Letter to the Front,   Eckford, Nov 20th

War & Farm News from the Home Front

a new School House & School Marm

This letter came from Preston Wells by way of Valerie Radee

Eckford Nov 20th (thursday evening)

      My Son
We received two letters of the 11th & 12th of Nov from you got them last Evening, was verry well pleased to hear from you, and to hear that you were so healthy and that you were gaining in flesh so finly [finely?]     I think your fare certainly must agree with you, remember that the true maxim of life is to make the best of everything, you speak of your hard bread and meat, you certainly must have some other food besides that, please write in your next what other articles of food you do get, your mother is not verry well but so as to be about the house, the rest are all pretty well, John has gone with Gordon hand to a war meeting over to the geatohell1 school house, so you can see that are hunting after recruits yet, there is a recruiting office in Homer, when I was there yesterday they told me that Allons Blacksmith man had enlisted in the mounted Rifles and had joined his Company, I saw one new recruit at the tavern that was waiting to be sent to the 28th Regiment, he was a stranger to me, today I have been to help raise a stable for Mrs Beardsley, John patten told me that he thought he should enlist to join you regiment if he could be sure that they would take him, Samuel Bennet told me today that he was thinking verry much of joining the Cavalry where the Seekler boys are, they have not heard from O. Bush since last August, Mrs Beardsley got a letter today from him it was writen on the 15th, tell him his folks are all well, the town of Eckford has not filled her quota of voluteers yet we lack 17, Clarendon lacks 7, but the Drafting is put off until the first of December and we begin to think they won't draft any

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There is considerable talk of trying to make Old Dan Dunakin pay the ten dollar Bounty that he promised to pay the Eckford boys, I have offered to pay one dollar to help pay the costs of a suit, I am told that a lawyer in Marshall has offered to give his services if the neighbors will pay the other costs if he does not gain the suit and make him pay it,,

Now while I think of it I want you to get your Certificate of enlistment of your Captain and send it to me, so that if any thing should happen to you, I could have that to show that you had been in the service, do not fail in getting it and send it to me as soon as you can, I got a paper at the same time that I got the letter we will send you some of our Detroit papers and whenever we can get a Statesman or any other we will send them as well, I have the job of putting the seats and desks in our school house and am going at it tomarrow there is to be 12 of them and I get $15.00 for the job and and furnish the stuff for them myself, the school is to commence the first Monday in December, it is expected now that Sarah Wells2 will teach it she is to have three dollars per week and hire her own board, Mr Daniels offered to board her for one dollar per week, you wanted to know how Old kit looked, she looks a great deal better then when you rode her to Marshall the last time, ma feels much better to, I had a new set of shoes put on her yesterday it costs ten shillings, the Blacksmiths of Homer have all the work they can do and charge almost double price for it, you want we should keep her well, we will do so to the best of our ability as long as the corn lasts, she wants a big pile of it, and I believe the most that has ailed her is the want of plenty of corn, she is not much lame now and I think if we can get a good coat of fat on her bones that her joints will be all reight, you must remember that you was to send money to buy her some corn

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You wrote in one letter that we must look at the express office for something , but I have not been out there yet but will go next week, we will send a small box to you in a few days and will mail a letter at the same time so you will know when to look for it, tell Charley W that I have not sen any of his Parents family or some days but guess they ar well as common, I saw Mr P Harrington in Homer yesterday he said he had not heard from Wm H__ in some time, he was well and said uncle Barnes folks were well as common, say to Charley that the buckwheat is thrashed, Mr Herman Louis has disolved partnership with Mr Gleason and has moved in with Henry R Cooks, Louis has got his cellar wall done and I guess that is about all he will get done to his house untill next spring,,

Your Grand Father has bought a cow and has been putting up a stable to keep her in, they are as well as usual, tell the homer boys that Sam Howard has gone to living with his ((Old woman Mrs chapion)) how is G Sanders now is he well or not, I want you to be more particular in regard to the boys from this vicinity and let us know how they all are, tell Cicero K to write a good long letter to me or I shall not speak a good word to his gall, tell Charley Wells that he may expect that his farm will all be plowed up next summer, for Black Dan has bought a pair of two year old steers and is going to get Bill Rapp to break them for him so he may expect to hear of Old Dan farming on a large scale,

John has got the traps of George Daniels but those that you took up to Greens barn we cannot find, 8 or 10 rats and lots of feet from more, it is after eleven O'clock and Ma and the girls are in bed asleep and John has not come home yet so I guess I will stop writing for this time and go to bed too, it is vetch dark and snowing a little but melts as fast as it comes, good night, Pa

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Saturday morning 22nd

When John came home from the war meeting he told me they got 3 recruits that evening, they were John Harmon, that is Old Harmons son, Wm Bailey that preacher in the steam saw mill, and the Old man Mr Cumber, I don't think Mr Cumber will pass muster, but he says he is bound to go anyway, the last that was jawed from the Mich_ 2nd Regiment the Homer boys were all well, I learned the other day Hubert Humestangs wife had gone to him and that they were both sick in the Hospital, Ira Warren was the one that got the 3 volunteers the other night he has not paid John up yet, the weather is first rate for out door work it freezes a little at night but is quite warm throu the day, there has not been more than 1-1/2 or 2 inches of snow in all that has fallen here this fall, we have about 20 bushels corn to husk yet, John is at his old trade Hunting the Cows, it takes him about half of the time, they ramble about and will not come home unless they are drove home, do not have feed to keep them up or we would not let them out, I had expected ma would finish this letter but she is so busy getting ready to go to grandpas that she can't so I have it [to] do, you must take good care of your self and I guess you will grow to be a man if you keep on with your short rations, but I hope you will Continue to to get enough of them to keep you in gaining in flesh, Mr Richey told me yesterday that they heard from Harrigan a short time ago, he was not well, he is troubled with bloating so much so that he could not button his clothes around him, he said he could get his discharge if he wanted to, but he did not, I shall look for some money from you today when I go to the office, remember and be sure to Direct plainly if you send any thing to me

Keep your letters coming
      this from your Affectionate Father

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  1. Go-to-hell school house, Wm's father, the son of Mary Kennedy wrote with an Irish brogue, i.e. his use of verry et al.   return
  2. Not Wm's sister, but his cousin, Green Wells's daughter born 1841. return

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