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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
Cincinnati September 12
Good Morning Jennie,
Here I am Jennie as the old saying is down in Dixie or very near there is about 15,000 rebels within 10 miles of here. The 99th Ohio is here one of the Lieuts of the 118th seen the Adjutant of the 99th last night. He said they were skirmishing yesterday, got 3 of their men killed. We got marching orders Wednesday afternoon about 4 o'clock we had just got our Uniform the night before we had to start about 6 oclock yesterday morning got to Sydna [Sidney?] about 8 oclock got treated to all the pies cakes peaches Apples Bread Butter we wanted from there to Piqua from thence to Troy stopped there got a drink from thence up to Dayton lost my hat between Troy & Dayton. Stayed in Dayton from 1200 til one. Citizens there came to the cars with Baskets of Bread, Pies, Cakes, Apples, Peaches, Buckets of Coffee and every thing a person could ask for[.] We had plenty and to spare we was then within 60 miles of Cincinnati. Got a hat gave to me, started for Cincinnati, got to Miamiville, stopped there about ten minutes while we got a drink. We started from there, got within 20 miles of Cincinnati. It commenced raining, has rained ever since getting pretty tolerably sloppy. We got here about 4 O C [4:00], marched down to the market house, got our suppers, marched us out in the street again, left us stand there while they could hunt quarters for us. We stood there in the rain till dark but the Capt returned without finding quarters, marched us back up to by the side of the market house, left us there about a half an hour, then up fifth Street, and back on the pavement. Left us set there about 15 minutes then marched us in to the Palace Garden, told us to tumble down and got to sleep. It is one of the nicest places to stay I ever seen. Stayed all night, marched us out to breakfast, then back. Won't allow a man to pass out waiting to be mustered in although I broke ground [?] this morning, was out about an hour running around. Captured watermelon pockets full of Peaches and Pears, took them in and treated the Capt. Told them what I had done, you ought to have heard him laugh he said it was all right, the whole regiment is in here, they want us to cross the River over into Kentucky, but the boys all swear they won't go until they are mustered in and payed off. I guess that will be done today. Some of the boys are fiddling, some dancing, some telling jokes on one another, some playing Cards, some writing letters, some cheering to the soldiers as the march along the street, for there is nothing else going on. Stores all closed, no business of any king going on nothing but war. The report is about one-hundred thousand Union Soldiers here, some are 30 day men, but principally 3 years men.
There was a company of 94 30 day men, came in from Licking County last night. One Company from Old Hancock, hurrah for Hancock. I seen the boys this morning had quite a time. There is no life like a Soldiers life. We have any amount of fun. Of Course, we expect some hard times, but Jane we have good times enough to make it all up. The boys are all well that belong to Howard's Company and in good spirits to be sure. This sudden move excited some of them at first, but the excitement is all over now. Anderson said if he had known this before he Volunteered they wouldn't got him. We have a good deal of fun here with some of the boys. Some think they have to go right across the river and go to fighting, howsomeever I don't expect that there is as much excitement here as there is up there. The report is this morning that the 21st Regt is across the river at Covington. It may be for several Old Regiments here awaiting the attack, some from Alabama, some from Tenessee, some from Missouri, One from Iowa, and so on. Well Jennie, Capt. Howard's Company are called up to be mustered in. I will have to stop writing at present--Well there, just returned from being cussed in to the Regiment, but they did not pay us off. We expect that as soon as they can make out the payroll.---
Well Jennie, I have written a great long string of conversation to you, but it don't amount to any thing after all now. I will try to answer your letter of the 7th. Jane, neither tongue nor pen can describe the feelings that passed over me when I rec'd it or even now as I think of it. Jane the reason I did not write to you when Mother was at Camp Lima was just this. Mother said you was coming down to camp, but since it has turned out as it has I could set down and, well I shant say what but leave you to judge. You said that you was sadly disappointed last Saturday when you had heard we had been sent for. I know you wasn't any worse disappointed than I was, for had I known we would be sent for I would have come through that knight. but it may all be for the best. Jennie since I lost that opportunity of seeing you, I have given up all hopes of seeing you until I can come home and live in peace and safety. Should God deem it just and grant me the privilege and I feel assured he will, I hope, to return a better Boy instead of a worse one than I have been heretofore. Jane you said you wished you could sleep that sleep that knows no waking. Jane, you shouldn't make such a wish as that. But if it is your lot to sleep that sleep, I want to sleep that sleep with you for should it be the Lord's will to take you from his footstool before I return, I have nothing to live for. But enough of this, I want you to enjoy yourself as best you can until I return, and I will try and do the same.
Good-bye Jennie, please write immediately on Receipt of this. Jane, write to me every time you get a chance, don't stop for me to write for oftentimes I have no chance to write.
Direct your letters to Cincinnati 118th Regiment, care of Capt. Howard.
Ever yours, Ira
Oct. 12, 1862
If such you will allow me to call you it is now 8 o'clock P.M. I have been on a study all day to know whether I should write to you or not. Jane what in the name of Common Sense is the reason you won't write, tell me and tell me what you mean by not writing[!] Jennie, I have written 6 or 7 letters to you and have received but three[.] Now do write and let me know what is the matter if nothing for my sake & for your sake, & for manners sake and for every body else's sake please write oftener and they will be thankfully received by your friend. Well Jenny, enough of this for this time[.] I will now attempt to tell you where I am. We have been marching for 5 [3?] days. We are encamped at Portsmouth 40 miles south of Covington on the south side of Licking River. It is the nicest camping ground we have been on yet[.] We have just the best of the times. I wouldn't be at home as long as war lasts for the best farm in Hancock Co. All I have to regret is that I didn't start sooner. Well Jennie, throwing all jokes aside I would give a fortune (if I had one to give) to see you this evening, and as soon as I get where I can get a miniature taken I am going to send it you one, and I want you to send me yours, the one that George had when he was in the army, or one just as good as that one. Now please, do that much for me if you won't write[,] but I would like to have you do both. Jane we are in the second division under General Smith. Jane, we live first rate. I have eaten more honey, Chickens, turkeys and such things than I ever eate in my life before. We have taken 5 bee hives of honey since we left in our mess and have never been caught yet. It takes somebody smarter than Col. Walkup to catch me and my little squad of guarillies [guerillas], although we have ran some pretty narrow escapes. There is only one of our mess that will go out on a scout--They are Michael Steelsmith, R.B. Wall, R. Morgan and myself. We have first rate times but we have not been to church but twice since we left home. Once in Lima, once in Covington. I presume the reason is we have no minister as yet. Neither do I expect we will get one for we don't deserve one. We have got the largest and best-looking regiment of men that I have seen yet and the damnest set of officers that spoils it. Well Jane, there is all kinds of vice and develment for a man to run into but thus far I have kept from them although they are (as the fellow says mighty temptin) and am bound to keep from them as long as I keep my senses. But when I loose them I don't know what I shall do. Jane, you must train Han about Anderson, him and a little Dutchman has started a barber shop[.] They shaved for the company today for 3 cents a man. Sunday as it is, Anderson does the shaving[,] the Dutchman the collecting the heavy business. They made 40 cents yesterday. Jane tell George that I don't wonder at them no tracking more than 10 or 15 miles a day for I never seen as many hills, crooks, and turns in the roads as there is here. I would rather walk 10 miles there than 4 miles here among the hills.
Jane we can't level ground enough to camp on.
Well Jennie, I will have to stop writing[.] it is bedtime. Please write immediately on receipt of this.
P.S. Jane I forgot to tell you that I am well and have been ever since I left--Wishing you the same
S. I. B. Conine [written large across last page]
118th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Headquarters Camp Falmouth Comp. I
Friday Oct 31st 1862
I just recieved two letters from that one that is nearer and dearer than a friend or even life to me and ever will be. One of them was dated the 8th the other the 13th (came through on double quick didn't they).
I wrote a letter to mother yesterday one to Sallie and a few lines to Fran; go over and read them when they get it, and I also wrote one to you day before yesterday but I am bound to answer those that came today if they are old.
Jennie you said you could not imagine why I did not receive your letters for my part I do not know what was the reason but they are just beginning to come in, although they have been written a good while I love to read them when they do come and I am bound to answer when I recieve them if it is every day. Jennie you wanted to know if I thought you had forgotten me there was a while that I really thought you had neither do I think you can blame me for there was about 3 or four weeks that I recieved no letters from you (I say curse the Post Master that kept them back.) now Jane can you blame me for thinking the girl I left behind me had proved false!
Jennie you said you had always flattered yourself that you was something more to me than a friend. Jane if I thought you was'nt I would not write to you every week and sometimes twice.
Jennie you said something about spending my time in the society of virtuous ladies you said you thought it was right that I should I think so too, but I assure you I will not spend my time in the society of any other than a virtuous lady, I never did as yet and if I ever do I hope the Lord will see fit to pronounce a never ending infliction upon me. Well Jennie is that resolution strong enough for you? if not I would like to know what is.
Well Jennie you also said that you never troubled me with jealousy I will admit that and am very thankful to you for it but Jane if you was any other than what you are you know you would never have been as near and dear to me as you are at present but it is as it is, and thank God for it (dont you Jennie?)
Well there I have answered that one of the 8th now I will answer the other one
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