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John Brown, Jr. correspondence

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[LETTER 1]

 

Windsor Canada West

Thursday Feby 14/61

 

My Own Precious Wife

 

I reached here from Colchester last evening and with greatest pleasure found yours of Jan 30th in which you also mention having sent one to Chatham.  I shall immediately write to have that sent on to me here.  Today I have rec'd yours of the 10th last containing your Ambrotype and a nice little letter from Johnie.  Dont fail to continue to write to me here until I give notice to the Contrary-  Since last Wednesday, a week ago yesterday, I went to Colchester.  In that Township are several important settlements of Fugitives- distant from here via Amherstburg, 31 miles -  After I left Amherstburg I had no way of getting a letter out from "the Bush" as the back settlements in the woods are here called, and have in consequence been unable to reply to your dear letters until now.  Well, here I am again, tired in brain and tired in heart.  How I do long to be at home.  There is an old

 

[at top left of page] The picture I brot from home of you is a much better one than the one recd in the letter today  Dont you think so?  Remember me to Martha and all who care to hear from me

 

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accordeon belonging to the family of Mr Cary on which I have been trying to play "Home Sweet home".  You can hardly imagine how I am starving for music, and more than all else, starving for that deeper, profounder harmony which two loving hearts can only appreciate.  A mere pecuniary consideration could never keep me away from home in this way.  Did I not feel that I am laboring to promote the best interest of a people who have been "Cast out and trodden under foot of men".  I would relinquish my undertaking & forever retire to a home so far from the turmoil of life that its valleys and rocks should never have heard even the "Sound of a Knell, nor Smiled when a Sabbath appears".  Since I wrote you at Amherstburg I have lectured three times to crowded houses and have established not less than 11 different Reading Clubs, and have traveled on foot in visiting the homes of these fugitives not less than 30 miles - If I had lectures every evening the labor would have not been greater  Since wherever I have remained at night, the neighbors have gathered in and the talking has been kept up till midnight frequently.  You asked me to give a detailed account of my every day life.  I wish I could.  But since I left Cleveland I have not written a word in my Journal, and I dont see as I am going to get time.-- So long a break has occurred in my records that I fear I shall have to give up trying now to remmember what has occurred during the last month.  However I will try to get time for this in the future.  I do hope that you will not fail as I have in this respect, for I read your Journal, brief though it be, with livliest interest.  And now let me say, that if you do not get a letter from me as often as you think I ought to write, dont worry or be anxious about me, for I shall send you a letter as often as I can--I expect to leave tomorrow for Lewis Clark's settlement, away back in the Bush and I may not have opportunity to send a letter out to be mailed for several days.  You must not therefore be surprised if you do not hear from me until I return again here  Where I shall certainly expect a letter or

 

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two from you when I do get back. Dont give yourself any uneasiness for fear the Editor of the Free Press will challenge me.  Since the Detroit Daily Tribune published the report of the meeting in Windsor as copied from "The True Royalist"  The Free Press hasn't opened its head.  It is now wholly evident that it can't be Kicked into an exhibition of honorable or manly resentment.  And it is now unable to hold up its head among its own party while pursuing an opposite course.  So, that gun is pretty fairly silenced.  On the night of the 7th that day you say Johnies cheeks got frosted, I lectured at a school-house in New Canaan settlement   The house was full of people, and though the stove was kept pretty hot I had to blow my fingers to keep them warm- I staid all night at the house of a colored man whose family consisted of himself, wife and three cats- not wild cats, but real domestic cats.  They had a great open fire place where the burning logs threw out all of the heat they could and yet to keep warm the cats would get so close the fire as to scorch their hair.  Had it not been for the blankets that I brought along, I dont know as I could have gone to bed at all.  As it was my feet remained so cold I could not sleep a wink.  Next morning the old lady, thankful that I was not frozen, said "Well child, I hopes de Lord'l bless ye, in all yr undertakens, kase, I don't believe you'l do nothins only what's right, In fact, I knows you wont."  Wasn't that a beautiful expression of Faith in another?- May I be preserved from ever weakening such a faith.  I have got a letter from Mr. Redpath to day, in which he vetos my plan of going out to Hayti this Spring-  Says we must get into Hayti at least 100.000 emigrants before we go down there.  The reason that I proposed to go is, that, the colored people here most of whom are fugitives, want the testimony of what has been actually seen there in regard to induce by some one whom they can place full confidence in.  They are willing to take my word as to what

 

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 I might myself see, but are not so ready to take information second handed.  This was my reason for proposing to go this early to Hayti  But do not imagine I would go without taking you along with me, or if you should not think best to go now.  I should have no idea of going without first making ample provision for the well-being of you and Johnie.  You dont know how very dear you both are to me.  All my plans and schemes always embrace you and him.  I have not yet seen the letter which you say David Adams has written me concerning the oil business-.  It is true as you say that I did not expect they were going to need any further assessment from me this winter - Supposing that the well on Oil Creek and the Trumbull oil Co's well would be sufficient to occupy their attention until Spring  However, I shall furnish my part  But, say to David that I cannot have my part forth coming until Mr Redpath gets another remittance from Hayti.  I recd $25 (Twenty Five Dollars) from him today, but have to pay out the greater part of it immediately.  The vessel from Hayti is due about these days, I shall get another remittance when it comes.  Please ask David to advance for me a short time, (if the assessment must now be paid in), and I will soon refund him.  He can take a lien on my share until then.  I have to pay Express and Custom House charges on a Box of Books, papers &c from Boston, tomorrow, amounting to between $10 and $12.  It is now getting late and I must again say goodbye.  In regard to that Cleveland fugitive Slave Case, I can only say ---- ------- -----  Well swearing is all I can say.  When you sent that money to Mr. Stearns, did you also write to him?  It will be necessary to do so as the Savings Bank must have your Signature so that they may hereafter know that your checks are genuine and not the the checks by another hand in your name.  I shall send you a letter just as often as possible.  Kiss Johnie for me and believe me, Always, Faithfully Your Loving Husband  John Brown Jr

 

 

[Letter 2]

 

Lowell-Kent Co Mich

Nov 9th 1861

(Monday afternoon)

 

My dearly loved Wife:

 

Have just returned on foot a distance of eight miles carrying my luggage from the place where I spoke last evening - On Saturday morning I mailed at Ada - a letter to you - Came on to this place and spoke to a very large audience at the Congregational Church here - got one recruit but I don't think I shall take him as I am told he will get drunk - After 1/2 past 10 oclock at night after the meeting I went

 

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8 miles to the Township of  Bowne Walker half of the way and rode a lazy horse in the rain the rest of the way - Got to my stopping place 1/2 past two o'clock at night - and yesterday I slept some it being the day of rest - At evening had a crowded meeting at a School house - Got one recruit if his wife will let him go - dont reccon on him very much, though I rather think he will be on hand.  Now I am going by Rail Rd about 30 miles from here - thence 3 miles on foot to a place 18 miles west

 

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of Grand Rapids called Lamont where I am to have a meeting tonight - from there I return to Grand Rapids where I hope to get another letter from you and where I hope to find Col Lewis or at least a letter from him - Cannot until I return to Grand Rapids determine whether I shall go South into Allegan County or North to Newaygo on the Muskegon River -- Shall write you again in a day or two - Have finally recd the letters from the boys forwarded to me from Detroit - From their accounts the Company is rapidly filling up there.  If I do not soon get the kind and number I want here I shall start on without further delay - I am pleased with their joining Jennison's Reg't if all is as represented.  Am glad you have joined Bently's

 

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singing class -- Hope you will not fail to take Johnnie with you for you will remember that -- he will learn as well as you -- and especially learn by ear to discriminate between concord and discord -- Do be sure and have him go too ------ Well I had a good Laugh over your account of the old fellow in search of a wife -- By the "ear marks" of that joke I should call it Lauren's -- what do you say Lauren?  Martha, you ask what I say about you -- I say I wish I could see you and kiss you again -- Have had one letter from J.W. Loomis  All well a few days since -- I shall probably go North in a day or two to a place called "Pent-Water" where I hope to get some superior Indians as Scouts -- Dont fail to write me very often directing to Grand Rapids as before until further notice -- How I do want to see you all again and yet I must not allow my mind to leave my business and run away home too much -- Johnny my dear boy I was very glad to get the card with your name printed on it with your own hand.  I look on it often -- It makes the tears come in my eyes --- Goodbye again dear ones  All good bye  Yours  John

 

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Owen - I was glad to get your note and yours also Lauretta - Shall avail myself of the ideas in yours Owen if I find it necessary to go far through the wilderness - I am very anxious to join my Company and shall soon whether I get many recruits or not.  Goodbye  As always faithfully your loving husband  John

 

 

[LETTER 3]

 

Grand Rapids Mich

Dec 12th 1861

(Wednesday Eve)

 

My Dearly Loved Wife:-

 

I have just returned from Lamont walking the entire distance and carrying my baggage all the way 16 miles - Find here two letters - One long one written last Sunday and the one a day or two before - Your letters have all now come safely to hand and I presume you have a number of mine sent you from different places - The last, I wrote from Lowell on Monday - After mailing that letter, I started on five o'clock

 

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train for Lamont - Stopped at the nearest station, (six miles from there) and tried to reach the place on foot in season for the meeting - but instead of two miles as I had been told was the distance, when I had sweat along very muddy roads for two miles the bell at Lamont was ringing for the meeting to commence, and yet four more weary miles must be accomplished - Near the end of the last mile I met a great crowd of people returning home, but back they went , rung the bell again when the Church (Congregational) was in a few minutes filled.  After talking a short time, it was suggested by the Chairman that since many from a distance who had gone home would no doubt be present if I would adjourn until the following (Tuesday) night - I did so, and

 

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last night had one of the largest and most enthusiastic meetings.  Had just enough secession opposition to furnish variety.  Two fine fellows from that place will go, if their wives will let them.  But of this I am not quite certain.  On my way west from Lowell to Lamont while on the cars, a letter was handed me from two men of Ionia a place sixteen miles east of Lowell, and who came to hear me on Saturday evening at that place - One of the men is Clerk of the Court of Ionia County - the other, an Ex Treasurer of the County  Both these men will go if I can give them a few days time to arrange their business to leave.  I am invited to hold a meeting at Ionia and also at Grand Haven, but

 

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I am now quite resolved to go North to get some Indians for scouts.  About sixty miles North at a place called "Pent-Water" are several thousand Indians and I am told there are many fine men among them who are willing and anxious to enlist but no one would take them - Thus far, although I have got several good men, it has been a slow business recruiting - Taking all that I feel at all sure of.  I cant count on more than ten new recruits - But I shall still persevere - Every where I meet with the heartest sympathy and every attention in the world, but so many men have gone already to the war from this region that it is really a very slow business this recruiting.  I must now get a goodly number who will carry their Rifles with them too; prepared fully for any attack while going through Missouri or be greatly exposed to capture.  I don't mean to run any unnecessary risk of being overpowered by greatly superior numbers - There are other ways of getting to Kansas-City  We can, if it should be best, go through Via Davenport and Iowa City to Leavenworth - At any rate, you may be sure I shall not run any foolish risk if I can avoid it.  So do not "borrow" as you say, any trouble.

 

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(2)

 

It is now ten o'clock at night  Mr & Mrs Bissell are sitting near by the stand where I am writing - He reading the late news - She sewing on a shirt.  The Dr. talks strongly of joining my Company as a private in the ranks and take his chance of promotion on the principle of demand and supply - Don't know whether or not it will end alone in talk - Today I have received a letter from Col. Lewis - I had written him to meet me here and go with me into the pine woods of the North part of the State - I also enclosed to him my Note of $50 for three months asking him to discount some if he possibly could as I had only $3 left.  He sent me back my note saying it would be inconvenient to discount it, but enclosed a ten Dollar Bill which he lends until I can get my pay from Government

 

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This is of course better than nothing.  I must make this $10 go a great ways by travelling on foot all the distance when if I were able, I might ride at least a part of the way.  He also writes that he cannot say when he can join me in this recruiting expedition.  His business forbids his leaving it.  Perhaps the long tramps through mud and snow and cold do not look so pleasant in prospect.  As to money matters at home.  I do hope Smith will be able to get something for you from the oil interest.  I believe I am the only volunteer in that oil company and it seems to me that some arrangement might be made which would enable you to meet your current expenses without drawing on that little fund in the hands of Mr Stearns, at least until I can get my pay from Government - Saying

 

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nothing about the labor, trouble and anxiety I have met in raising this Company so far, the greater share of the expense, has come out of my limited means - until they were exhausted and finally have been obliged to run into debt or abandon my undertaking  I don't know how I am yet to get along.  Certain I am, I will not give up.  God only knows where the money is to come from to enable me to get through this undertaking and get fairly into the field with my Company full - None of course but fighting abolitionists will join me.  Of these, only a small percentage are fit for Soldiers.  The larger portion of what are technically called Anti-Slavery men are either men of words instead of deeds or are, what is still worse, "dogs in the manger", forever grumbling that

 

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the Government won't do any thing.  Just as if they themselves were not part of the Government --- If the existence of Government depended on such dam'd drones the entire machinery might fall into rust and ruin for ought they would do except eat and sleep and growl.

 

Thursday Morning

Dec 13th

 

I have only a few moments to add a word or two before the mail leaves - I shall remain here today answering letters and making arrangements for a trip in another direction - Will write you before I go.  It may be I shall where I cannot get a letter out to you for a week - Will write as often as possible - Dont fail to write to me just as often as you have. I dont know how I could stand it if it were not for hearing from you often -  ---- Capt Allen is in my mind all the time - However he will probably be well treated - - - Dear Wealthy, and Johnnie, if you think you absent from my thoughts day or night, you greatly

 

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misinterpret the silence which unavoidbly intervenes between my letters - Do remember that you are ever my loved and most cherished ones  Your husband  John

 

 

[LETTER 4]

 

Grand Rapids Michigan

(Sunday eve) Dec 29th 1861

 

My dearly loved wife:

 

How glad I am that I can again send you a word in answer to your dear letters which I find in the hands of Dr Bissell on my return to this place.  Last night I got back from my long, and I may say perilous journey to the North Country.  I went on foot to the Indian country 80 miles North from here but found that all the young men who are good for anything were gone hunting and trapping and would not return until sugar making time.  I however brought home with me two uncommonly good men, one of them is probably the greatest

 

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hunter in Michigan.  But I had a very hard journey - much of the way along the Lake shore in storm and night where it is twenty miles between neighbors.  In fording streams I had some narrow chances which I will give you an account of when I see you again.  Thank Heaven! the recruiting for my Company is now about done  A letter from Bostwick says that Hoyt was mustered in as 2nd Lieut which could not be with less than eighty four men----with those I have here now the Company of 100 will be made up---and then such men.  I had rather this Company than a Regiment of average men.  Well I feel that I have accomplished what I undertook in spite of all and every difficulty--- And

 

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expect to leave here on the morning of Jan. 1st  Shall have to stay in Detroit on day at least as I expect to have the men mustered into service at that place---thence to Chicago - Probably shall leave there one week from tomorrow for the west.  You may be sure I shall act with all the discretion I posses in regard to the time & mode of getting through.  Bostwick says Dec 14th--"We are all as well as can be expected.  some boys in the hospital but all doing well.  We move tomorrow for West Point in South Western Missouri.  The boys are all in good spirits and wishing for you to come.  We are in very comfortable fix.  Just at present so far as money matters are concerned yet not flush!  Come as soon as possible for you are longed for every day by all.  Hoyt has been mustered into the service and is all right   Tell the folks that we feel fight and fight to whip here and nothing else  Write me at Leavenworth as soon as possible and come as soon as you can.  We have our horses and

 

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I have got some sabres for the boys  Yours in haste  Lieut B H Bostwick"

 

Thus far I have labored under every discouragement - As I would accept none but sober, temperate men and as none would join me but fighting anti slavery men these together with the Governors Proclamations forbidding the enlistment of men to serve in Regiments not raised in their respective States have made the task of getting up this Company one far more difficult than most persons can immagine  I have succeeded in spite of all .  and the longed for time has come when I can once more be with my Company.  If there are any of my friends who blame me for not sooner joining my Company, I can only say "they know not what they do."  You can hardly immagine how much pleasure your letters afforded me - Every word about you all - and Johnnys little letters too.  Yes Johnny it did make the tears come in my eyes to see your name written by your own hand, but the tears came because I was glad to see your little letter.  Tomorrow I shall send to you Johnny, directed to ma my picture to remember me by.  An artist here wanted me to sit, and gave me one which I send to you my darling boy.  Now that the time has come to go away still farther from you all my thoughts are more than ever with you.  How lonesome I have been and how I have to day longed to see you again if but for a little while - I will write you almost every day if I can - Say to Owen and Lauretta that I must consider this letter also as answer to theirs.  I have so

 

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much to do.  Write me almost every day wont you.  Direct to Care of J W Loomis until further notice.  If that sum I asked you to send me from Mr Stearns come in, I will remit it to you as Wendell Phillips has sent me some little help.  Gerrit Smith has also sent me ten Dollars  And now I must once more say Good Bye  You can only guess how (over)

 

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much I think of you my own loved Wealthy and our little son.  Write me about him a great deal wont you.  You can hardly realize how my heart aches to see you all once more.  I do see you in my dreams both day and night

 

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I have several more letters to write to night and I must close  As always fondly your loving  John

 

 

[LETTER 5]

 

Duplicate to Cleveland

 

Hannibal Missouri

Decem 7th 1861

 

My Own Loved Wife:-

 

We have all reached this place in safety through owing to the bridges being burned on the Quincy and Palmyra Branch, we have been delayed and put to much extra expense  Tomorrow at 7 oclock we leave on the Hannibal & St Joseph RR for St Joseph  The road is I believe now in running order through, yet we are not without apprehension of trouble between this and Leavenworth - We must however go boldly forward hoping for the best but prepared for the worst - I wrote you at Chicago just before leaving and will write you again the first opportunity especially on our arrival at Leavenworth  I feel a great deal of

 

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responsibility resting on me and of course am anxious for success - Dear Wealthy, Johnny & all, my heart is still nearer and nearer to you all - Do write me immediately and very often until further notice directing to Capt John Brown Jr Company K, 1st Kansas Calvary Leavenworth Kansas - must write another letter duplicate of this to you at Cleveland  Have not time to write to any one else tonight. - Good bye once more for a short time, Forever your loving John

 

 

[LETTER 6]

 

Leavenworth City Kansas

Saturday Eve'g Jany 11 1862

 

My Own My Precious Wife

 

How glad I have been made this eve. by the receipt of a letter from Jerry inclosing yours of the 5th and one from you direct mailed at Cleveland on the 7th - The last I wrote you was at Hannibal Mo  We were detained between Hannibal and St Joseph one day in consequence of another break in the road causing a smash up of two freight trains  A train came on from St. Jo. and we carried our freight around the break - Reached here all safe and sound night before last.  Our Company as soon as we stepped on to Kansas soil (we crossed the River on the ice) gave three hearty cheers for Kansas and the Kansas Brigade  On reaching Leavenworth we found Col Jennison and Lieut Hoyt  Hoyt had come up with Col Jennison to assist in getting the Company in the right shape to leave here.  He says some of the men had had the

 

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measles, but all were much better  George King had been sick with typhoid fever, when he saw him last a few days since he was at Kansas City and was getting better.  Young Tourgee was taking care of him.  I shall see him if he is there, in two or three days - I am told he has been very sick - If he should not likely to be fit for duty.  I shall get what is called a sick leave for him and let him come home - shall write to his father at once.  You can hardly imagine how it affects me to have any of my men sick  They seem every one of them like as if they were members of my own family.  It is astonishing to me to see the indifference which many if not most of the officers show towards their sick or wounded men  God save me from ever becoming so destitute of heart.  I heard that George has got better and came up to the Fort here, but this must be a mistake for I have been to all the hospitals here and

 

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cannot hear of him - I shall of course know all about how he is getting along soon, and shall report at once.  The families and friends of any of my men who are sick may be sure that all that can be done for them either by way of sympathy or attention they will receive from me as faithfully as if they were my own brothers - We have a fine lot of hospital stores and Mr. Sloat is here with me to take special charge of this department - Could the friends know how anxious I am for the welfare of my men they would be sure nothing would be left undone that could minister to their wants or comfort.  Yesterday the men were mustered in here who came with me and my Company being full   I was mustered in as Captain of the Company.  We expected to have drawn the arms and horse equipments for them to day, but there was a great review of troops at the Fort and nothing else could be

 

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until Monday - Mr. Hinton also is here and thinks of going East in a day or two.  He will call and see you if he does ---- If we succeed in getting arms &c on Monday we shall leave here to join our Regiment on Tuesday morning ---- I like Col. Jennison very much ---- Have got a pair of boots making here not knowing when I shall have another chance as we are to move soon into the Indian Territory and Texas.  We shall probably have the honor of constituting the advance guard in this expedition.  Gen Lane is looked for now here every day when he arrives he is expected to organize his forces here at once and commence his march Southward. ---- You will of course continue to write to me here -- I believe I have given you complete directions but in case I have not I will now and the same directions are good to any who may send to any of my

 

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company -- If to me, direct to Capt John Brown Jr  Company K -- Col. Jennisons 1st Kansas Cavalry -- Leavenworth City Kansas -- A messenger goes from the Regiment to Leavenworth every two or three days and he will carry letters back and forth. -- I shall write you very often -- If you should fail of getting letters as frequently as you may wish, it will be no fault of mine -- it will often be that our messenger may fail of getting through or some delay may occur on the Hannibal and St Joseph RR -- over which the mail is carried, do not be alarmed then if you do not get letters very often.  You may be sure I shall write as often as every other day or at least have a letter ready to send if it is among the possible things. You will write me almost every day wont you.  How my heart goes

 

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after my loved wife and boy the light of my home.  If ever the time comes when peace shall once more prevail, my highest ambition will be to make a beautiful and happy home for you and Johnny.  A few acres of land in some beautiful and healthy spot which we can make our home.  The very thought has a witchery and charm for me which I have never before so fully realized  Though I am going away south on an expedition fraught with peril I yet feel full of hope that I shall meet you again --- Tell Johnny that I think of him and dont forget him at all -- that I want to have him climb into my lap and cling his arms round my neck  Oh how I do want to see you and that dear boy and all of you.  The world without you seems as nothing and vanity.  I can in the fulness of my heart adopt the language of the poet when he says

 

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"Let them toil for fame who please or for gold renounce their ease   What is fame?  An empty bubble  Gold! a shining constant trouble"  Every day I live the more settled I am in the conclusion that the word "home" is the best in the english language -- and to make it with us, all that it can be on earth, is the fondest of my hopes -- It is getting late and I will bid you good night -- Will write you more tomorrow and still again before I leave here.  "Hoyt says give my love to Wealthy and tell her that the reason I have not written her is that I have been away on active duty ever since I came here & have scarsely written to my own folks"  He has just come in and gone to bed complaining of feeling rheumatic pains in every joint -- Sweet happy dreams to you my darling wife and our only boy -- A kiss for you both.  Good night ----------------

 

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Sunday Morning Jany 12th

 

It is very cold this morning -- has been snowing a little. -- Have just come in from the Provost Marshalls Office where I obtained passes for myself and men to go about the city   As the city is under Martial law I enclose to you a pass which I had to get at St. Joseph -- I send it as a specimen -- Mr. Hinton was here a few moments since.  Says give my love to Wealthy and all the good folks in Dorset and say that I will be along soon -- You say in the letter which Jerry forwarded that you expected to leave for home on Friday.  In your next you said nothing as to when you would return.  I send this to you at Jefferson as it will be most likely to reach you there.  I have not time to make a copy to send to Cleveland -- Joseph Gardner is here.  I met him to day.  He sends his regards -- Last evening I met our old friend Luke Parsons.  He is a Corporal in a Regiment which is one of the Kansas Brigade.  He looks much older than he did, his beard has grown so and seeing him in uniform I did not know him.  It revived the memory

 

[LETTER 7]

 

Camp Jackson Near Morristown

Cass Co Mo-Sunday eve Jany 18th 1862

 

My Own Loved Wife

 

With fondest love my heart sends to you all its warmest beatings.  This has been a misty cold day - all without, all has been gloomy - - within, fond reccollections of home have been uppermost in the Soldier's thoughts judging from the number I have seen writing letters.  With me, the day has been unavoidably spent in making up Company accounts which work could not be put off.  And now I have a few moments with you.  Oh, how I long to see you.  If you imagine you do not occupy my thoughts more than all things else, how mistaken you are.  The room where I am is full of soldiers - Charley Hopkins

 

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is playing on a piano which was taken from a rebel a few days since.  All the rest are busy talking and of course the room is confusion - - - -Among the questions you would naturally ask is how do you like the Regiment?  Well I have not been with it long enough to form a mature judgment.  They seem to be full of anti slavery but, I wish I could see more discipline among the men.  They are at present sadly deficient in this respect.  Indeed I have been extremely melancholy in view of the disorder of the Regiment.  But I hope for a better state of things   I shall do all I can to effect a change though I fear I can do little more than keep up discipline in my own Company.  You can hardly imagine what bitter reflections the act of my Company in joining the regiment without consulting me, has caused me.  I have

 

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felt that they have deserted me after all the labor and expense I had been to in getting up the Company.  If they should suffer from being associated with a comparative rabble it is not my fault.  They took a step which cannot be retrieved.  My heart has ached, sadly ached - - but I will do the best I can - - - - - - - - - - - There are a number with Charley at the piano singing "do they miss me at home" - - - You need not be surprised if my letters should present only a disjointed set of thoughts for I am hearing all kinds of sounds some of which touch my heart, and that always would disturb the current of my thoughts. - - Bostwick has just come to my elbow and says tell Wealthy, Owen and the Edwards folks that I am going to write to them."  And now they are singing "Old hundred"

 

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how can I write, when I must of course put in a note.  But I will keep on writing even though it should not be interesting - - - Last night the order came to cease work on the Stables - have all the horses shod as we should soon move camp - I have just learned our destination.  We are to go to the South East part of Kansas below the Neosho, to support the Cherokee, Creek and Seminole Indians (Union Indians) who have recently suffered a defeat there   We shall thus constitute the advance of the contemplated "South Western Expedition"  You will of course continue to write me as I have before directed - Some of my letters have failed to reach you so I repeat my former directions  Address me as before and so continue to do until further notice, to Capt. John Brown Jr Company K, 1st Kansas Cavalry (Col Jennisons) - Leavenworth City Kansas - - We shall continue to have a messenger passing to and from the camp and Leavenworth. - So we can get our letters out every three or four days for the present - After we leave here we shall shall not of course be able to get or send letters so often,  But you may be sure I shall write as often as possible - - Would write every day if I could get off a letter as often. - Keep writing to me wont you my own love.  I will keep the letters

 

[page 5]

 

flying to you.  Oh how my thoughts go after you.  As I go farther and farther from home - How dear you all are.  Do think that I am always with you in spirit.  My Johnny, do you think of your Pa a great deal?  You wont forget me will you my dear boy  In my imagination I see you as I bid you good bye on the plank road.  I think I see you on the plank road going home with Owen.  I watched your going back until I could see you no more  I have seen you only in my dreams since then - - But then I dream of you often - - I sent you my picture so that you would not forget me   You will send me a card with your name on it wont you.  I want you to learn all you can - to read and spell and write and, learn to sing all you can.  When spring comes, I hope to

 

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come home and see you  How glad I shall be to hold you in my lap and hug you close in my arms and love you.  You are very dear to me darling Johnny.  I want you to tell Ma something to write to me.  Good night my loved Son - - - - - - My precious wife.  The bugle is sounding the call to "put out the lights"  But I have a small space left on which I can say a few words and I want to say them to you.  I imagine Johnny is fast asleep and you are still up making, mending or fixing your breakfast for morning.  Perhaps writing to me.  You will be sure that I am ever near you. - How do you get along about money?  I have nothing left and can get no pay in less than two months to come.  I do hope you will be able to get along but God only knows how  My expenses out in raising the Company are between $300- and $400- as yet I have received nothing from the Government and what is worse for me the vouchers I have for the expenses I have incurred will not be accepted by the Government officials.  So I must loose my expenses.  This is peculiarly hard but is not worse than I feared.  I have one consolation and that is I have tried to do my duty.  If I live I shall obtain the means to

 

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get us a little home and I am sure we can make a happy home if we are not what the world calls rich  Dont be discouraged  Good night my own darling wife, I will write every time I can send off a letter  Your own  John

 

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The men are all well except Mr Ira Slater and he I think will be in a day or two.  Of course I except Geo King at Kansas City and Mr Forest miles south of Leavenworth  But they are improving  I hope Geo King can be got home as he will not be fit for duty for some months to come  Again Good bye  Your John

 

 

[LETTER 8]

 

Head Quarters Camp Johnson

Morristown Mo Jany 21st 1862

 

My Own Loved Wife

 

I wrote you day before yesterday or rather night before last and now night has come round again and my first wish is to write you before I do any thing else.  Nothing has occurred since I wrote last of special interest.  The weather is mild though there is yet several inches of snow on the ground.  The men are all still as well as usual.  It would amuse you to see the men, they are most of them in such good order that their faces would measure about as much across as up and down.  Smokey and dirty and full of fun.  Many of them have ragged clothes, but at present they have enough beef, shortcake and coffee.  In a day or two they will have bread (those flat hard biscuits which are made for soldiers you remember)  They will have this bread

 

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and beef an coffee.  Occasionally they get apples and now & then a few potatoes  These constitute the variety.  This afternoon we had Dress Parade and the Regiment appeared much better than I supposed it could  I am therefore to day feeling in rather better spirits than when I wrote you last.  I am in hopes the Regiment can be got into shape.  It is without doubt one of the best fighting Regiments in the Service but it is composed of the most dashing, "devil-may-care" fellows that I ever saw together, full of good nature and full of the Devil -- hard to keep in military bounds -- In the Regiment are a goodly number of very superior men and these are likely I think to exert the controlling influence.  I am hopes soon.  At least I shall try to hope for the best   I wish you would get your

 

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picture and Johnnys on a tin plate (Perhaps it should be copper or iron) and send to me in a letter  Several of the men here have pictures of their friends sent them in letters in this way  They last very well and are very easy to carry.  I want Johnnys picture as he is now.  You know the one I have of him was taken several years ago.  You will get this for me wont you --- I have received no letters from you since I left Leavenworth  Am in hopes the messenger who is expected to night will bring some letters for me.  He will not return to Leavenworth, until day after tomorrow.  I shall write more before he leaves. My thoughts are ever with you my own loved ones.  How I wish the Star of honorable peace would soon rise on our distracted Country.  It seems an age since I have looked

 

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on your dear faces.  Good night I will write more soon - Write very often to me.  You may depend on my sending you a letter as often as one can go.  Good night each and all of you.

 

Wednesday evening

Jany 22nd

 

It is now nearly dark - weather still mild and O how muddy.  Every where about camp you step in - and unless corn husks or some old hay can be got the horses are obliged to live in the mud  Major, during the fore part of the winter had the distemper and got very poor, but is now in good condition.  I think he knew me.  Tiger the dog, did not at first know me, but next day he came to me with all his accustomed zeal.  He is a most excellent watch dog.  The Company think they couldn't get along without him ----------- Nothing new to day but the news that a good Union man living a few miles from had his house surrounded by a gang of rebels and he was shot   He was an old man - Small bands of rebels are still hanging round - They get together and do up their infernal work and then go home, where if found are good Union Men.  It is hard to get the kind of evidence necessary to make a clear case.  If some of those should get killed who are least deserving it would be no wonder.  You see how everything is mixed up here. - I dont yet know how soon

 

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we shall go South - We are in hopes of getting Sharps Rifles for each of the Company  before we leave.  But all these things are matters of uncertainty.  A camp of soldiers remote from any reliable sources of news is a place where all manner of rumors are afloat.  I have not seen a paper for many days and that was ten days old.  We dont know what has occured during the past two weeks in the world outside of Camp Johnson. - You might like to know how it looks in my tent just now.  I am writing with my writing case on my lap  Mr Knowlton is holding the candle. - next to him sits Sergt Peck and next to him Merrick Pusipher with the same honest good natured face - has a feather in the left side of his cap - his beard has grown finely and his face is fairly round - Orderly Cotton come next, he sits close by the

 

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door telling stories - Lieut Bostwick is lying on my trunk talking.  Truman Creesey has just come in with some parched corn in his hand.  He sits down in the door saying "Well, I believe I guess I'll be door keeper in the house of the Lord" - Rev Ira Slater has just come in, says the mail has not yet come.  I wonder if it will bring any letter from you.  You can't imagine how I do want to see your hand writing, anything from home  My dear dear home. - Johnny I have thought of you a great many times to day - Don't forget me my dear boy  I will write you again in a day or two - I want to say to Mr Pulsiphers folks that I am fully convinced that Merrick maintains his integrity in spite of all the unfavorable circumstances with which he is surrounded.  He is strict in doing all his duty and neither drinks smokes or swears - But in all respects conducts himself like a man - Well once more, I must say good bye  My own my precious wife, my Johnny and all.  Good bye  Yours always  John

 

[LETTER 9]

 

Camp Johnson Jany 22/62

 

My Own My Darling Wife:

 

I had but just finished writing and had carried my letter to the messenger when the word came that the mail had come.  I started at one for head quarters and found a letter from Jerry enclosing one from Lauretta and a page from Eliza and yours of Sunday the 12th - The messenger leaves again in the morning and I cant have him go without adding another word - Lauretta, you may be sure I was glad to get your letter  You were most kind indeed to write me and let me have "news from home" - when Wealthy was gone I should now write you a special letter but I suppose you hear the letters I write to Wealthy and so I write to you and Martha and Owen.  Since if I write all the news to her I should only have to repeat the same.  Wealthy will of course read to you Owen and Martha all that is of any special interest I write - Thanking you then for your very kind and interesting letter, I trust you will not think I neglect you if I should not devote an entire letter in reply - - - - I am

 

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surprised that Mr Griffing should lie so like the old harry, but no matter  He is not the man to do much harm  As to Redpath's extraordinary Somersett  You need not be unhappy about it.  I think he is on the verge of insanity.  You say it makes you almost distrust every man - I only hope that I, who have bestowed on you my fondest, fullest trust may never be distrusted by my own loved Wealthy.  Yes, I do trust you.  Whatever may happen else, may you never doubt me.  To feel that there is one true heart where I can lovingly and confidingly rest is worth more than words can express  You ask if I would be willing to sell my oil claim for that place where you are, and two hundred Dollars besides.  I must say I dont know what other answer to make than to say I am willing that you should do what you think best. After obtaining the the best counsel you can get from those whose names I have heretofore given you, and who have an interest in our welfare.  I had hoped that the oil interest would be a permanent income even though small, which would be something in the way of a small annual income for you.  If you should get the farm.  It might be far better for you.  At least it would make you a comfortable home and I could fix it to sell if we did not wish to make it a permanent home.  If you can

 

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make such an exchange it may be best.  After getting the opinions of those whose judgment is best in regard to the matter, I want you to act on your own good judgment and I shall be pleased.  I may be inclined to place too high an estimate on our oil interest, and accordingly may not be best calculated to give a sound opinion in the matter.  I had supposed we had an interest in the oil which has already flowed from the wells to at least half pay for such a play as that, but I may be mistaken.  I am sure of one thing, I could go to work with a cheerful heart and fix the place up so it would sell for as much as it would cost in case we did not want to make it a permanent home.  "I repeat" do as you think best I shall be entirely satisfied. - - I am very glad you have once more got safely home.  Dear me, when shall I be so happy as to step in and greet you all once more  We are now under Marching Orders for Indian Country.  We may go in four or five days  Without doubt we shall have to see some hard fighting.  As we have a desperate and insidious foe to meet.  Every horse and mule in the Regiment is being shod for this expedition

 

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We shall still have messengers between our Camp and Leavenworth, and you will continue to address me there as heretofore.  If you direct, to Capt. John Brown Jr Company K, 1st Kansas Cavalry (Col Jennisons) Leavenworth City Kansas, I shall get your letters unless our messenger should be captured or the mail should be interrupted on some other part of the route - - - Once more the Bugle is sounding Tattoo.  Little Busti is sounding for my Company as Charley Hopkins is at present acting as Chief Bugler of the Regt.  Busti has learned finely and can blow many of the calls very well. - He is in good health but has got quite ragged, especially his pantaloons  The difficulty is in getting any thing that will fit him in this miserable country.  He will soon get his pay and then I will get some clothes for him - His pay as musician will clothe him well and have something to lay up besides - - - - Tell Johnny I thank him for his kind loving words that "I feel kind of bad" a great many times, a day, because I want to see him and that I hope to come round all night sometime - Good bye once more  I must lie down but not in bed  our lodging place is the ground from which I rise in the morning feeling strong symptoms of rheumatism.  But am well in other respects- Good bye once more  I will soon write again.  Your devoted John 

 

[LETTER 10]

 

Camp Johnson - Morristown Missouri

Saturday Jany 25th 1862

 

My Own Loved Wife:

 

Last night the messenger came but it brought no letter from you  I was sorely disappointed.  You can hardly imagine how we do long for "Good news from home"  No papers unless they are a week or ten days old.  And nothing but the routine of camp life or the incidents of an occasional expedition to to meets the wants of our hungry minds  You should see anxiety depicted in the countenances of me as they swarm around my tent as the letters are distributed on the return of a messenger from Leavenworth  "Any letter for me?" is the inquiry from every mouth - Those who are so fortunate as to get letters are for the time being at least, about happy enough, while those who have none, are pictures of disappointment  If there is any thing which the absent can do to make soldiers more happy than anything else, it is to send letters often.  Money is nothing compared to letters.  But I will not complain of you my own darling for you have been very prompt in writing.  To get letters from you is now my chief consolation.  I presume you would like to have me give you a

 

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picture of our life in camp - To day is bright and beautiful over head and it seems like Spring.  but all around is mud, every ones boots are loaded with rich prairie soil  It is now two o'clock and dinner is ready  We have breakfast and dinner, only two meals a day.  To days dinner in my tent consists of a Rabit pot-pie Jo Chillery has got up in pretty good style.  A shortcake large and thick is smoking on the table and beside it is our tin cups of coffee.  We have coffee every meal and you know I am not very partial to coffee. - Generally we have beef, hard bread and coffee varied with coffee hard bread and beef.  Occasionally some of the surrounding settlers bring in apples and chickens - the latter they prefer to bring in and sell rather than have them Jayhawked which would most surely happen if they failed to economise in this way.  Our Regiment probably is no worse in this respect than other regiments  Such kind of pilfering is always done in the neighborhood of soldiers camps.  Busti has just come in smacking his lips.  Said I, Busti what shall I say to Wealthy for you?  He rubs his hands on his greasy pants and says "Well I'd o know what to say to Weathy" "tell her that there is a poney here that I think would be a good one for Johnny to ride"  His smutty face is all smiles

 

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His health is first rate and if he had a pair of good pants would be pretty well provided.  The over coat and all the clothes he got in Cleveland are well nigh used up.  at least in looks  Last evening an order came to the Commanders of each Company to detail a Lieutenant and fifteen men each, with four day rations to go this morning on an expedition to Independence and vicinity to burn out and confiscate the property of certain noted rebels in that region.  By 8 oclock this morning the force was on the march 150 strong.  The whole under command of Captain Pardee  Bostwick commands the detail from my Company.  The only ones you know in this expedition are Truman Creesey and Thatcher besides Bostwick.  I dont think there will be much fighting, though the rebels will suffer in their property I have no doubt. - - Burning and confiscation will be the order of the day. - During the past three of four days I have been very busy making out the Quarterly report of the Comp'y.  Pay Roll and Muster Roll of the men from time the men were enlisted until they were mustered in.  All this business had been defered until I should come - I have got nearly through with it for the quarter ending Dec 31st, but I shall soon have another job of the same kind on hand  This part of the business I find has much responsibility since if not done correctly the men

 

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would fail of getting their pay - - Merrick has just seated himself on my trunk, sits whittling a stick apparently in profound meditation - his pants are tucked in his boots, I notice he has a pair of overalls under his pants there being a hole in the right knee of his pants "about the size of a man's hand" through which I make the discovery - The clothing furnished the soldiers is for the most part a great cheat  Contractors make the money while the soldiers who endure everything get almost nothing - - - A new sensation - - Another package of letters has come in for Company K.  But none for me  Merrick is reading one mailed at Jefferson - and many others are enjoying the blessed privilege of reading the kind words of dear absent friends  Tomorrow night I hope to get another word from you - do let me hear from you almost every day wont you.  My Johnny, has not sent me any word for a good while.  Tell me all the little particulars of your daily affairs at home, don't imagine any thing can be uninteresting.  I omitted to mention that Charles Hopkins went as bugler for the expedition this morning - Martha I would write you a long letter if I did not know that Wealthy reads you most every thing I get time to write.  I dont want you to think I forgot you my loved Sister.  Indeed I am sure you do not.  If I could send you a letter as often as I send a kind thought to you you would get a great many letters.  My sheet is now full and it is almost time for dress parade. - Dear me I hate to say good bye and stop writing.  I do love to write to you and would every day, if I could send as often.  But I must stop I will write to you again in

 

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a day or two  My love to all.  Kiss Johnny for me and know that I am always your own  John

 

[LETTER 11]

 

Camp Johnson Morristown Mo

Sunday eve Jan'y 26th 1862

 

My Own Darling Wife

 

I do not know as a messenger will leave tomorrow, but my thoughts wander home, and just now I have nothing else on hand but to write.  Yesterday I sent you a letter.  Since then nothing has occurred of special interest.  Last night another order came for a detail of a Sergeant and one Corporal and fifteen men with two days cooked rations to be ready to march 7 o'clock this morning.  By the appointed hour the men were in their saddles duly armed and equipped.   The whole number 100 men, under command of the Adjutant of the Regiment.  The report came that a band of rebels had collected on a stream called the Little Blue, about 10 miles from here and that they had collected a large number of horses and cattle.  This evening the greater part of the command returned, having found nothing, and feeling

 

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that they had been fooled by a false report.  We have as yet no news from the expedition to Independence.  The day has been between freezing and thawing - Plenty of mud   This evening William Partridge came into camp to see me.  He is just the same six pence, looks fleshy, red-faced and pock marked - Says he has a little girl about 3 years old.  The old folks and Mary have returned to Wisconsin  William lives on or near the 'Shawnee lands' about ten miles from Lawrence on the Lawrence and Wesport Road.  Judging from the appearance of  his old horses I guess he gets along about as he used to - His wife sent me a present in a tin pail - a lot of apples boiled in cider - a real rarity I assure you in this camp - An orderly has just come in informing me that tomorrow I am to act as "Officer of the day".  I will write you, again tomorrow evening  How I do wish I could look on your dear faces to night.  I suppose Johnny has by this time gone to bed.  Dear

 

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little Johnny, how I do want to hold him in my lap and tell him how much I think of him. - The Buggles are sounding "tattoo", and I must make an inspection of my camp. - Perhaps you have been writing to me this eve'g.  Tomorrow I hope to get a letter from you.  Again, so far I have written you about every other day and I shall do so just as often as I can.  Dear love, good night.  I kiss you again and again - - - -

Monday 27th  This morning I sent off a colored party, armed and mounted under command of Mr Sloat and Henry Copeland to bring in some slaves from about 9 miles out.  A colored man, husband of one of the slaves represented that the master of his wife was about leaving for the South taking with him the slave woman and her children.  I thought it would make a fine impression to have eight or ten blacks well armed, go and rescue the woman and the children  My plan was to have no white man in the

 

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party, but I got it organized and properly fitted out there seemed to be no head to the band, and I gave Mr Sloat command of the expedition.  Wm Partridge went along with his team to help bring away anything the slaves would need to set up house keeping on the own hook.  As "Officer of the day" I have been busy causing the camp to police their streets alleys, and between their tents.  It is astonishing how slack and slovenly men will get in their camp habits if they are not often obliged to "clean up"  I think I can now sympathise more fully with the house cleaning mania which always attacks tidy women several times a year.  If it were not for these I dont know what would become of men.  In some alleys I found refuse bread, potatoes, hog-heads, hog skins and intestines of Jayhawked pigs - I made the men purge their camps of all such trash.  They grumbled a great deal but couldn't help it. - It has thawed so much that mud is shoe deep every where - - I must stop writing a while and make the grand rounds

Evening - - - The bugles have sounded "Retreat" - I have given the "Officer of the Guard" the countersign and now I have again a few moments for you.  It is beginning to rain and thunder and lightning   How much it reminds me of our experience in Kansas - Mr Sloat and his party have come in bringing with him two families a pair of oxen and a waggon, some beds

 

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a lot of bacon and some horses.  They are all feeling in fine spirits - though somewhat wet.  Joe Chillery and one of the black cooks a contraband, brought some lard and a lot of sausages done up in a rag.  Bill Partridge has emptied his wagon of contrabands and bacon and now all are busy with their coffee and hardbread - They are full of yarns about their trip.  One of the slaves has a wife and children so white that they would pass for white any where.  The storm has turned to sleet and ice is forming on the tents - and everything else, horses included.  lightning and thunder in mid winter - the wind is blowing a gale, and every thing reminds me of our Kansas life - - - - Sergt. Cotton has just come in with letters  I take the package and distribute hoping yet fearing  Ah, yes a letter for me and from you dated the 15th and mailed at Jefferson the 17th - it contained an extra page in figures.  How glad I am hear from you again and to know that when that letter was written you were then in good health.  I read & read it over and over again, and ask myself how are my dear ones now?  does the storm rage around them and are they all comfortable to night.  I must be on duty until after midnight

 

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when I have to make the grand rounds again. - - Well you were waiting for school to close and then you would see "your boy" coming.  Can you imagine how happy I should be could I have been with you and look out the window and see him coming with his "round red cheeks" - - Indeed I miss you.  I miss you at home I read your letter again and every figure several times, wishing it was only so long that I could read until midnight.  Word has come that we are to march day after tomorrow. - Of this no one in camp is sure as it is a rumor.  Thus far I have written you every two or three days and shall continue to write whether the messenger goes out or not as often as that.  We shall have messengers going constantly though we shall not of course be able to get news as often as now since our next stopping place will be ten days march from this.  You will write very often wont you.  We get now news.   Every thing is old before it reaches our camp.  Letter, dear letters are our chief resource. - - Still it storms worse than ever.  I have just come in from Grand Rounds - As there is no enemy within a long distance

 

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the sentinels have been allowed fire on their beats, and the greater part of them I find shivering near their fires the storm howling terribly.  It would be a comparatively easy job to take our camp to night.  On some of the beats I could easily have taken 50 men into camp without the notice of a sentinel.  But on such a night no enemies in numbers are near us.  My clothes are wet, and I am chilled through in spite of all a little stove can do, and as it is so late I will again bid you good night. - -

 

Tuesday morning Jany 27th

 

All around is ice - ice on the tents more than 1/2 an inch thick, ice on the wood smoking and thawing on the fires - ice on the horses, bushes, everything - Poor horses, they are shivering as if they had the ague.  We are the only Regiment in the West that is serving a winter campaign, all others are snugly in winter quarters  Probably we have seen the worst or rather coldest part of the winter but the rainy part will soon be on as we must suffer that is certain, but that is the fortune of soldiers on this border

 

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It is now pretty certain that we are to march Southward within two days  We should start tomorrow if tents and every thing were not so loaded with ice.  No reliable news yet from the expedition that went to Independence.  Shall probably hear tomorrow - You write there is a rumor that Bostwick is killed this is not true unles it has happened on this expedition to Independence but we have no such news - - - All sorts of rumors will of course be afloat.  You may rely on what I write you at any rate. - And if you do not get a letter so often as you look for one, it will be owing to the failure of messenger, not going through in time.  Word has just come that no messenger will leave here for Fort Leavenworth until we get to our destination South.  If so I shall send by first opportunity  Perhaps by Wm Partridge to Lawrence.  But you will continue to address me as before at Leavenworth.  Messenger will continue to go back and forth as often as possible, and every opportunity I have,  I will send you a letter.  Say to Martha, Lauretta, Owen and all that I wish I had time to write to each of them as I want to, but I know that much of what I write to you you read to them.  I therefore in writing to you write to all.  They must not think I neglect them.  My Johnny, my dear boy, I do love you dearly, and I think of you a great many times a day.  Don't forget your Pa  My own dear wife, Good Bye, Your faithful loving John

 

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Tuesday eve Jany 28th/62

 

Still icy and cold as ever.  Amos Slater and Busti are sitting near me in my tent  Busti has a red ribbon made into a bow and fastened to the front of his cap.  His grey jacket is buttoned up to his chin  One button only open for his gloves to stick out - Mr Sloat has given him a pair of pants, he is going to cut off the legs in the morning short enough for him. - Amos has had a very hard cold lately and can hardly speak.  It is about the only sickness in my company.  I believe there are no epidemic diseases in camp. - - - Once more I have written a long letter.  I thank you so much for being so prompt in writing to me.  I have so far been able to hear from home once or twice a week - It is my very life - If I don't get a letter from you about so often I am so uneasy and discontented I dont know what to with myself - Tell Johnny that I would like to see a can with his name on it again.  Kiss the dear boy for me and keep for yourself the warm and tender lover of you devoted  John

 

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[LETTER 12]

 

Humboldt Kansas

(Monday) February 10th 1862

 

My Precious Wife:

 

The messenger came in from Leavenworth yesterday bringing your letter of January 22nd mailed at Lindenville 24th Jany and enclosing a card with Johnny's name.  Tomorrow the messenger leaves for Leavenworth and I write you a few words which I should defer if he was not going so soon as I am not at all well.  For about two weeks rheumatism in my hips, back and left side has been gradually getting worse until I can scarsely turn or walk - Yesterday I was obliged to report myself unfit for duty and to day I have been moved to a room about 1/2 a mile from Camp where Mr Sloat is taking care of me.  If I had begun sleeping on the ground in the Fall and continued to do so through the winter I might not have been so severely effected by the very unfavorable weather we have had for a few weeks past.  However many of the Regt are bad off with rheumatism; several in my Company have a slight touch of it but none unfit for duty in consequence  Our march from Morristown was one of the severest.  Several of my men froze their feet.  Day before yesterday one had to go to the hospital he was so badly frozen.  His name is Cary - With care I am in hopes he will get along without loosing his toes which were badly frozen - - By keeping in doors and warm I am in hopes I shall get better in a few days.  But how I do miss my dear home.  I often think when shall I look on your dear faces again?  The regular mail leaves here again on Wednesday and I will write you again by that mail.  I thank you my dear

 

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boy for sending me your name written by your own hand  I look on it and the tears will come into my eyes in spite of all I can do. - I want to kiss you.  Dont forget me darling - - My own loved Wealthy dont worry that I shall not received every attention possible.  Mr Sloat and all are very kind and attentive - - - I would write you more now if I were not in much pain keeping one position so long -  Goodbye my own loved ones  Ever your own  John

 

Tuesday Feb 11th

 

I had written the foregoing and enclosed it but to day the messenger informs me that he will not leave until tomorrow - I am now bolstered up in bed my table a magazine lying across my lap.  Am in much pain through hips, back, side and right shoulder.  To day my right hand troubles me, has begun to sell on the back of the hand and is quite painful.  To write this I have to rest my hand very often - I have wished a great many times that I was at Osawatomie but that is about 75 miles from here and at present I could not endure the ride to get there  I mannage to walk a little by leaning my hand on something to steady me from a sudden jar which if it does occur almost makes me cry out with the pain.  To day the weather has been beautiful.  No snow on the ground - Hoyt came in last evening from Kansas City apparently quite well - It was a false rumor about his fall from his horse - All except Bostwick have returned from that expedition.  He had sufficiently recovered to be sent from Kansas City to Lawrence on business - - - Dont worry about me for all are very kind and attentive especially Mr. Sloat who is a first rate nurse - The mail and messenger both go out tomorrow  I may not therefore have a chance to write you until next week.  I know you write me as often as you can still it seems a long time between letters from my loved ones at home whom I miss now [XXX] still more than ever.  You cannot immagine how much my thoughts

 

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are with you.  I have written this in much pain.  Hope I shall be entirely over it when I write again.  Kiss Johnny for me, tell him I have looked on the dear little card he sent me a great many times  Precious boy I think of him and of you all a great deal - Write me often as I know you will - I will send or cause to be sent a line every chance I have - Again goodbye  Your faithful loving John

 

[LETTER 13]

 

Humboldt Kansas

(Tuesday)  Feby 18th 1862

 

My Own darling Wife

 

I have this moment recd by mail your dear letter of Jany 24th - It seems a long time on the way - It is now about a week since I wrote you that I was down with Rheumatism - Since then for most of the time I have been obliged to keep my bed - Have been sitting up to day about an hour  I write now as fast as I can snatching intervals of comparative rest.  But most of the time the pain through my hips and back is severe.  My shoulders and arms have been alternately affected.  it is now chiefly in my right hip, back and right side.  Mr Sloat has been very kind and attentive - He got a bathing tub and has given me several hot baths which have seemed to help me a little   All of the company have been very kind to me   I have every attention that I could receive here.  The weather has been very cold for many days past, the high prairie winds scorching through every thing.  I am still in hopes I shall be better in a few days.  If I get able to move soon I think I shall go to

 

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Osawatomie.  Jerry came on to Leavenworth some days ago and wrote me to meet him  at Osawatomie last Sunday as he thought he could not come down here.  But I could not go  When more settled weather comes I am in hopes I shall get over this - Should I not much improve in a few weeks I shall try to get home.  the greatest effort would be to get to the can.  It seems strange that I should be taken in this way when I have underwent all sorts of exposure before this, without feeling any thing of the kind.  But others in the Regt are effected the same way  Col Jennison is down with ague and Rheumatism - How I do want to write you a long letter, but I cannot now.  What I have written was penned while in so much pain that I can scarsely keep my thoughts together.  Dont worry that I shall not have good care  Mr Sloat is with me constantly and is very attentive.  But after all I miss you "Oh I miss you at home" - The mail leaves in the morning and I must send this short scrap  Give my love to all at the Edwards house to Elizabeth and all  Kiss the boy by for me - My own loved wife - - - I cant say all I want to and I wont try.  Johnny my good boy, I am thinking of you very often.  I send kisses to you.  To you all good bye.  My heart is with you,  I will write just as often as possible.  Again Good bye  Your own  John

 

[LETTER 14]

 

Camp Hunter - Humboldt Kansas

Monday, Feby 24th 1862

 

My own loved Wife

 

The messenger that came in on Friday last brought me your dear letters of the 7th and 12th last.  One of them enclosed a page or two from Martha and the other contained a piece of can with Johnny's name written by his own hand  You cannot imagine how much I prize these dear letters - Tomorrow the messenger leaves again for Leavenworth and I want to send you a few words though written with pencil while lying in bed still so lame that I can scarsely move.  Although every thing almost has been done that can be thought of nothing has seemed to help me much and I am now told that I shall have to endure it as best I can until a change is likely to be effected by warm and settled weather - The last I wrote you I sent by Jerry who was here with Mr. Adair and went back the same day, on Friday last I think.  Since then we have all been rejoiced by the news of the

 

[page 2]

 

success of our Army at Fort Donelson and other places - Saturday the 22nd (Washington's birth day) was celebrated by this Regt.  We had a review and speech from Col Jennison and a National salute fired in honor of the day and as a token of rejoicing over the success of our arms - I could only listen to the firing  Am becoming very impatient with tedious and painful inaction - How long I shall have to endure it I know not.  Am in hopes that in a few days more I shall be able to ride to Osawatomie, sixty five miles north of this place.  I could go now if it were not for the pain which any jolting or jarring causes me --  -- Last evening there was a lively time in camp.  All the men were turned out under arms as there was a supposed attack, the guards having fired and ran in  But it turned out to be an arrangement made by Lieut Col Anthony to see how long it would take to get the men into fighting position - My company is reported to have been the second in line of battle.  The house where I am is about sixty rods from camp - Mr Sloat

 

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and Joe took their revolvers and started for camp - My revolvers were handy and I slipt a load into my Sharpes rifle which was standing by the head of my bed.  I then directed a colored boy and an old lady who resides in the house to fasten the doors and throw some water on the fire in the fire-place so as to darken the house - In this way we waited fifteen or twenty minutes until Mr. Sloat returned with the information that it was all a game.  I am told that the men in camp who supposed it a real attack behaved very well - - There is a rumor in camp that our Regt is to be ordered to Cairo but I place no faith in it.  It seems hardly likely that our Regt should go there when the 2nd Ohio Cavalry (Wade & Hutchins) should be sent here.  The news of those recent victories has greatly encouraged hopes that the war will speedily be brought to a close. - -I suppose by this time you have moved to the McLaughlin house - I cant realize when I think of you that you are any where else than where I left you.  You have doubtless done the best that could be done to go there.  If I come

 

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back and see your dear faces again I shall be happy even though I meet you in a strange place  If I do not get better in a few weeks I think I shall go home   A change in the weather may soon help me very much - but unless I get along different than I have for the past two weeks I should be of no use here.  However I shall keep up good courage and hope for the best.  I have now written you a long letter.  How I want to send you a reply to the dear words you sent me in figures but I am already tired - Say to Martha that for her kind letter she must consider this in part an answer - I shall write her as soon as I can - - Johnny, my precious boy, I was very glad to see your name written on the card  Ma writes that you are learning to read and spell very fast - I hope I shall hear you read before many months  I think of you a great deal.  You will think of me very often and not forget me for you are my dear dear boy - I long to hold you on my lap and call you my good boy Johnny - -- -- -- Once more I must say goodbye - Be sure that my heart is ever with you   The Company are in good health - Hoyt has a place in Jennisons staff but I have not heard any thing about

 

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his being promoted to Major.  I trust the story of his killing so many men is false - as he certainly did not do so in battle

 

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Give my love to all - and think of me as your own  John

 

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I will send you a line every chance I can.  I hope Owen will stay as long as he can.  I hate to think of you having no one to help you.  Say to him I dont forget any of his kindness

 

[LETTER 15]

 

Humboldt Kansas

Sunday March 2nd 1862

 

My precious Wife -

 

The messenger leaves tomorrow morning and I wish to send you a few words although I am still under the necessity of keeping my bed.  For a few days past I have moved around a little by using a couple of canes, the boys at the Camp made and brought me a pair of crutches which have been some help.  To day has been cold, blustering and snowing and Mr Sloat has thought it best for me to keep quiet in bed and as warm as I could.  You may be sure the days and nights seem very long.  Most of the time the pain in my hips and back has been so great as to make me rather nervous  I guess - very much like a tooth ache on a large scale

 

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Some of the time I feel almost free from pain except a move or sudden jar reminds me.  Thus far I have tried warm baths, steam sweats, liniment and half packs at night and as yet nothing has done me much good.  The opinion of the Surgeon is that I shall probably have to "grin and bear it" until it becomes warm settled weather.  I may have to "bear" it, but so far, I haven't seen any place for the "grin" to come in --------Day before yesterday I got you dear letter of Feby 14th containing a little letter from Johnnie and have read every word over and over again - I want to write you long letters in reply but you must for the present take the will for the deed.  As soon as I can sit still long enough, I will write you longer letters.  My thoughts are "ever" at home. --and so long as I can use my pen or pencil I shall send a word of thought to you

 

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The war news has caused every where among us high hopes that the war will be brought to a close before many months - A rumor has just come to us that Prices Army has been defeated and driven into the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas - If this is so the back bone of the rebellion is broken in the South West - It is also rumored in camp that we are to be ordered to Cairo another rumor is that we are ordered to Leavenworth to be mustered out of service  I can see no good reason for believing either of these reports  We are so far away from any reliable information that rumors constitute our principal topics --------The health of the Regiment is very good  There are none of Company K in the hospital.  Merrick came in a few moments since to see me.  He is looking very well.  He is always good

 

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natured and always ready for duty - never waits for others & never shirks. - dont seem to be much more talkative than he used to be.  You would laugh to see the round, sunburnt faces of the men.  I should rather say tanned by prairie winds.  You remember how they used to blow - They still sweep over these prairies as fierce as ever - - - - Last Friday the Regt was mustered for pay.  On that day all have to be present and answer to their names on the Pay Roll - When the pay master will come none can tell - My pay from the US begins January 10th when I was mustered in - All before that comes from the State of Kansas - which I hope to get sometime - The Government owes most of the men for four months service.  I will send you the first money I get - - - My sheet is nearly filled and I have not said half  I want to - But I will try and send another letter by the Mail on Wednesday morning - Johnnie my dear boy, I think of you a great deal - And you my loved wife I am ever thinking of you

 

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How my heart blesses you for writing so often  I will write as often often as I can.  Goodbye Your loving faithful  John

 

[LETTER 16]

 

Humboldt Kansas

Sunday March 9th 1862

 

My own Precious Wife: --

 

Mr Sloat has fixed a rocking chair with a blanket and pillows and with a board across the arms for a writing table, I have just got seated to answer your precious letter of the 22nd of Feby, containing also a scrap dated Monday 24th  The letter was mailed the 26th.  Mr Blanchard brought it to me this morning.  The messenger came in last night, making eleven days on the road from Jefferson to this camp.  I want to write you a long letter if I can endure to keep in one position long enough.  How glad I am on reading your letter to find that you were all well at the time you wrote, but then comes the thought, "I wonder how you have all got along since, and how are you now" this question will ever recur and I am always anxious about you.  Since I wrote you last I have no change to mention in regard to my own health, I am yet obliged to keep my bed a large share of the time.  I walk a little by the aid of a pair of crutches or two canes.  Sometimes my shoulders and knees are effected in addition to my hips and back, but it is through my hips back and right side I have most pain.  I have had great

 

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dread of the disease becoming seated in my joints and drawing me out of shape   But I will not allow myself to dwell on such a possibility, the thought of it almost makes me mad.  When warm weather comes I believe I shall get better at least I shall hope to and keep up good courage.  As soon as I can, I want to go to Osawatomie it seems as if I could get into a warm house, that I could get along faster.  It has now been about four weeks since I had to give up to it and report myself unfit for duty, if I dont get better before long I shall come home when I can stand it to be moved.  I might go up to Osawatomie now, if it were not for the pain which any jolting or jarring causes me.  Mr Sloat thinks of riging a one horse wagon having springs so that I could lie down part of the time.  I could have my horse put in and haul me there whenever I can stand the travel.  I think I shall try this plan in a few days more or as soon as the weather becomes warm enough.  I have been in hopes I should recover soon, but this hope has given place to the conviction that I must endure it until settled warm weather and then gradually wear out the disease.  I don't know what could be done in the way of treatment more than I have tried and am yet trying.  Mr Sloat is very constant and faithful, doing all he can for me, and all the men of my Company are always ready to anything they can.  The strong friendly interest they all manifest for me, is a source

 

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of much satisfaction to me now.  Should I come home I must either be mustered out of service or resign as no furloughs or leaves of absence are now granted.  This is in accordance with an order from Gen Hunter, made a month or more since in view of the contemplated "Expedition" South.  That Expedition however is here regarded as not likely to take place, still, so long as the order remains in force I must either resign or be mustered out in order to go home.  While the war lasts I should be unwilling to do either if I can be of any service by remaining with the Regt.  I am not yet without hope of being able before a great while of resuming command of the Company, but if I dont get better before long, I shall probably come home.  I entirely concur with what you say about our "oil interest" - If it can be sold for a fair price in cash, I certainly shall not object - Especially if the means of such sale be used to secure for us a pleasant and permanent home.  To secure this end, has become with me one of my strongest desires.  To realize this I should willingly exchange a tolerably fair prospect of ultimate fortune from oil wells.  How fair that prospect may be, I do not know.  Whatever we can do to have the home that "home of our own", I would by all means do.  Should that oil interest prove to be a fortune to some body we might wish that fortune

 

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ours but I could not and would not complain though it should have slipt through our fingers, if there be left us the home.  Give us this and I shall be satisfied with the investment in oil wells. - - - - - For the past three weeks the weather has been rather cold though we have had but little snow - only now, and then a slight flurry.  But most of the time the winds have blown a constant gale.  Just as it used to be in past years.  Last night the wind blew a most tremendous gale and in the latter part of the night there was a good deal of thunder and lightning, to day it is cold and windy as usual.  A few warm days and the grass would spring up, as it has already shown itself where the old grass has been burnt off.  Yesterday afternoon one of the men of the Regiment was publicly shot.  The circumstances are briefly these.  About a week since two men of Company "H", Irishmen, one by the name of Driscol and the other McGinnis, got partially drunk.  A dispute arose between them about a revolver, which they agreed to settle by a fist or knock down fight, during which, Driscol getting the worst of it drew a knife and stabbed McGinnis in several places.  The knife in one place entering the lungs.  McGinnis was taken to the hospital, where he yet lies, barely alive, breathing through the opening in his side whenever the bandages are removed, and Driscol was ironed by Dan Williams the Regimental Black Smith - and put under guard in the guard house. - - While in the guard house he was informed that McGinnis would in all probability die, and that if a Court Martial did not sentence him to death, the men of Company H

 

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would lynch him.  One night last week he succeeded in drawing off his boot and the iron from his ancle and crawling under the guard tent made his escape taking with him Col Anthony's horse.  In the morning several squads of men were sent after him stimulated by a reward of $200 offered by Col. Anthony for his capture.  He was caught about forty miles from here and brought into camp on Friday evening - He was again heavily ironed, and next day in the forenoon a Court Martial was ordered where he was convicted of desertion under agravating circumstances and sentenced to be shot at Dress Parade last evening.  He was informed of the sentence only about an hour before the Execution.  When told of his fate he cried and sobbed like a child and begged for two of three days or at least twenty four hours.  He wanted he said at least time to write his wife in St. Louis.  In short time the music sounded for Parade and them men came out without arms and formed the usual line in two ranks  I managed to get a rod or two from the house where I stay, where I could see the whole line and all the proceedings - As soon as the Band had ceased "Beating off", an ambulance drawn by two mules brought the prisoner on to the ground, preceded and followed by a number of men as guards  Bostwick being "Officer of the Guard" yesterday took command of the guard - The ambulance was drawn in front of the center of the line about fifteen rods distant and the poor fellow was brought out, his wrists shackeled in front.  The men about twenty in number who

 

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who had been detailed to shoot him where then marched to with ten paces of him and brought into line.  The guards then left him standing alone.  He would not have his eyes bandaged.  Oh how awfully alone.  He then said that liquor had brought him to this, and warned all to let it entirely alone.  He then told them to take good aim", and crossing himself in Catholic form as well as he could with shackled hands, turned his face to the sky.  "Ready" - - "Aim" - - "fire" - - and he fell backwards on his left side- turned on his back, then on his right side, the fell back, and his conscious existence in this sphere was closed. - - - - - - - There are very many of us who feel that there were after all, many extenuating circumstances sufficient at least to have justified some regard to his request for a few days or hours time - - - But the men who have been in the habit of killing disarmed men in cold blood, are not those to whom a convict ever need look for mercy or any mittigation of punishment.  Cowardice and blood thirsty cruelty are inseperable companions - - - - - - It is now almost night again.  I have had several spells writing this, being obliged to change my position every few minutes. - The wind has veered round into the North and is now blowing cold again. - I have nothing of special interest to write you   The report is that the paymaster has arrived which of course we all hope is true, but few believe he

 

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he has come.  I will send you some money whenever I get any pay you may rest assured. - - - - - You ask me to write about the Company - I believe I have written about most of those you know. Hoyt you know is on Brigadier Gen. Jennison's Staff.  But as Jennison has no Brigadiers Commission yet Hoyt has not yet resigned his Lieutenancy in my Company.  But expects to as soon as he gets his commission from Jennison.  He keeps himself at Col Jennisons quarters most of the time.  Bostwick has command now that I am away - - Amos Slater is getting better of the kick received from the horse - Busti is rapidly learning to blow the Bugle,  Charley Hopkins is connected with the Band.  I see him occasionally - Merrick I see quite often, he is the same faithful, good boy as ever.  I think there is nothing which would tempt him into the Jayhawking practices which many of the Regiment I regret to say have fallen into.  He seems to be entirely settled and fixed in habits of perfect propriety - - - Of most of the Company I can say the same, there are a few rude ones who need the ordinary restraints of camp life but none of them except Dutch George has ever been punished.  He got liquor while the Company were in camp.  Near Leavenworth and became boisterous  Bostwick put him in the guard house

 

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for an hour or two.  I have never had to reprimand or speak harshly to one of my men and yet their deportment and obedience has been such as to receive many a flattering testimony from the Regimental Officers - - - - I seem strange when I think that should I come home I shall have to go some where else to find you than the little wood colored house which has made us such a pleasant home for two years past.  But it is not so much the house or place as those in it which makes "home" - - give me them and almost any place will be home to me. ---- How glad I am to know that my Johnny dont forget me  Last evening I got to thinking of him, how he vanished from my sight at a turn in the road between Pozarro Bassels and Mr Pulsiphers.  I looked for him as long as I could see him and then Oh how much I wanted to return and kiss him and say good bye once more but no, the die was cast and I must have long months at least pass before I could see his face if I should indeed ever again.  As I thought these over it seemed as if I must go to him at once, my heart ached, sadly ached.  But I hope to be with you once more.  When I hope to be no more gone from you so long - I long to live with my loved ones at home.  I will write you you again soon, and next time I will send you some in figures of I can.  My love to all - say to Johnny that I love my boy oh how dearly- that I think of him many times a day

 

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Dont worry about me, I have every care that I could have here and I hope to be better soon - If I should not get better before long, I shall come home as soon as I can stand to travel

 

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Give my love to all of our dear friends, the Edwards especially - and to all

 

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Say to Owen that I hope he will not leave soon.  May be I shall see him soon

 

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And now I must say Goodbye - How my heart ever turns to you, my own, and all the dear ones at home.  Again for a short time good bye  Always your loving  John

 

[LETTER 17]

 

Humboldt Kansas

Tuesday March 11th 1862

 

My Own Precious Darling:

 

The letter I wrote on Sunday could not go out until tomorrow morning and this forenoon I have received your two letters dated Feby 26th and March 2nd the last being one written immediately after you had got moved - How can I thank you enough for being so prompt to write me - I had scarsely finished reading them when in came Jerry -  He has been down from Leavenworth to see the Indians on the Verdigris River and he is now on his way back to Leavenworth and then a home to Ohio  He thinks I had better get a leave of absence and go with him - How I wish I could - But I see no way except by resigning.  I could not go home and return again short of expending 50 or 60 Dollars - As the Paymaster has not yet come I have not money to make the journey, and then I dont know when I should be able to return here again so that if I should be able to get a leave of absence for a certain number of days, I might not be able to get back in time - - - For ought I can see then, I must either remain or resign, this I should do if it were not that I still hope I shall be better

 

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before long - Jerry says that from what he can judge the Expedition has been given up.  Our Regiment may be sent onto the Verdigris to afford still further protection to the Indians, & perhaps in conjunction with them punish the disloyal Cherokee who drove them away. - - -My course will be determined entirely by whether I am able to move when the Regiment marches.  I mean able to take the field - - - - - - - We have no news here except the evacuation of Columbus on the Mississippi River by the rebels - It appears they are falling back.  It does seem as if the back of the rebellion is broken - and that we may reasonably hope that the war will soon come to a close - I am sure there are few of us but would rejoice to see the calm of settled, permanent peace in our Country.  But the cause will have to be rooted out before we can hope for permanent peace even if the war should now come to a close, slavery has received a blow which shall cause it finally to die So I think - - - - - - Well you have got moved.  How I wish I could see your dear faces even though in a strange place - My dear dear

 

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ones.  Should I live to be with you once more it is my fixed purpose to engage in no business that shall require me to live or rather stay away from my loved home so much - Were it not for the war I would not be away from you now.  My home is the "dearest spot on earth to me" and I hope to yet live to make it the brightest and happiest place to you & Johnny - I feel that we shall yet have a home of our own, which I know we can make attractive and happy.  If there is one thing I desire to live for now more than another it is to see the cause of right triumph and to spend the rest of my life in quiet and peace "at home" - - - - For these I shall gladly hail every token of substantial peace to the country. - - - -  I will write you as often as possible, and until further notice your letters will best reach me directed the same as before to Leavenworth  Johnny my dear boy, Ma sends me many good words about you.  This makes me very glad.  I send you many kisses and I want you to know that I think of you a great many times a day - Ma says you dont forget me, that you you often enquire about me  I am so glad that you dont forget me - I know you will be a real good boy and do all

 

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Ma wants you to.  I love you very much.  Good bye for a little while my darling boy - - I want to write you a few words in figures and I will once more my precious wife say Good bye - Your own John  My love to our dear friends near you.

 

[Balance of page 4]   Numeric code

 

[LETTER 18]

 

Humboldt Kansas

Tuesday March 18th 1862

 

My Precious Wife:

 

The messenger brought me last evening your two letters dated March 5th and 6th  Tomorrow the regular mail goes out and I will send you a few words - The last I wrote I sent by Jerry who was then on his way home.  It was a long letter, the only one of much length I have felt able to write for a good while.  Within the past twenty four hours I have been taking a dose prescribed by a Dr Bennett an Army Surgeon now on a visit to this place.  It was to take 3 ounces of Saltpeter in 2 pints of water the whole to be taken in 24 hours - I finished taking this dose this forenoon.  I am very certain I shant repeat this dose - it was enough to drench an ox.  But this I would'nt mind if I could perceive any benefit from it.  The disease seems now to be located almost entirely in my hip joints.  You write of putting rock oil on Johnny's knees.  I wish I had some to try it seems to me it might do some good but I cant get any in this region.  I some think of trying blisters - A man living near Wm Partridges says that he had rheumatism just as I have it for more than a year and finally was cured by accident.  He took some alcohol

 

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spirits of Turpentine and balsam of Fir, and while bathing it in one night by the fire he dropped a candle against his leg and set himself on fire and was badly burned.  When the burn got well he was relieved of the rheumatism.  His experience inclines me to try blistering.  Indeed, I am ready to try almost anything to get rid of the interminable pain, and he able to move round like other people once more.  Last night we had a storm of rain with thunder and lightning, the grass begins to appear in places  The wild geese are flying in all directions  They live in this region all winter I think.  But the familliar sounds of Spring to be heard in Dorset (the frogs) I dont hear in this prairie land. - - - - - Charley Hopkins has just come in and brought me a dozen eggs as a present - He is in fine spirits  All are in usual health belonging to my Company  I noticed preparations going on to move the camp about sixty rods South of its present location as the present grounds have become muddy.  The news has just come that Gen Hunter has been transfered to the Potomac and that we are now in the Department commanded by that pro slavery Gen Halleck who refuses to allow fugitive slaves to come within his lines.  Of course this news creates a great deal of excitement among us.  Almost every one has some opinion to express, but the general belief is that since Gen Halleck does not like our Regiment that he will either put us where we can't hurt

 

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slavery, or drop us out of the service among the other Cavalry Regiments which have been ordered to be mustered out. - - - - - How good you are to write me so often  I should send you a letter as often if the mail or messenger went from here oftener, but of late I have had an opportunity of sending only once a week  Where are you and how are you now  I have asked myself many times to day - Dear Johnny he you says seems to enjoy his new home very much   How I do long to see you all again.  Perhaps I shall soon, and I yet cant say what is likely to be.  If I get better soon I shall of course continue where I am, or as long as the Regt holds together, if I don't get better before long I shall be mustered out of the service as I should be unwilling to continue long to receive pay for services which I am unable to render.  Once more it is thundering and beginning to rain  I am getting very tired, and will rest for a while. - - Almost night - the rain is pouring down finely - As in all stormy days I am in more pain this afternoon than yesterday which was warm and pleasant.  I wonder when I am to get through with affliction?  But I ought not to indulge in any feeling of complaint since I might be a great deal worse off - As yet there are no symptoms of my joints becoming permanently stiffened or drawn out of place this affords me great encouragement - I could hardly

 

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imagine anything more dreadful - - - Dear me - I want to fill this sheet but my right hip pains me so I must stop.  Joe Chillery has made up my bed and I must close this an lie down - - - By the way, Hinton is now here with us and will probably stay some time  He showed me a letter he had lately rec'd from Annie in which she says Salmon is in the Army - He is 2nd Lieutenant  of Company K 96th N York State Volunteers stationed at Plattsburg N.Y.  The name of his Col is James Fairman - - - - Say to Alex King that I will try to get a discharge for George but it will be necessary to get a Certificate from an Army Surgeon, there at home stating his present health and disability - I would recommend that if he is not able to return at the expiration of his leave of absence he send to me here a Surgeons (Army Surgeon) Certificate and get his leave of absence extended -  If he is entirely unfitted for the service a certificate that effect will be needed - I will do all I can for him here - The Paymaster has not yet appeared - I will write you by next messenger who will leave some day this week - Mr. Sloat wonders why he dont get more letters.  He dont write except when he gets a letter in answer to one of his.  He envys my good fortune in getting letters - Owen I hope you will stay as long as you can.  It may be I shall be home in a few weeks  I will make it all right with you - It is now too dark to see - Johnny I send you a kiss - Remember me to all the food friends and know that I am Your Loving John

 

[LETTER 19]

 

Humboldt Kansas

March 25th 1862

 

My own loved wife:

 

I have this moment received yours of the 11th - Every thing is hurly burly this morning as we have just recd an order to march to day at 12 o'clock for Lawrence.  It is said we are under orders to go to New Mexico - I dont know how I am to go yet as I am not able to bear the jolting of a wagon.  Mr Sloat is trying to find a light spring buggy.  I am not yet able to take a step without crutches of a couple of canes - Alex King wrote me to get a discharge for George  I have written him this morning. - - - I want to write you a long letter, but I can only say a word now.  How good you are to write so often   Please say to Mr Wrightman that for a long time I have felt able to write only to you.  I have not written to any of my friends

 

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at Grand Rapids but will write both to our friends at Cleveland and these as soon as I can.  I owe Eliza a letter which I hope to pay soon - I feel badly to only write you such a short note in answer to your dear long letters but I cant help it now.  Of late we have had no mail or messenger oftener than once a week from here.  I will write you every chance I can get - Lieut Bostwick has just come in, he says that he has a letter from you in which you say Wm Jones(?) is dead.  If he had stayed with us he perhaps might now be living.  Our Regiment has been remarkably healthy.  It seems to be now certain that we have orders to proceed to New Mexico.  I am glad of this move instead of going to Texas.  New Mexico is a very healthy region compared with Texas and now that warm weather is coming on, the high mountainous regions will be much more healthy for us

 

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Johnny, it made me glad to read what Ma writes about you how good a boy you are.  You dont forget me but send me a great many words and kisses  I dont forget you any day, but think of you a great many times a day.  I don want to see you so much.  I should so like to have you go with me every where I go, what good times we could have.  You are a very dear boy to me.  Good bye a little while.  The route we shall take to Lawrence passes twenty two miles west of Osawatomie  So that when I visit Osawatomie if I do at all, I should go there from Lawrence probably.  The next letter I send you will probably be sent from Lawrence which is ninety miles from here.  To make this march will take us five or six days.  If you do not hear from me for a week or more dont be uneasy - Mr Sloat has found a light wagon and a harness.  Mag' has corked himself and is quite lame but I shall hitch him up and try to get along in this way - How my thoughts are ever with you at

 

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home.  When I think of you I can't get it in my mind that you are not in the house where I left you and I always think of you and Martha as you passed out of sight on the Steam Boat Ocean that moonlight night.  How lonely I felt as I stood on that wharf gazing after you.  When shall I look on your dear faces again?  I sometimes think I shall see you in a few weeks and perhaps I may If I am able to go with the Regiment to New Mexico  I shall do so.  As I am unwilling to leave the Company so long as I can be of any use.  But unless I get better I shall not long continue to be an expense to the Government when I cannot render service in return. - I have written longer than I thought I could when I began amongst the noise and hurry of a move. - Letters addressed as before will be sent to the Regiment wherever it may be.  I wish I could have written you oftener lately but you will I know take the will for the deed.  Give my love to all I would write to Johnny a little letter but I cant get time now.  Kiss my darling boy for me.  I love to have you write all about him - and all about every one at home.  I keep up as good spirits as I can.  Dont get discouraged  The Regt will probably be paid while at Lawrence  I will send you the first money I get.  Good bye my darlings.  Forever your Faithful, loving  John 

 

 

[LETTER 20]

 

Camp Wendell Phillips

Near Lawrence Kansas

April 2nd 1862

 

My Dearly loved Wife

 

It is about 2 o'clock of Tuesday afternoon just a week since we left Humboldt and now for the first time have I been so situated as to answer your dear letters of the 15th 17th and 22nd March the last of which I recd at this place yesterday.  Words are but poor expression of the sense I have of your faithfulness in writing so often as you have.  I should have written you earlier (as we arrived here on Saturday) but the march from Humboldt was a hard one for me and I have not in fact felt able to write until today.  I am now at the house of a Mr Archibald the Father in law of James H. Holmes who is now Secretary of the Territory of New Mexico.  Mr Sloat is here with me and Joe cooks for us.  I have quite a comfortable place to stay compared with the place at Humboldt which was rather hard in cold stormy weather  But now that mild spring like days have come it makes less difference.  For a few days past we have had pleasant days and the frogs are croaking but I miss the peeping frogs which abound in Dorset very much.  If I had to live in Kansas I would send to Dorset and import a lot to make it seem like spring.  If you were to look here to day you would see Bostwick by a table in the room making out some Muster Rolls  Mr Sloat is sitting on a lounge near by writing

 

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to his children, while I am bolstered up in a rocking chair trying to write while every few minutes I am obliged to shift my position as best I can to ease the constant pain in my hip joints - Most of the time it is like a gnawing tooth ache and I have often wished I could take off my hips and scrape out the joints with a pewter spoon very much such a desire as when during a tooth ache you wish you had hold of your tooth with a pair of bullet moulds  In pleasant weather I am much easier this leads me to conclude that when it comes to be permanently warm I shall get better.  The prospect now is that we shall go to New Mexico  There are now here five Regts preparing to go there or rather waiting for grass to get high enough to feed - The Kansas first and our Regt and the 12th and 13th Wisconsin Regts.  The 12th came in from Fort Scott this morning I don't know when I have seen a finer body of men.  Our camp is west of town across the ravine and near the river.  It is a beautiful camping ground giving us a fine view up and down the river.  The men are as yet very healthy.  There are not many of them who like the idea of going to New Mexico  The feeling generally is that there will be no fighting there to do and that this is a plan for placing us where we shall do no harm to slavery.  Mr Holmes left here for New Mexico on Saturday  His family are now there.  By the way, I have some news to tell you.  Hoyt's girl came on from Massachusetts

 

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to Leavenworth and he met her there and they were married last Sunday.  They have just arrived in town  He thinks of making Kansas his home.  He came in to see me this morning looking as pleased as a boy with a new top.  Orderly Cotton, Sergeant Thompson and Busti have just come in.  They have been to town to get their pictures taken - Yesterday Thompson came into camp and yelled out "Company K, fall in for letters"  there was a general rush as usual when they were quietly informed that it was the 1st day of April -  -- In your last letter you express some fear that I have not represented my case to you as bad as it is.  Perhaps I have not and yet I have had no wish to withhold the truth from you - Perhaps I have not for I could not tell you how badly I have felt but I dont want to look on the dark side especially I dont want to give way to feelings which are in a great measure caused by my physical condition.  Though I am no better yet as I can see, I yet think I shall be before long - I won't give way to discouragement  Tomorrow I am going to apply a blister to my right hip and if it does any good shall try the same on the other side -  -- I feel the utmost solicitude for my men and if they are to go to New Mexico I want to

 

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go with them and see that none of their interests are neglected.  But how can I cross the plains?  If I do not get better soon I cannot go  I am sure the march from Humboldt has settled that point with me.  News has just come that Gen Denver has command of all our Kansas forces - Col Jennison will probably resign rather than serve under him, indeed he has said as much.  If this should occur there are many other officers who would resign - the result would be that the Regt would be likely to be disbanded - Well it is getting late and I have only begun to say what I want to.  I have been obliged to write a little and then rest.  As we, have a daily mail from here now, I will write you very often.  Say to Mrs Holman that I have her good letter for which she has my thanks.  I will write her as soon as I can  I will try and write you a good long letter in a day or two - My own precious darling dont imagine you are out of my thoughts because I have not written for more than a week - Could you only know how the eyes of my imagination are ever looking after you, you would have no doubt.  My darling Johnny  I seem almost to see you.  I was glad to get your dear words to me.  I send you a great many kisses - I dont forget you - I must say goodbye again - I haven't half said what I want to

 

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Look for another letter soon.  My love to all.  I kiss you goodbye  Your own  John

 

 

[LETTER 21]

 

Camp Wendell Phillips

Near Lawrence Kansas

Wednesday April 8th 1862

 

My Darling Wife: -

 

Since I wrote you last I have received two letters from you one of the 27th and the other of the 29th March  Last night Bostwick brought yours of the 29th and also one from Rebecca Dean.  To day I have set apart for writing you.  Indeed you are almost the only one I write to.  I am glad you have written to Mrs Scoville of Grand Rapids for I have put off writing to any one there so long that I am now almost ashamed to write to them.  It has been and still is so much of an undertaking for me to write that I have excused myself in some cases where I am afraid I shall be charged with neglect ---- ---- Sergeant Thompson has just come in with the word that the Pay Master has come and will pay our Company this afternoon.  How glad I am that I can soon send you some money.  At the end of this month there will be due me four months pay, but I can only draw two months pay now.  Mr Sloat has just gone to the camp to sign his name to the Pay Roll in order to save the time of signing the receipt at the time he is paid.  Instead of sending you a draft I think I will send to you of Treasury notes the same Government pays us in sums of five and ten dollars enclosed in my letters to you.  There are so many sharpers here that there is great risk of buying a worthless draft and then when you get a draft you are put to the trouble of going to Ashtabula to get it cashed

 

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This is a cold uncomfortable day though not wet  We have now here the 1st and 7th Kansas Regts and 12th and 13th Wisconsin all preparing for New Mexico.  Few of the officers or men are pleased with this expedition.  The feeling generally is we are to be sent there to place us where we can do the darling "Institution" no particular harm.  Gen Halleck and Gen Denver are both pro slavery men of the bitterest kind, these are the commanders we are now obliged to obey.  It was a great blow to the enthusiasm of the soldiers in this region when Fremont was removed from this department and Halleck put in his place.  --- --- How good and faithful you are to write me as often as you do.  When shall I see you again?  When shall I have my boy read stories to me as he does to you?  I think when I wrote you last that I was going to try blistering.  I have tried a good large one on my right hip, but instead of doing good that or something else has made me feel worse.  Perhaps it is the colder weather.  I confess I do occasionally get a little blue but I try to look on the bright side and hope always for the best.  You ask if I have grown poor?  I have lost some of my surplus flesh, I presume this too is all for the best.  Haven't looked in a glass for a long time, can't therefore say whether I look better or worse.  I dont think it is best for me to try to make that journey across the plains, I have reluctantly given up the idea of going with the boys.  All along I have flattered myself with the hope that I should be able to go with them but my journey from Humboldt has upset all my calculations

 

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of being able to make such a journey.  Unless therefore a very great change for the better shall occur soon I shall either be mustered out or resign.  These men seem to me like brothers and it is a hard thing for me to give up and say I must quit.  Mr Sloat has just come with Major and a Buggy to take me to the camp to be paid off with the rest - --  Evening -- I am tired.  Avery little exertion seems to make me tired - Well our Regt has finally been paid off.  All who came on first and were mustered in November received four months pay - I, with those who went with me from Michigan received only two months or up to the time of the last mustering for pay - March 1st -  I have just paid Joseph Chillery for his services as servant  I must tomorrow pay for what I have drawn from the Commissary and the balance will be - what remains of course.  I enclose in this a twenty dollar Bill and in my next will send you twenty more and continue to send from time to time by letter if you succeed in getting these first I send - I have succeeded in getting George Kings pay for him up to the first of March amounting to over forty five dollars.  Should you see either George of his father I wish you to tell them to write me at once how I shall send his pay to him whether by mail in Bills or draft - or by Express.  By a recent order of  Genl Halleck soldiers and non commissioned officers who by reason of sickness have been absent

 

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two months are to be discharged.  By this order George will of course be discharged.  But it requires a great deal of time to get any thing done through the "Red tape" system of the Army.  After he gets his papers he will have to send back to some one a power of attorney to get the balance of what is due him.  I will write to his father as soon as I can --  Busti has just come in with $25 of his two months pay (amounting to $30) which he wants me to save for him -

Wednesday Morning April 10th  I had to make yesterday several Certificates of Disability for some of my men who are applying for a Discharge from service and as they had to be made out in duplicate I was too tired to write you more last evening - It is rather cold this morning and I am in more pain than yesterday.  I write with my paper on my lap and with pencil as it is so often inconvenient to have pen and ink around - Marching orders have come directing all the forces stationed here to rendezvous at Fort Riley and there prepare to go to New Mexico.  It is supposed that the march from here will commence within a week.  by a late order of Genl Halleck no Officer can obtain a leave of absence even in case of sickness for a period longer than seven days, so that I shall be obliged either to resign or be mustered out as it out of the question for me to go on with the command in the situation I am, at the present, and for ought I can see am likely to be in for some time to come.  You ask about Major - It is hardly likely that I shall try to bring him home  It is probably better that I should sell him here - My dog Tiger is dead.  Mr Knowlton had him to watch his team and one night he forgot to tie him and the same night some one come prowling around the wagon, the dog flew at him and in the affair he was shot.  I dont know who did it.  He was one of the best dogs I ever saw. - I thought should have written you a good long letter this time but I have been constantly interrupted.  I shall write you very often.  Dear precious ones.  Could you but know how much my thoughts are with you.  You would not for a moment think that I neglect writing you.  Owen I got your good letter and shall avoid being away from the Regt, or left behind on a march when its is possible to go along unless, I am where it is safe as to this place or Osawatomie.  I want to get time to write you some in figures.  Do write me often in that way wont you - I kiss you Goodbye

 

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Give my love to all who care for it

 

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Kiss my pet boy for me and write me real often wont you?  The money I send will be safe to keep if you dont want to use it immediately  If you get it changed soon I would get good Ohio money or buy specie in small pieces   I will soon send you some more  I am saving all I can - to help to get us a home - Goodbye a little while - Always Your faithful loving  John

 

Write me if this arrives safely so I may know how to send to you hereafter

 

 

[LETTER 22]

 

(Camp Wendell Phillips)

 

Lawrence Kansas

Thursday April 17th 1862

 

My Own Precious Wife: -

 

For two or three days I have delayed answering your dear letter of the 2nd and fifth of April in expectation that I should be able to say definitely where our Regiment is going from here.  Last evening an order was read at Dress Parade to be ready to march on Saturday next for Fort Riley on the way to New Mexico  While all are preparing to go, I still think it very doubtful about the forces here ever being sent to that country.  The late news from there is that the Texans have been defeated and are leaving Santa Fe.  This report is confirmed in various ways and if true I cannot see what good is to be accomplished by our going there.  Col. Jennison and Hoyt have gone to Leavenworth to see what is going to be done.  By the way I believe I wrote you that Hoyt's girl came on from Mass. and they were lately married at Leavenworth.  The new married couple called to see me a few days ago.  She appeared to be a really fine girl, is quite handsome and smart.  He has resigned his commission in my Company and calculates to settle somewhere in Kansas and practice Law I think or perhaps engage as editor of some paper as I am told he has had such an offer.  I am not certain

 

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whether I wrote you that Col. Jennison had resigned the command of our Regiment.  He did so several days ago, but as yet dont know whether or not his resignation has been accepted.  His reason for resigning is because violent proslavery men have been appointed over him in this department.  I am told that Lieut. Col. Anthony has also resigned, but that Gen. Deitzler has refused to accept his resignation - well, between fact and rumor it is very difficult to come to any well settled conclusion as to what is, or what is likely to be.  I in the last letter wrote you, I sent a twenty dollar bill which I hope will get safely through   If I dont come home before long I shall send you more in the same way if this should reach you all right.  I am not able to go on with the command and the probability is that I shall resign in a few days unless the Regt should be mustered out of service soon.  There is now a fresh rumor that the Kansas First and our Regt are soon to be mustered out.  The late order of Genl Halleck forbidding the absence of any officer from his command for any reason, longer that seven days, obliges me to resign, if unable to go on.  A few more days will determine.  I have had a visit from Dr Prentiss and also from the Brigade Surgeon  They think I will

 

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get better in a few months at most - that settled warm weather will probably bring me out all right again.  This encourages me much, for I must confess, in spite of all my resolutions to keep up good spirits I have sometimes had a short fit of the Blues.  To day it is wet and chilly and I am in more pain on such days than in warm, pleasant days, this goes to confirm the correctness of their opinion.  The Winter's Campaign has been a hard one on all the men and very severe on a few, among them is Uncle Henry Harmon of Lenox.  His lungs seem to be much effected.  I have made out a Certificate of Disability for him and he has applied for a Discharge which I think he will get.  None of my men are seriously unwell but many are complaining, especially of colds.  So far the Spring has been very backward here, the prairies are still black where the fires swept over them, occasionally the grass begins to show, but not much yet.  How strange it seems when I think back to the time when we used to call Kansas our home,  Now I look on everything I see with different eyes, for they who make home to me are absent  and I feel like a mere wanderer, a traveler in a strange land

 

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How true it is that "Home is where the heart is".  Your account of Johnny's busy working and his milking exploits amused me much  How I do long to see you all again.  It is almost dark and Mr Sloat is just starting to the P.O. where my letter must be mailed to night if it goes tomorrow.  Hug and kiss my darling boy for me and tell him I do love him very dearly - that I think about him a great many times a day and never forget him. - I do hate to send you any blank space but must this time.  I will write you again soon and then I hope to tell you more news than I can now. -- Give my love to all - I am glad Owen is still with you, hope he will stay at least until I come home or know for certain what I am to do - - Mr Sloat is waiting and I must say good bye - I kiss you a fond good bye  Truly and faithfully, Your loving  John

 

 

 

[LETTER 23]

 

Lawrence Kansas

April 21st/62

 

My own loved wife:

 

Capt. Allen has just come in from Paoli and says he shall leave for home tomorrow morning and so I hasten to send you a word though I have nothing new to tell you   Yesterday morning our Regiment left for Fort Riley, today I hear that an order was sent from the Fort ordering it to return.  This however is a rumor or a message by what is here called "the grape vine telegraph" -- Nothing new yet from Jennison.  No charges have yet been made against him and the whole affair is here regarded as most extraordinary   I hear this evening that Hoyt will be released in a day or two -- As soon as I have any

 

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further news I will write you  Mr Sloat and Joe Chillery are here with me.  I still have some hope that warm settled weather (of which we have had none yet) will bring me out. - Shall be able to judge better in a week or two more probably -- and shall then decide whether to try and go on or resign and endeaver to get home - - - - The Company all came down in a body and bade me good bye.  You may be sure it was hard for me to feel obliged to stay behind with the prospect, that I may not again join them.  I could only say a few words, my emotions got where I could not talk -- I have this evening recd a letter from Mr Adair, he says his son Charley has enlisted in the Second Regt Kansas Cavalry - He feels very

 

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much alone, and I should judge by the tone of his letter that he feels badly about his going  Mr. Allen is waiting and I must send this without filling all the blank space.  I did hope I should get a letter from you to day, but perhaps it may have been sent on to Fort Riley   Have written the PM at Leavenworth, to send my letters to me at Lawrence, where I want you to write me until further notice - - - - Kiss my darling boy and take as many yourself as I can send by mail - - - - Goodbye again for a little while  My precious wife, and know that I am always your loving faithful  John

 

 

 

[LETTER 24]

 

Lawrence Kansas April 30th 1862

 

My Own Darling Wife: --

 

Since I wrote you last I received yours of the 15th enclosing a scrap dated the 16th saying that Alex Fobes had just come & you and Johnnie were going to Wayne that day  That letter came to Leavenworth and , in accordance with the directions was forwarded to me here, but I fear that others of your letters have gone on to Fort Riley.  You write of sending one a day or two before this - that one I have not received   I thought I should certainly get one from you today but the mail came in from Leavenworth and bro't me nothing.  If I do not get letters when I expect them I become extremely anxious about you. - - - I have heard from the boys today at Fort Riley, they reached there in safety - all well - - The day after I wrote you last, who should I see driving up but Jerry and Frank - They stayed over night where I am stopping, and next day left for Fort Scott on their way to see the Refugee Indians encamped about

 

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fifty miles South of here.  Frank is going with him on this trip and on their return will stop a day or two at Osawatomie. - thence back by way of Lawrence to Leavenworth where he is engaged in business.  He has a 1/3 interest in a wholesale there under the name of Thompson, Woodruff & Co  His partners are from Chicago.  Frank has the Agency of Wheeler & Wilson's Sewing Machines & also of Prince's Melodeons for the State of Kansas  She says that Jerry makes the trades and she pockets the profits. - - Frank is a real smart, good girl.  Charley Adair is enlisted in the Second Kansas Cavalry.  He called to see me a few days before his Regiment left for Fort Riley.  I think it is a pity he should enlist.  His Father wrote me a real sorry letter about, it said he was all alone no body to help him - No white men he could hire and few blacks he could hire that were worth any thing.  Hoyt is now released on his parole - but is required to remain within the limits of Lawrence until his case is disposed of.  He and his wife both called on me to day - are in fine spirits - He is coming tomorrow with a Buggy to take me over to Mr Killhams where they are boarding and have a visit

 

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By driving very slowly, I can stand it to ride a short distance especially if I can get in a reclining position. - - By the Missouri Democrats of yesterday we learn that Col. Jennison is released from confinement under $20,000 -- bonds.  He was serenaded by the Germans of St Louis night before last, and made them a speech a report of which I enclose to you.  His arrest and confinement as also Hoyts was a most malignant piece of business and from present appearances I judge their enemies will be glad to drop them --- To days paper brings the news that New Orleans is occupied by our forces, if so, another great advance has been made.  Late advices from New Mexico state that the Texans are abandoning that Territory and going Eastward to reinforce Beauregard at Corinth and Memphis.  If this is a correct Report (and it seems likely to be) it is doubtful whether any expedition will go from here to New Mexico.  Still all those Regiments that went to Fort Riley are fitting out to go.  Next Friday's mail from Santa Fe will probably bring such word as will settle the question one way or the other. - - - - - - Spring weather has at last come once more the prairies begin to look green - the plum and peach trees are in bloom, and birds are

 

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singing as merry as can be.  But then who have I here to enjoy these things with me?  My thoughts return constantly to you and I wonder how you all are.  I can see you only in imagination.  The same beautiful Spring is with you too.  Perhaps your stay at Wayne is the reason I have received no letter now for a number of days - About myself, I have to say that for a day or two I have felt less pain, though I cannot much better bear the weight of steping on my right foot than before.  The weather for a few days has been beautiful, perhaps this is the reason I am am feeling a little better, if so, I may be encouraged that permanent warm weather will effect a cure.  I have not yet begun the blistering course prescribed by the Brigade Surgeon.  The Surgeon of the Wisconsin 13th called to see me, a day or two since, and thinks the same result can be obtained by scarrifying and cupping.  I have dreaded to commence this course of treatment while I am among comparative strangers, since it must put me in a more helpless condition than I now am   If I were at home I should begin the blistering course at once for I have a good deal of faith that it would do some good. --- I do hate to resign, but probably shall in a few days - - - Do write me very often & direct to me here until further notice.  Did you get the $20- I sent you by mail? - - In one of my last letters I sent a little letter to "you boy" - - dear me, how I do want to see you all again.  Perhaps I shall in a few weeks more  My sheet is full and I must again say goodbye. - This evening I am in more pain again - it is going to storm soon I guess - - Hoping I shall get a good long letter from you tomorrow  I kiss you good night - Kiss Johnny for me.  Always your faithful loving  John

 

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I will write you very often - - Please say to Mrs Holman that I will write her as soon as I can in reply to her letter.  Part of most of my letters are for Martha, so she will not scold me for not sooner answering her letter  Again Goodbye  Your John 

 

[LETTER 25]

 

 

Lawrence Kansas

May 8th 1862

 

My own Loved Wife: -

 

Your last dated April 27th fortunately was not sent to Fort Riley as some at least of your letters have been. - I have twice sent letters to the PM at Leavenworth to send my letters here and not send them to Fort Riley but I presume he forgets.  It is only in this way that I can account for not getting a letter acknowleding the receipt of $20 I sent to you some weeks since.  Possibly it is lost though I hope not.  I enclosed a $20 - US Treasury note and sent it to you by mail, directing the same as usual.  I am sure I mentioned sending it also in another letter I wrote you.  I am now here under the treatment of Dr Woodward Surgeon of the General Hospital here.  He thinks he can cure me but dont give me any encouragement that I can get over it very soon.  Gen Blunt at the Fort has granted me a 30 days leave of absence, and I am letting Dr Woodward try his hand.  Am taking some medicine he has prepared, three times a day.  He says if this does not help me in a few weeks, he would have me try blistering, scarrifying and cuping. - - Our Regiment is yet at Fort Riley.  At last accounts they were busy preparing to go to New Mexico.  Lieut Hoyt, returned from Leavenworth yesterday and from what he could learn he thought the Regt would start for New Mexico in a few days, if it does, I must send in my resignation before it leaves.  Have had it written some time, but have been urged to hold on a little longer before sending it up, trusting for some change to occur which would render such a step unnecessary.

 

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Well the late news here is certainly very encouraging  Jennison and Hoyt are out on their parole no charges prefered against either of them.  Hoyt is allowed to go any where in this Department within forty miles of his Regiment.  Jennison has has gone to Washington.  Both Gen Sturgis and Denver, the proslavery Brigadiers in this District have been removed and Gen Blunt a thorough Republican and Anti Slavery man appointed in their place.  Of course there is a most decided change at Fort Leavenworth  I received to day a letter from Alex King, informing me that I might send George's pay to him at Ashtabula by Express  If that money I sent you is lost, I shall greatly regret that I did not send to you by Express also.  But I hope your next letter will bring news of its safe arrival.  Mr Sloat obtained his discharge & and has gone home.  Also, two or three men from Ashtabula County among them is Uncle Henry Harmon of Lenox.  Their papers were all made out and as I have not since heard from them, I presume they got their discharge.  The arrest of Hoyt has made him very popular.  Every one but rank proslavery ites sympathised with him and Col. Jennison.  Hoyt unfortunately in a few instances was rather overbearing with the boys - put on what they thought a little too much "brass-button style" and thereby got some of the Company down on him, but I think the men have generally got over that feeling towards him now.  Johnny my pet boy, in one of my last letters I sent you a little note.  Every letter I get from Ma I look in it to see if there is any from you.  I want you to send me some words for you are my very dear boy.  I dont forget you at all   It is getting so dark I can hardly see, and as this must be mailed this evening I once more bid you goodbye.  Give my love to all - Hug and Kiss Johnny for me and never forget that I am always Your loving  John

 

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[LETTER 26]

 

Lawrence Kansas

Monday May 12th 1862

 

My own loving wife: -

 

Joseph Chillery has just brot me yours of the 4th containing a scrap in figures  What a dear letter.  Three of four days since I sent you a letter a half sheet written in that way. - - To day I sent to Gen Blunt at Fort Leavenworth my resignation as follows

"

Lawrence Kansas

May 12th 1862

 

To

Brig Genl Jas G Blunt

Commanding Department of Kansas

Fort Leavenworth Ks

 

General: -

I hereby respectfully resign the office of Captain of Company K 7th Regiment of Kansas Volunteers to take effect June 1st 1862  My reason for so doing is that for several weeks past I have been unfitted for duty in consequence of chronic rheumatism/sciatica - Am still entirely disabled thereby and am without any fair prospect of soon recovering

 

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Believing that the good of the service requires that I should give up an office in the Army the duties of which for the above reason I cannot perform I would respectfully ask your speedy acceptance of the above resignation.

 

Very truly,

Your obedient Servant

John Brown Jr

Capt. Company K 7th Regt

Kansas Volunteers

"

This resignation will probably be accepted by Genl Blunt.  Of this I shall know in a few days  It will require the rest of this month to arrange my affairs here as I am 130 miles from the Regiment - have to transact business by letter and wait the motion of others including the circumlocution office at the Fort.  So I do not expect to reach home this month - How I wish I was home, fairly home for the journey, will of course be quite an undertaking for me.  However when I get to the cars, the worst part of the journey will be over, I hope.  Lieutenant Hoyt was unconditionally released and left to day for Fort Riley to join his Regiment - No charge was prefered against him whatever.  Col Jennison is yet at Washington and I presume he will be discharged from arrest in the same way and thus will probably end that

 

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miserable farce begun and carried on to gratify the spite of certain pro-slavery officials.  Sergeant Peck of my Company left to day with Hoyt for Fort Riley.  He with another man had been sent to Kansas City to recover a horse and a deserter from Company F of our Regt.  He got the horse but the man had escaped.  Peck brought good word of the health of the Company.  The expedition to New Mexico I suppose is a fixed fact.  One thing in regard to that expedition, if the men are sent where they can't do any damage to the peculiar institution, they will have this consolation that they will not go to an unhealthy region, but on the contrary go where it is remarkably healthy. - - - Hoyt's wife will probably remain here with her friend who came on with her and who married a friend of Hoyt's by the name of Ward from Massachusetts. - - - Am looking for Jerry here every day.  Indeed I had quite set my heart on that little place which you say Rebecca bought , well, I don't know but every thing is for the best.  I suppose it is best to think so any way.  Some other place we can find doubtless which may please us as well.  To get a good little place which we can make into a home worthy to be called a home, is with me a thorough ambition.  I know you will second every effort of mine in that direction - - - - - You still do not mention having

 

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received the letter in which I sent you Twenty Dollars.  Sergeant Peck says a number of letters came for me at Fort Riley - that he and Amos Slater remailed them to me at this place.  But as yet I have received only one of your letters returned from there.  I am sure I can't imagine what has become of them.  Perhaps you acknowledged the receipt of the money in some of your letters sent there.  At least I hope so, for I dont like to think that we have lost $20 --in that way --  You speak of writing to Mrs Scoville.  I must send a letter to the friends at Grand Rapids immediately.  Haven't written a word there since I left last winter.  May be I have lost some friendship there by my apparent neglect, can't help it if I have as I have done the best I could under the circumstances.  Dear Johnny, he had so much business on hand he couldn't find time to write his name for me.  I have now begun to really look forward to the time when I can "greet you all once more".  Of course I shall get more and more impatient to set my face towards home as the time approaches when I can - This month must at least pass before I can leave. -- Dont fail to write me here very often until further notice.  I would be glad to go to Osawatomie before I return but don't know as I can. - - - - I have thus far delayed sending in my resignation until to day more to gratify the wish of others than from any reasonable prospect of being able to go on with the command.  At the same time it has been a hard thing to do.  I have become very much attached to my Company, to be obliged have them go on without me has been one of the hardest thing to make up my mind to.  But I must, and now the step is taken which severs our

 

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military relations yet the bonds of genuine fraternal regard will ever exist for all those noble men.  I will soon write you again.  Love to all  Kiss Johnny and believe me ever your loving  John

 

 

[LETTER27]

 

Lawrence Kansas

Wednesday May 21st 1862

 

My own dearly loved Wife: -

 

Yesterday I recd yours dated the 14th containing a little flower and in which you say "I sent you a long letter yesterday"  That letter and doubtless many others you have sent me I have failed to get.  A few days since I got two from Fort Riley  They had been taken out of their proper envelopes and enclosed in a new one.  Somebody has certainly been taking liberties with my letters.  In one of them you acknowledge the receipt of the twenty dollars I sent you.  Glad to know that the money is not lost.  In on of my last letters I wrote you that I had sent on my resignation.  It will if accepted (which I presume it will be) take effect June 1st.  I sent up my resignation on the 12th.  The Regiment was just starting for New Mexico two companies had already gone when an order came to Gen. Blunt ordering all the available forces now in Kansas to Corinth on the Mississippi.  A message was at once dispatched to Ft Riley ordering back the entire force  They will probably be in Leavenworth by the last of this week when I hope to see them.  If I can get over to Leavenworth.  Jerry and Frank

 

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came here last evening on their way again to Fort Scott.  It has rained hard for two or three days and the roads are now so very muddy that they have almost given up the notion and this morning they went to Topeka.  Will return here tomorrow if the roads dry up so they think it best to undertake the journey now.  My time here drags wearily away.  This beautiful morning, how I want to be stirring around, but am yet compelled to use my crutches every step I take, and besides Dr Woodward advises me not to us my leg much.  I am not in quite so much pain as I was, and though I am yet about as lame as ever I feel encouraged.  Jerry says although Gen Blunt has ordered back all those destined for New Mexico, only the Infantry have yet been called for at Corinth.  If the Cavalry cannot go it will be a great disappointment to most of the men.  There they would probably have a chance to do something, instead of going away to New Mexico to do escort or garrison duty on the borders of civilization and quite out of the world as they feel.  Nothing makes active wide awake soldiers more restless and unhappy than the dull monotony of camp life.  Nothing to stir their blood, but an occasional drill.  It may be that they boys will have a chance yet to "hear drums and see a battle" on a large scale rather than be consigned to the "overland route"

 

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or to New Mexico and although they had become in a measure reconciled this order  I presume a great shout will go up when they get the order to return to Leavenworth.  I have been so long shut up to a life of comparative inactivity that it seems to me almost any change would be for the best.  If I could go with they boys to Corinth I might have a chance to aid in a battle which will perhaps decide the fortunes of the war, my only opportunity it may be, to take an active part in the contest on a large scale.  But it seems to be otherwise ordered I suppose for the best.  Dr Harrington our Regimental Surgeon has just arrived from Fort Riley he says the health of the Regiment is very good - that they men are very much elated with the new order countermanding that which was to send them to New Mexico  He thinks they will get to Leavenworth about Saturday   I shall try to see them there if possible.  You will probably ask when I think I shall start for home.  If I am able to undertake the journey I shall try to start the first week in June, shall stop probably a day or two in Chicago to rest, but dear me it seems like waiting a long time to see you.  Johnny says "when he sees me coming he will run and meet me".  well tell him I can hardly wait.  I want to see him so much.  It was in October that I last saw him with Owen, trudging home from near

 

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Pizarro Bissells.  How true it is, we almost always think of those who are absent as we saw them last  I almost always think of Johnny as he disappeared at the turn in the road towards Mr. Pulsiphers.  His little grey round-about coat was the last I saw then I must not look back any more, but choke down every sad emotion and resolutely push on   How long the time seems to me since then, and now as I almost begin to count the weeks if not the days when I can look on your dear faces once more I can hardly wait.  I don't wait with patience.  I had made calculations on going to Osawatomie, and also, to Mr Partridges.  I would be glad to visit Frederick's grave but dont know as it would be best for me to try to go.  It may be that Jeremiah will go down there in some easy riding buggy and that I can go with him. - - - - - I shall probably sell my horse here  He corked himself badly some weeks ago and is yet lame which will I fear, cause me to loose something on his sale. - - - This morning I gave Jerry $45- (George Kings first two months pay) to take to the Express office to be sent to his Father at Ashtabula.  Shall do the best I can to get his discharge and also what is due him to bring home with me for him.  I have been trying to find time to answer Mrs Holman's letter, also those I have lately received from Fanny and Rebecca, but have some business for the men of my Company of one kind and another almost constantly to attend to when I can do anything.  Several of my men have been discharged in consequence of disability  Their papers I have made out, and this I have done at odd times as I could.  Please say to Mrs Holman that I hope to get time to answer her good letter if I don't she must'nt think hard of me. - - - Say to Martha that she is just as dear girl as ever - that she must not measure my friendship by the number of letters I write to her especially. - - - I send you one of those beautiful pink flowers which begin now to come up among the grass.  Until

 

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further notice you may write me at Leavenworth City Kansas Care of Thompson Woodruff & Co.  Goodbye, Always Your  John

 

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P S. - - - - I looked out a moment since and saw a lady coming dressed in deep mourning whose countenance seemed familiar.  As she came in I recognized Mrs Jenkins widow of Gaius Jenkins  You would of course remember her very well.  She seems as she used to except wearing a rather melancholy expression.  We had a regular talk over old times. - - - times which after all I do not recall with any degree of satisfaction those bitter days of imprisonment, how singularly fresh they come before me again.  She sends her regards to you.  After looking at your picture a long time, she said "I can almost hear again the old talks we used to have about G. W. Brown when she used to come up to my tent" - - She couldn't stay but  a little while.  I think hers is about the third of fourth familliar face I have yet seen in Kansas - Yours  John

 

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[LETTER 28]

 

 

Leavenworth City Ks

Friday May 30th 1862

 

My Own Darling Wife: -

 

I came here from Lawrence about three days since to see the men of my Company before they left. - - - Yesterday the Kansas 7th (our Regt) and the 12th and 13th Wisconsin left on Steam Boats for Corinth or Washington they did not know which until they should get to St. Louis, but probably for Washington.  To be obliged to say good bye to them and to some perhaps for the last time was on the hardest trials of my life.  I am sure I shall never again see another set of men like them together.  They seemed to me like brothers.  The day before they left they presented with a beautiful sword and belt and

 

[page 2]

 

a pair of Revolvers, dear noble men they have gone and I feel alone.  May Heaven protect them always and wherever they may go. - - - - - After a good deal of trouble I have succeeded in getting George Kings Discharge for him, and to day I got the balance of his pay for him which I will bring to him when I return home.  Have now got to sell my horse and then I shall start for home, but as my horse is still lame I shall have some difficulty in disposing of him especially for near what he is worth - If the distance home were not so great and I was able to take care of him on the way I would take him home rather than sell him here. - As it is, I hope to get him disposed of and get on as far as Chicago by the latter part of next week - After resting a day or two there I shall come immediately

 

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home, stoping a day at Cleveland perhaps, and perhaps not.  Will write you again before I leave here and then I shall say more deffinitely when I shall be at Ashtabula where I hope to meet you - - - - - I have had no letter from you for a long time.  In my last at Lawrence I think I wrote you to direct to me here, care of Thompson Woodruff & Co, but perhaps the PM. here has forwarded it on to Lawrence  At any rate, I am most anxious to hear from you.  I have very much wanted to go to Osawatomie especially to visit Fredericks grave, but it is now so far and it so difficult for me to go that, in all probability I shall not go.  Emma Adair is here on a visit to Frank.  Jerry is here now. - - - Though I do so much want to go to Osawatomie, I am

 

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anxious to see you - to get home where I can if possible get cured of this distressing lameness - - I must close or be too late to have this mailed tonight - Kiss my darling boy and tell him that I expect to see him in a few more days. --Once more I kiss you good night - Always your faithful, loving husband  John Brown Jr.

 

 

[LETTER 29]

 

Camp Wendell Phillips

 

Lawrence Kansas Apl. 18th/62

Friday eve,

 

My precious wife

 

Amos Slater has just come in with your dear letter of the 10th - - last evening I think I sent you a letter to the P.O.  I feel as if I want to write a word often if it is only a word.  To day has been cold and clear nothing yet seems much like spring.  Every one here says the spring is very backward.  Our Regiment is now ordered to march for Fort Riley on Monday morning next and I suppose they will then leave for that place though I very much doubt about its ever going much beyond there.  I have reluctantly given up all idea of going on now, probably I shall be with it but little if any more.  Dr Martin from Massachusetts our Brigade Surgeon, has prescribed for me a series of blisters along my spine, and of about the size of a dollar, commencing at my neck and putting a new one below the first as often as one is healed, and so continue until I have blistered my spine the whole length.  But how little opportunity I have to go through such a process unless at home where I could feel that I am not a burden. - - I have just recd a letter from

 

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Alex King enclosing a power of Attorney from George and Certificates to enable him to get his discharge.  I have made out some of the preliminary papers to day.  You ask about Truman Creesy - I don't know why he has not written for he has been and still is in good health, and has in all respects proven himself a good soldier and true man.  And so I can say of almost every one of my men   I have spoken of Merrick more frequently in my letters because his folks are such near neighbors and would be more likely to enquire of you. - I wish I had time to mention the merits of each of these men, for they are certainly the most deserving body of men I ever saw together in a military capacity. - - Amos Slater is the same faithful true hearted man as ever, and so I would say of all.  It grieves me to know that I cannot follow them through all the fortunes of the present struggle in which we are engaged. - they are endeared to me by those fraternal ties which soldiers feel perhaps more than any other class of men. - - We now have a mail every day from Leavenworth, it leaves here every morning early and in order to go, must be mailed to night so that I cannot to night write you as long a letter as I want to. - - I will send my dear boy a little letter now

 

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and soon send you another.  Mr. S. N. Simpson called to see me this afternoon.  He sends his regards to you and Owen.  Mr. Whitman also called a short time ago.  He has grown very grey, but in other respects appears quite as he used to. - - As soon as I can I will send you a good long letter, but I suppose, you would prefer to have me write often even if not so long - - I wish I had some news, but nothing in now going on here of any special interest.  This Regt gave a grand Military Ball here a few evenings since inviting all the commissioned of the other Regts now stationed here.  It was given at Eldridge House and was a grand affair so I am informed, I could not go.  I enclose to you a ticket which I received and you may imagine and consider yourself as invited to dance with me in the first set with crutches, and then with Hoyt, Bostwick, Lieut. Gannet, whom you remember at Chicago, &c &c - - - - - - Johnny wants a little letter I suppose on seperate paper, and I will close for this time though my sheet is not full - - I will write often.  You do write me such good letters and so regularly too, I will try and keep up my part of the letter writing as well as I can.  Give my love to all my

 

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enquiring friends. - The Bugles are sounding for evening Roll Call, and this letter must go right away to the office if it goes out tomorrow.  Good night my own darling.  I fondly kiss you good night  Faithfully Your own loving   John

 

P.S.  Has the $20 I sent by mail reached you safely?

 

P.S. 2nd  Mr Sloat has just returned with this letter which I had sent by him to the Office - He found the office closed and as I am too late for this mail I enclose some slips cut from today's Leavenworth Conservative.  By one you will see that Jennison and Hoyt are both under arrest at Leavenworth  This has been done at the instigation of some proslavery schemers at the Fort.  I think on account of a speech lately made by Col Jennison in which he was especially severe on some of these proslavery officials.  I cannot imagine what Hoyt is arrested for unless for some free spoken words which it is quite likely he has used "up at the Fort"  We shall soon know all about it and I will let you know   By the enclosed General Orders, the probability now is that instead of this force being sent to New Mexico it is to be used to protect the Over Land mail route to California  If this is so, it will take our men across the Plains and the Buffalo Country into the mountain regions and perhaps scatter them in companies along the route from Ft Riley to California - It looks more like this now than anything else. - - I will add a word in the morning - - Again I will say good night dear precious wife and "you boy". -

April 19th - - The mail has not yet come in from Leavenworth and I have no further news from Jennison and Hoyt - - The news of their arrest is causing much excitement here.  A rumor is afloat, that they were released by Cleveland and his men last night but probably in untrue.  I will write you real often. - The order is now to march on Monday  The Kansas First left to day.  I shall remain here for some time at and will direct to me at Lawrence until further notice. - - Again my loved ones Goodbye  J. B. Jr

 

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P.S. 3rd  I have this moment recd a letter from Jay dated April 12th  All well - Says he has not heard from you or Owen for a long time  Nothing further from the Fort

 

[pages 5 & 6] Invitation & Dance Card for Programme on April 14th at Eldridge House

 

 

[LETTER 30]

 

 

Madison House, Madison Indiana

Monday eve'g Novem 23rd 1863

 

My dear Wife:

 

Last eve'g I wrote of my arrival here about 10 o'clock & that I would write you again, to day, probably from Cincinnati  This morning I went to the Hospital   Found Jasper in Ward No 1- Section 1st at cot No 27 - The boy didn't know me as I had my glasses on - but peering intensely through them, he came forward half believing & half doubting his senses; his face flushed with excitement & with tears in his eyes grasped my hand - He knew my voice though I did not his as he said in a whisper "is this you Uncle John" - I need not say that my womanly weaknesses showed themselves at my eyes. - I was glad yet very sad, for Jasper in the compassion of his

 

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heart for your feelings, has not overstated the dangers of his case.  It seems that a Military Commission in passing through this General Hospital indicating how the several cases should be disposed of, had reccommended that Jasper should be discharged.  But with 1500 patients on their hands it is not much wonder that action on his case had been indefinitely postponed by the competent authority here.  The commission reccommended only, did not, perhaps could not, "order" his discharge - So here it is, and might be for ought I see, until Dooms-day, were no special efforts made on his behalf. - Have worked all day making five different trips on foot to camp - 1 1/2 miles distant, to get the Executive Officer Dr Schultz, to examine Jasper preliminary to making out a Certificate of Disability constituting a further reccommend for a discharge.  This

 

[page 3]

 

Certificate made by the Executive Officer in "Duplicate, together with duplicate "Final Statements" and Discharge in duplicate must be approved by the "Surgeon in Charge" here, Dr Grant, these have then to be forwarded to Indianapolis Ia., where they receive the approval of the Medical Director of the Department - then they go to the Adjutant Genl. Comand'g Department for his order & when this is given they are sent here, when the Surgeon in Charge is for the once, Authorized to discharge the patient & soldier - - What do you think of getting a grist through such a mill, Dr? - - Amid the whirl of cares & business which is pressing upon every hand, you are most fortunate if can get the attention of Officers long enough to an individual case to give it a fair consideration & more than fortunate

 

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if you can get their promise to "attend to it soon".  This I have got, and have also awakened in their minds some individual interest in his behalf.  They give encouragement that he may be discharged within seven or eight days - It seems to me long to wait especially in view of approaching winter but I am resolved at whatever sacrifice to myself, to stick to the boy through thick & thin - Should he obtain a "discharge" which I think is likely, nay probable, I could not leave him to come home without my constant care on the way.  Even with the best of care he may drop off soon with "Quick Consumption".  I do not say he has this now - I hope not, yet I fear. - He has youth and large Hope & Will, in his favor so we will hope and do all we can to rebuild his organisms.  His face is fresher, and he is more full faced than I expected - Yet his cough & what he raises makes me anxious about him . - - I shall write you every day or other day until I leave - Shall also write Mr Vroman and Mr Lavenstein at once.  I have thought since Jasper that perhaps you and Henry & Johnny had better return

 

[left margin and across the top of page 1]

 

soon leaving me to come as soon as possible & go to Pa & attend to the business before navigation closes if I can, if not, why then come over to the Island from Ottawa when I can - I very much incline to this, as being the wisest course  I have abandoned all hope of being with you on Thanksgiving day - where I so much desire to be.  I can no more leave Jasper than I could a drowning man. - - Who will be as faithful to my Johnny should he ever be in equal need? - - - -

 

[left and right margin of page 3]

 

Write me at once care of Henry R Smith Firm of  Smith and Nixon Cincinnati O.  You may expect a letter from me almost every day.  Good night as ever yours,  John

 

 

[LETTER 31]

 

 

Madison House Madison Indiana

Wednesday eve, Novem 25th 1863

 

Ever dear Wife, & all the friends:

 

You may eat your Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with thankfulness, for success has so far crowned my efforts that yesterday the Executive Officer, Dr Schultz re-examined Jasper and to day his "Certificate of Disability" and "Discharge" papers have been made out and duly signed here.  To night, they will be forwarded to Cincinnati for approval of the Medical Director and for the "Order" of Gen Burnside's Adjutant.  So that we may expect their return here, and his final discharge within three or four days from this time.  When I communicated the good news to Jasper about an hour ago, the sparkle of his eye & flushed face spoke louder of his satisfaction than he could in any other way. - - - Shall probably go from here by the Mail Boat to Cincinnati - there I shall have him conveyed to the House of our true friend H R Smith on Mount Adams - He will be received there with every attention - thence after a nights rest, as speedily as possible consistent with prudence, home where I hope to find some of you at Margaret DeWolfs - As I shall stop there.

 

[page 2]

 

You may be sure I am glad to write so encouragingly for I have much difficulty to surmount.  My expenses thus far are between $25- and $30 - - much more than I expected at the stage of proceedings, but often the costliest, are the cheapest things in the long run.  So I think in this case.  When I went into Ward No 1 yesterday I found Jasper solving an equation in Algebra on a slate.  The book & slate belonged to the Hospital.  He is able to sit up most of the day.  My anxiety is great that he does not take any new cold on his lungs   Shall be as careful of him as if he were an infant.  Tell Hannah I shall care for him better than she could - - - - In my last I wrote that perhaps Henry and you and Johnny had better return at once to the Island, leaving me to fetch round when I could as I was determined to stick to this case; but now as I can begin to "see out of the woods" I think you all had better wait until we come - - Tomorrow, the ladies of Madison give to the soldiers here, including those at Hospital a Thanksgiving dinner.  I am informed they have 300 turkeys cooked up and other things to match - - A thousand blessings on them. Motherly and Sisterly hearts and sympathies are not alone confined to the home of the soldier.  Our soldiers are learning every day that "our Country" is their home - - Shall write you nearly or quite every day - With love, Good bye - Yours John Brown Jr.

 

 

[LETTER 32]

 

Madison Inda

Sunday eve'g Nov 29th 1863

 

My dear Wife and all the friends:

 

Jasper's Discharge papers came on this morning - He is now in the Reading Room of the Hotel where we are both waiting for the Mail Boat from Louisville to Cincinnati due here in half an hour - Shall if nothing happens be in Cincinnati tomorrow (Monday morning)  Shall not leave Mr Smiths there until Tuesday morning as I have to get his back pay there, and I want to let him rest a day and night at his hospitable home - - - thence on Tuesday to Cleveland - Shall remain there over night if I think he had better rest there - Wednesday then at farthest I hope to meet you at Burg Hill Station - In haste yours  John Brown Jr

 

 

[LETTER 33]

 

Probably written in Dec of 1861 or Jan of 1862

 

 

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of past days to meet him.  He wishes to be rembered to all who used to know him. - - When in Chicago Gilbert Hubbard gave me a kind of canvass trunk - that I have filled with such things as I shall not immediately need and it is secured with a rope and chain, and marked it plainly Capt. John Brown Jr - Jefferson Ashtabula County Ohio, Care of Express Agent Ashtabula O. - It is now left in the care of W. H. Burnham of this place - a colored man, who will put it into the hands of the Express Company if either I or you should so order.  I also left the sword and belt which was given me in Chicago in his hands marked in the same way.  I leave them here as I shall have to use a Cavalry sabre  I want to keep them however, as they are a present from true friends - - It is possible that I may not return, and for this reason I have had these things properly packed and labeled, and left subject to my or your order, or the order of my Agent - You say that you have to leave the house in Dorset by the first of April - I am sorry as had hoped I might again meet you - all in that little brown house once more.  I would be glad to have you and Owen and Smith find

 

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a tidy comfortable house where you can have good water, a nice little garden spot and pasturage for a cow, and rent the place for a few months.  I wish you could get such a place without going away from Dorset.  Nor out of the neighborhood of our dear friends the Edwards family and other of our friends there - I have become exceedingly attached to them all - Indeed it seems to me as if wherever our home is, there they would be too -  - How kindly and affectionately I was treated by all at 462 - If I had been an own brother, I could not have received more kindness - - I shall write them to day informing them of my safe arrival here.  God bless the dear friends at Cleveland who have been so kind and true to you.  Say to them that their kindness and sympathy is not wasted on unappreciative or ungrateful hearts - - - - - - - - In one of your letters you asked if I would be willing to sell out my interest in the oil and oil claim in Penna for $1000- ?  I am willing to do what you with the best advice (including of course Smith's, Davis Adams Owen, Jerry and others who are best posted and

 

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would care for our interest in the matter would recommend,  At the same time it seems to me that a $1000- would be a small price for that interest.  If the flow does not essentially diminish, - giving unmistakable evidence of ultimate failure, no one can say it may not continue for years - On the other hand it may fail - the oil may take fire &c and we might not soon if ever realize from it so much money as $1000-  - - All this I wish to leave to be determined by the combined wisdom of those who have the best means of knowing and who have our interest at heart in the matter.  If the question were to turn of my own judgment, I should be slow to say yes in answer to your question  It seems to me our interest is worth really a great deal more, but do as you may all judge is best and I will be satisfied - - - I am most of all anxious to get a nice little home for you and Johnny and there be with you.  Should be glad if we could derive from our oil interest a constant, if only a small revenue  But at any rate, I am sure I can earn in some way a comfortable living.  To make my family the happiest family is my ambition when my duty to my country and

 

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humanity is performed - Keep up good cheer my love.  Be both mother and father to our darling boy.  I hope, and will hope, that I shall before many months come to you again. - - - - - I expect we shall get our supplies tomorrow and be on our way Tuesday morning -  I must have this letter in the Office by tomorrow morning early - Shall probably write you a word tomorrow evening - if we should leave next day  My thoughts are with you always.  Give warmest truest regards to Owen, Lauretta and all at the Edwards house.  Say to Martha that she must consider the letters I write home as to her too.  And so to all the rest - I have so much to do and think of that one letter must suffice to a good many.  My precious wife, and Johnny my darling boy, I kiss you.  Goodbye for a short time - Johnny I thank you for the little cards with your name printed with your own hand.  I keep them all, and think how much pleasure it will afford me to teach you to write and teach you a great many things.  You will remember me every day wont you? - Do send off letters very, very often wont you  You have been so punctual thus far.  It is my very life to get letters from you   You will remember this, I am sure  Again My own, My loved, Goodbye Yours always  John

 

 

 

 

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