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Ira Conine Papers: Transcripts - MS 673

Jennie Bysel Correspondence - November-December 1863

November 16, 1863

School House!
Monday Noon Nov 16th

Dearest Ira!

Your letters of Nov 3d 8th 10th was Thankfully received I was glad to learn you was well and getting along as well as you are for a soldiers life is hard at best

I received those Photographs and I am highly pleased with them - I don't think they could be bettered at any rate - I have them both in my Album and when I think of _________ both of them a way it goes harder than pulling teeth

In your letter of Nov 3d you wrote if you got to teaching a cross the river your Uncle John wanted me to go to see him I am afraid I will not get to see him very often - I heard this morning that he was not expected to live. I wish I could go over to see him In yours of the 7th you wanted to know whether I had caught up in sleep yet - I can't say that I have though I have been improveing the time pretty well -

I think I will catch up by the time you get home at any rate - You thought if you had not gone away just as you did I would have been sick - Perhaps I should but I would rather bare the sickness than have you go away - You think you will marry rather than freeze to death - of course do so by all means if that will keep you from freezing but try and get rid of that other half before you come home -

Wanted to know whether ma and I had Photographs enough - Well I guess we can gett along with out any more if this is all you have to send - Han thinks you had better have some taken standing up then we could not help but be suited -

I am glad you seen so many boys that you was acquainted with in Gredles company I received a letter from Jacob Griffith sadurday evening - he sent me his Photograph it natural - You need not expect much of a letter this time there is about twenty young ones trying the strength of their lungs out side of the school house I am almost out of patience now I don't know how I shall stand it through the winter, It has hardly ceased raining since last sadurday, I never hared to leave home as badly as I did this morning. It looks so gloomy outdoor and then I am a stranger here no one that I am acquainted with

Ira you must write to me very often or I shall get the bleus or something else of the kind -

Ira please excuse my writing and spelling for I cant write to day - I was going to write so much to you this time and I cant think of anything now that I want to

I went up to your house last sadurday night stayed all night and all day yesterday Sallie pretty near cried when I left she thinks she will be so so lonesome when I am gone she has had one of her fingers taken off she is going to write you a letter this week with her left hand, I was at a party last Friday night Oscar came down to our house said they called him an old Bachelor up on the other street and the girles would'nt go with him and he thought perhaps he could find some old war widder that would go along with him I told him I was just the one so we saddled our horses and George and Oscar and I went to the Party horseback. There was about forty at the party, a perfect jam had no time at all - the house was too small to have a party and ask every person. I don't know when I shall get a chance to send this letter to the office, I am boarding at Mr Barnhiser's, they seem like pretty nice folks - have five children - one boy almost a young man - I am going to have a pretty large school - it will average about thirty I will have to study to keep ahead of them - I got a certificate for fifteen months in this country, Well I will quit for this time be a good boy write often

And think of your Jennie

Direct to Ottawa
Putnam Co Ohio

November 25, 1863

Beechwood School House
Nov 25th/63


Again I shall attempt to write you and tell you how I am getting along It will soon be two weeks since I left home hav'nt seen or heard tell of a single person from our neighborhood since I have been here Neither have I had a letter from Ira - have you forsaken me too?

I can't think it possible that you have I know you still think of Jennie at least I am looking for some of our folks after on Friday If they don't come I shall surely try to walk home

I cant stand it any longer I wrote to you on the 16th told you where to Direct your letters The people in this country don't go to town more than once a month You may know what kind of a chance I have to get letters from the Office or send to the Office I shouldn't feel so lonely if I could get a letter from you every week I think there are letters at home for me I must tell you about my school house Ira?

It is a beautiful house only been in use one winter painted white has green window shutters It has nine large maps a good black board and a very nice teachers desk - the yard is fenced in and a good well of water with a pump in it The wood is all put in the entry so that I do not have to go out of the house every thing is just as convenient as it can be -

I think I shall hire a boy to make fires when it gets cold I have a very short quarter of a mile to my boarding place taking it all in all I don't think I could have got a school any place else that was as nice for me to teach as this one My school numbers thirty five scholars at the present there are a great many that are not through husking corn yet

In two or three weeks my school will number near forty five scholars - It is very confining too It is just as much as I can do to keep them strait I get up at four O in the morning stay up till 10 at night - I go to school house in the morning at seven Oclock Don't get home untill five I don't get much time for exercise I have been sewing for the Lady that I am boarding with I could pay for any boarding that way all winter but I don't think I shall It is almost too much work for me

I hope this will be the last school that I will have It will be wont it Ira if the war closes in the spring? You know it will have to be just as you say but then I forgot I think you consider yourself at liberty to do as you choose since that time you know when I think I have a small claim on you yet I guess I can hold you to the contract

Don't you think I can Ira? Well if I cant I can find some other poor old broken down soldier for I am Determined to have a soldier

Write as often as you can be a good boy take care of yourself and think of Jennie

To Ira

December 1, 1863

Beech-wood School House
Dec 1st/63


How is your good health this morning I am well and getting along the best I can Father came after me last Friday Eve and what was better than all he brought me three letters two of them from Ira and one from Jenkins

You better believe I was glad for I had'nt heard from you for two weeks

I think you have pretty hard times in Ky. wadeing the mud You seem to take it pretty cool though; I couldn't help laughing when I read your letter where you wrote about the tough beef I would rather be the one that shoots the beef than to be the one that's holds it up when it sil shot - which did you do Ira?

Don't you think George and John Shaw were about to enlist in the cavalry when I left home Sunday I don't know what they have concluded on the said if they did go they would both be down to see me this week Ike Mullens is going put his name down last week his father is awful mad at him for going he is going to make him take every thing of his off of the place before he leaves I think Mullens act so mean they have'nt heard a word of Pa yet - I don't want Goerge to go to the army I wont get home this winter if he does there will be no one to come after me I wish you was at home you would come after me once in a while wouldn't you? Well I ____________ I have nothing more of any importance to write this is the third letter I have written to you within two weeks and received no answers to them your letter dated Nov 22nd I received sadurday eve you said I should be careful what I wrote I always am Ira -

Stick to that mule till you get to the Regt and try and have a better pen next time you write you are a naughty boy to talk that way I would whip my boys if they would talk that way at school I wont allow you to talk that way after you get home I did'nt get to see Sallie more than five minutes when I was at home but she is getting well very fast your Ma started for York State yesterday morning she is going to stay four weeks aunt Sallie Parker went along with her I bought a watch last sadurday of Bill Snyder at twelve Dollars

Answer as soon as you can Direct to Buckeye Putnam Co Ohio

I gave your best respects to all enquiring friends and your love to Jennie B and she returns the compliment by sending you the same in return

Please excuse all mistakes

Ever your own Jennie

December 27, 1863

McComb Glen Cottage
Sadurday Eve Dec 27th

My friend Ira Yours of the 21st was received this evening. And in compliance with your request or rather a wish that I might neither eat nor sleep untill I had answered your letters. I have concluded to answer this one and do the sleeping afterwards as to the eating part that I done a good while ago. I don't believe that you would have answered a letter first not even to me if you had been as hungry as I was this evening but I will not discuss that point at preasent. I was very glad to hear that you was still in the Office and enjoying good health. I am glad the capt dident get to do just as he pleased that time any way. I think he must be pretty near a rascal to act that way. He'll be awful mad at you after this, wont he. I hope he doesn't get so mad that he will do you any harm

I think it is rather hard after you boys have built one block house to have to pull up stakes and move off and build another one for some other regiment I think it is perfectly mean. But that is just the way this war has been carried on from the beginning. I am afraid it is no nearer ended than it was one year ago. I often wonder how it will all end. If it ever does end at all. It is enough to give a person the horrors to think about it.

You say your are lonesome since the boys have all gone. Nonsence don't talk so _____________ get lonesome with that prettie girl of yours? You needent tell me any such stuff for I cant believe it. Indeed to tell you the real truth I think she is a beauty. You certainly have made a very good selection among the KY girles. She is complimented very highly here in Ohio. We came home last sabbath evening frome Findley and we stoped at your fathers first. They were showing me the picture and wanted to know whether I dident think my rival was prettie I told them of course she was hansome for that was all the kind of girls that Ira had anything to do with Your father wanted to know whether I dident feel afraid of being cut out. I told him that I hadent thought much about yet. I told him a story then for I had thought considerable about it. She may be a successful rival for all I know But if she does superceed me in your affections bad luck to her and you too. I will tell you before hand Don't never bring her to Ohio or I might do as I heard of a girl the other day that bought a revolver and practiced shooting with it It would be hard to tell wich I would shoot first bothe of you and then myself. But isent that great talk Ira. You wont believe it but I have heard of stranger things than that comeing to pass. You say you wish you was at home so that you could stop over and see Jenie this rainy sabbath. I pity you from from my heart I know how you feel but had many sabbaths here I spent in the same way but I don't think you would enjoy yourself very well to be here now for it is so mudy

It has rained for prettie neer two weeks without stoping. Fred and I went up to town today horseback and you better think we had a nice time It was dark when we got home and then I had to stop at your pas to tell them that you was well dident anyone get letters but me and it was such a good one too. You don't write Miss Bradford such long ones do you Ira I presume if I could hear you answer it would be that you dident write her any But you see I know better your pa says you do get letters from her for he seen you get them I don't care though you see her so often that you cant write her as long letters as you do me. Then you think that we will never meet again in this world ________ ________ in the next world you mend your ways. Well Ira if you should mend your ways and I dident mine I am afraid we might miss of meeting at any rate We are both wicked and I don't doubt but we will meet some where in the next world for I believe it was ordained that we should be together no matter where that may be

But this is wicked to write such foolishness I know it will be our own falts if we miss of getting to heven try to be a better boy Ira and I will do the same go to church Ira as often as you can if it is reble preaching It dosent do me much good to go to church first thing I know my mind is away down in KY ___________________________________________

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