These letters were written by William McKendree Springer (1836-1903), the son of Rev. Thomas Burchard Springer (1795-1861) and Catherine Sandusky (1796-1872). Educated in the common schools of Indiana and Illinois, where the family moved before Springer reached his teens, Springer attended Illinois College at Jacksonville, Illinois. His college education at that institution ended in an early instance of political correctness when he refused to omit a defense of Sen. Stephen A. Douglas and the Kansas-Nebraska bill from an oration. Later, Springer earned the master of arts degree from Indiana State University.
Returning to Illinois, Springer worked as a journalist, read law, and engaged in Democratic politics. Admitted to the bar in 1861, he practiced in Springfield. Springer was not one to shy away from controversy. He had refused to pay certain taxes levied during the Civil War, believing them unconstitutional. The family home was sold to satisfy the debt. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where Springer lost (Springer v. United States, 102 U.S. 586, 25 L.Ed. 253 [(1881]).
In 1872 he was elected to the Illinois Assembly and then in 1874 to the U.S. House of Representatives. While representing Illinois in Congress, Springer helped engineer the opening of the Unassigned Lands of Indian Territory. He prepared a rider to the Indian Appropriations Act of 1890, an amendment authorizing the president to issue a proclamation opening the settlement process. It became law in March 1889. He became a powerful member of the House, serving at times on the ways and means, territories, and banking and currency committees. Springer’s tenure in Congress ended in 1895 after ten terms.
Springer wrote all of these letter to his wife, Rebecca Ruter (1832-1904) whom he married on 15 December 1859. She was the daughter of Calvin W. Ruter (1794-1859) and Harriet C. Hass (1802-1858). Their first-born son was named Ruter William Springer (b. 2 May 1863).
At the time these seven letters were written, William wife Rebecca (affectionately called “Bettie” or “Pet”) was a patient at Dr. Amos Bird Smith’s Water Cure Establishment in Geneva, New York. It was known officially as the Hygienic Institute for the Scientific Treatment of Disease. The nearby White Springs provided its noted “Water Cure.” Advertisements indicate that the treatment relied not only on homeopathic remedies, but upon a careful diet to the condition of the patient and upon the use of various forms of exercise. “Electric baths” and the frequent use of the galvanic battery” were part of the treatment.
Addressed to Mrs. Wm. M. Springer, Water Cure, Geneva, New York
December 1, 1861
My Precious Wife,
Your dear letter of last Sunday was received on Friday and I was so glad to hear from you again. Notwithstanding I had just received Miss Mortimer’s letter a few days before, yet I did not received a letter from you in the middle of the week and it seemed so long since I had heard from you. Unless I get a letter from my Bettie, I feel like I had not heard from you at all. I was so glad to know that you were improving and what a thrill of joy I felt at the prospect that you would return home soon with Bro. Moore. ² If he defers his visit a month, he will be with you by Christmas and then you can be at home before the middle of January — perhaps by the 7th — the day the Convention ¹ meets on. I will go to Springfield about Christmas, I think, and I would be happy to meet you there at any time after that, or at that time. Oh, dear Bettie, will it be so that I will see you so soon? The thought is too good to seem real. I can not imagine anything that would make me so happy as would the meeting of my precious wife again. God grant that we may soon see each other and dwell again together.
The time flies swiftly in one view and slowly in another. I reflect that it has only been two months since I left you. It seems but a short time. But when I think of the time when we ere last together, it seems like it were a year ago. Only two months! The longest months of my life! If I could only see you again now, how unspeakably happy I would be. Bettie, when you get to Cincinnati, you can come to Springfield in less than 20 hours via Indianapolis, Lafayette &c. Be careful about going to Florence. The river might freeze up while you are there and then where would you be? I wish the river — Oh! I was going to wish (selfish Will) that the river would be frozen up when you got to Cincinnati! That would be too selfish a wish and I will not make it. It would, of course, cause you to get to me a few days sooner but then precious Bettie would not have the chance of seeing her sister Sallie.
While I think of it, if you come home with Bro. [Cornelius] Moore, you must get you a pair of buffalo overshoes — the warmest you can find — and wear them all the time in the cars. Don’t fail now. The bottom of railroad cars is always so cold.
Yesterday and today we have had our quarterly meeting. Bro. [R. E.] Guthrie, ³ the Presiding Elder, has preached. I was at preaching at 10½ A.M. at lovefeast at 2½ P.M. and at preaching again at night. After returning home, I am writing a letter to my most precious wife. We had a very good lovefeast. When you come home, I will tell you what part I took in it., if you will remind me of it. There will be preaching tomorrow at 10½ A.M. and at night. They are going to hold a series of meetings here and pray for a revival of religion.
Darling, would not your mind be more at rest if you were with your Will? When I was with you, you always slept well and rested quietly. Oh that I could furnish you a pillow this cold night for your aching head! Would you not sleep then? This wakefulness must be caused by your concern for someone other than yourself. Would it quiet her throbbing brain to have me sooth her and call her pet names? If it would, how easily could you purchase such a cure. You will remember that you were thus wakeful before we were married as you have often told me, but when were you during the time we were together?
We are having very cold weather now-a-days and have had for more than a week. It is as cold, it seems, as it generally gets here. I did not move our things on Friday nor have I done so yet. I expect to, however, tomorrow. __ man’s things have not come yet, and he does not want possession until they do.
I wrote to Dr. [Amos Bird] Smith yesterday and stated our condition to him and made the request you desired me to make. I have not received a letter from him yet.
I will leave the pictures hanging where they are as there are no children in the family and I know they will be perfectly safe. Tell Aunt Pickard that I was very much pleased with her picture, that I showed it to all the folks here and told them who she was and all about her kindness to my Bettie. It looks exactly like her. I would have written her a letter but I have not had time. Tell her so…
I will send you the pin you spoke of in a newspaper, I believe… I will write to Bro. [Cornelius] Moore soon. You need not send me Harper but you may save the numbers and we will read them together when you return. It is getting late and I am getting sleepy. Will therefore bid you a “good night and pleasant dreams” and finish in the morning. God bless you my Pet. Good nigt.
Monday morning — Oh! how cold it is. It is real winter now. Precious Darling, if I were at all superstitious about dreams, I would be greatly alarmed about you this morning. I dreamed of you all night long and I dreamed that you were worse, that you were not expected to live, and that I was getting ready to go to you. But in getting ready, I thought you were only a few miles off and that I was going on horseback. It was near night and I sent for a horse and began to get ready but I could not find any of my clothes that I wanted to wear. I looked everywhere and kept on looking until the dark and stormy night came on. It was raining and O how dark and portentous. I thought that I could not find the way if I started and in this distressed and bewildered condition I awoke! I was glad it was just a dream. God grant that no evil has befallen you! I do not feel distressed about you this morning. I have committed you to the care of our Heavenly Father who will do all things well. May God in His infinite goodness and mercy bless and protect you ever, my precious darling wife. I am always only your own, — Will
Regards to all.
¹ A reference to the convention convening in Springfield on 7 January 1862 to draft a new constitution for the State of Illinois. Springer was apparently a delegate to the convention and hoped to be named Secretary of the proceedings.
² Cornelius Moore was the editor of the Masonic Review, published in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1845-1899.
³ Rev. R. E. Guthrie, Methodist Episcopal clergyman, was born in Ohio, in 1819; is the son of Robert Guthrie and Catherine Spawr, who were natives of Pennsylvania. He married in 1845, Miss Lucy Kelsall, daughter of George Kelsall and Elizabeth Rundell Kelsall, natives of England. They have nine children – Kate, Robert E., Edwin R., Sarah F., Lucy M., Mary B., Fred L., Ada and Maggie. He was educated at Bloomington, Ill., commenced the ministry in 1841, and united with the Illinois Conference in that year, and still remains connected with it; but in 1867 took a superannuated position. During his ministry was for seven years presiding elder, one year financial agent of the Illinois Female College, at Jacksonville, and one year Chaplain in the army, the remainder of the time doing pastoral labor until 1867. He was in the war, enlisting in the Ninety-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was assigned to duty in Southwestern Missouri, and Northwestern Arkansas; was in the battle of Prairie Grove; was in the Siege of Vicksburg, under Gen. McPherson. Was discharged in 1863, on account of sickness. He was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, in McLean County, Ill., in 1868, and held the position until 1872, then was engaged in farming until 1882, when he removed to Wichita, Kansas.
Addressed to Mrs. W. M. Spring, Water Cure, Geneva, New York
December 15, 1861
My Precious Wife,
The fifteenth day of December two years ago was a day long to be remembered. It was on that day that we two were made one. How I love to think of the time when I heard your trembling voice pronounce the marriage vow with your Will! Am I sorry that it was so? No! my precious wife. Would a poor mortal be sorry for an angel’s visit? Then would I be sorry that you — dear one — came to me to be my companion in life, to be the sharer of my joys and my sorrows, to be a part of myself, to be my wife! I thank God that He ever led me to you and that He inclined our hearts to each other. The two years of our married life have been years in which we have had many ups and downs, many sore afflictions, disappointments and trials, but in the midst of all we have found unspeakable happiness in each other’s love. God has been good to us. He has sent his chastisements to make us love Him more. We may do this without loving each other less. We have lived happily together. No angry words have passed between us. We have had nothing but each other’s confidence and love. Oh! how much comfort I have found in your sympathy and words of cheer. God bless you, my dear wife, for all your goodness to me.
Your dear little letter of last Sunday was received on Friday. I was so sorry to hear that you could not come home this month. I have been making great calculations on your being with me soon. But, my Pet, it is all for the best, I have no doubt. It may be best for you to remain where you are during the winter. If you boarded with me at Springfield during the [Constitutional] Convention, the excitement might be too great for you and cause you to relapse. Let us be patient. All will yet be well. If you are not with me at the adjournment of the Convention, I will go after you and then Bettie can come to our little home. You will be cured all well by that time, I trust, and that fact will pay us for all our present anxiety and loneliness. But I hope you will be well enough and will have some other opportunity to come home before that time. But do not grieve about your disappointment. Remember that our Heavenly Father doeth all things well.
I wrote to Miss Mortimer last Friday night. I expect she has told you of it. If you want to give the Dr. a present, let him have something better than my picture. If you get another, get one of yourself as I want both of us in the same kind of frame as mine is. He does not want my picture. But you can do as you like. What did you send me that ugly piece of prose for about woman? There may be some women at the Five Points or some other benighted places like the “woman” described in this paragraph, but I know of no such an one. I know what you sent it to me for. It was to make me appreciate more highly my own dear wife seeing that she is so good and precious compared with some others of her sex. The contrast heightens my gratitude that I have so good a wife as is my Pettie. God bless you.
I will write to Sister Lou soon — today if I have time. I suppose Nell was not wounded seriously or we would hear about it more definitely. I will not now write to Mr. Hobbs for a while and see if he responds without. You had better save what I sent you for fear of another disappointment, only using what you will need in getting your clothing &c. Be sure and get shoes with thick souls and if you come home while it is cold, get the overshoes I spoke of. Don’t fail. Because I am a little hard run at this time, do not deny yourself of anything you need or want. As you are going to remain longer, I will be able to supply you with means myself, if Mr. [ ] does not have the time.
I will be at Springfield then and can raise you plenty, I trust. You had better get you a good supply of clothing &c. before you come home as you can get it cheaper and better than there. Get you a dress like mother’s if the material is not all gone.
I think I shall go into partnership with Morton if we can agree upon terms. He is a first rate, well-bred young man, and thorough going in business. His wife used to live near us in Jacksonville. She is a very nice woman and much of a lady. Morton will probably go to New York City in a few months. If he does, I will get him to stop at Geneva a few hours and see you. The partnership will not only not lessen the profits of my law business, but it will increase it. As I will attend to that anyhow and enjoy half the profits of another business which is to a great extent a cash business. I have many reasons why I ought not to leave this place at this time. I see an opening here that I have not seen heretofore. I believe I will do well here. I could convince you of this if I could talk with you on the subject. I know you will approve my course. Of this much you may be certain, I am trying my best to make us comfortable and our circumstances easy. This done and God giving us health, we have nothing to fear.
Monday morning — We have a most beautiful morning. Such delightful weather. I wrote to Lou last night. I suppose Bro. [Cornelius] Moore will be with you by the time you receive this. Give him my love. Mr. Egleston has not moved in yet. My regards to the Dr. and all my friends in the [Water] Cure [establishment]. May God bless you and bring you in safety to me.
Forever, my precious wife, only yours, — Will
Addressed to Mrs. W. M. Springer, Water Cure, Geneva, New York
December 18, 1861
My Precious Wife,
Your dear little letter of last Friday was received yesterday. I was glad to hear from you but very sorry to hear that you had been so sick. I have been anxious about you for fear that you might have a serious time. I do hope you are better by this time and that you will soon begin to recruit again. I suppose Bro. [Cornelius] Moore is with you by this time as it is now passed the middle of the month. It is only a week now until Christmas and my Better will not be with me to spend the holidays. I will not go to Springfield before the 1st of January as the [Constitutional] Convention does not meet until the 7th. I may not go down until the 3d or 4th.
I have received many letters from delegates and others favorable to my case. I think I will succeed in getting the Secretaryship. At least things look that way now. My old friends in the Legislature are doing me all the good they can and with their aid, I hope to succeed. But I intend to make some money down there in any event. There are more ways than __ to make a raise and I will discover some new plan after I get down there in case I do not succeed in my present objects.
We have been having spring weather for a week or so. The buds are actually swelling and the grass has taken a new growth. It is remarkable for the time of year.
The measles are still prevalent here. Nearly all the children in the vicinity have had them or are having them. Emma has them now. She has been staying at Dr. Miller’s and caught them from his children. I have heard of no deaths from them yet and they are not serious at all. I am in no danger as I have had them once.
You of course do not read the papers but I suppose they tell you some of the news. England is making a fuss over the arrest of Mason & Slidell [see the Trent Affair] and I would not be surprised is a war should break out with that nation. If so, the South will succeed beyond a doubt and the Union is forever dissolved. Unless our government gives up Mason & Slidell, there will be a war with England. But it will not be in Canada or along the Northern border but on the high seas. It will be a naval war principally, and the object will be to break the Southern Blockade, and to blockade the Northern ports. The South will then be recognized & will have the cooperation of England and France. The question then will be whether our government will have the madness and folly to contend long against such fearful odds. Passion and pride will tell us that we can whip the world. But reason and discretion will call aloud for peace!
What does Dr. Smith think now? The English news creates a good deal of excitement here. But I do not participate in public matters and do not intend to.
Judge Campbell was over last night and sat until bed-time. Hence I did not write you last night. Mr. Austin still keeps very feeble. He is now at Waverly to recruit if possible his health. He will hardly be able to do much at Springfield this winter. He will not live long, I fear.
My regards to Dr. Smith and all my friends in the [Water] Cure. I sent the “pins” some time ago in a newspaper. Have you received it yet?
May God bless you ever, my precious wife, and bring you soon to me. Forever only yours, — Will
At home [Lincoln, Illinois]
Wednesday night, December 18th 1861
My Precious Wife,
Before going down in town this morning I wrote you aletter which I mailed in time for the up train. But at the Post Office I found a letter containing the sad intelligence which I immediately sent you in a note to Dr. Smith. How sad my heart is! I cannot express to you in writing what I could tell you were you here with me. Oh! that my Bettie — my precious wife — could be with me this night! But you cannot with with me and I must not complain. I must be resigned to the will of my Father in Heaven, who doeth all things well. I am not left alone in the world. He has spared my precious wife to me and she will always love and care for me. My God bless you, my precious darling.
Father has been failing both in body and mind for some time. You know what my fears have been for perhaps a year. Since he has been in Indiana he has been getting worse all the time. He had become perfectly helpless and his mind had become so completely deranged that his physicians had recommended his removal to the hospital at Indianapolis. Our folks had at last consented to his removal in the hopes that the treatment might restore him. But before the arrangements were completed, Providence called him, I trust, to his house in Heaven. A multiplicity of circumstances have conspired to derange his mind. I need not recite them to you now. You know them, perhaps all. When I consider all the circumstances in the case, I do not wonder that his mind had become impaired. His is the first instance of the kind that has ever come to my knowledge in our ancestral family.
It seems so hard, Bettie, that death should overtake him at such a time. But his trouble is over now. The frailties of the flesh have been left behind, and now he is clothed with immortality. God has given him a new mind and a new body, and I trust he is now safely at rest in Heaven.
I am so sorry that I did not stop at Carlisle when I came home. I could then have seen him. How little we know of the uncertainty of all earthly affairs. But let us commit ourselves to God, and be at all times ready, and then we shall have nothing to fear.
I went to the bookcase today to get some paper and the first thing I put my hands on was your dear little poem, entitled “The Veil of the Evening.” I had heard it read before and had often read it myself, but I thought it was so much better than ever. It made me remember how my darling had been afflicted and I read it over and over again, and now have it before me. It is such a beautiful piece of poetry.
Darling, I have to leave town tomorrow to go to Pekin about 40 miles distant. I will not return before Saturday and hence I write you tonight instead of Thursday night. I am very sorry that I have to go tomorrow but I cannot help it. I will go in a buggy with a farmer out in the county here.
Good night, my precious wife, and may God bless you and bring you safely to me. I will write you again on Sunday.
Forever, my precious darling, only yours, — Will
Addressed to Mrs. Wm. M. Spring, Water Cure, Geneva, New York
December 22d 1861
My Precious Darling Wife,
I returned last evening about 5 o’clock from my Pekin tour. The weather was very warm Thursday morning when we started, but I was wise enough to trust nothing to the uncertainties of the climate. Hence I went prepared for any contingency. Before we got to Pekin, which is 40 miles distant, it blew up pretty cold and on our arrival there we were pretty well chilled, notwithstanding we had walked several times to warm ourselves. Friday morning it was still colder, with every appearance of a storm. We hurried up our business and got off by one o’clock and came about 15 miles where we stayed all night at a farm house where Mr. Horney ¹ was acquainted. Saturday morning was colder still and I thought it about as cold a day as ever I want to be out in all the time. We were off about 8 A.M. and after riding about five miles we came to Delaware where we had some business. But business or no business, we thought it advisable to stop and warm ourselves. I was pretty stiff at first and the ends of my fingers ached a good deal on coming to the fire, but I soon felt all right again. I had wrapped my ears up good with my comfort and they were not cold. We had staid in the buggy and a bed comforter spread over our feet and legs and hence we could not suffer much. At 11 A.M. we started on our way home and made out pretty well. I had to get out and walk once but did not suffer with cold much. The wind rose and it blew pretty sharply for the last five miles of the way. We arrived at Horney’s about a mile out of town about 3 P.M. and after warming and eating dinner, I walked into town. I was pretty cold on arriving at Horney’s but I did not suffer with cold. I was wrapped up so well that the cold did not hurt me. Riding through the wind made me feel pretty stupid and sleepy last night and I do not feel much better today.
Our business was to see about collecting a reward of $800 that was offered for the murder of the Orendorff family. Mr. Horney was the man who caught Ott, the murderer. On Thursday we eat dinner in the room where the three-fold murder was committed. We succeeded in our business as well as I expected. I have collected all the evidence I desire and will bring a suit for the reward at the February turn of the Tazewell Circuit Court at Pekin. The suit will be nominally against the Orendorff’s but the County intend to pay it. We only want to determine who is entitled to it. I will not be at Pekin at the trial as I will be at Springfield then. But Young will attend there as he is also engaged in the suit. If we gain this suit, we will charge $100 cash as fees.
I am not sorry that I sent you the money I did, and as for my trouble, that is but a pleasure to me, when it is for my precious wife that I labor. Do not think of regretting the matter and especially do not dream of sending a part of it back. You had better keep by you all you do not need fr fear of a future disappointment. I would not, for anything, have you send any of it back. You precious lamb, you. What makes you be troubled about this matter? You cannot give me any pain by asking me to do anything for you. It is a pleasure to me. Know that I can help you and I intend to take pleasure in that way. I cannot do too much for you, and the more I do, the more I desire to do for you. I can never repay you for your goodness, or do one half for you that you deserve. But it will always be a pleasure to me to be trying. I am going to do more in the future than I ever have done in the past, God being my helper.
Dr. Smith in his letter to me says that you are “improving quite rapidly, more decidedly and radically than at any other time since she came here!!” Also: “She is able to take considerable exercise, I think can go to the dining room next week for her meals. Be patient. I trust that a bright future is before you under the helping of Providence.” The letter is dated the 4th instant. I do hope you will soon become strong and well. Then indeed, with the faor of Providence, we will have a bright future. I will endeavor to be as patient as possible. Perhaps it is better that you should remain there a while longer. I will be absent this winter and we would have to board anyhow. Let us await God’s good pleasure.
I have received no further intelligence concerning Father’s death since I last wrote you. Poor Mother. I know she must feel the bereavement terribly. I am going to write to her today and tell her I want her to come and live with us when you return. I wish you would write her just a little letter for Will and tell her the same. You may write to her instead of to me. A change will be of advantage to her and she thinks so much of my Bettie. She will be company for you when I am gone to the office and elsewhere. They will want her to stay in Indiana, I expect, yet I know she would like to come and stay with us awhile, and will do so when we get to housekeeping.
It is snowing today and there is a prospect for a deep snow. We have winter now, and cannot expect anything else till it is over in the spring.
I will probably go to Springfield on Tuesday the 31st. Send your next Sunday’s letter to that place. I will go on that day if nothing happens. If not on the 31st, as soon thereafter as possible. My business affairs here renders it a little doubtful as to the exact day of my departure. I will take a room in the Johnson Building where I boarded the latter part of the regular session of the Legislature.
There was no preaching at our church this morning and hence I remained home.
Monday morning. — It snowed and snowed all day yesterday and nearly all night. I was at church at night notwithstanding. The snow is about six or eight inches deep this morning and it is pretty cold. Our pleasant weather is over. Mr. Egleston is not going to take the house at last. His goods have not yet come from Aurora, Illinois, and they are not coming. He offers to pay for my trouble in moving out. I will see him today about it. I am not sorry that he not going to take it. We would have been compelled to take up carpets &c. anyhow before moving in again. Now when I put things back, the house will be ready for living in.
My regards to all. May God bless and protect you ever and bring you soon in safety to me.
Forever,my precious darling wife, only yours, — Will
¹ Possibly Anderson Horney (1818-1904) — a farmer in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, at the time.
Addressed to Mrs. Rebecca Ruter Springer, Water Cure, Geneva, New York
April 19, 1862
Saturday morning 8 o’clock
My Precious Wife,
Your dear letter of April 14th was received yesterday and I was so glad to hear from you. You spoke so encouraging about your future prospects of return. I do hope you will get through this month finely and that you may be able to return on the 5th. I don’t know how to wait until that time comes. But I am trying to be patient, but it is hard to do. I feel so anxious to have you once more by my side in our little home. We will be so happy then. You will not be required to write any letters or read any books then — all you will have to do will be to love Will, as you say. In order that you may take plenty of exercise, you must come to the office every day and tell me to come to dinner, won’t you? I will also go with you a walking every morning before breakfast. We will walk out on the prairie on a beautiful May day and gather flowers, won’t we? And I will make the nicest bouquet I can, and give to to Bettie. There will be flowers on the prairie when you come home in May.
Mr. Linbarger was in town yesterday and he told me I must be sure and bring you out to see them when you come home. So many people ask me about you and seem so glad to hear that you are almost well, and that you expect to come home soon. You are so precious, Pet. I am so glad that Miss Montgomery is with you. She is wonderfully mistaken about your husband. But give her my warmest regards (I will not say love — I send that all to you) and tell her she must come home with you to Cincinnati anyhow, and then to Sallie’s and then, if she could come no further, she could return home by way of Pittsburg on a boat.
But I must go down to Court. My regards to Dr. Smith, Miss Alms, and all the rest.
May God bless and protect you ever, my precious darling, and bring you so soon to me. Forever, my precious wife, your own, — Will
N. B. The Poem you sent me was very pretty. But Bettie can write better than that.
Addressed to Mrs. Rebecca R. Springer, Care of Rev. C. Moore, Ed. Review, Cincinnati, Ohio
May 11, 1862
My precious darling,
All day have I been thinking of my Pet. Unless something unforeseen has happened her, she is at Bro. [Cornelius] Moore’s today. I feel as if you were there. For whenever I think of you, I associate you with persons and things at Cincinnati. I can almost see you as you move from place to place. But the thought comes to me, “Will we spend next Sabbath together?” I trust that we will, my precious Bettie, for I am so anxious to see you, my darling. How long will you stay at Sister Sallie’s, I wonder. They must not keep Will’s Bettie from him too long. He wants to see her so much — so much. Bettie, did Will disappoint you by not coming to meet you at Brother Moore’s? I am afraid that you have taken my letters as a blind [bluff], and that I really was coming to meet you, and that you have been expecting me, notwithstanding I have written you that I could not come. I did want to go for you so very much. But you told me not to go unless I could get passes and having failed to get them, I am compelled to await my time.
How has Bettie stood the fatigue of the journey, I wonder? I wish I could hear how you are today. Pretty tired, I expect. Perhaps almost sick from excitement and fatigue. And we are having such warmer weather now. I believe it has been about as hot today as it generally gets here. I am afraid that this hot sun will make her sick.
I arrived at home safely yesterday evening and found everything all right here. Our garden is coming on finely. I found on my arrival here your dear little letter of last Monday waiting for me, containing also notes from Misses Montgomery and Alms. Words are indeed meaningless when we think that we shall so soon be reunited and happy together. Let us be patient yet a little while and Bettie and Will will be with each other. Oh! what a happy reunion it will be! God speed it!
Monday morning, May 12th. Another beautiful day — more pleasant than yesterday. It will be a nice day for my darling to take a boat and go down to Sallie’s. Maybe my darling went down yesterday. If so, she is at Sallie’s today. If you do remain at Sallie’s until Thursday evening, you can then leave Cincinnati on Friday morning in ample time to get home on Saturday. I can leave here at noon today and get to Cincinnati by 10 o’clock tomorrow A.M. and you can certainly come this way as fast as one can go to the other. I want Bro. [Cornelius] Moore to telegraph me on your starting from Cincinnati homeward. It will be such a comfort to me to know that you are coming & then I will prepare to meet you at Springfield.
Poor Bettie has to ride so far on the old cars yet. I wish I could be with her all the way home. If you get to Sallie’s this evening, how long will you want to stay? Not long, I trust, for your Will is nearly dead to see you. Can’t you start back Wednesday evening? Then you can be here on Friday evening. But don’t keep back because you may not get home by Sunday. Come on if you can get to Springfield only for I can be with you there and we could come up home on the night train, which is the most pleasant one these light nights.
I will not write you anymore letters this time unless I learn that you are delayed and will not be at home as soon as I now expect you. I hope it is the last until we shall meet again.
Tell all of Bro. Moore’s folks “goodbye.” May God bless you, my Pet, and bring you in safe to me.
Forever, my darling wife, only your own, — Will