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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673
[Top edge] Jane read this letter yourself before you show it then do as you think best.
Sat. Eve Nov 8th / '62
Well, friend Jennie. I have been on a deep study for the last half hour which I had better do! However yours of the 5th which I recieved this morning; or go to church this evening. Well Jennie as I am going out to see miss Mclaughlin tomorrow I can't write then so I will endeaver to answer this evening; don't you think that would be the best I could do? Well Jennie if I have a good time tomorrow I will write and tell you all about it. Jane you know as long as there is any girls in the country I can't let them alone I never could at home and I havnt[haven't] got any better yet as far as that is concerned. Jane you thought if the guarrillies [guerilla's] would come in some night and cut us all to pieces we are building a blockhouse now when that is done I think we could stand a Regt. of guarrillas we are getting along first rate now with the exceptions of sick. There is'nt more than one half of our Comp able to perform duty but my health has been preserved thus far and I hope it will continue as long as I have to stay in "Dixie".
Jane you say the report is that the 118th had a skirmish with the guarrillies you shouldn't put any confidence in such reports for there is one half of them not true, the other half false.
Then you think that I have been making love with miss Mclaughlin. Well Jane you would'nt blame me if you could see her for she is as pretty as a picture. (not your picture) God bless her little soul I am going to see her tomorrow.
Well Jennie you say the folks up there say that I am married, Jane I only wish I was (dont you?) but Jane above all things don't write to her about my Relations (if there is any such) in Ohio for I didn't know I had any such relations neither can I think where it is Jane please write and tell me all about it.. Well there Jane I guess I had better stop writing thus or you may think I am trying to train you:
Well enough of this (don't you think so Jennie?)
Well Jennie you said I had my fortune told was'nt going to marry till a bachelor then marry Mary Jane not while Manerva Jane is fool enough to have me and not then, for if I don't get her (Jane) I never expect to marry (will that suit you Jane?)
Jane I wrote you a letter Thursday sent you some Postage stamps so I guess I will not write much this time (never do write much at best)
Jennie I thank you very much for those songs you sent please write and let me know whether you rec'd mine of Nov 6th or not and what you thought of it. Jane you wanted to know what Anderson would do to go to see susie as for him going to see her he can ride behind me for all he goes unless I am mistaken from what I can learn she is going to marry before long. Jennie you and Sallie need not be afraid of me volunteering for five years I just wrote that to sallie for the fun of it I would like to seen her about the time she read it Han also when they came to where Anderson was going but it is all a jest so think no more about it.
Jane you said you would'nt thank me for that leaf from a book that I sent you just because you let it drop when you opened the letter Jane not that I ask you to thank me for it but that I don't consider it my fault that it dropped so I guess I will send you no more or else you had better be careful in opening letters and be sure and read them yourself before anybody else for you don't know what is coming when I write and more than all you thought it not very nice. Jane please write and let me know what you think is nice and I will send it to you if it is in Kentucky. (for I see you are getting mighty nice again)
Then you don't want anybody to see this letter you sent me they might think you a fool and that I might think so myself. Jennie you need not be afraid to write anything you wish to me. I don't keep your letters for a show and as for thinking you a fool it will be after I loose my senses and there is no danger of that as long as I feel as well as I do at present for I never felt as well in my life.
Jane I pretty near forgot I think that dress real pretty must be going to get married. Also respecting yours and Hans weight quite a difference Han is 11 lbs heavier than Anderson; he got weighed this evening his weight 131 lbs. my weight 1561/2, Anderson looks pretty slim about now he has been in the hospital for 5 days just got over to camp today. Well no more this time it is half past nine and I must help a couple of the boys go out and kill a hog before I lay down come down for breakfast get some fresh pork.
Please write soon Direct to Camp Falmouth Pendleton Co. K.Y.
Ever Yours, Ira.
November 10, 1862
I take this present opportunity of dropping a few lines to you to let you know where I am and what I am doing in the first place. I will tell you about my last nights adventure. Yesterday morning I was detailed to go with the teemsters after forage. I told them to get up their turns [?]. I would be ready. I got on some clean duds, pricked up my ears, give them the slip[,] away I went--about 7 miles afoot, and alone to see my girl, got about 6 miles from Camp, stopped, got my dinner, stayed till about 1/2 past 2. I started on, got to the old widows. Nobody home, 3 girls and all gone visiting. I went in sat awhile. In came two of the girls and a young man with them. But behold my girl was not with them, but nothing would do but they must go after Lopha. so I went over to one of the neighbors after her. One of the girls went with me. The Lady that she was going to stay with went back with us to spend the evening, her brother with us, my sweet Marinda's bean, but what did I care for that--I got to walk home with her. Made it all right for the evening and among the rest was a sick soldier of the 108th. Ill. that had been living there through his illness. They spent the evening, started home. Miss Calvin (for that was the lady's name that came to spend the evening with us) and the soldier Miss Mclaughlin's beau stoped there a few minutes. Looked like a bound boy at a husking. I saw the girls all right, as far as I was concerned I sat around with the other two girls till the other fellow saw it was all up for him that night--he took her by the hand to bid her good night, held it about 2 minutes, looked as if sent for and couldn't go, but I couldn't help that. I was taking care of number one. After he left we went in. I stayed till 2 O'c, then for camp only 3[?] miles and me alone, lonesome walk, but couldn't help it, must he did make an engagement for next Saturday and Sunday. Big meeting out there then won't I have a slashing time then. Well I must start for camp or I will not get there. Started to say I went over the rocks and hills and through the woods. Got within two miles of camp, right in a big woods, heard two men walking, listened. Footsteps came plainer and plainer, first thoughts--bushwhacker. Drew my revolver. Awaited their approach. Thoughts--if they took me they would take the contents of that revolver first. They came within about 20 yards, halted[--]first thought was they are going to shoot (for it was as light as I ever saw it) I stood there about 2 minutes as I supposed then started walking backward about 20 yards, revolver cocked, ready to shoot in case of necessity--but pretty soon what should I hear, but the yell of hounds. Then I found who my bushwhackers where. They were coon hunters, for away they went in the directions of the hounds as I supposed, but, I was so bad scared I didn't know which way it was. Why, my hair stood straight on my head. Couldn't keep my hat on, had to hold it in my hand. Started for camp on quick time, got there just in time for roll call, so that ends my first spark in K.y.(Think I will go horseback next time.)
Well now George, I will tell you what I am doing. Well at present, we are building a blockhouse. This morning they detailed 18 men to go in the woods to get out timber, put me in captain of the [word?] I tell you I felt as big as a New York dog. Why your big overcoat wouldn't make me a vest [word?]about now but I like it real well, for I don't have any thing to do but logs and that just suits me for I can set around and look at the rest work.
Well, you may say just what you will about the army, but there is no place like the army for me. I am getting as fat as a bear. I am heavier now than I ever was. I weigh 156 1/2 lbs without my overcoat. Anderson has got out of the hospital. He is not able to perform camp duty yet. He only weighs 131 lbs--camp life don't agree with him at best--but he makes a good soldier a great deal better than I am for he is always here and I am just the other way, never here, at least not half the time. We have no guards in day time and only 3 at night. 3 on each relief. We do just as we please, go and come when we please and it is all right--some nights there isn't 20 men in camp, guards and all. We are having just the best of times, no rain no mud, no snow, no bad weather of any kind. All satisfied and in good spirits, but there is a great many sick only 40 men of 96 able to perform Camp duty officers and all. (in our company) We have got 4 K.Y. volunteers two of them came in last Saturday about 10 miles to volunteer with us. They are real nice looking fellows and appear to think like the boys in the 118th Ohio. Jahawkers [jayhawkers], for that is the name we go by here in Kentuck. Our Col. says he is a Jahawking man himself, so he don't care what we get, nor how we get it. Our captain is Provost Martial in this town. George, I wish you were with us. Well it is Monday night, 9 o'clock and up all last night. Feel pretty sleepy. Guess I will quit and write more next time. Please answer soon, and excuse me for not writing sooner. Wrote letter to Jane last Saturday night. No more.
November 30th 1862
With due respect toward you as a friend.. Aye! more than a friend, I once more attempt to address you. Jane it has been 3 weeks since I wrote to you. The reason is just this. I had been writing to you one and two letters a week regular and receiving none in return. The last letter I wrote to you was written Nov 8th. I then said that I that would be the last letter from me until I received one from you. I waited very patiently, (or as much as I could under the circumstances) [until] November 22, when I received a letter from that long tried, and much respected friend "Jennie."
In it you stated that you a rec'd a letter from me just one week previous to the time of your writing to me. I then thought if your conscience would let you lay still for one week after receiving the letter from me without answering it, I would retalliate, and see how it would suit you.
Jennie, you will see here that the reason why I did not write is not because my leisure moments are more preferrable occupied, but simply because you have not written to me. And as for being in the Hospital, I feel thankful to my Maker tht I have not been there yet or even had any reason to be. Jennie, you said you was going to hear a Thanksgiving sermon Thursday, well as it is now over I hope you enjoyed yourself [page torn] I would like to have been ther to take dinner with you, but circumstances would not permit. There was no meeting here through the day, but our Chaplain delivered us a Sermon in the evening, such as it was. He is a [illegible] and an abolitionist and you know that don't suit soldiers or at least the majority of them. We are all well and doing well. The boys are all in just the best of spirits, we have nothing of any consequence to do, not even drilling. We have not yet our blockhouse up yet neither do I think it will go up this winter.
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