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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673

Jennie Bysel Correspondence - January -March 1863

January 1, 1863

McComb Ohio!!!

New year's Eve. Jan 1st/63

It is 11.Oclock P. M. and I have just returned from Mr Conines. I cannot think of going to bed this New Years evening without writing a few words for My Soldier boy. It is the first New Years evening for several years that we have not spent together and why should I not spend this one in writing to you.

First of all Ira, I am going to tell you where and how I spent the day. I stayed at home until 1 Oclock. I then went over to your friend David Greers [?] and stayed there untill after supper and then went over to your Pa's to wait till our folks came from town. They went up there for a turkey roast. I had not been there very long till old Abe came home as tight as he could well be. There we was Han, Sallie, Ellen and here's another one myself all alone. We were almost afraid to look towards him. He swore around there a while and then went out doors. We diden't know what was going to come next but presently our folks come and then we was relieved from further anxiety. I expect if they had not have come just when they did we would all have gone somewhere and have left old Abe to his self. With the exception of this evening (for we did have a little fun with old Abe) the day has been very dull. I have been thinking of you Ira and wondering how you spent the day but I have no doubt that you spent it a great deal more pleasently than I have. I pity you if you diden't.

Ira, do you remember where you and I was last New Years Eve! I remember quite distinctly. What changes have taken place since then! Jo Mullen has gone to the army. Lucinda is here wandering around and hardly knows where to go to or what to do. She is certainly to be to be pitied. I don't think that she does right in everything but I think that Mullens act very mean with her. They should treat her better for nothing more than for the sake of Jo. He had better left her as you did your girl that is not married her then she would have had some one to take care of her.

Han got a letter from Anderson this evening. He stated you was spending Christmas with him. I hope you had a good time. I supposed this evening finds you at the ball. I have nothing to say on that subject. Well Ira the fire is going out. I am getting cold and I shall quit writing, go to bed and dream of you. I must tell you what I dreamed last night. I dreamed that a strange man came to our house. Neither father or mother knew him. He sat by the fire place talking with father. I was in the kitchen. Mother came to the door and told me to come in the room. When I came in the stranger turned round and looked me in the face. I thought I looked a moment at him and then hollowed as loud as I could that it was Ira. I hollowed so loud that I wakened up all in the house[.] I thought you had disguised your self so that I wouldn't know you. I have heard people say that dreams always go by contraries but I hope they won't for I do want you to come home.

Good Night, Ira, Jennie

Findlay.Jan. 5th/63
Monday Eve.

Ira, I have just returned from the Post Office. Was looking for a letter form you but was disapointed as usual. Sallie received a letter from Han and I also received one from T. H. McKinnis. It was just a note requesting me to correspond. It isen't likely that I shall because they have had a terrible battle at Nashville since he wrote. They were in line of battle when he was writing so that it isn't likely that I shall have an opportunity of answering his kind little note. But I wouldn't give one line of letters that I get from a certain soldier in the 118th for a bushel of such letters as McKinnis writes. I sent a letter off to you before I came into Findlay and I thought there would be an answer for me by the time I would get here. Last Saturday we came up Mr. Charles Elmes[?] told [took] me to the Post Office for there was a letter [there] forme and the post master wouldn't let anyone have it. You better think I diden't make many steps down Main Street. I got the letter, got home as fast as I could. I diden't stop to look at the outside. I was so sure it was from you and there was a pictur[e] in [it] too. But Lo and behold when I opened the letter, it was from Aunt Ann, she, her own and all her children's fotographs. They were so natural. I was disappointed because I thought it was from you and I was glad it was from Aunt. Oh, Ira, I wish you could see those pictures. They are so nice. I am going to get mine taken to send to her. I can get 4 taken for a dollar[.] Then I will send you one if you want it.

Jennie Bysel

[in margin]Ira I have had the toothache ever since Saturday. It was raining all day and [I?] got wet--took such a cold. My tooth don't ache real hard but just hard enough to make one feel hatefull. O dear if there is any thing that is mean it is the tooth ache. I hope you don't have it like you used to. Good night Ira.[inkblot] What a pretty blot.

January 19, 1863

Jan 19, 1863

Well Ira you think that I have been reading to much for my good. I cant agree with you there Ira for I think that is all the good I do get. In fact when I get interested in a book I forget that I ever had the head ache or ever lived in this world I seem to visit in another state of existance where sorrow seperation and disapointment are unknown. And you don't care how many books you read when they make me think of you. Ira you are positively unjust with me. How could you dare to think that I should forget you even for a moment thoughts of you are always upermost in my mind It dos'ent make any difference how interesting the conversation is or how deeply engaged in reading there is still a spot in my memory that nothing can erase which will ever be kept green thoughts of you!!!

Ira you seemed to be very glad that I could not go to bed on a certain night without answering your letters and without wishing me any harm you do wish that I could neither eat or sleep untill I had answered your letters. Ira your letters do not lay unanswered very long after I get them but I must acknowledge Ira that I do eat and sometimes sleep before I answer them but you wont get this letter quite as soon as you have some of my letters lately for I am not quite as handy to the Post Office as I was last week I am not going to sleep till I answer it if you don't get it as soon

Ira you wanted to know whether George had got home yet. No he has'ent got home yet. We don't expect him home very soon either He has been gone 5 weeks. He is breaksman on the Cincinnattia and Chicago RR.

We had a letter from him this week which I answered last evening I wrote to him that he had better be answering your letters of he had'ent before this time He gets 30 dollars a month works only 3 days in the week Sunday excepted Pays his own board The distance he travels is 175 miles in Indiana from Valiraso to richmond he makes his home and receives his letters at Valpiraso!! It is rather a dangerous occupation but It will suit him better any thing else for he can never stand it to work on a farm where he has to work steady

You wanted me to excuse one of your letters of the 12 or 13th you did'ent want me to show it to any person because it was'ent very nice I will excuse you Ira as you know I always had to do at last I am glad that you think that It was'ent my falt that Sallie wrote what she did. I always tried to be as modest as I could for I think modesty one among the geatest of virtues. Then you think I was always too much of a Ladie to write such stuff. Well Ira did try to be as much of a lady in your presence as I would under the circumstances. I never thought you tryed to help me along very much. I would'ent tell any person else that Ira for I just think you are the best boy this world has ever produced if you was'ent always so modest I hope you will think better before you get home. I have received that box of letters also that book for which I thank you very much. It is a very good book I have read some every evining since I got it The letters I will take care of till you come home. There are two or three letters that you never got or else you did not send them home

You wanted to know what friend it was that brought me a letter so late in the evening Well it was my friend Mrs. Mungen her and Ellen had been out spending the evening as they came home they called at the Office. You wanted to know whether I had heard from R.L.D. since you left no Ira I have heard nothing from him by letter I never done as you say I did get letters and then deny it for fear you would want to read them you have seen all the letters I ever got from him Dont get mad at me as he did and publish my letter down in KY. Dont publish this one at any sake. You wanted me to say wether I did'ent think your girl was good looking I think she is very good looking The Ohio girls could'ent hold a candle with her

You wanted to know where I was going to spend Christmas and New Year. Christmas I spent at home all day Han Sallie and myself are invited to a turkey roast down at Apgars on New Years day we are going to stay all night how I wish you was herre to go along with us[.] I hope you will be here by next year this time[.]

That last letter I wrote you seemed to be rated very low in your estimation you did'ent seem to think that you had gotten an answer to your os the 18th[.] Well Ira it is kind of hard to go to answering a letter after it has been received so long but I will tell you this much that I have felt like another girl since the recipt of your letters of the 5th 6th 12th 13th of Dec. I dont think I shall ever be tempted to disbelieve your word again. Not untill I see enough my self to convince me. I have to put up with a great deal lately but that I count as nothing as long as I am sure of your sincerity. I think it would be cruel and unjust for me to ask you not to go with other girls I shall never do that I am not so jealous hearted as all that come to be I want you to enjoy yourself the best you can but Ira you know just how far you should go honor will teach you that but Ira I have no fears at present[.] I have nothing more of any consequence to write O yes David Vansicle and Kate Price was married christmas Eve. Capt [?]child died last Thursday the Capt was in Cincinnatti they telegraphed to him he came home this evening the child will buried to morrow as they have kept it so long It was the capts favorite child they say he is prittie near crazy!

That was a beautiful piece of poetry that you sent{.] I am going to send you a story this time perhaps you have read it if you have it wont hurt you to read it again[.] I think it is a good story[.] I just more than think lots of that little dictionary just write all the big words you can[.] I can understand them now[.] I think so much of that as I do of you pretty near!! It is 1 Oclock dont you think it is time for me to be in bed but I am neither sleepy or hungry yet. I could stand it two or three hours longer if I _______ more_______ and was sure that you would not get tired reading what I have wrote I guess I had better quit for I don't want to pay so _______ postage as you did. Mr. Mackey thought it was a christmas present it was such a big letter and so much postage write soon be good your in love Jennie

(it is'ent any use to duplicate with you any longer you will have your own way

January 25, 1863

Findlay Hardin St. --Jan the 25th/63

Sabbath morning!--

My Friend Ira!--

Your letter of the 23rd was received last evening. I was very much supprised on reading the contents especily the first line[.] Ira you are laboring under a very great mistake if you think that I was trying to train you or criticise on your writing. I don't criticise on any person's writing much less would I on yours. Ira you shoulden't take up things quite so quick I positively meant no harm by writing so you had 10 notions to one not to answer my letter. Well, Ira I can't compell you to answer my letters. I don't want to do that[.] Still I should feal very lonely without them. I would be hard very hard but if you would wish to do so Ira, I will have to put up with it. If I would do as you had a notion to do you would never get an answer to your letter for I think you have given me better reasons to not answer you than I did you to not answer mine. I am not going to let trifles get the better of me as you have! Ira that you are not pushedneither are you hard up for someon[e] to correspond with. I know that Ira well as you do! There are enough girls that you could correspond with that would be a much better correspondent than I am but knowing all this I should hate very much to give you all up all hopes of hearing from you again. It doesn't make any difference to me how many girls you correspond with but don't write me another such a letter unless you do not want me to answer it. I have read over your letter a number of times since last night and I even dreamed of it last night. I think it was a very unfeeling letter and from you too. Haven't you felt sorry since you wrote it that you sent it off. I think you must have changed a great deal since I last seen you or your heart would have relented a little but enough of this. I hope you will pardon me if I did write any thing to offend you for I assure you it was perfectly unintentionaly. I wasn't looking for a letter from you as your Ma was here last week and she said that you had no money. I was sorry that I did not know it before I sent my last letter for I might have sent you some stamps and I thought last night when I had to pay 3 cents before I could get your letter out of the Office that you must be scarce of money. Ma was up here last Tuesday[.] She sent you a lot of provisions to Falmouth and that the day you left there. I suppose you will enjoy yourself a great deal better in Paris as it is a larger place. I had a letter from George last week[.] He was in Richmond then not able to do anything[.] he stated that he had come prettie near getting his foot mashed[.] that is the way with boys on the cars. I don't know which is the most dangerous working on the cars or being in the army. Ira you say that I stated in my letter to you that I wished to correspond with P. H. McKinis. You are entirely mistaken Ira[.] I diden't say that I wanted to Although I don't think there would have been any harm if I had when Sallie answered Han's [? Starr's?] letter[.] I did write a few lines to him and as you say[,] I don't think there was anything to hinder me from doing so. I think your KY girls letter was good but I thought your answer was a great deal better. She seems to have quite a sisterly affection for you which is all right of course as long as you think so. I will send you an envelope to write to her. I must quit writing. I don't think it best to write you a very long letter untill you get in a better humor as you say. Write soon if you think it worth while.

From your little Jennie

I don't think you wanted me to answer your letter very bad or you would have told me where to direct to.

March 1, 1863

______________ Findlay Ohio
Sabbath Morning March 1st/63

My Dearest Ira

Although I do not owe you a letter yet I could not think of such a thing as neglecting to writeing to you ________ _________ when there is nothing in the world to hinder me. Ira I am home again. Our school was closed last Friday Your folks came up Friday evening after ___________ _______ they couldent take me along as they _________ ___________ heavy load and the roads were so very bad ________ your folks have concluded to let me stay another week I _______ you have received my last letter before this time ________ _______ ________ ____________ to McComb and ______ at a ________ I will get no letter from you this week _____ ______ you answer this amediatley (make that _____ act if you can _____ ______) if you answer it as soon as you get it it will be here by next Friday or sadurday eve - Ira if you knew how hard is for me to pass over fast one week without a letter from you you would sacrifice a little of your own happiness to grant __________ request Ira it seems to me that I have _______ the loss of you _________ for two or three weeks back than I ever did I have heard persons say that after their friends were away a while they became used to their absence but Ira I shall never get used to it as long as I live the longer it is the worse I feel Last night I dreamed that my father and mother were both dead such feeling as I had I should never be able to describe them with a pen I thought of you as the only friend in the world and you when I could never see you or tell you my trouble I am glad that it was all a dream when I awoke ______ still I may realize the peclity of that dream It would be a very hard trial but nothing in comparison to parting with you I could part with Father or Mother or brother if that would bring you back to me with a heart unchanged and true ____ when you left Ira I cant think _______ our ______ _________ as I do Perhapse you will think it foolish and weak in me but I cannot helpe it neither do I wish to But enough of this It may not be agreeable to you Mr _________ returned from Camp last week so I heard I heard ______ _______ you had sent your letters home but I have seen nothing of them but I presume you have those pictures of mine by the time If they don't _____ you Ira I will try to get another one taken and Ill try and look pretty Almost every one that seen them here thought they dident look as well as I do not that I think I am pretty Ira because I know that I never was blessed with as much beauty as some girles but I guess I have enough to carry me through the world safe Don't you think I have Ira! If you say I am ugly it wont make me think none the less of you I have got none of those photographs you sent home neither am I going to have one now If they are not good enough for the rest of the folks they are not good enough for me and good photograph is all I ever want to see of you and Ira if you ever get any more taken which I heard you was I want you to send me one Ira I don't want to offend you or anything of that kind but if _____ _______ _________ I have and as long as I have a sent it belongs to you as much as it does to me or at least I _______ it so __________ photographs that you sent home are as natural as ___________ in the face but I don't like the positions very well I heard ___________ say Friday that she dident like them and she was going to write to you or had written to you to get some more taken and I expect they will condesend to give me one of those you sent home but don't you know Ira I was to independent to take one now if they couldent let me have one when I wanted it Ira if you ever do send _________ __________ send it to me I want it with out being beholden to any person for There is some people that don't like me very well never did and I guess they like me a great deel less this winter or at least we hadent got along very well I expect you have heard all about it before this time It is all right if you have I thought I would not be the first to write about it Everyone will have their own story about it and you might be persuaded not to believe mine although I can say with a clear conscience that I never told a willful story in my life much less would I tell one about what has transpired this winter Oh how I would love to talk to you just one hour if no more not that I wish to make you feel unhappy not that I wish to make a breach between you and your folks for I would not be guilty of such injustice but I would tell you of things that If you cared for me you would never put up with Now Ira I am not writing these lines to you to have you write to them about it I don't want you to say one word If I hear of it I will never make a _____ _____ of you as I have done If everything goes as well as I expect it to this summer and you don't come home I am going to leave Hancock to see if I cant find more agreeable companions than I have had Ira I am not half done writing yet but I guess I will have to stop I don't fail to answer this as soon as you get it direct it to Findlay be a good boy Ira and think of your Jennie

PS Write me a good long letter Ira I shall expect it

March 24, 1863

At home March 24th/63

Dear Ira -

With due respect and much pleasure I seet myself to acknowledge the reception of your last letter of March 17th which I received yesterday. Its contents being read I shall endeavor to answer. My home never looked as pleasant to me as it did this morning Although it was raining very hard It was 8 o'clock when Fred and I got home last night. The road are very bad I was fretting and worrying all the way home yesterday for fear the horses would give out before we would get home Well Ira I must tell you that your letter come very unexpectedly to me I had given up all hopes of ever hearing from you again And then I could hardly bring myself to believe that you would stop writing to me with out one Adieu Last sabbath was a long dreary day to me It was hard for me to pass it over without writing to you but I was determined to conquer my feelings and take things as easy as I could. I felt better yesterday morning I said to Mrs. Murgern that I knew I was going to get some kind of news and it wasn't but alittle while untill Fred came with a letter I was so glad I thought perhaps that would explain And at last it was nothing but negligence Ira you want me to pardon you, of course you had my pardon from the moment I read it how could I do other wise than grant a pardon when you ask it of me? Ira if I could tell you all that I heard and all that was told me in those long four weeks that I never had aline from you you wouldent wonder that my confidence was shaken I couldent write it to you neither do I wish to if I could It would be useless Perhaps I will se you some day and these things will all be settled But of this _______ ! I feel perfectly satisfied now your letter set my mind at rest It was so much like yourself so good so true If you feel as you express yourself in your letter I have nothing to fear -

Ira you say those pictures were spoiled when got there Ira I am glad of it I dident think they were good when I sent them I had another one taken yesterday I think it is some better than the ones I sent to you but if it does not suit you I can try again that is my motto! Ira you say that you are sorry that you _____ and I cannot agree And you never felt so bad in your life as when you heard that your ma and I had a quarrel. That is a mistake Ira Did I write to you that your ma and I had a quarrel I think not I wrote to you that your folks never did like me very well and that they liked me a great deal less this winter and that we had not got a long very well this winter I don't think I said anything about your ma for we have not had a single word But I expect she does feel a little hard toward me but I cannot help it When Sallie left Findlay I did say to her that she might tell her folks that I _________ to be able to pay my board some day for I had heard that they had _______ that they had done all the boarding this winter I dident consider that they had done any such thing And if your folks thought that uor folks dident do enough why did they not say something to me instead of telling the neighbors about it I did say it is ---------------------------------------------- you think it was right for them to do as they have done I will have to come under Ira this is not all but I _______ ________ _________ Your Mother is _______ _______ these and she of course ________ tell you all which of course she is ________ ------------------------------------------- I will not cause you to disbelieve either one of us But as for your ma and I having a quarrel that is not so I have not talked with her a half hour for three months Ira you did not do as I told you I told you not to write ______ your folk anything about it Ira you think if you had ____ ______ home this _________ would not have been ________ ------------------------------------------- that was said then but I don't think I shall ever tell you anything that goes on here again unless

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