1863: Mary (Fox) Greene to Capt. James Harvey Greene

Capt. James Harvey Greene, 8th Wis. Infantry

This letter was written by Mary (Fox) Greene (1798-1887), the daughter of Bonham Fox (1761-1825) and Temperance Dickerson (1761-1840). Mary married Eli Greene (1799-1849) in 1816 in Middletown, Ohio. They later moved to Hamilton, Ohio, where Eli died in 1849. In 1855, Mary Greene moved to Kansas Territory with her three daughters, settling near Fort Riley.

Mary’s son, James Harvey Greene (1833-1890), the recipient of this letter, moved to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, prior to the Civil War and was serving in Mississippi as Captain of Co. F in the 8th Wisconsin Infantry at the time this letter was written. Mary’s youngest daughter, Ernestine Greene (1841-1906 and referred to as “Tiny” in this letter), married Jesse Jackson Brewer (1837-1893) in September 1861. At the time of this letter, Ernestine’s husband was serving as a private in Co. A of the 9th Kansas Cavalry. From March 1863 to March 1864, Co. A was stationed on the Kansas-Missouri Border operating against Confederate guerrillas.

Ernestine and Jesse’s daughter, Mary Jessia Brewer, was born on 19 July 1862 in Odgen, Kansas, being less than a year old in May 1863.

In this transcription, I have taken the liberty to add punctuation. Mary (Fox) Greene, the author of this letter, was my g-g-g-grandmother. A scan of this letter was sent to me by John Narrin, a distant relative.

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May 13, 1863
Hamiltown [Hamilton], Ohio

Dear Harvey,

I received your kind letter the other day. Was glad to hear you was well. I would decide as son as I got your letter I waited till the money come. I got it to day. Tiny & I come up to town to day. Went to the express office I got it. I am very thank full indeed. Harvey you could not helped me in a more needed tim. I hope you will never be the poorer. My prayer is that you may be brought safe home to your family. Them Deare little Girls of yours I think they look so mutch like you. Jane wrote me a verry kind letter. Invited Tiny & me to come & see her. We would a liked to went & sen her & the children. Jane said she would send me the means fore me if we could come. Tiny has got so tired going about with her sick child. We thank Jane & you fore youre kind invitation. Tiny wount heare to anything but to go back to Kansas. Jesse has sent her anough to take her back. He wants her to meet him in Levenworth City the last of this month. He says he will get a furlow & meet her there. She is just crazy to go. I couldent see her go alone with her sick baby. That is why I ask you to help me. Jesse is nothing but a privet. He don’y get very mutch [and] cant send anuff for Tiny & me. We are going to start the 21 of this month. Tiny wrote you a letter before I got yours. She thought you hadent got mine. If you get his, she has told you about her baby & its name. She calls it Jessia Brewer after its father. I sent you my photograph in answerd to one of your letters last fall. I will send one if I can get it. I think yours is a very good one. It looks rather sterner then you used to look. My health is good. I will write when I get back to Kansas.

Good By your Mother, Mary Greene


5 responses to “1863: Mary (Fox) Greene to Capt. James Harvey Greene

  • John T. Narrin

    Nice translation there Griff!

  • Tom Parson

    Can you please share with me the source of the image of Capt. James Harvey Greene. It is being considered for inclusion in a new exhibit at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, a unit of Shiloh National Military Park. It will be used with an excerpt of his May 10, 1862 letter describing the engagement at Farmington, MS. Thank you, Tom

    • Griff

      John T. Narrin holds the original image and authorized me to use it on this website. He’s a distant cousin of mine. I’m sure he won’t object to your using the image but I would encourage you to recognize him as the owner. The image was among materials he inherited passed down in his family.

      • Tom Parson

        If you could please contact him about our intentions I can assure you his name will be on the exhibit as:
        Courtesy of John T. Narrin.

      • Griff

        Will do. If you have an internet link to the exhibit that could be accessed with a link posted here, it would be appreciated.

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