Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
John B. Rice
Scope and Content
Related collections include those of Robert S. Rice, Robert H. Rice, Henry Rice, Ada Rice, J. W. Pero, Monroe Smith, and the Fry family. An extensive collection of family photographs accompanies the collection.
John Birchard Rice was born in Lower Sandusky, Ohio on June 23, 1832. He was the second son of Dr. Robert S. and Eliza Ann (Caldwell) Rice. After his public school education, he spent three years at the printer's trade in the office of the Sandusky County Democrat. The wages he earned enabled him to obtain further education at Oberlin College and to prepare for medical school. After two years at Oberlin College, Rice entered the medical college at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor from which he graduated in 1857.
Rice then returned to Fremont to enter practice with his father. In 1859, he continued his medical studies by entering the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He also attended clinics in medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He then returned to Fremont, but was soon caught up in the Civil War.
When the war broke out, Dr. John B. Rice volunteered his services and was assigned as assistant surgeon of the Tenth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served under Colonel Lytle through early battles in western Virginia (West Virginia). On November 25, 1861, he was promoted to surgeon and assigned to the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the regiment raised in Fremont, Ohio by Ralph P. Buckland. Dr. Rice served with this regiment for three years. He was present when the 72nd withstood the shock of the Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862. During this battle, Dr. Rice was to lose many personal effects, including letters from his wife. This was unfortunately to lead to his destruction of most of her letters to him during the remainder of the war, thus avoiding their seizure by the Confederates. He was to serve, in part, during his military career as surgeon-in-chief of Lauman's and Tuttle's divisions of the 15th Army Corps and of the District of Memphis when it was commanded by General Ralph P. Buckland. He apparently had a reputation for being the life of the camp, cheerful as well as sympathetic and watchful for the interest of his comrades. He won the respect and admiration of the men who came under his surgical and medical care. One of his surgical achievements was to perform the rare operation of an elbow joint resection on Private J. L. Jackson of Company A of the 72nd OVI. Medical records reveal that he performed two surgical amputations on May 14, 1863, but both soldiers died of complications following the operations, not an unusual occurrence in the Civil War. How many successful operations he performed is unknown.
Dr. Rice described his experiences in and feelings about the war in a voluminous correspondence with his wife, brothers, and parents between 1861 and 1864. He left military service in early December 1864 to return to Fremont and his wife whom he had married on December 12, 1861. He resumed his interrupted medical practice in association with his brother, Dr. Robert H. Rice who had completed his medical education at the University of Michigan.
Dr. John B. Rice was to become eminent in his profession and participated in the county, district and state medical societies. For several years he was a member of the faculty at the Charity Hospital Medical College in Cleveland where he gave lectures in 1868 and 1869. He also lectured on military surgery and obstetrics. He contributed articles to medical journals and was recognized by his peers as an able member of the medical profession. Dr. Rice was active in civic affairs in the community. He served on the city board of health and as a member of the board of pension examiners. He gave of his means and influence to aid in any project for the prosperity and welfare of the community.
The height of his civic activity came in 1880. On August 10, 1880, the Republican district congressional convention at Clyde nominated Dr. John B. Rice for the Tenth District of Ohio seat in Congress. This district included Erie, Hancock, Huron, Sandusky, and Seneca counties. Rice won the nomination in the second ballot when the Seneca County delegation shifted enough of its votes to assure victory. In the congressional election on October 12, 1880, Rice won by a margin of 1368 votes. A victory celebration was held in Fremont at which delegations from all the counties in the district gathered for a parade and speeches by Dr. Rice, Governor Charles Foster and others. Dr. John B. Rice was to serve only in the Forty-seventh Congress. He became frustrated by and disillusioned with the dull, routine character of the work of a congressman. He, therefore, declined the nomination of his party for a second term. He returned to Fremont with his wife and two children, Lizzie, born September 18, 1865 and Wilson, born July 2, 1875. He resumed his medical practice and his management of the Trommer Extract of Malt Company.
Dr. Rice was one of the founders of the Trommer Extract of Malt Company in 1875. Others involved in this venture were: Dr. Robert H. Rice, Ralph and Stephen Buckland, and Gustavus A. Gessner. Dr. John B. Rice continued his medical practice until he became seriously ill with Bright's disease. This illness gradually sapped his strength and, when pneumonia set in, his death became imminent. He died on January 13, 1893.
Scope and Content
Extending from 1830 to 1911, the collection contains the personal, political, and business correspondence of Dr. John B. Rice. Of particular note is Rice=s Civil War correspondence to his wife and family (1861 to 1864). The collection contains correspondence, notes, brochures, and circulars relating to his medical practice and documents associated with his position as a surgeon in the Civil War, including hospital bills, orders, supply inventories, and reports of the 72nd OVI. Box 3 contains numerous letters from Civil War veterans seeking pensions and/or documentation of war related disabilities. Family correspondence includes that of his wife, Sarah Wilson Rice, and his brothers, Henry, Robert, and Charles F. As one of the founders of the Trommer Extract of Malt Co. and a partner in the Lampazos Silver Mine, Rice generated an extensive series of business papers. Medical account books exist for the years 1867, 1869, 1870, 1872, and 1873 - 1875. Rice=s political papers offer some sense of the political climate in Ohio during the late 1870's and the early 1880's. However, much of the political correspondence derives from his constituents. In particular, the appointment of General Samuel Sturgis as head of the National Soldiers= Home generated letters from angry Civil War veterans. Many of the veterans living in Rice=s district felt Sturgis was undeserving of the appointment because of his leadership at the Battle of Guntown. A small amount of material relates to the early history of Sandusky County, its churches, and medical organizations. An index to the collection is available.
1. Correspondence - Charles F. Rice - 1863
2. Correspondence - Charles F. Rice - 1871
3. Correspondence - Charles F. Rice - 1872
4. Correspondence - Charles F. Rice - 1873
5. Correspondence - Charles F. Rice - 1874, 1876-1877
6. Receipts/Invitations - 1882, 1917, 1920, 1921
7. Kenyon College Records - 1893-1896
8. Kenyon College Records - 1893-1896
9. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence & Will - 1883, 1902, 1904
10. Sarah W. Rice - Financial Receipts
11. Sarah W. Rice - Financial Receipts
12. Miscellaneous Material - John B. Rice
13. Charles F. Rice
14. John B. Rice Medical School Papers
15. John B. Rice Eulogy
16. Medical Advertisements
17. John B. Rice Medical Statements
18. Correspondence - 1853
19. Correspondence - 1854
20. Medical Notes - 1855
21. Correspondence - 1858
22. Correspondence - 1859
23. Civil War Muster Roll of Cooks/Nurses - 1861-1863
24. Civil War - 1861-1862
25. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Hospital Bills
26. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Hospital Bills - 1862
27. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Hospital Bills - 1862
28. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Hospital Invoices - 1862
29. Civil War Orders & Reports - July-September 1862
30. Buckland=s Regiment (72nd) at Shiloh (Speech)
31. Civil War Orders & Reports - October-November 1862
32. Civil War Orders & Reports - January-February 1863
33. Civil War Orders & Reports - March 1863
34. Civil War Orders & Reports - April-June 1863
35. Civil War Orders & Reports - August-September 1863
36. Civil War Orders & Reports - October-November 1863
37. Civil War Orders & Reports - 1864
38. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Hospital Bills - 1864
39. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Invoices - February-July 1863
40. Civil War 72nd O.V.I. Invoices - August-September 1863
41. Home, March 15, 1863 [Ac.5982]
42. Sarah E. Rice to "Brother John" June 7, 1863 [Ac.5982]
43. E.A. Rice to "Son John" July 26,/63 [Ac.5982]
1. Constituents' Correspondence - January 1-17, 1882
2. Constituents' Correspondence - January 18-20, 1882
3. Constituents' Correspondence - January 21-31, 1882
Also Guntown Affair Letters - January 28, 1882, January 30, 1882
4. Constituents' Correspondence - February 14-23, 1882
5. Constituents' Correspondence - February 24-28, 1882
6. Constituents' Correspondence - March 1-19, 1882
7. Constituents' Correspondence - March 20-31, 1882
8. Constituents' Correspondence - April 1-14, 1882
9. Constituents' Correspondence - April 15-30, 1882
Also Guntown Pamphlet - April 15, 1882
10. Constituents' Correspondence - May 1-14, 1882
11. Constituents' Correspondence - May 15-24, 1882
12. Constituents= Correspondence - May 25-31, 1882
13. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - 1853-1857
14. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - February-September 1858
15. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - October 1858
16. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - November-December 1858
17. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - January 1859
18. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - February 1859
19. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - March-April 1859
20. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - May 1859
21. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - June 1859
22. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - July 1859
23. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - January-February 1860
24. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - March-May 1860
25. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - June-July 1860
26. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - August 1860
27. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - September-October 1860
28. Sarah W. Rice - Correspondence - November-December 1860
29. Civil War Correspondence - February-May 1861
30. Civil War Correspondence - June-July 1861
31. Miscellaneous Correspondence - September- December 1861
32. Civil War Correspondence - January-February 1862
33. Civil War Correspondence - March 1862
34. Civil War Correspondence - Shiloh - April 1862
35. Civil War Correspondence - Corinth - May 1862
36. Civil War Correspondence - June-July 1862
37. Civil War Correspondence - Ft. Pickering - August-September 1862
38. Civil War Correspondence - Ft. Pickering - October 1862
39. Civil War Correspondence - November-December 1862
40. Civil War Correspondence - Corinth, MS - January 1863
41. Civil War Correspondence - White Station, TN - February 1-12, 1863
42. Civil War Correspondence - White Station, TN - February 13-28, 1863
43. Civil War Correspondence - Helena, AK - April 1863
44. Civil War Correspondence - Youngs Point, LA - April 1863
45. Civil War Correspondence - Vicksburg, MS - May 1863
46. Civil War Correspondence - Vicksburg, MS - June 1863
47. Civil War Correspondence - Black River, MS - July 1863
48. Civil War Correspondence - Black River, MS - August 1863
49. Civil War Correspondence - Vicksburg, MS - September-October 1863
50. Civil War Correspondence - LaGrange, TN - November 1863
51. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - LaGrange, TN - December 1863
52. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - Germantown & Memphis, TN - January 1864
53. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - Memphis, TN - February 1864
54. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - Paducah & Memphis, TN - April 1864
55. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - Memphis, TN - May 1864
56. Civil War Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - Memphis, TN - July 1864
57. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - February 1865
58. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice -1870-1879
59. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice – 1880
60. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - 1881
61. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - January-March 1882
62. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - April-December 1882
63. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - 1884-1885
64. Correspondence to Sarah W. Rice - 1890-1900
65. Correspondence - Charles Wilson - n.d.
66. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
67. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
68. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
69. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
70. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
71. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
72. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
73. Early Correspondence to Sarah Wilson - n.d.
74. Correspondence from daughter Lizzie - n.d.
75. Correspondence from friends - n.d.
76. Seminary Reports - 1859-1860
77. Early Correspondence of Sarah Wilson - Miscellaneous
78. Letters to brother Robert & daughter Lizzie - 1872-1884
79. Letters from Henry, Lizzie - 1879-1880
80. Receipts - June 1882
81. Constituents' Correspondence - July 1882
82. Receipts - August-December 1882
83. Receipts, Newspaper Clippings - January-February 1883
84. Receipts - March 1883
85. Constituents' Correspondence - April-May 1883
86. 10th Census - June-August 1883
87. 10th Census, Receipts - September-October 1883
88. 10th Census, Receipts - November-December 1883
89. Patients= & Constituents= Correspondence - January-June 1884
90. Constituents' Correspondence - June-September 1884
91. Constituents' Correspondence - October-December 1884
92. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - 1885
93. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - 1886
94. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - 1887
95. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - 1888
96. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - Business - 1889
97. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - Business - 1890
98. Receipts, Constituents' Correspondence - Business - 1891
99. Receipts, Business Papers - 1892-1897
100. J. W. Rice, Receipts - 1898-1937
1. Military Pension Material - 1830-1839
2. Military Pension Material - Miscellaneous - Undated
3. Military Pension Material - 1864
4. Military Pension Material - 1865
5. Military Pension Material - 1875
6. Military Pension Material - 1877-1878
7. Military Pension Material - 1879
8. Military Pension Material - January-March 1880
9. Military Pension Material - April-June 1880
10. Military Pension Material - September-October 1880
11. Military Pension Material - November-December 1880
12. Military Pension Material - January-February 1881
13. Military Pension Material - March-April 1881
14. Military Pension Material - May-June 1881
15. Military Pension Material - July-August 1881
16. Military Pension Material - September-November 1881
17. Military Pension Material - December 1-15, 1881
18. Military Pension Material - December 16-24, 1881
19. Military Pension Material - December 25-31, 1881
20. Military Pension Material - January 1-15, 1882
21. Military Pension Material - January 16-24, 1882
22. Military Pension Material - January 25-31, 1882
23. Military Pension Material - February 1-15, 1882
24. Military Pension Material - February 16-24, 1882
25. Military Pension Material - February 25-29, 1882
26. Military Pension Material - March 1-15, 1882
27. Military Pension Material - March 16-24, 1882
28. Military Pension Material - March 25-31, 1882
29. Military Pension Material - April 1-15, 1882
30. Military Pension Material - April 16-23, 1882
31. Military Pension Material - April 25-30, 1882
32. Military Pension Material - May 1-15, 1882
33. Military Pension Material - May 16-24, 1882
34. Military Pension Material - June 1882
35. Military Pension Material - July-December 1882
36. Military Pension Material - May-December 1883
37. Military Pension Material - 1885
38. Military Pension Material - 1889-1890
39. Bidwell Papers - 1833-1834
40. Bidwell Papers - 1833-834
41. Bidwell Papers - 1839-1840
42. Bidwell Papers - 1841
43. Old Pleadings & Memoranda - 1819-1838
44. Old Pleadings & Memoranda - Undated
45. Old Pleadings & Memoranda - 1839
46. Old Pleadings & Memoranda – 1840
47. Old Pleadings & Memoranda - 1841
48. Old Pleadings & Memoranda - 1842
49. Old Pleadings - J. Koons vs H. Randell - 1831-1845
50. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - n.d.
51. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - 1908-1909
52. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - 1910
53. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - February-May 1911
54. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - October-December 1911
55. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - 1912
56. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - 1913
57. Lampazos Silver Mines Company - 1914
58. Printed Materials - n.d.
59. Printed Materials - n.d.
60. Printed Materials - n.d.
61. Printed Materials - n.d.
62. Printed Materials - n.d.
63. Kenyon College - 1859-1860
64. Election Comments
65. St. Paul's Episcopal Church - 1859-1903
66. Essay on Medicine
67. Paper on Pneumonia
68. Papers on English Language
70. Notes: Contracts
71. Publication Recipients & Other Lists
72. Publication Recipients & Other Lists
73. Political Speech: Opera House, Fremont - October 9, 1880
74. Case of Sergeant Mason - 1882
75. Obituary J. B. Rice - 1893; Also Undated Material
76. Post Office
77. Post Office - January-March 1882
78. Post Office - April-July 1882
79. Stationary, Receipts
Box 4 - Ledgers
Box 5 - Miscellaneous & Ledgers
Miscellaneous Ledgers, Notes, Visits.
Box 6 - Miscellaneous & Photographs
Sandusky Co. Military Exemptions Ledger, ca.1860=s
Art Prints (69 prints)
The Century Gallery
Magazine Covers - Harper's & Lippincott (6 covers)
Vatican Square, Rome (1 large photo)
Group Photo of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Moore and Family, Fort Wayne, IN (1 large photo)
Individual Photos - Unidentified (4 large photos)
Wilson, James W. (4 large photos)
Rice, John B. (54 large prints)
Rice, Robert H. (45 large prints)
Lindbergh, Charles A. (1 large print)
Pero, Catherine L. (2 large photos)
Sarah Wilson Rice
Scope and Content
The letters of Dr. John B. and Sarah Elizabeth Wilson Rice were acquired by the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 2004. Sarah Rice’s were digitized by Jacci Pensrose and edited by Laura Wonderly.
Sarah Eliza “Lizzie” Wilson was born April 24, 1842, the oldest child of Dr. James Wilson and Nancy Justice Wilson. Both her father and mother were prominent citizens of early Fremont, Ohio, and Lizzie led a privileged life. She was well-educated, having attended Fremont public schools and the Young Ladies’ Seminary in Granville, Ohio. On December 12, 1862, she married Dr. John Birchard Rice, who was almost ten years her senior. The newlyweds had only two months together before John left on February 12, 1862 to take his position as regimental surgeon of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Lizzie lived with her parents while her husband was away, but wrote him regularly, telling of all the happenings in Fremont. Lizzie and John had two children: Lizzie Wilson Rice, born September 18, 1865; and James Wilson Rice, born July 2, 1875. Sarah “Lizzie” Rice was a life-long member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in which she was very active. After suffering a stroke, she died June 15, 1928 at her home on Court Street in Fremont, Ohio.
Scope and Content
The bulk of this collection contains letters which John Rice wrote to his wife and letters she wrote to him during his service in the Civil War. His letters to her (numbering 16) date from November 28, 1863 to October 15, 1864. Her letters to him (numbering 36) date from January 17, 1863 to February 10, 1864. John writes to Lizzie about local soldiers from the 72nd Ohio as well as their family members who may have been visiting in camp. After the death of Carrie Buckland, daughter of General Ralph P. Buckland, a noticeably grieving John describes the circumstances surrounding her death. He devotes several letters to the Battle of Guntown (Brice’s Crossroads), giving a particularly stirring account of its devastation and writing very strong words about the incompetence of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis. Many of the letters deal with Lizzie and her social struggles in Fremont, Ohio. Lizzie reports the activities of their Sandusky County, Ohio, friends and neighbors, informing Dr. Rice of those who died, married, divorced, or gave birth. Lizzie Rice also tells of parties; fundraisers for the war effort; family activities; political disputes between local Copperheads and Union supporters; the townspeople’s celebration after the Union victory at Gettysburg; and local election results and the town’s reaction. Her letters give an interesting look at life on the Northwest Ohio home front during the Civil War. Also included in this collection are letters to John from his mother, brother, and friends, and letters to Lizzie from her brother and friend.
John B. Rice Correspondence to wife Sarah Elizabeth Rice
1. La Grange, TN, Nov. 28, 1863
2. Germantown, TN, Dec. 21, 1863
3. Germantown, TN, Dec. 26, 1863
4. Camp near Memphis, Feb. 21, 1864
5. Memphis, May 22, 1864
6. Memphis, May 26, 1864
7. Memphis, Sunday, May 29, 1864
8. Memphis, June 7, 1864
9. Memphis, June 13, 1864
10. Memphis, June 17, 1864
11. Memphis, July 5, 1864
12. Memphis, August 12, 1864
13. Memphis, Sept. 7, 1864
14. Memphis, Oct. 2, 1864
15. Memphis, Oct. 13, 1864
16. Memphis, Oct. 15, 1864
Letters to John B. Rice
17. William Caldwell to J.B.R. dtd. Fremont, Ohio, Aug. 27, 1863
18. Eugene Rawson to J.B.R. dtd. Fremont, Ohio, Aug. 20, 1863
19. Alfred Rice to J.B.R. dtd. Fremont, June 21, 1863
20. E.A. Rice to J.B.R. dtd. Fremont, Nov. 20, 1863
Sarah Elizabeth Rice Correspondence to husband John B. Rice
1. Home, Jan. 17, 1863
2. Home, Jan 22, 1863
3. Home, Feb. 3, 1863
4. Home, Feb. 7, 1863
5. Feb. 8, 1863
6. Home, Feb. 12, 1863
7. Home, Feb. 13, 1863
8. Home, Feb. 14, 1863
9. Home, Feb. 22, 1863
10. March 4, 1863
11. Home, March 5, 1863
12. Home, March 21, 1863
13. Home, March 25, 1863
14. Home, Apr. 7, 1863
15. Fremont, June 21, 1863
16. Fremont, July 2, 1863
17. Home, July 12, 1863
18. Fremont, July 21, 1863
19. Fremont, Aug. 4, 1863
20. Fremont, Aug. 28, 1863
21. Fremont, Sept. 7, 1863
22. Home, Oct. 17, 1863
23. Home, Oct. 23, 1863
24. Home, Oct. 28, 1863
25. Home, Nov. 2, 1863
26. Home, Nov. 17, 1863
27. Home, Nov. 22, 1863
28. Thursday, Nov. 26, 1863
29. Home, Nov. 28, 1863
30. Home, Dec. 2, 1863
31. Home, Dec. 7, 1863
32. Home, Dec. 12, 1863
33. Home, Dec. 17, 1863
34. Home, Jan. 22, 1864
35. Home, Feb. 5, 1864
36. Home, Feb. 10, 1864
Letters to Sarah E. Rice
37. Charlie Wilson to S.E.R. dtd. Gambier, June 19
38. Lizzie E. Wheaton to S.E.R. dtd. Columbus, July 19, 1864
39. Lizzie E. Wheaton to S.E.R. dtd. Columbus, July 21, 1864
40. Lizzie E. Wheaton to S.E.R. dtd. Toledo, Oct. 29, 1864
41. Lizzie E. Wheaton to S.E.R. dtd. Columbus, Jan. 24, 1865
Transcription of Sarah Wilson Rice Correspondence:
Home Jan. 17, 1863
My Own Darling Husband
I received yours of the 18th and 4th day before yesterday. They were the first I have had in four weeks and you may be certain that they were very welcome. I had just concluded to stop writing thinking it was a waste of time and paper (you know paper is dear now) knowing that you did not get my letter, but have made up my mind to keep on now. Do you think that you will have to go to Vicksburg? The papers seem to think so but guess they do not know much about it. Hope that you will not go any place where you cannot write. I used to think it was awful if I did not get a letter every week and it was almost beyond endurance when four weeks elapsed with out hearing a word. Mrs Buckland has not had one yet but she knows that Col. is well, Dr. Stilwell having a letter from him. Has he been promoted or is he only acting as Brigadier general? I heard that he had been but did not believe it. Should think if it was so that we would have seen it in some of the papers. If he is not promoted it will not be the fault of his friends for they are trying to have him hard enough. Dr. S. went to Cleveland to see some man there and have him use his influence to have him promoted. Do not saying anything about it however for I promised that I would not. Guess that the Col. is as anxious as any of them. Do not believe that there is one man in the regiment that if they had as good and as many opportunities to be promoted as you have had would let them pass. Why do you feel so indifferent about it my dear husband” Is the regt. any dearer to you than it is to the Col.? He would not hesitate one moment about leaving it. Do not think my darling that I am scolding for I am not. If it does sound like it I do not mean that it should and would not have you think so for the world. Would feel awful if I thought that you would. I must confess that I get out of patience about it. If I could only see you five minutes would soon convince you that I do not mean to be cross one bit—but let us change the subject.
The young folks are getting to have a sleigh-ride to Woodville on Monday evening. Suppose that will have a dance when they get there. This is the first sleighing we have had this Winter and almost every person is improving it. You hear nothing but sleigh-bells from morning until night. Have been wishing for a ride myself but it has ended in wishing. You said in one of your letters that Poe had resigned. Do you suppose he will call on me when he gets home? Has he ever said anything about that affair since the time you wrote me that he had? We heard here that Harkness had resigned also and that he was expected home any day. There will not be many of the old officers left if the Col. is promoted will there? Has Dr. Goodson returned to the regiment yet? I do not like him at all-- Mrs Rainard and Fred, Lida1 and Mr. Brundage, Mr. Owen, Minerva2 and I were all going up to Uncle Homer’s to spend the evening last Tuesday but it was so stormy that we could not go. Uncle Homer3 appears as young and lively as a boy of sixteen. So found of company and is good company himself. Did you say that you and Gen. Raymond were not good friends. His wife has never been to see me since he returned home. She called on Mother while I was in Memphis. She and Mrs Canfield called here the other day and Mrs Canfield asked for me. Did not know whether Mrs Raymond was going to ask me to come and see her or not but she finally did. She asked mother to come and see her without saying a word to me and after she got out of doors turned around and said for both of us to come and see her-- Mrs Buckland and I are going out to Clyde this afternoon. Ralph is going to take us out in their sleigh. Will have to close. Write often my darling. All send a great deal of love.
Your affectionate wife
I wish you would burn my letters. Do not want the rebels to get them. Sarah E. Rice
Home Jan. 22nd1863
Yours of the 6th came to hand today. It was an awful short letter but a great deal better than none at all. Am very sorry indeed to learn that you have not received my picture yet. I sent it by mail and the letter was mailed the 26th of Nov. I believe. At any-rate it was the day you left Memphis. You said you had found out the reason why Dr. Gordon deserted I had heard of his intimacy with that girl before. Mrs Easton was telling me about it on our way home from Memphis but had forgotten all about it. Do not see why that would make him desert. If I was his wife would let him take the hired girl and go where he pleased with her. Would not care where, only the farther away from me the better. Would like to hear that funny story. Is it anything like the story I could not see the “point” to? I agree with you in thinking that my symptoms are rather suspicious. Should not wonder if something was up. I never was as fat as I am now. Have had to let out some of my dresses. Shall I engage “Mrs Montgomery”? I believe you mentioned her last Winter as being a good one. You know she thinks a good deal of me too. Mrs Phelps was here this afternoon. She said she wanted your photograph. Mary Dillon wants it too and Minerva and Lida and I want one for my album. Guess you had better have a number taken for I suppose “Mrs Cloud” and “Mrs Deacon Raymond” will each want one. You had better not take any unless they are good, better than the Colonels. I suppose it is because you are so handsome that there is such a demand for your pictures.
Mrs Buckland and I went out to Clyde last Monday afternoon. Had a real nice ride. Started at three o’clock spent an hour and a half with Mrs Eaton and reached home about half past-five. Called on Mrs Harkness but she was not at home. Had gone to Monroeville to see her sister. The young folks had a sleigh ride to Woodville on Monday evening. Some of them did not get home until the next morning. Should think they must have had a pretty wet time of it for it commenced raining in the night. Dottie Strong went with Dave Long and Lou Hatfield took Mrs Hinman of course. Have not heard what kind of a time they had—Hoddy Brightwell4 was buried day before yesterday. You remember my writing you that his sister5 was buried about two weeks ago do you not? They both had diptheria. Jennie Fitch has been very sick with it but is getting better now. They thought she would not live last week and went down for her folks. Mr. and Mrs McLellan went up on Friday and Amelia and Mary on Saturday. Mary is sick with it now. Do not know whether she is at home or in Fostoria. Orin England’s father wanted me to write and have you ask Orin if he ever got a box or package they sent him sometime ago. Do not know which it was. They do not hear from him and so wanted me to write and find out about it. George Price had Sarah Amsden (Ella’s sister who is spending the Winter with her) to the lecture Monday evening. I heard he was paying his address to her and should not wonder if it would make a match. Sarah seems to be a favorite name of his dont you think so my darling? Mr. Winslow lectured last Monday evening. I did not go but heard it was a miserable affair. Mr. Fenifrock delivers the next one.
Should think from a remark made in your letter that you must consider Dr. St. Clair a “filthy bird”. You know what I allude to do you not? His visit to Pittsburg Landing. Am reading “Old Curiosity Shop” by Dickens. And so Dr. Kaull had some notion of resigning because he had not been promoted. Do not blame him I would too. Mrs Eaton asked Mrs Buckland if she thought the Col. would resign. She said it depended on circumstances and do not believe but what circumstances are whether he is promoted or not. They are all anxious for promotion but you. I wish so much that you would be promoted before you resign. Do not want it to be said that you was regimental Surgeon nearly two years and did not get any higher. I know you can be promoted if you want to be and would like you to be something more than regimental surgeon when you leave the service. Do not care what but the higher the better. You know how much I love you and how it would gratify me. Do not blame me for I cannot help feeling as I do. It always was a weakness of mine that wanting to be at the “top of the heap” as they say. I know you have a good deal of ambition and it has always been a mystery to me why you was so determined not to get any higher office than the one you now have. But let us talk about something else.
Mother said to tell you that she wants your picture and would like to have it now. Does not want you to wait until you get so old that you look like “Old Kline” before you have it taken. Al. promised to send me his picture from Columbus but it has not come along yet. Hal Haynes has resigned and come home. He brought his darkey with him. Joe Bartlett is home on furlough. He is Division Quartermaster. The Daugherty boys are expected home today and I heard that Mrs Tillotson was expecting George. They dont give furlough where you are do they. Are you going to bring Pete along when you come home? Where did you pick him up. Wish I had a chance to talk with him when I was there. Tell him I want he should take good care of you. Jimmie wants to know when are you coming after him? Creight Thompson is home. Charlie Fouke is at home. Has been mustered out of the service on account of ill health. Charlie Taylor was wounded at Fredricksburg and is now home. In a letter from Henry Buckland to his father which is in the Journal he said Crockett had been mustered out of the service, that Harkness had resigned and that he (Henry) had been promoted to Brigade Quartermaster. He says should Col. Buckland receive a Brigadier’s commission, Eaton would be Colonel; Snyder Lieut Colonel, and Neufer Major.6 Where is Gene Rawson! Should think he would come before Snyder and Neufer. If they are all promoted you and Kaull and Gene will be the only ones that will keep your old offices. Hope to see your name in the paper as being promoted before long. You will please me in that respect if possible won’t you my own darling husband. No more this time. All send much love. Write very often and oblige your true and loving wife—Sarah E. Rice—
Do not be angry at anything I have written. You wont will you honey? S.E.R
Home February 3rd 1863
My Own Darling husband
I received yours of the 15th yesterday and one dated the 18th today. Have not written any for over a week. Did not know whether to direct to Moscow, Corinth, or Memphis and so thought I would wait until I heard from you. Am glad to hear that you are not going back to Memphis. You had a hard time since you left there have you not? Wish you had that nice rubber-coat that is in your box at Memphis. Think you leaving there was such a foolish operation. It did not do any good that I can see. Think some of the officers act as if they were crazy a part of the time. Mr. Buckland in his last letter seemed to be very much discouraged about the way things are going on there. Said he has made up his mind that if his brigade was broken up they would not need his services any longer. Do not mention it for perhaps he would not like to have anything said about it. Gene Rawson wrote to Ralph Buckland and said he wished he would tell him whose division he was in for he did not know himself.
Gough lectured in Toledo last evening and Gottschalk and Patti gave a concert there this evening. I thought some of going out there yesterday morning but it was so very cold that I changed my mind and then too it is about time for Grandmother to come and perhaps she would not like it if I did not stay at home and visit with her. Minerva and Mr. Everett went out and I guess every person thought they were married. He took his carpet-bag down to Grandmother’s and had the Bus call there for them. A number of us went up to the depot with them. Had a good of sport over it. The Peak family gave a concert here on Monday evening. It was a miserable affair. The Hall was crowded. Wish Patti would come here. Would like to hear her so much-- You wanted to know what I have been reading lately. Have just finished “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Dickens and am now reading a book called “The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers.” How did you like Great Expectations? Pip was a great or rather a queer chap wasn’t he? Am going to get “David Copperfield” to read if I can. Have been reading some in Artemus Ward’s book. And so you really have got my picture at last. Am glad you like it. What do the Col. And Maj think of it? I got one of the pictures Al. sent home. I think they are excellent. Tell him I am much obliged to him for it. You think I look more motherly do you. I don’t believe that I will look motherly at all until I have a baby. Now if my husband had been as smart as Fitch7 or Dr. Conger I might have had one by this time. Now own up did you feel bad when you got the letter saying that I was mistaken about that matter? I know you would have been almost crazy with joy if it had been true. Now wouldn’t you, that is if I had been perfectly willing to have it so. Abbie Haynes has a little daughter and Nat is almost tickled to death about it-- Fen. Dickinson8 and the Doughterty boys are home on furlough. They are all looking well. Creight. Thompson is going to resign. Is Hen Buckland Brigade or Division Quartermaster? Poe brought Mrs Buckland a letter when he came home and the Col wrote that he should call on her. You did not ask him to call on me again did you? I heard that Mr Harkness had got home but he has not been here yet. Should think he would come see us. I saw Mrs Bruner up at the depot yesterday morning and he said she had a letter from Mr. Bruner about two weeks ago. Oakley Sotten is home. Have not seen him but heard that he was confined to his bed. Dr. Conger9 is still at the Water Cure in Cleveland. He is improving fast. The last time I heard from him he had taken four steps. I guess Em10 has gone to visit him. Charlie Norton was up to see me the other day. Has gone to Tiffin to see his girl. Will have to stop writing. Lida is here. Write often and oblige your loving wife.
All send love, Lizzie S. Rice
Home Feb. 7th 1863.
My Own Darling Husband
I wrote you a few days ago and although I have not received a letter from you since, am going to write you again this evening. Do not know as I can think of anything to write about but will try and scratch off something. Forgot to tell you in my last letter that I received a letter from Lue Cruttenden last week. Was very much surprised when I opened it as she was the last person I expected to hear from. She wrote a real good letter. If I did not want to keep it would sent it to you to read. She had heard that I was offended at her and was never going to forgive her. Said she had often thought of writing to me once more but feared she would meet with cold neglect but had finally determined to write and ask me to forgive her. She said she knew she did wrong but gave this as her reason for doing so had heard that I had gone East and did not know whether I had returned or not. Told me how much she had always loved me and how dearly she loved me now and wanted to know if I would refuse to receive her into my heart as of old. She says “You have cause to complain dear Lida, but if a fault be acknowledged can you not forgive.” She is at her fathers. Did not say anything about her husband but Al. said he was in the army. All she said about the baby was that her dear little Rice was crying and she would have to go to him. That is the way with all those squalling babies. I think it best not to be in too big a hurry about having them. Ought to wait until the war is over at least. What is your opinion on that subject my “gude man? Amelia Gelpin has another baby. Have not heard whether it is a boy or a girl. Mrs R. Amsden is very sick. Has been flowing the same as Mrs McCullough. They did not think she could live but I guess is getting a little better now, though she is still very sick. Mr. Morgan is sick with inflammatory rheumatism. Mr. Phelps has been quite sick. He is not able to go out any now—I went to hear the new Methodist minister last Sunday morning. Think he is a perfect drone. The worst one they have ever had here that I have heard preach. He is as conceited as can be and thinks he knows it all—Mother and I went up to Ballville this afternoon for a sleigh ride. Called at Mrs Vallette’s and Aunt Eliza’s. It was pretty rough sleighing. The snow had melted a good deal and in some places there was nothing but bear ground—
Mary Dillon and I talk of going to Toledo to clerk in some fancy store. We are going to earn money to go to Europe with. We are crazy to go and think that will be quickest way for us to get there, to earn our own money. Suppose of course you have no objections to our doing so—Mother received yours of the 23rd yesterday. Has not Al. got there yet with your new clothes? Am sorry that you have had to wait as long for them but they will be nice when you do get them. Sergt. Neason has been sick since he got home. Today is the first time he has been out. You know he came back to hunt up the deserters. Don’t believe you could get furlough my darling? I dreamed last night that you had got one and come home. I often dream it but somehow or other my dreams don’t come true. I see by the papers that Gen Denver and the Surgeon in Gen Lauman’s Division have both of them got furlough and have come north—The young folks had a dance the other night. Mrs Hinman and Lou Hatfield were on hand of course. Lida says if she was Mrs Hinman’s husband she would come home and “knock her up” so that she could not run around so much—think it would be a good idea myself—Am tired of writing and will close this miserable letter. Please excuse all mistakes and write often to your loving wife.
All send love— Lizzie S. Rice
Feb. 8th 1863
There was a large fire in Toledo yesterday morning. A number of persons were killed by a building falling on them. The fire was first discovered about 7 o’clock in the morning in a coffee and spice mill. The Blade gives the names of all the killed and wounded that has been found when it was furnished—Levi Parish is dead. Wonder who will tend to the cannon now—Dr. Rawson is going to deliver a lecture to-morrow at the Presbyterian Church. His subject is “Vegetable life”. Every person thought he would back out and guess he did try to but could not get anyone to take his place—Wish I could tell you what Jimmie said to-day, but it is like your story, can tell it better than I can write it. Wish I could get a letter from you everyday. It would be so nice. I am not complaining because you do not write often for you do write as often as I would expect you to, but was just saying how nice it would be if I could get one everyday. You write very short letters lately it seems to me but will not complain for I am glad to get them if they are short—Mrs Hinman was at church last evening with Mr. Gardner (a little puppy from Cleveland). It seems that he has cut Lou Hatfield out. Had her to the concert last week. I told Mother the first time I saw him that I felt he was a mean little dog and I was not mistaken. He had about a dozen pictures of “fancy ladies” in Cleveland showing them to the boys in Austin’s Store the other evening. Doc was there and saw them and told Gardner he had seen two of them. He bet he had’nt but Doc told he had for they were over to Holliday and he doctored them. Gardner did not have anything more to say—Ada McCullough (one of my roommates at school) used to say that she could always “tell a mean man by the set of his breeches”. I always could tell them by the way they comb their hair. Their heads always look different to me from others. There is something about them but cannot tell what it is, but I can always see it and do not know that I have ever been mistaken. But no more of this. Write often— S.E.R
Home Feb. 12th, 1863
My Dear Husband
Yours of the 1st and 2nd came along in due time. Cannot tell you how glad I was to hear that you had at last got your box and clothes. You have needed them for a long time and think you might have had the box before you left Memphis as well as not. It could have been sent a week sooner with out much trouble. I kept hurrying Will all the time but it did not seem to do any good. He let Kridler take his time to it when he was making the saddle and even after it was all done poked around nearly a week before he had it packed. Do not think you could have had the clothes before, for Will had to send to New York and get the cloth. How do they fit you? I hope better than the old ones—
Will and Jule have gone to New York so I heard. They started yesterday morning. Jule was in Monday afternoon but did not say anything about going. Think it was a real mean trick and we are all provoked about it. We are not going to mention New York to her when she gets back or let on that we know she had been there at all. Am not surprised at her not letting me but think she might have told the rest of the folks. I have done all I am going to towards making up with her. She does not treat me any better than she did before only she speaks to me once in a while. She will come here and never ask a word about me and if I come in the room she wont say more than two or three words to me all the time she is here. Do not believe she wanted to make up very bad or she would act different from what she does. She never had treated me very well since I have been married. Do not know what is the reason. Whether it is because I married you or not, but should think not, for Minerva said you would not have married me if Jule had not been willing. Do not say anything about it to Al. or any one else. She acts just like Aunt Harriet (her mother) only not quite as bad but is getting more like her every day. Suppose they were afraid that if they told us we would want to send for something but they need not have troubled themselves about it for there are plenty of merchants going after while that we can send by if we want to. Do not want to say anything about your friends but you know Jule was my relation before she was yours—
And so you think I must have been in a terrible pickle about “something”. To tell the truth I was but did not let any person know it. Acted as if it was all right. Must tell you a good joke. You know the report is that I am going to have a baby. Mother and I were down street yesterday morning and were trading with Jake Garvin. Mother asked him if they had any “infant waists.” How he did laugh when he went back to get them—Suppose he thought I was looking for something and had got Mother to ask for me. Wasn’t he nicely fooled? Could not help but laugh to see how pleased he was about it—You wanted to know about “Uncle Homer and Uncle Gaw”. Do not know which will come out first best. Did you ever get the letter I sent by Uncle Gaw? It is a year to-day since you left home is it not? Did not think you would be gone that long without coming home when you left. Thought you would certainly be home before you left Columbus. Am so glad that I went to Memphis when I did for I would not have had any chance to go since—Saw Mrs. Kiser down town yesterday and she told me she had three letters from her husband since I wrote to you about it. Am looking everyday for that letter you said you was going to write in a day or two but it don’t come. Hope I will get it to-morrow—It is dinner time and will have to stop writing. Write often my darling—All send love—
Your Loving Wife Lizzie S. Rice
Home February 13, 1863
My Darling Husband
I received yours of the 2nd yesterday and one dated the 28th day before yesterday. Had not had any letters for a week and can assure you that they were welcome. You spoke of two of my letters having gone to Vicksburg and back again. I think it is a great wonder that you get them at all. You want to know if I had not better let you make the visit this time. I would be willing, if you would only make it. Of course would not want you to come home as “Tony Young” did.
Did I tell you how they escorted Tony up to the depot? The German Band was out and Messrs. Caples, Buckland and Owen made speeches at the Depot and “Tony” made a speech too. Guess they had the same carriage that they took the Col. up in and Tony and his wife set on the back seat and the speakers in front, just as they did when the Col. left. The little dutch tailor that works for Betts acted as Marshall. His horse ran away with him and he was almost scared to death, or at least looked as if he was. Do wish you could have seen him. He went up past here “John Gelpin” style exactly. Father thought that perhaps Tony would hear different kind of music when he got back to his regiment. Amos Wood was here to see me this afternoon for a long time. He has furlough of thirty days. He is Capt. now and on Gen. Negley’s staff. Was here this evening again, for me to go down to the dance, but did not go with him. We had a good long talk about old times, this afternoon. You know he used to be a beau of mine when we were children. Is going to give me his Photograph for my Album. He is the same Amos that he used to be.
And so you think that Ock. and Ella are trying to make that match. I do too and Mother, Lida and I have often spoke of it. Do not believe it works as well as they would like to have it for this reason; When the Masons had their supper Ock. wrote out for George to come in and go. Suppose he wanted him to take Sarah (you know he is a Mason) but he did not come and then when the Odd Fellows had their Supper the other night he did not stay, but went to Toledo in the morning after being here two or three days before the Supper. He is a member and should think they would have staid and taken her. They must be very anxious for her to get married if they tried to make a match between you and her. I would prefer to do my own courting, without any persons assistance and if I could not get a husband that way would do without one. She may (as you say) be an accomplished lady (am not well enough acquainted with her to judge), but do not think her good looking at all. Think she looks like Annie Shay and is real homely.
Should think that you and Orrin England must be confidential friends. I cannot write you a bit of news but what the first letter I get you say he told you all about it. Suppose Deed Norton15 keeps him posted. You know they are engaged. She would not like it I guess if she knew that he told you as much for she is a great enemy of mine. What is your little darkey’s name? Are you going to bring him home with you when the war is over? Did Pete wear out or why didn’t you keep him any longer? M. Taylor left home this morning. He was presented with a very handsome sword at the Odd Fellows Supper the other night-- It seems that you and Maj. Eaton are determined that Mrs Eaton and I shall have a baby between us. You declare that she is going to have one and he declares that I am going to have one. She looked real poor and bad when I was out there and shouldn’t wonder but what there was something up. Suppose you will pick on the Col. now, or rather Gen. I see by the papers that he has received his commission. By the way you promised to send me Gen. Denvers photograph but have not heard anything about it lately. If you do not have a chance to see him, write and ask him for it. Wish you would have him write his name on it. Give my love to All16 . I received the secesh flag he sent and am very much obliged for it. You will please tell him. It is getting late and will have to stop writing. Please my darling write as often as you can find time. I remain as ever your true and loving wife—
S. “Lizzie” Rice
P.S. All send love. Did I even tell you that Mollie Cloud is going to have another baby? Jimmie17 has a new box of paints and enclosed you will find the first picture he painted with them. He sends it to you for a present--- S.E.R
Home Feb. 14, 1863
My Dear Husband,
Have been looking ever day for that letter you said you was going to write in a day or two but it has not come yet. Thought I would certainly get one yesterday but was very much disappointed. I wrote you day before yesterday and forgot to tell you a piece of news that I intended to when I commenced writing. You remember that Henry Meads that used to live here, do you not? The one you told Doc and Lida the story about. You know they moved out west. Well a year or so ago he left his wife and run away with a mulatto girl. He then left her and reported his wife was dead and married another woman. She in the course of time had a baby. His wife hearing of all this has taken him up and suppose will send him to the Penitentiary where he ought to be. Should think now that the poor fellow was not to blame for what she scolded him so much about but rather that she was the one. It was too bad for the poor woman when she wanted one so bad wasn’t it? Isaac is as kind as “Pa” for Nellie is going to have another baby. The one they have is nothing but a baby. “Pa” will have to give him a few lessons in kindness. Emma Conger has gone to Cleveland to see Doc. He was bound to come home or have Em there and so they let her come and bring her baby.
I saw a notice in last evenings paper of the death of your cousin Robert Caldwell. You know he was wounded at Murfreesboro. Oakley Sotten is not able to go out any yet. Charlie Norton has got almost well. His furlough is out the last of this month. Joe Bartlett left last Monday. Jack Dickinson went with him. George Tillotson got home day before yesterday. What is the reason that every person can get furloughs but those that are in the 72nd? Do not think it is fair at all. Aunt Eliza said that folks felt real hard about Al. being home so long and getting so much pay for doing nothing. I told her that he had been doing as much as any one in the regiment had done until lately and that he could not go back until he was ordered to. I was real provoked. Do not see what good it does them to abuse the officers all the time-- Mrs Hale has gone to Washington. Mr Hale telegraphed for her and they think he is sick. She had only been home a week or two. Had been to Washington to visit with him. Our crowd had a sleigh-ride to Tiffin last night and Charles camp had one to Bellvue. Guess it is not very good sleighing but suppose they thought anything for a sleigh-ride. Mrs Waggoner is coming here this afternoon to stay until tomorrow with us. This is Valentines day is’nt it? Do you expect to get any? Wonder if I will get as many as I did last year. That cage that was sent has not been filled yet and the worst of it is that there is not much prospect of its being filled very soon. Think it is too bad. You are not one bit smart as far as that is concerned. Here I went way to Memphis thinking that of course “something” would happen but I might as well have staid away for all the good it did me. All the girls have got babies but me. Lue, Emma, and Kate Pell have each of them a little darling. Have no occasion to scold. Can truly say in the words of “Ma” that “it was through the kindness &c.” What an old goose she is anyway. Wonder how her Sheney (as she calls her) gets along. Mrs Dillon’s girl told her that Annie was promised to Gus. Don’t tell him for Annie would be awful mad if she found out that she had told it. How does Gene’s calico get along? Does he say anything more about the “back rations” he used to talk so much about? I asked you in one of my letters if you knew what had become of Miss Gilbert and Mrs Phillips and you never answered it. Would like to hear something about them. Did I tell you that Mother had received your letter? Do not believe she will answer it but she may. Have not heard her say anything about it since she got it, but before, she said that you had waited so long that if you did not write now she would not answer it. Guess she will come around after while. Well this is a miserably written letter and full of nonsense. My writing in a hurry will be some excuse for the poor writing. The only one I have for the nonsense is that I could not think of anything else to say. Write often my darling and believe me truly your living wife, Lizzie S. Rice.
Home Feb. 22nd, 1863
My Own Darling Husband
It storms so much to-day that I will not venture out to church and having nothing else to do will employ my time writing to you. I feel discouraged about writing. Have written so many letters and you say you do not receive them. I thought there would be no trouble about your getting them after you returned to Memphis. I mailed a letter yesterday letting you know how disappointed I was and how bad I felt because you did not come with Col. Buckland. Had no reason to think that you would but did think that perhaps you might come. Do not feel as bad as I did but am living in hopes that your furlough will come along next. It is only once in a while that I get real blue on the subject and then I can scold, cry and abuse almost any person but you. I told Col. Buckland that I had a notion to go back with him. He said he would take me but after his description of White’s Station think there would be no place to put me when I got there unless I would occupy one of the negro cabins he was telling about. Am ever so much obliged for the trinkets you sent me. Mary Dillon says she is sick and wishes you would send her a “dose of salts”-- They are going to have a sort of a war meeting at Birchard Hall to-morrow evening. The girls are going to sing and Col. Buckland is going to deliver an address so the bills say.
Who do you tent with since the Rev. Poe left? Your father told me the other day that Capt. Russel said he was going to call and see me. Wish he would for I like him first rate and that Mr. Waterson too. What made Maj. Eaton think that I was not all right? Did his wife write and tell him that I was not? I thought that she acted as if she thought something was the matter of me the day we were out there. Do not know what made her think so (if she did) unless it was because I am fleshier now than when she last saw me, but it is not baby fat. You said in one of your letters that you would try to get Gen. Denvers photograph and some others for me. Do not forget it please. And so Gen. Sherman does not like Gen. Denvers. I think Gen. Denvers is the best man of the two. I liked him but you said Lieut. Partridge had resigned and gone home, I remember him. Had an idea that he did not like me for some reason or other. I hardly remember Capt. Clark. Did he have sandy hair and whiskers? Guess he is the one that gave me that boquet the morning we called on the Gen’l—How does Roll. Edgerton get along?
Am so glad that you have plenty of clothes. They were a long time getting there but it could not be helped very well. Wish I could be with you to take care of you, while you are sick with that cold. Am not a very good nurse but guess I would do better than none at all. How I would like to drop in on you unexpectedly. You do not know how much I would like to see you my darling. If I did not love you so well would not care anything about it would I? Jule and Will have not returned from New York yet. Minerva has been sick with inflammation of the stomach. Is trying to get well enough to go to the Oyster Supper which comes off next Tuesday evening. Suppose you will wonder what Oyster Supper it is. The Masons are going to have a big time. Rev. Mr. Marks of Huron is going to deliver an address and Dr. St. Clair gives the Oyster Supper at his house. Uncle Homer is a Mason you know and that is the way Minerva gets her invitation. There is going to be an Oyster Supper next week for the benefit of the Aid Society. They are short of funds. Mrs Norton has written for Artemus Ward to come and lecture for their benefit too. He said that he would be very happy to “cum” Amelia Norton added in a postscript to the letter. When he wrote he said bring a single gentleman he was very anxious to meet the Presidents daughter. Mrs Flint is President now. Mrs Norton’s time was up a week or two ago. She would like it if she had been elected again. Said as much as that one day but did not do any good! She does like to have proven as Mrs Greene says. She don’t like it one bit because Mrs Hinman acts so. She is always so ready and willing to talk about other folks that it is coming home to her. Am glad of it for she acted so hateful about that car and talked so about our walking through the street that day. We thought she would get her pay one of these days—Doc. says “but Nat Haynes folks have got a nice baby”. My paper is giving out and my ideas too and so will stop writing. Write often to your loving wife—Lizzie S. Rice
P.S. All send a great deal of love. S.E.R
March 4, 1863
As Col Buckland leaves this evening will have to finish my letter today. There is nothing more to write than what I have already written. Do not know as I did tell you that the Catholics are going to have a “Fancy Fair” before long and are very busy selling tickets. Would you like to hear from your old friend “Mr Heller.” What is he doing & c. & c. Has quit the preaching and is now acting out “secesh” pretty strong. He ran for office a short time ago, was beat and is going to run again as soon as he has a chance. Guess he always was more of a “slink” than a preacher. Heard that there were only two or three to hear him when he preached his “farewell sermon”
Will you please accept the cigars I send by the Col? I wanted to send you something and did not know what else to get. Hope they will keep you and Al “out of mischief” a little while. Mr. Pass wants you to write and tell me how they suit. Whether they are as good as the other I sent or not and if not what is the trouble, if they are too strong or too mild or anything else about them that does not suit and then he will know next time just what will suit. He sends that match box and cigar lighter with his best respects-- Seems to be a great friend of yours. Think he is a real nice man and a perfect gentleman-- Wish I could see you. Won’t you try and come home soon and wont you love me again as you used to? I know I have many faults, but be a little more patient with me and I will try and overcome them as soon as possible. It can’t be done in a day you know. Enclosed you will find a picture that Jimmie drew and painted for you. Suppose you will recognize the “turkey tracks” below without anything said about them. Guess you will get tired of reading such a pack of nonsense and so will close. Have a miserable scratchy pen and my writing looks about as much like “turkey tracks” as Jimmie’s. No more this time. Please write soon and oblige your affectionate wife. Lizzie S. Rice.
P.S. I send a great deal of love—
George Tillotson had a congestion chill Saturday and was very low this morning. Dr’s Stilwell and Rawson were there this morning and said they thought it very doubtful if he recovered—Have heard since that he was dead--
Home Mar. 5th 1863.
My Own Darling Husband
Your favor of the 22nd was received in due time, and was very glad to hear that you were all in such good spirits. Have had no reason to complain about not getting letters lately, having had as many as four a week most of the time. I sent you quite a lengthy one by the Col. which I suppose you will have read before this reaches you—Was out to a party at Mrs Burdick’s yesterday afternoon and to a small one at Mr. Everetts in the evening. Had a real nice time at Mr. Everetts. It was a sort of “family party”. There was Minerva, Lida and Doc. Mrs Paine. Mrs Barnard. Mrs Burdick and Charlie Al. Tyler. Ralph Buckland. Al. Long. Mr. Brundage. Mr. Owen and your wife. We had a gay old time and did not get home until nearly twelve o’clock. Believe you are acquainted with all that were there but Mrs Paine. Mr. Brundage and Mr. Owen. Mrs Paine is Mrs Barnard’s sister. Mr. Brundage is the conceited gent that I told you I did not like and Mr. Owen is the gentleman I wrote you about and said if I was not married would pitch in for him. You know Mrs Dillon said to tell you she thought you had better come home and look after me and do not believe but what you will think it still more necessary when I tell you that he came home with me last night. Suppose I may as well look for you home on the first train after you receive this letter. How is it it [sic] “honey”? Mr. Owen really is a splendid fellow but what do I care, if he is or any person else either so long as I am blessed with such a darling good husband, so kind and true to me. Have always wondered how it was, that anyone with as much sense as you have, ever took a fancy to such a giddy chatter-box as I am. And so Charlie Norton wanted to get married and his mother wouldn’t let him. Guess your advice had a good effect on him. I plagued him a good deal about it when he was home. The young lady’s name is Miss Emma Pittinger. Should think Orrin England’s picture of Cordelia Norton must be exceedingly lovely if it looks anything like her. Gene is not very bashful about his love affair is he? I wondered how it was that Capt. Young got leave of absence but it turns out to be only “French leave” after all. Should think he would be afraid to go back—Had company for dinner today. Dr. Watson of Norwalk. He came over to tend George Sillotson’s funeral. Mr. and Mrs Phelps have not got home yet, but are expected this week or next. Emma Downs is expected home soon. You know she has been spending the winter in Chicago. Her folks sent her there to get her away from Mr. Taylor who does not amount to anything. Always looks as if he had just come out of a sand-box. A perfect little dandy. Such an one as Owen described in his lectures Em was dead in love with him or at least she acted very much as that was the case. Whenever she looked at him all the love imaginable would shoot out of her eyes. You couldn’t help but see it—
Did not have time to finish my letter last night and so will do so this morning. Was talking with Jimmie this morning about living with me and told him he would be my baby then. He said maybe you would bring a nigger baby home with you or might buy a white baby here, and then he wouldn’t be the baby. I want to know something about it. Are you going to buy a baby when you come home? If you do be sure to get a little girl. I saw Kate Fitch’s baby at Mrs Burdicks. Will leave you to imagine how pretty it is when I tell you it looks like Fitch. Am told that he thinks there never was such a baby which is perfectly natural. Have not seen Em Congers baby yet. You wanted to know if I wrote more than three letters in January. I wrote five. Not near as many as usual but you were traveling around so much that I did not think you would get what I did write. Will have to stop writing for I am going over to Mrs Ayer’s this afternoon to have Belle show me how to finish my slippers-- Write often as you can find time for you know how well I like to get letters. My love to Al. and tell him I would like his opinion on cigars as well as yours. No more this time. Please excuse the look of this letter. The children made such a fuss and that made me nervous and couldn’t write very well. Your loving wife Lizzie S. Rice
Home March 21, 1863
My Dear Husband
Yours of the 10th written in answer to the one I sent by Gen. Buckland, reached here in due time and was gladly welcomed by me, as indeed are all your letters. I heard through Lieut. Fisher that you had really gone to Vicksburg. Dr. Stilwell came here, and he said that when he left, you were all on the boats ready to start. I did hope that you would go to Murfreesboro instead of Vicksburg, but as that is out of the question now, will have to make the best of it. Take the very best care of yourself my darling and perhaps you will get along without being sick at all.
I guess you will have pretty hard work to read this letter. Have got something in one of my eyes and it pains me so that I can hardly see to write. Why didn’t you tell me that story about Charley Norton and his lady before? You know I would not say anything about it. Have a mind to write and ask Phone about it. How did you hear of it? Suppose Orrin told you of course. The day I received your letter Mother and I visited at Mrs Vallettes. Had a real nice time. Father was invited too but did not go not having been very well for a week past. Is very busy at the Bank just now Mr. Miller having gone to Chicago. Mr. and Mrs Phelps got home yesterday morning. Emma Downs was expected last evening but did not come. Did I ever tell you that Dan McIntosh was studying with Dr. Failing? I almost forgot to tell you of the arrival of another baby in town. Sarah Canfield has a son a week or two old. Suppose they are very much pleased because it is a boy. It is just what they wanted.
You say in regard to your remarks about Doc and Minerva that you did not intend to offend me and hope that you did not. I never was offended at anything you said about them neither did I intend to offend you when I said what I did about Jule and was very sorry when I found that I had done so. You say Lida and I are good friends and want to know if I could enjoy her society as much if you would not speak with her, would not remain in the room where she was &c, &c, as I do now. Do not think you would be justified in acting that way as long as she treated you well. If she did not treat you well then I would feel the same towards her as if she did not treat me well and would act accordingly. Any person (do not care who it is) that offends you offends me also. I was friendly towards Jule just as long as she was so towards me, and when she has a mind to be friendly again I will be so too, but will not do more than my share towards it. Jule is a good deal older than I am and for that reason do not think that I ought to give up on her entirely. If she was a little younger thing that you could not expect to know any better I might pass it all by, but think she is old enough to know better. I am not going to say another word on the subject today, so here let it rest.
All that had taken in the “Catholic Lottery” drum night before last. George Price drew a “sett of chairs”. Now see what I missed by not taking him. Charlotte Halliday drew a washstand. Some had eight or nine tickets and did not get anything and others got nothing but a tin whistle. I did not try my luck this time. Do not suppose I would have got anything if I had. You know that Mr. Owen I wrote you about? He is one of those “Butternut Democrats”. It has lowered him in my estimation a good deal. Brundage is one of the same stripe. Owen had one of his butternut speeches printed in the “Enquirer.” They both take it. Wish they would be the first to be drafted and would have to go too. Uncle Homer gave me his Photograph the other day. I wish as much that you had had some taken before you left Memphis. Minerva has gone to Fostoria to visit Ann Foster. Have you written to Charlie lately? I have had only one letter this week and it seems so strange. I saw your cousin Juliette Caldwell go by here today with Emma Sharp. It looked very much like her and am certain that it was.
Beme Amsden18 has bought that house of George Englers out by Nat Haynes. They moved out there a few weeks ago. It is a real nice place. Lida has me looking out the window every minute to see someone that is passing. Where did Al. get that flag he sent me? He said of a lady and that he promised to send it to me. Who did he promise? Was she a young lady or a married one, pretty or homely and what is her name? It is getting late and will close my letter. Please excuse this miserable letter. Write often and oblige your true and loving wife-- Lizzie S. Rice
P.S. All send love--My love to Al--
I must tell you what George Price said about me. He was going to get his brother Will’s wife a blue merino dress and got some samples to let Amelia Barnard see which was the nicest, and prettiest color. She was telling him who all had got them this Winter and among others mentioned my having got one but said that was not going to have it made up this Winter. She said he commenced to laugh as hard as he could and said “You said she was not going to have it made up this Winter”? “Is there any reason for her not having it made up”? Mel said she never saw a fellow laugh harder than he did. Suppose he has heard the report that was around about my going to have a baby and thinks that is the reason I am not going to have my dress made up. Won’t they get fooled nicely? Mel got one of my Photographs yesterday. Said she told George that she was going to put mine and his to-gether in her Album—His Photographs are the best I ever saw. Told Mel I would like one of them for my album but would be afraid to ask him for one for fear he would refuse me. The first time you write be sure and tell me that story about Charlie Norton—No more this time. Write often--
Yours with much love Lizzie
Home Mar. 25th 1863
My Dear Husband
I received yours of the 17th today and really was very much surprised as I did not expect to hear from you very soon. At least not until after you had reached Vicksburg, if that was your destination. It seems that you have been meeting quite a number of old friends lately, which certainly must be very pleasant. You spoke of Lieut. Chittenden. Is his name Stearne? If it is I have seen him and think he is the homeliest person I ever saw.
Who do you tent with now? You said “they (Mr. and Mrs Higgins) came to our tent and took tea: Gen. Buckland was telling me all about their being old friends, when he was home. I told him that he probably would not have seen her if we had not scraped acquaintance with her husband. It seems strange that it would turn out so don’t it-- Your “old flame” Ella Watson in here visiting Amelia Norton. Am going to see her tomorrow if it does not rain—What other regiments besides the 72nd and 95th belong to Gen. Buckland’s brigade. Mrs Buckland was telling me the other day that the Gen’s staff presented him with a new uniform. You are on his staff are you not? Wish when you write that you would tell me the names of all that are on his staff—Had you applied for leave of absence before you received marching orders? I heard that Hen. Buckland and Gene Rawson had, and were very much disappointed because they could not come home—
I will be twenty-one years old next month. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend the day with me. If you cannot, perhaps you can spend your birthday with me—You spoke of seeing Mrs. Col. Canfield at Memphis. What is she doing there? Has she got over being crazy? You know we heard at one time that she was deranged. The scholars of the high school are going to have an exhibition next Friday evening and will then have a vacation of two weeks. We expect Charlie home in a few weeks to spend his vacation. Jimmie is not very well. Has a bad cold. Could not go to school today and had to send for Mary Miller to keep him company, and wait on him. She is just like a little wife to him or as Lida said to-day is better to him than some wives are to their husbands when they are sick—Israel Smith’s wife and her children do not get along very well together I guess. I heard that he wanted to back out before they were married but she would not let him. He told her that he did not think it was right that perhaps the children would not agree, but she made him stick to his bargain. The old goose ought to have thought of that before—Emma Downs got home this eve—“Fannie” Haynes or rather “Geary” is coming home on a visit. Some person said that Mary was coming too but do not believe it. She never comes home because she cannot come in style—If you go to Yazoo city you may see that little rebel we had such a time with on the boat. She said she had two hundred hogs in one pen and I have forgotten how many negros. You might make way with a few of her hogs—It is late and will have to close my letter. Do my darling write often and oblige your true and loving wife—Lizzie S. Rice
Thursday Mar. 26th 1863
It was so late last evening when I commenced to write that I did not have time to fill out my paper and so thought I would write more this morning-- You spoke of having traded horses and said that you had a real nice one now. What is his name and is he as good as Billy? Libbie Morehouse brought up a letter for me to read the other day from Capt. Cate (a gentleman we got acquainted with when we were in New York) It was written on board the U.S. Bark. Pursuit at Tampa Bay. It is a long letter and very interesting. He gives an account of all that he has been doing during the past year. How many prizes they have taken their value &c. &c-- Jimmie says “ask John why don’t he write to me” He says he writes to you every day nearly and sends you pictures and you do not write to him at all-- Am glad to hear that you are feeling so well. Be sure and take good care of yourself-- You received the letter Father sent by Gen. Buckland did you not? I suppose you did but you never said anything about it. I must write to Charlie and will not have time to write you a long letter this time. Please excuse all mistakes and poor writing. Have written very rapidly All send love.
Yours with much love
Home April 7, 1863
My Dear Husband,
I received yours of the 26th yesterday telling me that you expected to start for some point in the vicinity of Vicksburg. I feel bad to have you go so much farther away from home but glad that you are going to leave that miserable place. Am sorry to hear that you have not been feeling well and hope, as you say that it will not be anything serious. You must have had a nice time at that dinner on board the “Forest Queen”. I wonder if you did not eat too much. Guess that must have been what made you sick instead of the weather. How is it? Mrs Buckland said to tell you that we are all very anxious to know what you said in response to that toast you was telling about. You had better tell me the next time you write or we will have to ask Gen. Buckland. I had not heard anything of that story about Charley Norton before you wrote and told me, but have since heard something of it. They say that she accused several gentlemen of being the father of the youngster and Charley is one of them, but it seems that he went up to Tiffin when he was home this last time and made the young lady take back all she said about him. They say that she owned up that he was not the guilty one. She has gone to Maryland to visit some of her friends there. Should think it was kind of mixed affair. “Would not like to be in her shoes”.
Mollie Cloud really is doing a thriving business. Mother says we don’t want any little squallers around until the war is over. I wonder if George is afraid of the sex and especially those named Sarah? Do not think he need be afraid of that one. What is your opinion on the subject? She is going home soon and Ella is going along. Expects to spend the summer I believe. If they had her stay here so long to marry her off I am afraid they have come to the conclusion at last that it is no go. It may be that George will take her but I do not believe he will. Mother says for you to tell the Gen that Dr. Coles is married. I must tell you what new babies have come to town since I wrote last. Mrs John M. Smith has a daughter. Mrs Ed. Tindall a son and Mrs Thad. Ball a son. Nat Haynes was as drunk as a fool yesterday and had a fight with Hen Rusch. Suppose he got drunk over the election. The Union ticket carried the day. The Copperheads worked hard but were beat. Three of the trustees received the same number of votes and to decide it they put themselves in a hat, shook them up and Col. Brundage draw and he drew out two Union men. Wasn’t it good? I will send you two of the Copperhead tickets which I have so that you can see what a set they are. Would send you the Union tickets also if I had them. Enclosed you will find an article I cut from one of the Cleveland papers telling something about Stan Greens movements lately. Every person here thinks that he will be shot as he deserves to be. You know Rosecrans is pretty hard on such fellows. Gen McPherson sent Minerva his Photograph. I hope Vicksburg will soon fall if you will come home then and make a visit. In your last letter you spoke of having received two of my letters dated the 13th and 15th. Are they the first you have got since the one I sent by the Gen? I wrote one on the 5th. You have not said anything about it did you receive it? I write a good many letters and don’t believe you get near all of them.
Minerva has got home from Fostoria and is sick with a cold. It does not agree with her to go visiting. She always comes home sick. Charley will be home next Tuesday. They have a vacation of two weeks. Mr. Fesselman has got home. I have not seen anything of him yet. Heard that he had gone to Cleveland. He was in to see Mrs Buckland and she says he looks as yellow as Maj Eaton did when we were at Memphis. How does he get along any way? Has he given up yet or does he still stick to it that I am going to have a baby? Jimmie says to tell you to come home. When you can get thirty days leave if you can instead of twenty. It is nearly dinner time and will have to close my letter. Do not forget my darling to take good care of yourself and to write often to your loving wife. All send love. Excuse looks, have a miserable scratchy pen.
My love to Al.—S.E.R Lizzie S. Rice
Fremont June 27 /63
My Darling Husband
I received yours of the 15th and 18th last evening. Am so glad to hear that you have got almost well again. Be very careful of your health for my sake. I can hardly wait until Vicksburg is taken, want to see you so very much. Do not believe you are half as impatient about it as I am—Was both surprised and pleased to hear of your meeting with Capt. Youman. I remember him very well. Suppose you have met Hen. or rather Capt. Jones before this time. How do you like him? Lizzie Wheaton wrote me that he was in the Army and Alf. Moore (another of my gentlemen friends) also. I wrote and asked her what regiment they were in and where the regt. was stationed but have not received an answer to the letter yet. I intended if they were any place near you to have you hunt them up and get aquainted with them. Am glad I have a husband that I need not be ashamed but proud to have them meet. Lizzie Wheaton is very anxious to see you she says. Will not tell you all she said about you, for fear it might make you vain and you know it would not do to have the whole family vain. There ought to be, at least one sensible one in a family don’t you think so? Lizzie wrote me that Milt. Southard (another of my friends) was a copperhead. Was one of the delegates at the “Democratic Convention” a few weeks ago. Do you remember that “Burlesque Programme” I showed you one day? Gen. Jones name is on it. Wonder if he remembered it. It seems to me that they accused Youman and some others of getting them up. He used to have gay times at Granville.
And so you think that if I have ever had whooping-cough that I have not got it now. Father says there is such a think as having it twice and that I have got it now. Am a great deal better than when I last wrote. Do not vomit anymore nor cough very hard. Next week will be my seventh week. Mother and Mary19 talk of going to Toledo to spend the fourth. They are going to have a grand celebration there and one at Tiffin also. Do not believe you will spend the 4th at home as you expected unless you hurry up matters a little. I want to see you more and more everyday. Just think it is nearly nine months since I last saw you. You ought to come home in time to welcome the “little stranger” folks are expecting. Does Maj. Eaton ever say anything more about it? What was the reason Dr. Kaull resigned. Should think he would have waited, until Vicksburg was taken at any rate. Have you any person in his place and could you leave now as well as before he resigned? Mr. Bean has come home to stay. Do not know for what reason--I remember Waterhouse’s Battery or rather the bugle well. Do not you remember how much I was charmed with it notes?
The “Presbyterian Sabbath School” had a picnic last Wednesday afternoon at “Birchard’s Grove”. I went out and we had a real nice time. While there I met a Mr. Chance who said he got well acquainted with you while you was in the 10th regiment at Camp Dennison. Said he was there at the time your regiment had that fight you told me about—
Lida is quite sick. Think she has inflammation of the bowels. Minerva has taken the baby home to take care of it. Lida has about decided to call her Minnie. She begins to laugh and is as cunning as can be—There is going to be a show here next Wednesday. Do you remember where I got acquainted with you? I did not think then that you would ever be my husband-- How does Gene Rawson get along? His mother has been quite sick but is better now. Has Roll. Edgerton got well yet? The German Band had a boat ride one day last week. They made three hundred dollars. Annie went. Said they had a very nice time. I see by the papers that her Gus has been promoted to Hospital Steward. Should thnk you would need some person that knew something about medicine for that position. Will have to close as I want to mail my letter this morning. Remember me to Capt’s Jones and Youman’s. My love to Al. am sorry to hear that he is not well. Hope he will soon be better—All send love no more this time. Write soon and oblige—Your loving wife. Lizzie S. Rice
Fremont July 2nd 1863
My Own Darling Husband
Yours of the 21st reached me night before last. Do not know why you do not get my letters. It must be the fault of the mails for I have written as often as I could find time to do so. I certainly am fortunate than you for I hear from you at least once, and very often twice a week. Cannot tell how glad I am to hear that your health has improved so much and that you are feeling real well again. Hope you will keep well now. Well! here is almost the fourth and you are not home yet. Guess I need not look for you before that time, as Vicksburg is not taken yet and there does not seem to be much prospect of its being taken for some time either. Every letter that comes from Vicksburg says “in a few days or two weeks at the farthest the city will be ours”. Think it is a very long two weeks. Will Kelly is at home. Do not know how long he is going to stay. Is not well at all. Believe that is the reason he came home. Mr. Bean was dismissed from the service. I heard that there were fourteen charges against him and afterwards they dwindled down to four. One was drunkeness, another sympathizing with the rebels and do not know that the other two were. To change the subject a little Mrs Oviatt has another little daughter a week old. Don’t you think she is doing a thriving business? The oldest one is not more than seventeen or eighteen months old. Mrs Morehouse, Linden, and Libbie have gone West to spend the summer with Mr. Graham’s folks. They are now in Chicago. Katie Golan is keep house for them. Emma Downs has a cousin here who is going to spend the summer with her.
My whooping-cough is a great deal better. Have got almost over it. Guess I shall go to the sociable to-morrow evening. Have not been for four or five weeks and to-morrow evening is the last one they are going to have. I heard that some of the Presbyterians made such a fuss about them that Mrs Flint (the President of the Aid Society) was going to stop them. Mother and Mary are going to Toledo tomorrow evening. Mrs Watson has been here three weeks visiting Mrs Close. She is going home in the morning. You never said a word about Ella. Didn’t you get the letters I wrote when she was here? She sent some word to you in several of them.
Sunday July 5th 1863
I actually have not had any time since Thursday to finish this letter. Friday was just as busy as I could be all day helping Mother and Mary get ready to start and Saturday had as much work to do that I could not possibly finish it. I baked some cake yesterday and it was real nice, just as good as any one could wish so they all say and I think so too. Wish I could send you some of it to see how you would like it. You know that it was my fist attempt at anything of the kind and I feel real proud to think that I succeeded as well. Suppose that if Mother would stay away long enough I would get to be quite a cook and housekeeper. I received Al’s letter Friday evening. We had a real nice time. The folks in town have been just about crazy since noon over the news. They rung the bells all the afternoon, fired the cannon and a long procession carrying flags and headed by a band of music marched around town stopping every few minutes to give three cheers. This evening they have a large bonfire down on Main Street and they keep up a constant cheering. Suppose you will have heard the news before this reaches you but for fear that you may not will tell it you. Lee’s army has been defeated and cut up terribly, we, having killed, wounded and taken prisoners 40 thousand of them. The report was this afternoon that they were in full retreat but that Pleasanton’s cavalry was in their rear and would cut off their retreat. This evening the report is that the pontoon bridges they had left behind were destroyed and they could not get across the river and the probability is that this whole army will be captured. Good news if true isn’t it? Will have to close, excuse all mistakes and poor writing and write soon. In great haste, your true and loving wife--Lizzie S. Rice--
Home July 12th 1863
Well, my darling when are you coming home now that Vicksburg is really taken at last? I want to see you so very much and think you have been gone long enough to come home and make me a good long visit. You will resign if they will not let you come won’t you my dear? It is seventeen months today since you left home and will be nine months to-morrow since I left Memphis. A long time isn’t it? You asked me in your letters what I thought about your resigning and coming home to stay? You know I would like to have you home so much, but do not think it would be hardly best to do so if you are well enough to remain in the army. Am afraid that you would not be contented to stay at home and then too there would be danger of your being drafted and I would not want a husband of mine drafted.
Thursday July 16th 1863
Have not had time to finish this letter until this afternoon. I commenced it last Sunday and have been so busy ever since that I could not possibly find any time to write only in the evening and was too tired then to think of every thing. Annie went home last Saturday and wont get back until last evening and Mother and I put up five gallons of cherries while she was away—I wrote you, did I not that Lida was very sick? She is some better but is very weak yet. Cannot sit up at all. She has weaned the baby. Minerva has had it down home nearly three weeks. Leroy Moore’s brother Mandille20 was wounded in that battle at Gettysburg and his father went to see him last week. They did not think that he was wounded bad enough to come home and was getting along so well that his father did not stay but a few days. He got home last evening and this morning they got a dispatch that he was dead—
You know I wrote you a few weeks ago that Miss Seals was married. Folks say now that she was a “grass widow”. They did not find it out until lately. She was married when she was only seventeen to some man in Calafornia she only lived with him three months when he forged a note and run off with another woman. Wasn’t he a scamp?
I went to the sociable last Friday evening and (wonder if I dare tell you) George Price came home with me. Now don’t get jealous and make a fuss about it please “Mi Lord”. We had a splendid time. It was the last one. They are not going to have any more until it gets cooler—I danced every time and was so tired I could hardly get home. Was out to a war meeting last evening. A captain in the 3rd Ohio Cavalry spoke and it was real good. I wrote to Al. last week. Has he received the letter yet? I have not heard from you for nearly two weeks. Anna Buckland got a letter last evening from her father. It was written the 4th of July. I have not seen anything of Dr. Kaull yet. Do not know whether he has been in town or not. I heard that he was homesick to get back and had offered his services again. I do wish you would come home or else let me come see you. Which will you do? I want you to make up your mind to say yes to one or the other the next time you write. Have you seen Captain Jones yet, and how does Capt. Youmans get along? I have not had that photograph taken yet. I want to wait until I get fat again. Am real poor since I had the whooping cough. Have got almost over it and the doctor-book says that the patient should leave home about that time, that a change of air is desirable. Now don’t you think a trip to Vicksburg would be good for me? If you should happen to see Mrs Jordan down there any place just give her my compliments and ask her who has Vicksburg now-- It is nearly tea-time and will have to close—Please excuse this miserable scrawl and write soon to your true and loving wife— Lizzie S. Rice
P.S. All send a great deal of love. Shall expect you home soon or else a letter for me to come to Vicksburg—No more this time. S.E.R
Fremont July 21st 1863
My Dear Husband
It is over two weeks since I last heard from you. Have you got tired writing to me or what is the trouble? Gen. Buckland came home very unexpectedly last Saturday evening. Does not look near as bad as I thought he would from all accounts. Says that he improved every hour after leaving Vicksburg. I had great notion to give him a real good scolding for not keeping the promise he made me when he was home last winter—To send you home as soon as he went back—He wanted to know if it would not do me as much good to have him come home as to have you. Said if I would call after that he would try and console me. Told him I believed that I would send a letter by him to Gen. Grant, stating my case, and see if he would not take pity on me and send you home for a short time—Am so sorry you cannot come. Have been expecting you so long. I realize the full force of the old saying “Hope defend maketh the heart sick”—Lida Buckland got a letter from Henry one day last week saying he was coming home in a few days. There is no such good news for me. If any person asks me when you are coming home will tell them, when the war is over, for I have given up in despair of having you come home before that time—
We have been having very cold weather for the past week. Have had fire almost every day-- Lydia Morgan returned home last week. We expect Charlie home the first of next month. Do not think that he will go back to Painesville again but will go to Gambier in the Fall. Mary is still in Toledo. Do not know when she is coming home but presume the last of this week. The Phelps girls are home. Mrs Castle of Cleveland is here visiting. Mother expects to have her visit her to-morrow. Cora Downs was expected Saturday evening. She is coming here to be doctored. Has a tumor I believe. You know I suppose that Arthur is in the army-- Lida is getting better. She sat up day before yesterday for the first time in three weeks. The baby has been quite sick but is better too. Dottie Strong is visiting in Indiana or Michigan do not know which. They say she has gone to get a divorce. The report is that Dr. Paine is not going to live with his wife anymore. You know he is in the army. They say that no person in Elmore would board her and that she had to go to housekeeping. When she was boarding at the hotel I think it was there was a man seen coming out of her room at two o’clock in the morning. When her husband was home he found a package of letters that had been written her by some gentleman so they say. Vic. is the last person I would have thought of that would do such a thing—“There is no trusting the war widows-- Minerva says you can’t tell who will be getting a divorce next. Says that the next think you will be getting one from me but then she added afterwards “there is not much danger of it for you have been very prudent.” I think not either, especially on that account, for I am too proud of my good name to lose it by any imprudent conduct, so do not borrow trouble about it-- to change the subject a little I am reading “Les Miserables”. Have you ever read it? I think that I will like it very much. You never told me how you liked “Great Expectations”. Last Friday was Mother’s birthday. Doc made her a present of a very nice Photographic Album. It is the same size of mine and very much like it. When are you going to have some photographs taken? Father has some taken that are perfectly splendid. They could not be any better. Did I ever tell you that Mrs Ellinwood has a baby? She was married five years before she has any at all and her little girl is eight years old and now she has a son six weeks old. They are what I call smart folks—Mother says there is a report that George Loveland is dead. Manville Moore’s body is expected home every day. His father started for Baltimore a few days ago and last night they received a dispatch from him saying the body was sent day before yesterday and that he would start for home yesterday—It is nearly dinner time and must close—Please write soon and oblige your loving wife—Lizzie S. Rice
P.S. All send a great deal of love--
Fremont Aug. 4th 1863
My Darling Husband
I have not had time to write you any since the letter I sent by General Buckland. What do you think you will do about remaining in the army? I would not have you stay one day longer my dear if you think it will injure your health so much that you will never recover from it. Am afraid that you have not been as careful of yourself as you should be. How is it honey? When Gen. Buckland came home he said that you was as well and hearty as any person down there when he left, and was feeling so glad to think that you were so well, but when I received your letter found out my mistake. You know what is for the best and use your own judgment about it my darling only do not stay too long, until your health is permanently injured. If you could only come home and make a visit I know that it would do you good, but it seems as if it was impossible for you to do that. Hope that whatever you do will be for the best—
Lydia Morgan and Mr. Taylor were married last Thursday evening at Mr. Bushmills and are now boarding at Mrs Closes. Her Father and Mother were very much opposed to the match and feel dreadful about it. She has not been home since and they have not been to see her. There was no person at the wedding but Mary Kelly, Anna Buckland and Mr. Slater. Anna and Mr. Slater stood up with them. I was very much surprised for I always thought that if the Taylor run away with any persons daughter it would be Mr. Downs’. They were only engaged about six weeks or two months. Every person pities poor Roll. Wish you would watch him and see how he takes it. I feel sorry for him. Mr Morgan says now, that Lydia might have married Roll if she had wanted to that he had forty times rather had her marry him than Taylor. The night she was married Olan Meachem carried two letters up to her from Roll but did not get there until after she had left home. Hope that it will not make him reckless and ruin him. He thought so much of her. Hope she may never find out that she thinks more of Roll than her husband and repent this hasty marriage. Any person with half an eye could see that Hill Taylor thinks all the world of her-- Emma Downs21 started for Washington yesterday morning— Mr. and Mrs Phelps are going East next Friday to be gone about two months-- Dr. Conger starts for Washington tomorrow morning to report for duty. He walks a little lame yet but does not use a cane. Charlie Norton and Pete Kessler are both at home. Have come to recruit so I heard. I forgot to tell you that Anna Buckland and I gave Lydia a very handsome silver syrup pitcher for a bridal present—You know that Lydia and I promised each other years ago when we were quite small that we would, when we got married and had children name our first girls after each other. Lydia says now, that she should not wonder but what she would have a chance to name a girl after me first if I was married nearly two years before she was. I would not be surprised either. Would not want her to name a seven months one like Marys after me but do not think there is any danger of that-- I must tell you what they said about them. You know they always have something to say-- Well they said that Ft. Morgan was taken the other night by Taylors Battery, that they (the battery) fired three times and then it surrendered. Taylor told some of them that were talking with him about it that he heard that it had not surrendered yet. They then said afterwards that Ft. Morgan had been reinforced with nine months men. Isn’t it mean for them to talk so? I went to the Panorama night before last with Will and Lydia-- I dont believe that I ever told you the joke they have on Milt Rawson—Mrs Quinn had a girl that they suspected of not being as virtuous as she should be and so they thought they would watch her one night. About three o’clock in the morning they heard her come down stairs and go out of doors. Mr and Mrs Quinn then go up and dressed and went out and found her & Milt Rawson in the candle shop hard at work. He run. Mrs Quinn told him that she was going to tell his wife and declares that she will do it. The girl told them that he gave her a few dollars that morning and she was to supply him and Gene King for a week. Guess they lost the money for Quinn’s sent her off on the first train—Milt did not show his face down town for several days and when he did they bored him almost to death. Do not know half the things they said but there are some of them. That Milt Rawson was going to receive a pension for going around waking the hired girls up so early. Whenever there is anything going on they say that lights will be furnished by M. E. Rawson. Then they say that they dont believe that we can have gas again for M.E. Rawson has started an oppsition [sic] candle factory and a lot more such stuff. Milt told Julia that morning that he believed he would get up early and go to market so that he would have the first chance—I think he did have the first chance—I think I have written nonsense enough to stop—Father went to Findlay this morning. Brough speaks there to-day Charlie22 and Mary got home Saturday. No more this time—All send love—Write soon to—
Your loving wife Lizzie S. Rice