This is a fascinating letter that is currently for auction on ebay. You do not often find a lot of letters from loved ones to the soldiers as they had to usually discard them or destroy them. When you’re carrying around several pounds of letters it becomes necessary to either pay the price of shipping all them back, or destroying most of them. Here’s the transcription of Kate Ramsay to her husband Charles S. Ramsey in the 41st Ohio Infantry, the auctioneer has it wrongly recorded as the “44th” but no Charles Ramsey was a part of that unit. For more: SoldierStudies.org
Home Sabbath Eve.
Oct. 20th, 1861
My Darling Husband,
I sent you my first letter this morning by Charles Dunlap. It it I told you everything I did every day since you left. I thought it would be nice to keep kind of a journal letter, write a little every day & send twice a week, don’t you?
Mother and I went to your church this morning, heard a good sermon from a young man. Don’t know his name. His text was taken from 144 Psalm, last verse. Had a good congregation. John Bird has taken your place in church. Mr. Clokey gave it out after the sermon. I did not go to meeting this eve. Not one of our family was at the Baptist church today. This has been a beautiful, pleasant say. Oh! I do feel so much like resting a while on my love’s lap tonight. O how I could hug & kiss him. I will give you a good night kiss anyway & go to bed wishing you pleasant dreams.
Monday evening – Oct 21st.
This morning when we got up, we found Father sick. Has been in bed almost all day. We washed this morning & at noon. Feasted on a letter from Hez. At 2 1/2 o’clock we attended the funeral of Mrs. Charlie Everet at The Babtist church. Heard an excellent sermon from young Thompson as she did not like Mr. Blington text Rev Chapter 14 verse 19. It was very affecting. I saw Mary there, the second time I have seenher since you left. She says Maggie’s babe is sick. She received a letter from Andy this morning.
Beautiful day. Helped Han iron this morn & had time before dinner to go over home & sweep & dust the whole house & after dinner I scoured all my tin things for “Gertie”. They look like new, so nice and bright & the fruit trees add to the yard. “all” asked for the key this eve. Just got things done in time. Father is better. This is the first day Mary has gone to school since she was sick. I received your dear letter this noon & took it down to the office for your Father to read and gave him a kiss when I met him. He was glad to see me as it was my first call but I am very tired after any large days work & will retire if it is just after supper.
It has been quite cold today. Mrs. Foster & her daughter, Kate Harrison, made us a visit today. Mrs. Galligher called and wanted to be remembered to you. Mrs. McCuddy said the same. The girls all say Will C. and Julia Willis are engaged. Made it up the Wednesday eve before he left while taking a moonlite ride. I admire his choice. She is a sweet girl. I like her so much better than Bell Nickels. Dug Evens took Hon to church on Sunday eve.
Another beautiful day has fled and the peeping stars again look forth in their grandure. Yes, this day like the pleasant things of life has soon faded& passed away & the mournful Autumn winds sign through the barren branches that wave over us causing solemn thoughts while I am alone. Mother Ramsay callthe this afternoon, sends her love & said she had received a leter from Bob since you left. I am going down there tomorrow & will stay all night with “Anna.” Hon had company this afternoon for J. Father is working again. His men have built a barn for us. I will now read a Chapter & then try to dream of my love. Won’t you meet me there in dreamland?
Good morning my love. How are you this beautiful morn? I am well an ready to start down home. Mother is going with me for dinner. We have our knitting with us as we are making socks for the Soldiers. It would be a good plan for you to wear cotton ones under the wollen ones. Mrs. Shelibarger fell down stairs and broke her hip. She is expecting to be sick soon. They do not think she can live & they fear her husband will go crazy he feels so badly. O she suffers everything, screams all the time. It did not kill the child as they thought. They say Mrs. Beanman is still crazy but I must go. I know I shall feel badly without my Charlie to sit by me at the table down home.
Joe Winger does not board here now. Frank Houghton is in town now selling sewing machines at 15 dollars a piece. Gertie is going to take one. She had better save that -
I have just returned home. Had a real pleasant time down home. Last night Anna played everything she knew for me. And my Dear’s favorite “Sweet Memories of Thee.” I could not keep the tears back. I could not help thinking of that verse and its truth -
“Life has many farewells
And it has sunny hours,
Over some are scattered thorns,
And over others flowers-”
but I shall still look with the eye of faith upward and still trust the coming future.
Sabbath morning – Oct 27th.
Another week has gone into Eternity. O how time flies. Tomorrow you will be gone two weeks but I am snxious the time should pass around so I can again see mu husband. Ann got a letter from Hez last night but none for me. O I feel so bad. I did not know whether you were sick or had not got my letter. I intended sending one the middle of the week again but did not. You shall hear often from me here after. The first thing I saw this morning when I looked out of the window was a very heavy frost. The lumber was just covered like snow but the sun has come out & it is going to be a beautiful day but cold. There was an alarm of fire in the night. Only Mrs. Sharp’s ashery. Mr. Clokey is not here today. Young McMickle will fill his place. He is Joe’s school mate. I will not go to meeting this morning but will tonight. Charlie Evens sent Johnnie a little letter by Hez. It pleased him very much, he was his teacher. Hez said you must be very busy for he had not seen much of you. You said it was so warm. I am glad and hope it will not be so very cold there this winter when you gather Chestnuts. Just eat enough for me too. Our family all send their love to you. Sallie & Mollie want you to write to them from Camp. I am going to write to them today. Remember me to “Andy” & the boys. Guss Hallenbeck is well again & they are going to move tomorrow. Mrs. Clapp is going to move up near us this week. They say they have poor singing in the choir since Andy left. John Blake has not gone with Mary M. since you left. They must have had a fuss. Hon said “Mary” was at choir meeting last night. I have not seen her since the funeral. John Sykes brought home your two books. I am going to gather in the rest. I do wish you could have helped eat mince pie down home. I thought of you and wished you had some but Hez says they have good eating.
O how I would love to see you today. You do not know how I miss you at night to keep me warm& it always made me feel better to lay my head on your breast & feel your arms around me when I felt a little sick but now it is grin and bear it. O the time looks long to look forward but I must not allow myself to feel so badly. I must hope & trust that all will turn out for the best. I will adopt for my motto “hope on, hope ever,” and with a good bye kiss I close for this time.
Your ever loving Wife, Kate Ramsay