November 4, 1861: Letter From Nelly Crain

In looking back at the Civil War, or any great historical event, it is all too easy to think that the people at the time must have been entirely consumed with interest in that event.  That was rarely the case.  As indicated in the video clip from the movie Friendly Persuasion (1956), showing the Birdwell family visiting a county fair in Indiana during the Civil War, even when great events are afoot, for most people life simply goes on.  As the below letter from a Nelly Crain to her sister written on November 4, 1861 people then were like people now:  mundane events in her life taking pride of place over any discussion of the War.    Here is the text of the letter:

Nov 4 1861
                    Dear sister   I will now write a few lines to you let know that I have not forgotten you althoug you never think of me I have written to you but have not received any from you since in april if you knew how many lonely days I have spent since you left I am sure you would write a few lines it seems as thoug the brightest days are full of gloom I know I must not to fell so but how can I help it I do so much miss that dear mother but she left this world without seeing the trouble of this war allmost all of the young men about here have enlisted they are going almost every day Solomon cox has gone nancy has gone home to stay cosen Simeon has gone as fifer Judge bender and both of his boys Stephen turner Lot Nichols three Arrin Boys John Jaquely Oscar thasker Joseph Jackman and a great many more that I cant think of have gone I have not heard anything Brother Isac since left indianoplis I feell very anxious to hear from him he came home when he had ben in camp four weeks and stayed a week he seemed to like camp life very much but I fear he will not when he guets into the enemy country he in the 29th regiment Care of oblinger they say they are in kentucky he said he would write every week but has not I have got his likiness Uncle Roger and aunt Lucy was here to weeks ago I had the best visit I have had since you left uncles health is very poor aunt is quite smart A Aurelig and Ricard visits me this summer I have not seen any of our folks in two weeks they were all well then Jason worked very steady this summer father has not given him any land and I dont know as it would do any good for he such gred hand to trade he talks some of going to the war but sarah will not consent to it she seem to think every thing of him she I a very good housekeper
          I saw Mrs Tubs two weeks ago to day her health is better than it was she has done her own work this summer she always speaks of you and would like to have you write to her There was a storm here I think it was on 4th of october jest after dark it done considerable damage in hamilton it blew Aidons building all to peaces and would taken it clear into the pond if it had not been for the grubs some of the roof was taken across the pond genet and Louis deming were in the hous they were hurt some but not seriously they say the home floor was on top genet but the cokstove kept them apart so that it did not crush her to death it also blew down a stable that had two horses in but did not kill them and the shop that that rimy built no use by hoopengarne as an office it hoisted of the foundation and unroofed some others but the greatest mystery is that there was know one kiled
we have all been quite well since you left here except Lucius he is complaining all the time but he has to work just as hard as ever his work is very much behind this fall has not husked any of his corn yet only as he feeds it it he is fatting eleven hogs and one cow buter is worth 8 cents we had 100 and twenty bushels of wheat it worth from 75 to 85 centes potatoes are rotting so they are not worth diging we have a good deal of rain this fall I have not got my wool spun yet but have not much to spin shant weave any but my own
Jasons folks to your rocking chair an I said theyd pay for it this fall if they dont I meant to guet it for I may as well have it as they John smiths folkes live in your house there is no chance of selling it jany says he would like to see Aunt celina and the girls And I am shure I would but dont know as I ever shall I have not seen Lizzy since you left she has sent word that was comeing two or thre times but disappoints me every time
               From your sister Nelly Crain
                                        To Celina Roe

Published in: on November 4, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on November 4, 1861: Letter From Nelly Crain  
%d bloggers like this: