1862 Letters

October 30, 1862 letter to Alonzo Johnson from Charlana & Burton Johnson

October 30, 1862

To:  Alonzo Johnson

From: Charlana & Burton Johnson,[1] Climax, MI

General news about visits with various family members.

Climax Oct the 30th[2]

My Dear Child

I take my pen for the first time to write and let you know that we are all well at presant and hope this letter will find you in better health than it was when you wrote to your Father.[3] He has received too letters from you and Ella[4] one. Mary has written too and and received one. She expected one this week. Mr Dorance[5] is fixing his house over and puting on a new addition. They are all well. Mr Cheney has moved his house and turned it round end ways to the road. Thay are all well. Emulous and Ruth[6] have been here on a visit. Burton and I went with them down to Aunt Ellens. We found Mary and Lat Keeping house alone. We staid all night. I slept with Mary. Tell Daniel I like her very much but pleas dont get jelous only keep himself worthy of her. Emulous went down to the Burgh and had three likenesses taken one for Lorinda[7] one for Ellen[8] and one for me. We went from there to Lorindas. I read Henry Johnsons[9] letter. It was first rate. He wrote that he had found you and I was glad to hear it. Mary Dorance[10] has been here to night. She says if you dont answer her letters she will come thare and ring your neck like a chicken. I forgot to tell you that we found Ellen and Jim[11] to Lorindas. Emulous has deeded the farm back[12] to Father and Mother.[13] Aunt Desire stays here to night. She sends her best respects to you but her love and well wishes to her boys. Give my respects to Leverett and the too Henrys and much more than respect for yourself. I must leave room for Burton.

From your mother

My Dear Alonzo

I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and I hope these few lines wll find you the same. We received your letter and was glad to hear from you. The folks are all well here now. I went to a war meeting last night. The house was crowded full as it could be. I have dug my potatoes. We had eighty five bushels for our share. I have commenced husking corn. It turns out first rate. You wrote to Mary that you got kicked. I want you to write whether it hurt you much or not for we feel anxious to know. Emulous has been home. He had a furlough for two weeks.[14] He has gone back now. Malvina[15] has been home and stayed a week. I tell you it is lonesom here. Ellen is going to stay with Malvina four or five weeks and I expect we shall feel more lonesom than ever. If you are sick I want you to write to me and let me know it. Old tige is getting fat as a fool [?] he is getting so that he plays like a colt. I have had a chance to sell him but I think I shant. I have not let my farm yet and I dont know as I can for there is not enybody to let itto. I cant find enybody that wants to take a farm. I have got my wheat sowed and it looks very well now but the insects are destroying the early sowed wheat very bad. I dont think of much more to write at present. I dont know as you can read this. I have wrote it by the pitch light and in a hurry. I am going to Kalamazoo to morrow with Mary and Ellen. I am going to see about some bounty money for the soldiers. We heard there was some for your company and I am going to see about it. I must bring my letter to a close so good bye Alonzo from your absent father and well wisher.

Burton Johnson

Ella and Malla have writen to you. Ruth and Siah French have acted like too fools. It is groing late so good night my boy

Charlana Johnson


[1] These are the grandparents of Cora Ellen Meredith (not yet born) who will marry James Clinton Keith, the son of Charles Luke Keith & Sarah Crawford

[2] 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

[3] Burton Johnson

[4] Alonzo’s sister, Ellen Johnson

[5] Alonzo’s future father-in-law, Alfred Dorrance

[6] Charlana’s brother, Emulous Adams, and his wife, Ruth

[7] Charlana’s sister, Lorinda (Adams) Meredith

[8] Charlana’s sister, Ellen (Adams) Milham

[9] While the relationship isn’t clear, Henry Johnson was living in the household of John Adams in 1850 (age 8) and 1860 (age 18). No further records have been found for Henry Johnson

[10] Alonzo’s future wife, Mary Dorrance

[11] Ellen (Adams) & James Milham

[12] The 1860 census shows Emulous as the head of the household. Being the oldest son, perhaps his father had previously deeded the property to him, but then upon going off to war Emulous thought it best to deed the property back to his parents

[13] John & Rebecca (Lawrence) Adams

[14] Emulous enlisted for service in the Civil War on October 11, 1862 in Co. L, Michigan 5th Calvary Regiment and was mustered out on May 22, 1865 at Washington, DC

[15] Alonzo’s sister, Malvina Johnson


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