My Dear Cutie [Augusta],
Three letters came today, one from you, one from Sister Bogue, & one from Bro. Curtis. Yours was written the day of my Quarterly meeting, hoping I would get it before I started after you which is the case. Our minister’s meeting was a failure owing to the [Presiding] Elder’s not coming and also the weather being so very bad. Sister Bogue spoke of meeting with you and having a very pleasant time and expected to see you again but failed to do so. Bro. Curtis’ people are well and making a great reckoning on our coming there on our way back to Kansas. He says the best way to get there is to come by way of Cincinnati and if we will let them know the time of starting they will meet us at the depot. But should not they happen to get word, to stop at Mrs. Catharine Moore’s who lives in town until they can come. He says they had a good crop of wheat, but other crops were light. Says prices are high – butter 50 cents, eggs 25 cents, corn $1.00, apples $1.25. Says they have about 50 bushels put up and would send us some were it not the great cost of transportation. I hope we can manage to make a good visit with them.
Did I mention in my last letter to you that I left Sister Naylor & Rolla very sick. Rolla was taken the day his father died. I wish you would write to Sister Hannum and find out how they are. Do you know where that note is that Father Winans gave for [your brother] James’ money? I looked among the papers in the tin box today and did not find it. [I also] looked in that little pasteboard box in the third drawer. James may want it to draw his money with and I can’t possibly conceive where it can be unless you have put it away somewhere else by itself. I think I shall sell that old buggy of Father Winans the first good chance I can get. Have you heard from either [of your brothers] James or Ralph lately? I should think it was time for James to come in as it must be past haying now. Henry Winans was not in the fight [at Westport]. His company in part with himself was used as an escort to the [wagon] trains probably owing to his deafness.
I received by mail today a circular from the Northwestern Freedman’s Aid Commission, Chicago, Illinois to donate articles to the great fair soon to be held there. I noticed among the board of managers the name of Mrs. J. S. Griffing. I should think you kept it quite still. Is it to embody all the states? And when will you be relieved? And are the duties very irksome? And how do you manage with the children?
Please tell mother & [my sister] Mary [Pike] I am much obliged for that stocking yarn. Had you not better take it and knit me a pair of mittens? You know I wear out so many and they always come so handy. I have faced my white mittens with some leather from a bootleg and they are very handy doing chores. You spoke of my tippet.  Where will I find it? Please write often as you can. I shall always be glad to hear from you all. – James
My dear husband [James],
I feel greatly disappointed in not getting a letter from you the past week. None has come since the day before Thanksgiving, the 23rd of November. I think if you were sick, some one would write to me of it and think perhaps it is only a stoppage or delaying of the mails. I hope you are well, but I would so love to hear from you.
It is Sunday evening. The children are in bed. [My brother] Steve is asleep on the lounge. [My sister] Sarah [is] by the stove in the barrel chair trying to sleep or rest as she cannot read – her eyes being very weak for a few days past. Ma is tired of reading and has pushed back from the table, so I have it all to myself. Ma is better of her cold than she was a week ago but not able to do much. Sarah is not feeling well, but she & [our son] John & I went to church this forenoon. Mr. Keyes preached. Some few have left the Methodist Church giving as a reason “the minister preaching politics,” but I suppose at the Episcopal Church where they attend their ears are not troubled with listening to anything of the kind.
[My sister] Sarah & I visited Eliza Farnham Hancock who lives in the house Aunt Lucy used to live in near the red mill. We called at Mr. Pettigrove’s. He owns that red mill property and lives where Uncle [Samuel] Rockwood used to. They enquired about you. Last evening we went down to [my sister] Mary’s and ate oysters.
I walked over to Owego one day hoping to get a letter from you, but none had come. [While there, I] bought [our son] John a pair of shoes. [My brother] Steve bought him a pair soon as we came & those are about gone. I had to give two dollars for a pair of coarse ones. We took dinner at Aunt Lucy’s. Wilbur Stratton boards there and goes to the [Owego] Academy to school.
I have not seen any one [of your relatives] on the hill. I should think some of them might come down. Nor have I heard from Topeka. Your letters have all come before & one with the licorice came. The boys were pleased with it. I thought I wrote of it when it first came.
William Catlin was married the past week at Springport to a Miss or Mrs. Yauger, I do not know which. Mrs. Emma Greene is here & has been, but I have not seen one of the Catlin’s since I came. They do not come here and I have not met them. The girls are all married, I believe, & feel very important.
Monday. All are usually well. We have been washing, but it’s not a very pleasant day to dry them. It still keeps cloudy a great deal of the time. The boys have been hauling chip dirt around [my sister] Sarah’s plants, drawing it in a wheelbarrow. [Our daughter] Mary says pa-pa & ma-ma & when she goes near the fire says, “burn-burn.” She is very mischievous but amuses us all. We are going to have a Christmas tree for the children. Times are hard & so we shall make little things – rabbits, balls, &c. for the boys & dolly’s for [our daughter] Mary & [my sister’s daughter] Fanny. [My brother] Steve is going to Owego & I hope will get a letter from you. Hope this will find you well & not very lonesome. Ever yours – Augusta
My Dear Cutie [Augusta],
Here I am at home again all alone in the parlor and plenty cold enough to be comfortable – the thermometer not far from zero. I had a very pleasant visit at [my] Sister Clarissa’s and Ossy’s [in Table Rock, Nebraska Territory] from which place I wrote you a few lines. [My brother] Ossy was about to start with a load of pork out on the plains when a freighter came in and told him that the Indians were again committing depredations out on the road, had killed several men & drove off a great many horses. He finally concluded not to go but went with part of his load to St. Joe and brought in a load of merchandise for a gentleman in the Mercantile business at Table Rock for whom he intends to clerk it the remainder of the winter after he returns.
[Clarissa’s daughter] Lydia [Giddings] expects to attend school at Pawnee the present winter to commence next Thursday. [Clarissa’s youngest daughter] Mary [Giddings] appears much better than when we were there last summer and helps her Ma a great deal and is quite a good girl to mind. Ossy wanted to be remembered to all the folks there when I wrote and especially to yourself. His health is quite good with the exception of the rheumatism, which troubles him at times. [Clarissa’s husband,] Brother Giddings works just as hard as ever and is doing very well now pecuniarily. He is traveling the Pawnee Circuit in addition to his home affairs, Brother [A. G.] White having gone into the army.
I was in hopes to get a letter from you when I came back but none was there. I am afraid some of you are sick. Sister Jones read me a part of a letter she had just received from her husband. Said they were not far from halfway through and were in great fears they would have difficulty with the Indians. Said the morning before they had gone about three miles from where they camped and found a man lying dead in the road who had been killed. They went on a little ways further and found seven more, some wounded and some dead, and found the Indians had taken a [wagon] train and were playing hob  in general. They had gone off with the plunder and they continued on through the day and were not disturbed, but he thinks they run a very narrow chance. What will be done with these Indians, I don’t know. I do hope the Militia won’t be called out again.
I am glad you had Sis’s likeness taken when you got your own, and John & Willie’s taken [too?]. Please send me one. Do the children all keep well? I was afraid that going from here to that changeable climate might subject them to colds, but I hope not. You spoke of John’s face being unwell. Has it never recovered from his fall from the waggon house? Your proposed arrangements with regard to your land meets my approval entirely, or anything else that would satisfy you. If John does go to school, I hope you won’t fail to hear him read at home. All he will learn at school won’t amount to hill of beans without it is ‘badness.’ Oh how often I think of you all as I sit all alone day after day & night after night in my room. Does Willie still remember me? And is he a good boy? Bro. Taylor thinks I had not better go for you until after Conference, which I see by the paper commences March 15th and will probably close about the 22nd. What do you think about it? And what do you think about coming back to this appointment another year? Speak freely and believe me ever your own dear husband, -- James
I don’t find my tippet [hat] anywhere.
My dear husband [James],
Your letter of November 29th I received the past week – just two weeks since receiving the one before it. I had begun to be very anxious about you, but your letter written after your return from Topeka explained it all. I am so glad you went down, but was so sorry to hear the dreadful news it contained. It does not seem possible that poor Mrs. Naylor is left alone. Can it be possible that we shall never more see him or visit him as a neighbor? I have written to her and shall feel very anxious to hear how she gets along & hope Mrs. Hannum will write. It seems Mrs. Naylor is not the only bereaved one – poor women. I feel truly sorry for them.
Did you see Henry Winans? Of course he is all right else you would have written. Did you see Nancy or Jacob [Orcutt], or hear anything about [my brother] James Goodrich? We have not heard from him in a long time and Ma feels quite anxious. How did Mr. Hannum & the rest escape being taken prisoners? Have you heard whether Mr. Williams lived or not? Please write me all you hear about them.
We are about as usual here. My health is good. All tell me I have improved since I came. I don’t know what I shall do when the apples are gone. They are decaying very fast and they only had a few to begin with. I am afraid they will all be gone before you get here as every one is making the same complaint. The children would miss them very much. [My sister] Sarah and [our son] John have just been down to get some & I wish you were here to help eat them.
[Your brother] Samuel, [his wife] Malvina, [and their children] Ella & David came & spent last evening here. They were coming in the morning but [your brother-in-law] Grove [Pike] took their horse. They were well. Ella goes to school in Owego & David on the hill. Your mother was well [though your sister] Mary is not very well. They had just received a letter from [your sister] Mrs. [Clarissa] Giddings. She wrote she had heard nothing from you since I left [and] that they had not heard from Sarah since in October. [She also wrote] that Mr. [Charles W.] Giddings was their preacher. The one they had Malvina said she believed had gone to the war but she could not tell. I hope you can go up [to Table Rock, Nebraska] and see them before long.
[My sister] Mary Horton and her baby were up awhile today. There are several inches of snow on the ground & it has been an unpleasant day. If the ground was not so rough we might have good sleighing. [My sister] Sarah & I visited at Aunt Lucy’s Wednesday. We took Willie & Mary. Willie went into Lucy’s school. I would send John to her if it were not so far. We hear that Harriet Mosher from Michigan has come on to spend the winter. I shall be glad to see her.
John is glad to get your letters and would like to write to you if he could. How are your neighbors and will they get along comfortable this winter? Give my love to all who inquire. I often think of them all. Take good care of yourself & not get cold if possible. I hope you will keep well. Write often. Ever your – Augusta
My Dear Cutie [Augusta],
I find in looking in the Almanac that I dated my last letter to you wrong. It should have been the 9th instead of the 12th. Yours dated November 27th came today – the one in which you speak of Mrs. Anthony’s funeral. I am glad that you get all my letters. I expect they will be longer than ever getting to you owing to the ice in the rivers and the detention by cold weather. Yesterday was the coldest we have had this winter. The thermometer (ours) stood 12 degrees below zero or 44 degrees below the freezing point. The wind blew strong from the Northwest and it was very severe. I concluded I would be safest indoors so I built me a good fire and staid at home all day & I guess everybody else did the same. Yet cold as it was, it did not hinder having a wedding in town & who do you think it was? Why nobody but Mother [Melinda] Phillips to old Grandfather [Batson] Dennis – the one past 60 and the other 67.  The Rev. Mr. Newton tied the knot. It was done very privately, nobody in town scarcely dreaming of such a thing. The old man is quite well off and one of the leaders in the Baptist Church. Mr. Stinson did not seem to like it much, but I guess it generally suits pretty well. I called on the old lady today and she seemed “mighty” well pleased. Said I must not tell you what she had been doing which I have been very careful to observe.
I wrote a letter to [my] Mother & sister Mary [Pike] & sent in the mail today. I wish you would enquire of them whether they received it or not. Sister Willis has not returned yet. She is staying with her mother at Bath, Summit County, Ohio, and expects to bring her mother to Kansas in the spring.
I guess the mice are not very bad. I keep an old cat for company who watches them pretty closely. I have looked about in the trunks but don’t see any fresh manifestations of their doings. I shall probably board around until the people get tired of me or say they wish my housekeeper would come back and take care of me when I shall take it as a gentle hint not to come any more. I shall have lots of patching & darning to do when you do come. I wonder how you will all make out for clothes there this winter. Did you take any of your winter underclothes and what is there that I can do in the case -- There – two guns just fired. I guess they have come to chivaree  the old folks [who were married today]. There they go again. And of all the noises, cowbells, tin pans, and such screeching & screaming. Certainly those youths ought to be looked after. This is a sort of interruption to what I was saying. I wish you would specify what you want I should bring on when I come. Shall you want your furs there? And Johnny’s coat? And is there anything else? If that second hand coat is not too valuable perhaps you better make it into clothes for the children. I was obliged to get me an overcoat, which I did for $12, a regular grayback with cape. I have also got me a saddle at the same price. I got me a pair of gray pants when at Leavenworth for everyday wear for $4.50 using up the money but I needed them all very much. I am sorry to hear of your Mother & Sarah’s sickness and hope all will be better soon. Did those [Ladies] Repositories come?
Write as often as you can. Believe me ever yours, -- James
dear brother Ralph. We were glad to
hear from you today but sorry to hear your business prospects were so poor.
Would it not be better to leave Little Rock
altogether & come north? I think if you were here you could find employment
that would pay better than being there. We all think so and Ma thinks you ought
to come home. I think perhaps your health would be better here. Cannot you
settle up your affairs there & if you have not means enough, Steve can send
some if it is safe. But my advice is to leave there. James Hollister was home
the last I heard. His business was broken up just as yours was. I would rather
be here than at
husband] James concluded after the difficulties there in Kansas
not to come for us until February so we are here for the winter. They have had
a great deal of trouble in
Gurd [Horton] & Mary are up tonight. They have a very pretty baby – Fannie Augusta. Steve killed hogs today – two for Ma & two for himself, which he sold. They are small but his two came to over $50.00. Pork is very high. He got $16.00 per hundred. He paid the taxes today also. In all they were $135.70. And last year [they were only] $29.00. They raised bounties for volunteers which made the taxes so high. Mrs. Harriett Mosher has come to make a visit for the first time since they moved away some ten or eleven years ago. Aunt Lucy [Fiddis] and [her daughter] Lucy are well. We visited there last week. Ma has a cold & cough but is better than she was. Frank Platt is very feeble.
often as you can, Ralph. We often talk of you and wish you were here. And I
would certainly leave there. With much love as ever, your affectionate sister,
My dear husband [James],
Your letter written November 29th with the one to [my sister] Sarah came the past week. Also two [Ladies] Repositories. The September & October numbers have not come. Have you sent them?
We are all well today and Ma, [my brother] Steve, [our son] John & I have been to church in a sleigh. The snow is nearly gone now but we have had sleighing several days. Mr. Keyes preached a missionary sermon. At the close he said he had been much annoyed by people’s coughing & wished those who were troubled that way to sit in the other end of the house so as not to trouble him so. I thought if he preached in Kansas awhile he would have to put up with greater annoyances.
Our little [daughter] Mary fell off the bed after taking her nap last Monday and hurt her right ankle. I think she must have sprained it, as she would not walk for several days. We bathed it often in arnica & vinegar & now she is beginning to walk again.
I have sent John to school for two or three days and shall [continue to do] while it is good weather. And yesterday I bought him a National School primer, which the teacher sent word he needed and I think he will improve. He wants to go & on the whole I think it is best.
[My brother] Steve had a thrashing machine yesterday, and butchered hogs & a beef this week, & paid taxes. Last year their taxes were $29 and this year they were $135.70. Ma’s part was near $60 and she had to take up some money Pa left her that was in the Bank to pay them. I do not know what she would have done if it had not been for that & she hated to take it too. Steve sold two pigs in pork for 16 cents a pound. They came to over $50. Pork is high but beef is only 6 cents & 7 cents by the hundred. Pork at the market is 20 & 25 cents. Poor people will have it hard this winter. Steve has to pay $1.50 per day when he hires a man so if they can get work they can earn something.
One day this week Mr. Noteware called here with Lucia Broadhead. He was in Owego a few days & so came over to see us. His wife has been with him this summer traveling about & had gone to Illinois to see her mother who was quite sick. He says an Aunt of his wife – a Mrs. Mitchell – is living near Centralia or Seneca. Do you know her? A widow, I think he said, and I believe he has been to see her. He has two children – a son 16 years old is in the Newport Naval School, and a daughter. He stops at the Ahwaga [House on Owego].
Fred Lovejoy, Dr. Lovejoy’s only remaining son, died the past week. He had erysipelas in his head. His parents take his death very hard. Frank Platt is very low again. They have not thought she would live & Charlotte & Mary have come on. I called there yesterday. She was better but they think she will not live long.
You asked about that note of James Goodrich’s only a few days before I left. We were talking about it & looked at it & left it in that tin can in the upper drawer. You look again at all of the papers [and I’m sure you’ll find it there]. I looked them over twice before finding it [myself]. Your tippet [hat] hung on a nail at the foot of the stairs the last I remember of it. Will you have stockings plenty?
I have had no notice that I was to be one of the managers of that Fair [to be held in Chicago] & as it is now so late for me to get ready, I shall have to deputize you. I hope we can go to Mr. Curtis’ [home in Illinois]. I would enjoy a visit there. Do you know when your Quarterly meeting is to be and when will Conference meet? Did you hear anything about [my brother] James Goodrich? We have not heard from him but once. Where is Fort Larned?
Mrs. Sackett is sick with heart disease. I have not heard from your folks this week. The boys talk of Papa often & want to know when he is coming to see them. They look very healthy, so every one says. Mary came up to me just now with the little kitten saying, “tiddle, tiddle.” She tries to talk younger than the boys did. Write often. Give love to all. Ever your affectionate, -- Augusta
My Dear Cutie [Augusta],
Would it be so pleasant if I could only be with you at home this day. I went to Seneca this morning and tried to preach. Afterward I took dinner with Mrs. Scofield, who by the way had canned strawberries, during which time it commenced snowing and I thought it best to make back for home where I have been since reading. I was glad to get a letter from you yesterday written Dec. 4, only 13 days a coming and I guess you have by this time received some from me which you complained of not getting. As I have written some 4 or 5 since the time you speak of. With your last there came a letter from Father Winans saying James Goodrich was there [in Topeka] last week but had now gone back again to Junction City to work as he could get better wages up there. [Father Winans] was well. So were his family & Harry’s. The people of Topeka took up their dead last week who fell in the battle near Kansas City and, after appropriate ceremonies, had them deposited in their cemetery where they intend to erect a suitable monument over their remains. It was a time of considerable interest. They were buried with the honors of war.
Col. Chivington, we hear, has achieved a great victory over the Indians. He trailed them a distance of 300 miles, the last 100 being through snow two feet deep. He traveled the last night 100 miles and just at daybreak came to a Cheyenne village of from 900 to a 1000 warriors. They killed their chiefs and 500 other Indians, and captured about 500 ponies & mules. They found a white man’s scalp in one of the lodges not over three days old. You remember Col. Chivington. He was the big preacher at Topeka conference. He is now Colonel of the 2nd Colorado Regiment. 
Sister James Jones  was taken violently unwell this morning with the _______ but was easier before I left. Have not heard from her since. She has been very kind in your absence to look after the preacher and help him in keeping patched & washed & darned. She is a good woman. So is her good old mother [Beers] and all the rest of them. Did I tell you that Sister A. K. Moore  had gone to Illinois? She has lost two sisters lately [so she went to live] with her mother and help take care of their children. She thinks of bringing all out [to Kansas] in the spring. Her brother [Edmund Pickup]  is teaching here this winter in the house Mrs. Carter lived in.
How are you getting along with the children’s clothing and your own? I sent you five dollars in my last letter, which I expect you will get about Christmas, but it will only go a small way in getting the things you will want. But as it is so risky sending money that way. Try and get along some way until I come and I shall try and make all right. My best coat does not seem to wear well at all. It was ripped and given out in several places. Do you think I had better have my Hartford overcoat here made into a dress coat? Will it pay or shall I buy a new one when I go down to Conference? If so, what kind of one had I better get? I wish you would select for me. It is yet nearly three months until our Conference. It has seemed like a long time since you and the children left and it will seem longer until Conference. Yet I am getting along just as well as could be expected under the circumstances so don’t borrow any trouble on my account. The people are very kind to me. I think my staying alone will do me good. It will teach me to prize you all the more. Your best friend, -- James
My dear husband [James],
In my last letter to you I wrote [that our son] Willie was lame. It has turned out to be inflammatory rheumatism, not yet a very severe case, but hard for the poor little fellow to bear. He complained Sunday morning of being lame but not so much but what he wore his shoes & stockings & went out of doors if he wanted. But just before night he began to cry with lame[ness] awhile. We bathed it & kept a light all night & was up with him considerable – he crying with pain. In the morning he could not bear any weight on his feet and acted very much as he did last winter when he had those lame spells. We soaked his feet & bathed them often & he seemed better Tuesday morning although not resting very well Monday night. Tuesday he said he felt better & tried to step a little with help. [My brother] Steve was going up to the back lot that morning & as I had not heard from your folks lately I thought I would ride up there with him. We came back a little after two o’clock & found Willie worse – or his symptoms worse. His foot had swelled considerable & he had fever. Steve went for Dr. Armstrong & he pronounced it inflammatory rheumatism but hopes to break it up so that he will no have it all over. It is now in both legs and he cannot bear to be touched. We have to move him often, as he gets tired in one position. For three nights he has been very restless & suffered a great deal.
The doctor came today & will come until he is better. He is sleeping now. I give him medicine every hour. I slept downstairs with him last night & shall tonight. The doctor thinks those spells he had last winter were similar to this. But he got his feet wet Saturday & then trying to step on it Tuesday aggravated it. He complains of his back very much today. It pains him at times & then again he is quite talkative. While I was gone yesterday he was talking a great deal to [my sister] Sarah. [He] told her about Bingo & the badger you killed. I hope he is not going to be any worse. [Our daughter] Mary is walking but her ankle troubles her & she is fretful so we have our hands full all of us.
I found on going up to your mothers that [your sister] Mary [Pike] had a young daughter born last Friday night but she nor the baby are doing well. She took cold & Sunday had a chill & fever but not like our ague chills. These are more dangerous & they have had their physician (Miss Bates) everyday since. She came there while I was there & said there was danger of puerperal fever, which is very dangerous. She has not been well for a long time. Your mother had a cold & had been up with Mary the night before. They have a good girl [helping with the housework] & have had her for two or three weeks. [Your sister-in-law] Malvina was there too. I feel anxious about [your sister Mary] but cannot go up while Willie is sick.
I will write again soon as I can and hope to write better news next time. Ever your true wife, -- Augusta
My Dear Cutie [Augusta],
…I have just come from Sister Connell’s. She has just repaired my pantaloons and fixing them a good deal better than I could. Everybody must enquire after you and want to know when you are coming back. Whether it is because your absence has brought more on their hands than they imagined or out of pure anxiety for my condition, or merely to have something to talk about, I can’t always tell, but always hope the motive to be a good one and try to answer them as well as I can. The question has been asked so many times that I have an old stereotyped answer that I try to make on all occasions, “W’all I recon she will one of these days.” Mother Philips and her man [Batson Dennis] have gone to housekeeping over on Illinois Creek where Howard Chilson lived near Mr. [William] Houston’s. I have not called on them yet but must before long. Bro. [A. King] Moore’s brother & wife and his father came in from Illinois a few days ago intending to settle here. The Carter place across the way which they were thinking of buying was sold to an Englishman who thinks of moving there in the Spring. The Carter’s & Houston’s have all gone back to Missouri which many do not regret.
I see by the Central that my last Quarterly meeting takes place the 18th of February at which time I do hope the [Presiding] Elder will be here. I do not feel much inclined to remain here another year unless the brothers bring up arrearages and pay honest debts. To try to live this year upon anything less than the amount allowed is out of the question with the prices we are obliged to pay for everything. Yet after all, we have some good, kind brethren & sisters [here] who will be held in grateful memory along down to the latest years of my itinerancy. I have rather encouraged Bro. Hannum that he could stay another year on our place [near Topeka] and I do not care about going back there if I continue in the work. I would be glad if you could be at the Conference at Topeka, and yet I do not know as you would enjoy yourself well. They will be apt to be so crowded there just at that time. I would be glad if you would speak freely about our destiny another year and I will use my influence with the [Presiding] Elder to meet your wishes so far as the good of the cause will warrant. For my own part, I would much prefer Circleville to this place. We could go down home [to our farm near Topeka] easier, would have a much better house to live in and a garden, and I think better support. If Bro. A. leaves Holton, Bro. Knipe would as soon go there as remain which would open the way. That is a sort of a plan I have but it may not be the Elder’s or the Lord’s. But should the door open, I feel like stepping in.
Tell me all about Mother Griffing, and always believe me ever yours, -- James
 A “Tippit” was an alternative way of referring to one’s hat.
 “Hob” means to make trouble for, or interfere with.
 Batson Dennis was born in Henry County, Kenkucky about 1796 and died in Seneca, Nemaha County, Kansas in August 1875. He married his first wife, Mary Ann Callender, a native of Richmond, Virginia in 1818. She died in Nemaha County in December 1861. Melinda Phillips, his second wife, was born about 1799 in South Carolina. This letter was apparently written on their wedding day, December 12, 1864.
 "Chivaree" is a variation of charivari, which is “a noisy mock serenade to newlyweds.”
 Col. John M. Chivington, formerly a Methodist clergyman in the Kansas-Nebraska Conference and an acquaintance of James Griffing, led a Colorado Volunteer regiment on an early morning attack (Nov. 29, 1864) on the Cheyenne's Sand Creek reservation, “where a band led by Black Kettle, a well-known "peace" chief, was encamped. Federal army officers had promised Black Kettle safety if he would return to the reservation, and he was in fact flying the American flag and a white flag of truce over his lodge, but Chivington ordered an attack on the unsuspecting village nonetheless. After hours of fighting, the Colorado volunteers had lost only 9 men in the process of murdering between 200 and 400 Cheyenne, most of them women and children. After the slaughter, they scalped and sexually mutilated many of the bodies, later exhibiting their trophies to cheering crowds in Denver.” Source: The West Film Project Web Page. For a more complete description of the massacre, click here.
 Sophronia M. Beers, born 1 September 1828, was the wife of James G. Jones, born 24 December 1829. James Jones and his older brother Luther were the children of John Jones, born about 1802, and Cynthia Syntie, born about 1805, both of Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York. In 1864, James and Sophronia Jones lived near James & Augusta Griffing in Lincoln, Nemaha, Kansas. Sophronia's parents were Cyrus Beers of Fairfield, Connecticut, born 18 August 1804, and Mercy Paulina Brooks. "Mother" (Mercy) and "Father" (Cyrus) Beers are mentioned frequently in James Griffing's letters in 1864 but the couple does not appear in the Valley Township, Nemaha County census records of 1865. Cyrus Beers died 21 September 1866.
 Anna Pickup (Moore) was born about 1830 in Tarrifville, Connecticut. She and her husband, A. King Moore, born about 1827, appear in the Valley Township, Nemaha County, Kansas census records of 1865. Living in the same household in 1865 is her younger brother -- the school teacher -- Edmund Pickup and two children -- the children of her deceased sister Malley (Mary) Pickup from her second marriage in 1853 to Jacob Neighbor (a.k.a. 'Squire Jake' or 'Curly Jake' Neighbor, b. 1803, d. 1860 in Newcomerstown, Tuscarawas, Ohio). Their children's names were Martha Phedora Neighbor, born 1857, and John Edmund Neighbor, born 1859. Mary Pickup was the eldest child of Aaron Pickup and Martha Crabtree of Newchurch-in-Rossendale, England, who came to America in 1827.
According to an obituary published in The Tuscarawas Advocate, New Phildelphia, Ohio, published 13 January 1865, Anna Pickup Moore's sister, "Martha Pickup died in Bureau County, Illinois, November 13, 1864. Martha's sickness was Typhoid Fever and lasted some 21 days. She was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and embraced religion at an early period in life and remained a faithful member of the M. E. Church until she took her certificate to come to Illinois. On arriving in Illinois, she joined the Methodist Protestant Church at Limerick, Bureau County. Martha was the main dependence of an aged mother [Martha Crabtree, born 1799], who by this sad bereavement is left lonely and disconsolate. Neither of the deceased [referring also to Mary Pickup Neighbor who died of Typhoid Fever at the same time as her sister] were capable of conversing in their last moments, but their former character gives sufficient evidence of the happy issue of life. The only consolation left to pious and aged parents is, that their daughters, though separated from brothers and sisters here, they are together in Heaven. C. Gray"
 Edmund Pickup, brother of Anna Pickup Moore, was born 4 November 1832 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. On 2 May 1864, Edmund enlisted as a Private in Company A, 161st Infantry Regiment Ohio. According to Dyers Compendium: "161st Regiment Infantry. Organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, and mustered in May 9, 1864. Left State for Cumberland, Md., May 9, and duty there till May 28. Attached to Reserve Division, Dept. of West Virginia. Moved to Martinsburg, W. Va., May 28, and assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, West Virginia. Detached June 4 and assigned to duty in charge of supply trains for Hunter's Army. Hunter's Raid on Lynchburg June 6-25. Retreat to Martinsburg June 19-25. Moved to Beverly June 28, thence to Webster June 30, and to Martinsburg July 2. Operations about Harper's Ferry July 4-7. Defense of Maryland Heights July 6-7. Duty in the Defenses of Maryland Heights till August 25. Ordered home and mustered out September 2, 1864. Regiment lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed and 1 Officer and 12 Enlisted men by disease. Total 14."
According to James' letter, Edmund Pickup came to Kansas after he was mustered out of the 161st Ohio Infantry on 2 September 1864. He was the teacher of the common school on Tennessee Creek in Valley Township, Nemaha County during the school season of 1864-1865. He eventually returned to Limerick, Bureau County, Illinois where his relatives were living. He filed for a military pension in 1890 and died 20 July 1907 in Illinois.