1862 Letters

November 16, 1862 letter to Alonzo Johnson from Charlana & Burton Johnson

November 16, 1862

To:  Alonzo Johnson, Louisville, KY

From: Charlana & Burton Johnson, Climax, MI

Charlana was offered $30.00 to teach school for three months. Several women offered to do her washing and baking for nothing and she could come home at nights, but Burton wouldn’t let her because he would be so lonesome. Burton then writes, but he is unable to write much because his hands are so sore from husking corn. They have already put 160 bushes in the crib. He still has 22 bunches of corn to husk yet and three or four loads to draw. “Uncle Amicy has taken your grandfathers farm and gone thare to live.”

Climx Nov the 16th[1]

Dear Alonzo[2]

We received your kind letter last wednsday and was glad to hear from you and to see the rapid improvement you are making in writing. Pleasee us verry much. It is time well spent and you will neer regret it. We are all well and hope this will find you the same. Your Father[3] and Burton Wheeler are husking corn when it dont rain to hard. He pays Burton two shillings a day. He can allmost keep up with your Father. They have put one 100 and 60 bushels in the crib. The bounty money that was advertised for the Michigan volunteers was for the 19th Reg. Burton is paying all the debts he can. Mr Lamb has bought the cherry cow for fourteen dollars. He gave Mr Noyse a morgague on the farm. It runs two years. Uncle Amicy has taken your grandfathers farm and gone thare to live. I think you must have seen Mr Grimes before this time for he said he should pay you a visit. Mary D[4] was over here all last week quilting a bed quilt for her Mother.[5] You ought to have seen her and Burton chase and and kill a muskrat but She will tell you all about it next week when she gets over her cold. Mr Cheny and Mr Fisher have been here to hire me to teach their school this winter. They offered me thirty dollars for three months twenty shillings a week. Mrs Cheeny Mrs Fisher and Mrs Cisco have been here and teased till all was blue. They think I can teach school as well as not. They would do my washing and baking for nothing and I could come home and stay nights but your Father wont let me go. He says it would be so lonesome he would not stay here a minute. I earned three dollars spining and have bought me a new delain dress with it. We begin to be jelous of you for wanting to see old tige more than all the rest of us but you better believe we should like to see you. I must draw my letter to a close for it is allmost midnight. Write as often as you can and we will do the same. We should like to hear from you evry week. We read Marys letters to you and from you and She reads ours the same. Give my best wishes to all of my friends thare and my love to Alonzo B J

From your Mother

Charlana Johnson

Tuesday afternoon. I did not send my letter to Kalamzoo as I expected to monday so I washed up the dishes and commence again. It is warm and foggy all most rainy to day but your Father is out husking corn. He has got three or four loads out in the field husked ready to draw up. He has got most done. His hands are so sore he cant write so you must put up with my nonsense. I must leave off and get supper so good by for the presant. Write to me if this is worth it.

We oft remember you when with you friends we meet
Allthough you are we dont no whare
Your memory will be sweet

We have all kind of wether
That ever you knew
In our western country
The Kalamazoo

Miss the adress to a young lady Miss
Mrs to a mared lady

Well Alonzo I have just eat my supper and sat down to pen you a few lines to let you know what I am a doing but my fingers are so sore a husking that I dont know as you can read it. I have got 22 bunches of corn to husk yet and three or four loads to draw. I cant get it up alone for the horses feel so well that I cant leave them alone. I want to see you very much and the rest of the boys. I have not much room to write any more but you must write as often as you can. Give my respects to all. No more at present.

Burton Johnson


[1] While no year was given, records show that Alonzo served during the Civil War from September 11, 1862 to February 2, 1863 and again from March 15, 1865 to August 13, 1865, so it would appear this was written in 1862

[2] The envelope is addressed to Mr Alonzo B Johnson, 25 Mich Inf Co E, Louisville, KY, In care of Capt Sutton

[3] Alonzo’s father, Burton Johnson

[4] Alonzo’s future wife, Mary Dorrance

[5] Lucinda (Stone) Dorrance


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