This letter was written by Mary (Fox) Green (1798-1887) to her son, Capt. James Harvey Greene (1833-1890) of Co. F, 8th Wisconsin Infantry. The letter was written not long following the Battle of Corinth in which the 8th Wisconsin was engaged.
At the time, Mary Green lived near Three Mile Creek east of Fort Riley, Kansas. She had three married daughters, Ruth, Eliza, and Ernestine (Harvey’s sisters) living in the same general area of Kansas with her, though Ruth had passed away in 1860. Ruth’s husband, Richard Clarke Whitney (1821-1885) is mentioned in this letter. Also mentioned are daughters Eliza, wife of Stephen Beveridge White (1820-1872), and Ernestine (or “Tiny”), wife of Jesse Jackson Brewer (1837-1893).
Juntion [Junction] City
November 18, 1862
I got your letter. We was glad to hear you was not killed in the batle [of Corinth]. I came to Juntion to see [your sister] Eliza [White]. She was very sick when I came. She is better know. She had a very bad spell with her head. It lasted a week before it got better. The doctor thought at first it was information [inflammation] in the brain. It was the neuralgy. She was very bad indeed. I am verry thankfull to the givor of all our blessings. She is begining to set up a little while at a time. I hope she will soon be able to go about again. The rest of the family are all well now.
Tiny & her baby was well when I left them most a week ago. I feel anxious to go back to Tiny’s. She is so lonely when I go away. She lives away of by her self. She has to depend on her neighbors when I go away for compeny. Her health is not very good. She has got a yong babe to take care of that is as mutch as she can do & a little more. As for my health, it is pretty good. I think it is. You would think so if I was to tell you how I have had to work since Jesse Brewer went away. He left Tiny & me to take care of the crop. He said Tiny must hire a man to gether the corn and get our wood. He would send her monney. She couldn’t hire any body for love or monney. We had to go to work to save the corn. I getherd all I could & the cattle getherd it a grate deal faster then I could. They getherd it all very soon. The corn crop was verry poor in kansas this year. Jesse went away when the corn was in roasin years. Then we had our potatose to dig. We had to dig them our selves. We got them dug thank forten. I hope we will get them buryed be fore they all freese. Tiny can’t do any thing by her self till I get home.
There has not been mutch cold wether here yet. We had a very cold spell in October. I expect it will be cold when it clears of. It has been raining here all day. It’s blowing to night. It may be cold enough in the morning. I am going home in the morning if it ant to cold. I want to finish this letter to neight. You must excuse the bad writing and spelling. I can’t see very good by candle light.
I must tell you that I rode Mr. [Stephen B.] White’s Old Tom – that horse that run down the hill once with you & Jones. He is as smart as ever. I forded the river on him. Don’t you think I was smart. Mr. White is going back with me to get a load of corn. Gorge tended the farm this seson & raised some corn for Mr. White. Then he went to War. We all mis George verry mutch in deed & Mr. [Richard C.] Whitney mises him more then all the rest. George & him worked on the farm together. Our little Jones is in the War some whearse. I don’t know where.
Jesse Brewer’s captton’s name is [George F. Earl], Regiment 9 (ninth), Co A. It may be you will come across him in you trvels. I wish you would. You both have my prayers that God who has pasered you thus far [will] take care of you and bring you both home to your little families.
O, this war is a dredfull scourge for the people for there sins. I hope that our Rulear’s will humble them selves and look to the right sorce for wisdom to manadg this grate war and wipe out slavry it is a curse to any nation. Harvey, if you do believ on the lord Jesus Christ, he will do what is best for you. Commit the keeping of your soul and body to him, then it will be well with you – wether life or death. I could not close this letter without saing one word about the salvation of your soul. It is worth more to you then all this world. If you louse it, you louse your all. If save it, your fortane is made forever. All I can do is to pray for you and that I do day and night that your life and health may be preasious in his sight.
Harvey, I never thought hard of you for not writing to me. I heard from you when Elisa got a letter. I was verry glad to get sutch a good long letter from you. I could read so good. I would answed it before this time if I had got it.. It come to Juntion. I didn’t get to for a week or ten days after it come. If you write me again, send it to Ogdon, Rily, Kan. I hope you will when you can.
Elisa got a letter from Jane. It came to Ogdon. I braught to her. Jane said they was all well. Your little girls grows finely. Mr. Whitneys are all well but, O dear me, they want a mother. No more at present. I remain your mother, — Mary Green