashamed to think you could not be anything but Ordily & kindly offered you a place in the Kitchen[.] Now I shall know who to invite here after & then I will not trouble your dignity when we raise I will ask Smith he likes to go to the country to Barn raisings. The folks are well in this neighboorhood and as good looking as ever so good bye for the Present.
if you cannot read the above I will come over and read it for you
You will have to excuse me for not writing sooner my health has been so poor for the last two weeks & we have had so much company that I could not get a chance to write even a note to you. Night and day their has been some one in untill this afternoon. After I got ready to write my help was solicited in another quarter, but I felt like being excused. I received yours of the 9th on the 12. I has almost given up looking for a letter & come to the conclusion you were sick. I am sorry to learn of your poor health, but must say it is nothing more or less than I expected knowing that camp victuals are not like home victuals \r & a persona that is used to eating anything they want cannot come down to what I generaly term hog feed (boiled victuals). You should tryed my plan before going in camp, that is have the ddyspepsia so bad that you would be glad to have boiled trash to eat. Cabbage is now a choice dish for me although I dare not eat every much of it at one time. I received a letter from George last week his health was good. He was in camp Wadsworth Hazlegreen Wolf Co. Ky. Capt. Stoughton was their in Findlay recruiting & Lieut. Willilams was at home sick that left George in command of the Company. He has [?] idea that this war is near over. He thinks it has just commenced. Some of his men think that the war will end this winter & are rejoicing at the Idea but poor fellows they know not what their destiny will be. We have had some horrible news from Ky lately but by yours and George's letters it has been contradicted. We heard the 21st were surrounded and taken. 7 [?]hundred of the 49th were sick such reports are quite numerous here but I am glad their are false. We have nothing importance going on in our Neighborhood but Corn Huskings[.] those I do not attend there is one almost every Night. Mr. Hayes had one last Night it was a very bad night. It rained hailed & snowed yesterday. Well Frank I have at lasat visited Silas & his wife . I enjoyed it very well. Amelia has been out but I did not get to see her as she is one of Don's girls. By the way Don is coresponding with Mary Ann Myers. The[y] are quite well pleased about it. I heard from one of her cousins that they expected to marry when he came back. Ell Keefer is expecting him to marry him too or at least she tells folks so. He certainly cannot marry both but do not tell Don for he will think I have been meddling in his affairs. Sarah Jane French's [?] little girl was burned to death last week[.] Her mother left her alone with the babe & run over to Reas Drakes to get some fresh pork for dinner. She stayed about one hour when she came back she found he[r] dead on the path with her clothes all burnt off but her shoes and stockings. The same day a little girl in Arcadia was burnt to death. Now person knows how either one caught fire. Sarah Jane was almost crazy about her child she sayes she murdered it by leaving it alone. It was not the first time she left them. Perhaps she will take warning & not leave the other[.] What a responsibility rests on a Mother. Frank Jacob's little sister is burried today with the Sore Throat. This is all the deaths I have heard of since I wrote you before. Mary Cory & her mother & Add were down here last Tuesday. I could not help thinking of the time you stayed with Mary. I know she would feel cheap if she knew that you told me about it. I have had many a good laugh over it. Your mother was here the next day after I wrote you. Se sayed she sayed she had wrote to you the day before if it was Sunday. Well then sayed Ann he will get too letters for Till wrote to him too. Your Mother took a good laugh over it. I was provoked at Ann. She is always watching. She can tell this way when I write to George or any body else. I generaly read the letter out to see if their is any mistakes made & I do not yours. Well I have a good joke to tell you but you must not say anything about it to any one not even me. When you for fear some body would get ahand on my Letter not well I will tell. Silas Simons Father came over to our house & asked Nell to marry him. The people around Rehoboth [?] thinks he is after Ell. He comes to Union regular to Church \r & the Union folks plague Ell about him not knowing that he was after Nell. Well you will think this green in me telling you but a joke is not worth anything to unless shared with you. I dare not tell you if Nell knew it. She is as ashamed of it. She sayed I must not tell you for you would plague her to death when you come back we will t when you come, I promise not to tell anyone but I do not promise not to write you knowing I would breaking my word if I did. Frank I could tell you lots of good news but dare not put it on paper. Not that I am afraid of you revealing but we will have to be care full how we write to Soldiers as one of our neighbors wrote to her intended some time ago. Last Wednesday received an answer from the Orderly in his place[.] he opened the letter & read it & sent it back in his own telling her that her friend & lover had deserted his company some time ago. His whereabouts is not known desiring her to give him information if she heard from him & also that her friend was a friend his \r & if she could not hear from him he (the Orderly) would love her for his own sake. She has heard from once since he wrote that he had had gone to Washington with the company he enlisted in the Lover was Bosler [?] you know the Lady. The Orderly name is G. B. Clark, Camp Lyon[?]Michigan. One of those gents is a scamp but the mistery is yet to be revealed. The letter comme but is sure [?illegible] I saw it myself. Do not tell any one about it I will inform you if I hear any more about it if he is a deserter it will not be kept on him but if he is not I do not want any of the blame to rest on my shoulders. You wished to know if John May had gone to war. He had not the Last I heard from him but was in Camp waiting orders. We heard this week he had left Mungeon Regt and had gone to Mansfield with his company. His reasons for this I cannot give if he did so he spoke in the highest terms of Mungeon when I last saw him. That Regt is not filled but will march as soon as filled. I am going to Johns next week if able & then I can give you a full history. John has tore down all of his house but the dining room bedroom butry [?] and kitchen and has a splendid house put up in front of the old one. It is too story & Gothic at that. Just wait untill I get mine I will beat him. His Parlor furniture is not good Engough & he is going to have better & take that for his sitting room. You can immagine what kind of a Parlor I will have at Ads age. She shant get ahead of me. I heard that Capt. Hayes was going to be Promoted. I wish he would be so you could be Lieut. I want you to come back a Collonel or General. Do your best for Orderly I do not admire. I would as leave say you was a private as Orderly. Well well so but Nellie send her regards to you. Watch gards or any kind of gards so it is R.E.G.A.R.D.S. Our barn is up & almost finished. Angust wants to build us a house. I wish we could build in the spring. Did Gibson promise his regiment a Christmas dinner at Home. I heard he did. I hope they will come, you especialy. I did not know your Father Talked of going to Virginia. He has not gone at any rate. Mr. Hayes received a letter with any signative [?] from the 98th He thinks you are the author and writer. Father received your letter but he sayes he does not know where to direct. The pity of him he cant ask & cant hear when I tell him. Sallie thinks you have forgotten her. She has only four corespondents in that Regt. One is all that I want in one Regt & I woule like one in all our Northern Regt. But that I cannot have only through the papers. Well this sheet is full & I will have to quit. You will har from me soon again. If I did not write soon enough this time I will write as soon as I can from Findlay. Bell Strother was out last Sunday. If I stay long enough I will visit her.
Yrs as ever
Browns Corner Dec 26th/1861
I will again take my Pen to write a few lines to you. I have not heard from you since I wrote but remembering my Promise to write every too weeks whether I received a letter or not, I will to keep my word when you last wrote me you Intended marching the next day. Have you gone into winter quarters or are you agoing to have a winter Campaign. I have just wrote brother George he wrote last week. The are going farther south he is getting better that Regt is out with Gen Nelson. They want to get in another Brigade. George writes me about every too weeks sometimes oftener. One year ago tonight you were both here spending the evening that was the last time I saw Don. How sick I was & how different were my thoughts from this evening. I thought I would never spend an evening with you again but now we only waiting for this war to end & our Associates to return & then we will have old fashioned times again. My health is improving fast & now I know how to take care of it. Well Frank where & how did you spend Christmas. I spent mine at home the first I have so spent for eight years. Time for me to stay at Home. I do not know how I will spend New Years as it is fast approaching. I will wish you a Happy New Year. Jim [?] Cora has gone to Pennsylvania the folks say to get a wife. What will Miss Bishop do. You will have to go alone when you come back... Ike Eller and Mag Holts married als Mr. Simmons to a Miss Taylor. I do not think that Mr. Simmons married for love for he asked too many girls to have him. I think he mite of asked me. Laura Diver is Teaching in the Stove district. She has a hard District or it used to be. Alf Russell Taught one or two terms there he sayed the big girls would get mad and fight and swear at each other untill he would have to stop them. I was at your Fathers all night last Thursday night. I had a good visit with your Mother & Sallie. She showed me your Likeness & asked if she did not think you would look better in mustaches. She sayd by no means do not tell him so I could not hardly keep from laughing right out. I thought of your Promise but dare not say any more about them if she does not like them when you come back it will not take long for you to remove them.-- I saw in the Leader that the 24th Regt had left Cheat Mountains [?] & were now in Ky. How pleasant for you if it had been Don Rgt[.] We have rather good news from Virginia if you boys can do as well as the Cheat Mountain boys the war will soon be over. What do you think of England since she has demanded Mason & Shotel (Britian I should of sayed) or do you think it a false rummor, if the British turns with the south. Joe French sayes he will fight for the North so much for a democrat. Thousands have raised & Thousands more will go rather than have our country fall or our Noble Flag disgraced by a band of ruffians off the line I see.
I am glad our boys had spirit enough to go when called for in the first place & not wait untill our Flag should fall before starting. I hope we will all have the plasure of seeing our Country free once more & I know we will if God spares our lives, if not I have no doubt but we shall from our Heavenly home on high. Our Country must & shall be preserved. I often think of a Mottoe that was on a Newspaper Father took fifteen yeears ago when I was just commencing to read. It was this. I tremble for my Country when I reflect that God is just & that his justice cannot sleep forever! How true these words are. Well it is bed time & the Family are all gone to bed. I will have to retire.
Write soon & good night
Yours until death shall separate us,
Hopes Precious Pearl in Sorrows Cup
Unmelted at the bottom lay to Shine
Again when all drank up
The bitterness should pass away
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