Saturday, September 3, 2011



            Here is the only letter our mother ever wrote to her family.  This was written during the Civil War, to brother James, while he was caring for Old Home and farm.  She was so patriotic at all times, and always posted about the latest War news, as you will see by this letter:

                                                                                Sunday afternoon
                                                                                May 11, 1862

My Dear Son James:

            I write this afternoon to you, as it is the first opportunity that I have had to do so.  I arrived safely in Philadelphia this morning about 7 o’clock, and succeeded in finding my cousin John Mills.

            At 7 o’clock on Thursday morning, I took the new Steam Packet Eagle and paid $3.00 to Pittsburgh, and arrived at Pittsburg at 8 o’clock Saturday morning.  I immediately took a carriage and drove to the Pennsylvania depot, and waited there for the Express train until 10 minutes of 4 in the afternoon.  Here I paid $10.00 for Philadelphia and arrived safely, as before stated, at 7 o’clock, Sunday morning.

            We have received news here this afternoon, of the capture of Norfolk.  The town was evacuated and as the Union army was marching forward to the town, it was met by a party of citizens who surrendered the place.  The rebel steamer Merrimac is destroyed.  The rebels fearing that she would be captured, set fire to her at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon, and at 5 o’clock she blew up.

            I will also mention that I found cousin John Mills and family all well.  I myself am also well.

            I have seen no one else but my cousin yet, but expect to go tomorrow and hunt up more friends.

            I remain

                                                            Your mother,

                                                            Margaret Smith

Letter written to me by Joseph A. Smith:

                                                            Camp of the 39th
                                                            Nine miles west of Savannah, Georgia
                                                            December 23, 1864

Frances E. Smith
Cutler, Wash. Co., O.

Dear Sister,

            I at last have found an opportunity to reply to yours of the 22.  Ult. Which I received one week ago, also one from Priscilla of the 6th Ult., which came to hand last night.  I am happy to say both found us well, and exceeding glad to hear form home once more.  You say you were very anxious to hear from us then.  I expect you are more so now, as I have not written a line since.

            I must tell you a little of what we have been doing all this while, which is no small undertaking.  But to begin, we left Camp according to the rumors I wrote to you, and arrived near Savannah as projected, about ten days ago.  It was evacuated, or rather, captured, day before yesterday, for they were so closely pursued that they got nothing away themselves – not even their pontoon bridges.

            It is true we have had a long and hard march, and we have accomplished much, and I believe more, than any other expedition of the war, and lost less.  But the papers will tell you all about that.

            But I must tell you how we tore up the railroads.  First we tore up the road from Atlanta to Chattanooga, burning every tie and bent every rail next the road form Macon to Savannah, including the branch as leading to Augusta and Charleston; and last, the road running to Thomasville, as far as the Altamaha river – thus making a breach of more than a hundred miles in the Confederacy.  We have destroyed all cotton and cotton gins, mills, etc., and all public property, except churches and school houses, that lay in our line of march.

            I expect you have heard a great deal about Sherman’s army being starved, and living on half rations.  It is true we only draw half rations of bread, and part of the time, one-third ration; ad tens days since Fort McAllister was captured, without any (with full rations of coffee and salt and a little sugar0 was all we drew form the Quartermasters.  But we lived well all the time – only one day we had nothing but beef and a very little rice.  A king could not desire anything better, or more of it, than we had most of the march – if we had had a little more time to cook and eat it.  Our cooking utensils are none of the best, being only such as we could carry with us.

            Now you want to know what we had to eat.  We had fresh pork, chickens, turkeys, and poultry of all kinds, mutton, molasses, peas (black-eyed) and sweet potatoes in abundance.

            You say you raised fifteen bushels of as nice sweet potatoes as I ever say (maybe it was fifty – you spelled it fifteen).  Now you had better be careful in your boasting, for I Georgia, than ever grew in Ohio.  I have seen a thousand bushels in one pile on several plantations.  We found them so plentiful we could not carry them along, but depended on getting them wherever we stopped.
            The weather for the most part has been delightful.  It has not rained enough to wet through a shirt but twice since we started.  We had only three or four nights cold enough to make ice.  Last night was the coldest; it froze water in a bucket, near an inch thick.  It has been far more pleasant than the month of May was to us in northern Georgia.  This is rather romantic:  “December’s as pleasant as May.”  I would try and describe the country if time and space would permit, and will try to do so in my next.

            Since writing the above, we have marched twelve miles and established our camp on the opposite side of the city, which we had the pleasure of seeing; also we received sister Jane’s letter.

            Mr. king says to tell you he was not at all hurt with his burden of fruit, nor very bad in jail.  They only served him as they do the conscripts and men that stay over their time.

            Oh yes, that watch!  I sent for it purposely to sell it; so you may scold if you like it.  If you want one, tell Alex to get you one just to suit you, out of that hundred dollar check.  Also tell him, if he has any watches he wants to dispose of, to send them to me, for I can sell any kind of a watch that runs well; also that I expect a letter form him soon.  I will write soon, for I have not told you the half yet.

            Well, tomorrow is Christmas.  How the year rolls round!  Please write soon and often.

                                 You Brother as ever,

                                 Joseph A. Smith
                                 Co. K. 39. Reg’t
                                 Sherman’s Army

Under date of February 25, 1914, the following items were added to the family history:

On the first day of August, 1912, a fine daughter was born to
Fred H. Edmonds and wife, Grace Smith Edmonds, near
Ridgefield in the sate of Washington

On the fourth day of August, 1913, Omie Frank Smith and
Idress Lea Koe were united in marriage in Zona, West Virginia.

On the third day of August, 1913, little Henrietta Sheets died in Chillicothe.



            I WISH TO SAY THAT IN ’60, ’61, ’62 AND ’63, Alexander helped James work on the farm.  John raised large and valuable crops of tobacco on William’s new land, and Joseph was at school or teaching.

            John’s good wife who was so dear to all her relatives and their infant son both died in February, 182.

            We finished getting that very large crop of tobacco hat John raised, ready to ship the last of December, 1863.

            I will now show you the exodus of the “lone Smith family”, as they went out of the old home never to be reunited there.  Jane, Priscilla, Alexander, John, James, Margaret, Joseph, Matilda, Lucinda and I all made our homes with mother.

            Mother said in the last days of December, ’63, that she would try to have us all at home to dinner on New Year’s day, 1864.  She bought a turkey and two fine chickens which Priscilla and Margaret roasted for this feast.  William and Phoebe were at this dinner.  Joseph and Lucinda came home from their schools to be with us; and all mother’s children, except Eliza, were with her on that day.  The roads were so bad that she could not get there.

            On the 2nd day of January, ’64, William took a contact to build a tone bridge not far from home, and Joseph and Lucinda went back to their schools.  John and Matilda were getting ready to go to Kansas, as he desired to improve his land there.  Matilda very much desired to go with him to keep house for him, and mother thought best for her to go, as he was so lonely without his wife.  And Mr. and Mrs. Creesy were so glad she was going with John.

            Mrs. Creesy came to our place and brought and gave to John a very fine bed and lots of bed clothes and some dishes and solid silver spoons that were intended for Jennie.  Mother gave Matilda a bed, dishes, etc. and all was “bustle” at the old home for a long time.

            Hark!  Listen! The blast of Civil War is blowing most fearfully now.  The prisoners of the Union army are being starved and tortured to death in the Rebel prison pens of Andersonville and Libbie, while their prisoners are growing fat in Uncle Sam’s prisons.

            The war is just awful now!  Good old Abraham Lincoln is making one of his last calls for volunteers.  Good, rich men are enlisting, and men with good pay – different occupations, and wise men in every situation in this great Country, are joining the “Boys in Blue” on thirteen dollars per month.  (But this is not what they are going for.)

            The excitement is just awful as they are responding to their Country’s call – and going by thousands!  Every patriotic woman in these days is saying to her husband, brother, son or lover:

                                        “Pick up your gun and go, John,
                                         Pick up your gun and go;
                                         And I’ll pick up the spade and hoe, John,
                                         And I’ll pick up the spade and hoe.”

            And they did pick them up and used them truly.  Our sister Priscilla was an expert in the use of them.

            On the 2nd of February, 1864, William left his bridge building and enlisted.  At the same time Joseph and all his grown boy scholars left his school without finishing the term, and enlisted.  William and Joseph joined Co. K-39, Reg. O.V.V.I. – 17-Army Corps, in General Sherman’s army.  In this Company, also was our brother-in-law, William E. McGee, and a cousin of mother, John Hamilton, who now lives in Chicago.

            These were soon in the thickest of the fighting and were among those in “Sherman’s March to the Sea.”  They were all wounded on the 22nd of July, during three days fighting before Atlanta.  They were in many other hard battles, and waded through the Everglades of Florida.

            I will now leave them in the army until the close of the war, and tell you what others of the “lone Smith family” are doing.

            John and Matilda started to Kansas in the 29th of February, 1864.  John began to improve his land, and Matilda kept house for him, and also at the same time, taught school in a new log German church, on Lyons Creek.

            John was soon called out to fight Indians in the Kansas state troops.  These calls would be only for a few weeks and then he would go back to his farm.  While he was gone, Matilda would sew for some fine people in Junction City, by names of Clark and Rockwell – until John would go after her to go home.

            All this time, brother Alexander, James and our “to be” brother-in-law, Phillip Roe, all belonged to Company D. 148 Re. O.N.G. and in May they were all called out of the state, to City Point, Virginia, to guard the U.S. Ordinance Barges there.

            I will leave them there until the next August and tell what others of the “lone Smith family” are doing.

            But I must draw your attention to the fact that all my father’s sons – and all our five brothers, are wearing U. S. Uniforms and fighting under the Stars and Stripes.  These are FIVE brothers, and direct descendants of Colonel James Smith, who was one of FIVE brothers who fought in the army of Kin William III.  This is my most interesting No. FIVE.

            About the first of March, 1864, I went to Marietta to take teaches’ examination, and received a high marked certificate to teach school in Washington County.

            When I was in the old court house being examined at noon, a sweet little girl tripped into the room and asked the board of examiners to let her speak to Miss Frances E. Smith.  She was ten years old and beautifully dressed, and an “angel of Mercy” to me; for she brought me a fine warm dinner, with a bowl of the best soup I ever tasted.  This was Miss Carrie, daughter of Colonel A.L. Haskin and wife.

            Here on this trip, I spent all the money, and more too, that I had earned on the late “tobacco job.”  Mrs. Haskin and Carrie helped me select a nice hat and dress, and a lot of prints and ginghams to make into dresses in which to teach my first school.  I got a lot of stuff for white aprons, and a lot of goods for Lucinda and Margaret.

            I was very happy with good luck at examination and knowing I had a very easy little school to teach, four miles from Cutler – where “Cinda” taught during winter term.

            I commenced teaching this school that last week in March, and spent my eighteenth birthday (on the 11th of April) in he school room.  The school house was close to the railroad track, and thousands of soldiers were often to be seen passing on the railroad.

            These soldiers would often throw beautifully illustrated papers and magazines off to me with “for the teacher” penciled on them.  And the children would run and pick them up and look at the pictures with me.

            After Alexander and James left home for the war, on May 1, ’64, our sister Priscilla “picked up the spade and hoe” (also an ax and all other farming implements), and managed the farm while all our brothers were in the army.  She hired old men and two good boys to help her part of the time.  It was hard for her to get good help, as all the able bodied men in our community were now in the army; but she stayed closely with her job, and she made lots of money in those days, as prices for everything were high.

            Mother, Jane, Priscilla and Margaret are all that are at the old home now; but Lucinda and I go home every Friday evening and stay until Monday morning.  Lucinda is teaching over on “South Land” in a good community – among the “Quakers or Friends.”  Her school is near mine, and we meet every Friday evening at the railroad and walk home together.  We are so happy to meet as we are very fond of each other, and ever have been.  She has ever been a great comfort to me, helping me in my studies, and so kin to help me in every way in every thing.  Our heats beat together s we sympathize with each other in our school work; and we mourn together as we talk about her dear twin mate, Matilda, from whom we never were separated before.  And then we mourn for all our five brothers who have lately left us.

            And now, this is glad Friday evening, ad we are going home to see mother, Jane and Maggie.  But I forgot to say that Priscilla is still there.  She s, of course, out on the farm, s\using her “spade and hoe”, very rapidly; and she may ask us to help her, if we go near where she is.  But we are not going, as we are “Ohio school mama’s” now, and wearing our pretty dresses, white aprons, high-buttoned shoes and gold watches; and last, but not least, our hoop skirts – the crinoline of 1863 and 1864.  I tell you we are a fine looking couple!

            Let me whisper:  “we are writing to the ‘boys in blue’.”  We, like all patriotic young ladies of this great nation, are very busy all the time, as we belong to “The Christian Commission”, and we have no time to dream under summer trees – not even to wait long enough to catch the fragrance of the sweet Hawthorne blossoms that our grandmothers delighted to hear love confessions under.

            O no!  We must hurry up and pick lint and make bandages to send to the army.  We do this every Saturday afternoon.  I am treasurer of our Society in Cutler, and we collect lots of money to send the army, and we pick barrels full of lint.  Mother has given us nearly all of her nearly worn out bleached table linen to cut up and pick into lint.  We send them barrels of sauerkraut, and Priscilla and her farmer boys raise lots of cabbage for this purpose.

            Lucinda and I also have to write many letters to William and Joseph and to Alexander and James and to John and Matilda.  But most of this she leaves to me to do, as she and Margaret each have three or four of “the boys in blue” to write to all the time.

            Lucinda has one unnamed correspondent, by assumed name of “Harry Lee.”  His letters she lets me read and we have lots of fun over those. We laughed over this once when I was looking at he send him my love and lots of kisses every time she writes to him: and he sends his back to me.  And oh, those letters would “make an army mule laugh!”  He kept his name a secret from us until the war was over, and he came to see her.  He proved to be a neighbor boy by name of Wallace Johnson, who lived in Amesville, Ohio, and we had lots of fun over their long correspondence.  This was a very common thing for the Union soldiers to do, to pass away lonely hours in camp.

            I wrote to just one of the “the boys in blue”; but I want to tell you the kind of boys that Margaret and Lucinda were writing to.  And no wonder it took tow or four such to suit their taste.  Theirs were the fellow “that marched on foot and carried knapsacks on their backs, and waded through mud and swamps to their knees.”

            Mine was a dashing young, black-eyed orderly sergeant, who wore a suit of deep blue, cavalry uniform.  He had a bright sword dangling at his side, and rode a prancing, fine steed that obeyed every command of its gallant rider, who also, part of the time, was Color Barer of the 9th Reg. Missouri Cavalry.  And he hoisted the first U. S. flag that had been run up, for a long time, in Southwest Missouri on the “Price Raid.”

            To me he was more than “those old knights, clad in armor” that were so gallant to their “fair ladies.”  I have that sword now, and I kept that historic flag until eight years ago, when we were moving, and someone stole it and other old relics from me.

            In those days, Priscilla, Margaret or Lucinda, every time they could be spared from home, would go to Marietta and stay awhile with Colonel A. L. Haskin’s wife, while he was in he army, and help her care for her little sons, Seward and Sumner.

            My little friend, Carrie Haskin, spent much of this summer of ’64, as Old Home with mother and our sisters.  Mother was very fond of her, and called her “her other little girl”, and they all wanted her there for company.  Mother would of ten forget and call her “Fannie”, to Carrie’s delight.  As she thought me all right, she liked it and would always answer to this name, and never reminded mother of her mistake.  She came with Margret to the last day of my school, and we a fine time and enjoyed the buggy ride home together.

            While teaching this school, I boarded “around”; and late in June of this term, I was boarding with a very good, old couple who were always known as “Uncle Collins and Aunt Sally Beebe.”  They now had eight sons in the Union army, and we talked much of these, and of my five brothers, and of ten read letters from all of these to each other.
            Once “Aunt Sally” to mother, “Mrs. Smith, we have done all we can to put down this cruel rebellion, as we have each given them all we have.”  Dear old ladies!  How they loved their soldier boys!

            While with them, one night I dreamed this about my brother, James, who was all right at this time, at City Point, Virginia.  I thought I saw him in our old home, and he was deathly pale and his left let was cut off below the knee.  I talked to him quite awhile, as in bygone days.

            He said, “Fannie, I am o sorry my leg is gone!  What shall I do?  I feel so bad, and I cannot work or fight any more!”

            I said, “Oh, James, if you can just superintend the farm and keep things going, we will be so happy with you, and we can get along all right with Priscilla’s help.”

            Here the dream ended and I woke up in great mental distress.  I told all of this to Mr. and Mrs. Beebe at the breakfast table, and it made them very sad.  They often spoke to me of this in after years, as the sadness of the dream more than came true.

            I did think to omit what I am now about to relate, to spare you the sorrow of this “war story.”  As I am writing a history of the “lone Smith family”, I cannot help causing you the sorrow of learning the sad, sad fate of one of its bravest members, and the fourth James Smith – a direct descendant from our great-grandfather, James Smith, who was one of FIVE brothers who fought in King William III’s army.

            As I have said, my school closed about the last of June, ’64.  I went home then, and mother, Jane, Priscilla, Margaret, Lucinda and I were in the old home, and with us, three railroad boarders and two good boys that Priscilla had hired to help her work on the farm.

            One of us always stayed all night with Phoebe, all the time brother William was in the Civil War.  On the ninth of August, I stayed over night with Phoebe, and the morning of the 10th, I happened to stay and eat breakfast with her – in which case she always walked half way home with me.  And if her chores were done, and I had helped her to do them, she would go home with me, and talk to mother about the boys in the army.

            This morning we walked slowly and were busy talking.  We had gone but a few steps when Phoebe said to me:

            “Fannie, look, there is thy mother, sitting by the roadside with her poor old hands to her face, weeping!”

            We ran then, and Phoebe said, “Oh mother, what is the matter with thee?”

            She choked and could not answer.  We sat down and put our arms around the poor, frail, little body and waited.

            Then she said, “Phoebe, we have heard bad news from the army.  William or James has been killed – we do not know which one, as yet.  Dr. Harsha and B. D. Caruthers came to our house at daybreak to tell us this.  They received a telegram from Captain William Dawson to this effect, last evening at 11. P.m., from City Point.  But the doctor’s wire was not working right, and he and Mr. Caruthers are gone on a hand-care to Big to catch the message right.  Just now they have started.  They thought best not to disturb us until they had learned all facts in the matte.  But as they were sure one was dead, the thought best to inform us before starting to Big Run, since it would take them about all day to get in touch with and facts from Captain Dawson, so far way from us as City pint, Virginia.”

            The message Dr. Harsha caught at Cutler had the name of “William”, “Captain”, mixed with “James Smith”, so he could not understand it.  But we all felt sure it was James, as it came from City Point.

            We could hardly persuade mother to go home, and the agony of those hours till our friends returned, I cannot tell you.

            Phoebe went back to her house and locked the door, and went with mother and me to the house.  There everything was sorrow and gloom, and very soon many of good neighbors came in to learn the sad facts, as all were very fond of James.  In fact, he was a great favorite in our community, and mother hoped he would care for her and the farm in her old age.  And they had made arrangements for him to do this, as he had had the care of the farm ever since father’s death in 1859.

            At 3 p.m., August 10th, Dr. Harsha and Mr. Caruthers returned with all the sad facts – James was dead.  Captain Dawson had ordered his body to be embalmed, and he would forward it to Cutler by U. S. Express, as soon as possible.

            At this time, brother Alexander was very sick in a hospital at Bermuda – Hindered, near City Point.  He was not in the explosion that killed James - the facts of which are these:  The Union army was getting very successful at this time, and their Ordinance Barges were very full, lying at City Point.  And the enemy got someone secretly to throw a torpedo into the Barges to destroy them and the tens of thousands of Union troops encamped, and on guard there.  They were successful, and the explosion was terrific.  It shook the earth and could be heard for miles.  The shock alone killed hundreds.  One of these was M. E. Clark of Marietta, whose body came through with the body of our brother, James.

            Captain Dawson, William Moore and brother James “messed” together all the time, and Mr. Moore and James marched at the front of the Company, being the tallest men in Company D.

            Men’s bodies were torn to atoms; and legs, hands, arms, hands feet, etc., could be found everywhere, and parts of bodies in tree tops, far off.  No one has ever known how many were killed there.  Guns, grape-shot and canisters covered the ground for miles.  It was an awful sight for Captain Dawson and all other survivors to look upon, and to hunt their dead among.

            Captain Dawson and William Moore knew that James was on guard near an outside chimney in a big, old building, and started to look for him right after the explosion.  They found him at his post, nearly dead – as a heavy timber form a building struck him on the back of his head.

             We tried to talk to them, and they made him understand what had happened and he said:

            “Tell mother”, and again said, “mother.”

            And this was all.  With the word, “mother”, spoken in a whisper, he went:

                     “Across to that strange country, the Beyond;
                     And yet, not strange, for it has grown to be
                     The home of those of whom I am so fond,
                     They make it seem familiar and most dear,
                     As journeying friends bring distant regions near.”



            We remember very distinctly Lincoln’s taking his place as President of the United States on March 4, 1851, and his first call for volunteers in that awful Civil War.

            The first gun on Fort Sumpter has been fired, and Lincoln is calling for troops, and recruiting officers are in every township of the northern states, drumming up volunteers.  A big army is now in the United States.  The cannon are booming, the drums are beating, the bugle call is being obeyed and the “Boys in Blue” are marching.

            I must here keep close to the historic “old Smith home” and to the history of the “lone Smith family.”

            In August, 1850, after securing proper titles to their lands near Fort Riley, Kansas, Alexander and John returned to Ohio and to our mother’s home, to remain for a few years.
            “They returned to enlist in the army, in the Company with the rest of our brothers.  Uncle Alexander did enlist, but my father (John) was rejected because he was suffering from aguo contracted in Kansas.
                                                            Alice M. S. Handsaker

            The first trip John made after returning and putting on his best clothes was to Coolville to see a very bright, black eyed girl with whom he had gone to school when she was only a child.  This was Jane D. Creesy, daughter of Churchill and Betsy Creesy, from the state of New Hampshire.  These were a fine family with five children.

            On April 15, 1861, John and Jennie were married in the large, beautiful Creesy home in Coolville.  It was a fine wedding, over one hundred guests being present.

            Alexander, Margaret, James, Joseph and I were at this wedding.  Mother, Jane, Priscilla, Matilda and Lucinda prepared the “infare feast” for the next day, and there were over one hundred guests to eat at the same old dining table, and the same old wedding table cloth was used.

            This was a fine, bright April day with the orchards beautifully in bloom.  The guests all were lively and happy and everyone had a good time.

            Early in the spring of 1851, Joseph and Lucinda each received certificates to teach school in Washington county, and in the fall of 1861, Joseph went to a normal school in Barlow.  He had a fine time there at this extra good school, learning how to teach.

            Joseph received his first certificate to teach in November, 1859, and taught the Goddard school near Cutler, which was his first experience in teaching.  He boarded with Wood Goddard and wife.  He had fine success teaching here, and all the parents and scholars were his friends at the close of the term.

            On the last day of school, Matilda and I rode to school on horseback and had a fine time at a “spelling match” etc.

            Mrs. Goddard had prepared one of the finest suppers we had ever tasted, or Joseph, Matilda and me to eat before starting home after that last day of school.  Wood Goddard and wife were a grand couple, and she was so refined and kind to all guests in their fine home.

            About the middle of November, 1861, Joseph began teaching the first school in Cutler, in the new frame school house, and this term lasted until April 1862.

            The opening of the Cutler school, so soon after the dedication of the Centenary M. E. Church near Cutler, was a great event in the history of the town of Cutler.

            The district was fractional, Dr. Harsha giving he Fairfield half of the school ground and my father giving the Decatur Township part of the school grounds.  Several families from the old log school house on Dutch Ridge were now in the Cutler district.

            This was a very large, fine school, and Joseph proved himself worthy to be the teacher, and gave credit to the “lone Smith family.”

            Dr. Harsha was a civil engineer and was one of the finest mathematicians in the state of Ohio.  He could solve any problem in arithmetic or algebra, and so could George Dinsmore who was teaching in Decatur, near Cutler.  And Joseph was fine in both arithmetic and algebra and all the other studies, and had attended normal school and teachers’ institute with George Dinsmore.  They were friends and chums while they lived, and both talked much with Dr. Harsha who encouraged new and better schools every place near us.  These three men did wonders in improving ways of teaching and traducing all the latest and best school books.

            R. D. Caruthers an Dr. Harsha had married sisters of our brother-in-law, Benoni H. Dawson.

            Joseph was greatly beloved, as he was very pleasant knew just how to teach and explain everything to us; and the scholars, being gifted this term, accomplished much.

            Matilda, Lucinda and I attended this term, and Lucinda had a certificate to teach, and she heard many classes for Joseph till January, when she left us to teach the Dr. Newell school in Decatur township near us.

            The summer of 1862, Lucinda taught the Cutler school, and Matilda and I went to school to her.  This was a good school also.

            The winter of ’62 and ’63, Joseph again taught the Cutler school, which was very like the winter before this, Matilda and I again going to school to our brother Joseph.  Lucinda was teaching some place near us but I forget which school it was.

            The fall of 1863, Matilda, Lucinda and I went to normal school in Barlow where we were instructed in teaching, and we also attended teacher’s institute in Marietta.  Martha and I handed tobacco for brother John, with Rebecca Harris, - boarding at brother William’s home, and we at home.  This was the last of November and all of December, 1863.

            This was a fine crop and belonged to brothers William and John, being raised on William’s new farm.  We worked in a log tobacco house by a stove, and took our dinner and made coffee on the stove.  John, William and Miss Harris were with us all of the time.



                        Early in the spring of 1859, my father set out a lot of young apple trees, and Matilda and I carried the little trees from the nursery for him and he showed us how to plant little trees just right.  The side of the tree that grew in the shade in the nursery had to be set to face the rising sun.  We never forgot this, and we each on our own farms, when widows, planted and raised orchards of our own.  We laughed over this once when I was looking at her beautiful, young trees in Michigan.  We always followed father over the farm wherever he would let us go.  And when he worked near the house, in the orchards or front yard, I always was “like his shadow” there. 

            He always petted me and called me his “baby girl”, and he wanted me with him all the time.  He said he was lonesome if I was not hanging around him or on his lap, when I was little.

            Once when I was five years old, father went to Marietta to pay his taxes, and he bought for me there a little doll, and Rebecca Morland gave him a piece of white and pink chintz, out of their log store, to make it a dress.  I have that doll today, and it has that same dress on it; and she would be a fine looking “little old body” if I had not hissed half the nose of her, sixty years ago.

                        The winter of ‘58 and ’59, the superintendent of the railroad, George W. Norris, and his wife and little daughter, “Helen Mar”, boarded at our home while he was having a home built in Athens, Ohio.  They were all born in the state of Maine and were fine people, and have ever been some our best friends.  She and Helen are living, but he died twenty years ago.

                        Father and Mrs. Norris had fine times talking of books they had been reading, and she delighted in father’s jokes and enjoyed his intelligence and sunny disposition, and my mother’s quiet wisdom.

                        Mother hardly ever joked, as she was like our beloved William McKinley, always very much in earnest about whatever she said or did.  When she spoke, they were words of wisdom that we never forgot, and she was business through and through, and she accomplished much.  Sometimes she would laugh at father’s jokes, but she tried very hard not to laugh, which made it the more jolly for him – to get them off on her and all of us.

                        The year of 1859 was a year of sorrow to all of us.  On the 4th of August of that year, our father, after a short illness, passed peacefully away, with bright hopes of future happiness before him.  He said he had hoped to live until I was older, as all his children but I were grown and able to do for themselves; but I was so delicate, sickly and only thirteen years old.

                        All were just broken up over this sudden sorrow, as it was the first death of a relative we had ever known.  I had been to but one funeral and this was a small child.  I took it so to heart that father and mother thought best for me not to go to any funerals; and I did not want to go.

            But now I must go to father’s funeral, and part with him during my life.  I broke down completely and could not be comforted.  I grew thin and pale and could not eat.  Mother and all tried to comfort me, and she tried so hard to find something that I could eat.

            One day I said to her, “If I had some of your home made cheese, mother, I believe I could eat it.”

            She went to work, right off, and made a small cheese, and I longingly looked at it and wondered if I could live till it was fit to cut.  She told her trouble in this matter to our teacher, Miss Issa Shaw, who was boarding with William and Phoebe at this time.

            Miss Shaw said to her, “Mrs. Smith, my mother has a fine lot of home made cheese on hand now, and old enough to be fine.  If you will lend me a horse after school closes this evening, I will go home and bring some of mother’s cheese and come back with it early in the morning, in time to get to my school.”

            Mother was glad to have her do this, and she rode eight miles to her home and back in the morning by eight o’clock.  I could hardly wait till she came with it, and I watched the road till she appeared.  She handed it to me and mother cut it, and I was satisfied and could soon eat all right.

            The winter of 1859 and 1860, the twins and I went to school on Dutch Ridge, in the old log school house, to Charles W. Campbell who was a fine teacher.  This was our last term in the old log school house, as we were sent into a new district near Cutler, my father giving half of the ground, and a new frame school house was being built there.

            The winter of ’60 and ’61, Joseph went to a fine, select school, taught by J. M. Yarnell, in the village of Barlow, Ohio; and Lucinda went to school in Marietta, to John D. Phillips – said to be the best teacher in Washington County at this time.  She boarded with Colonel A. L. Haskin and wife.  She was there for company for his wife when he left with the fine 63rd Regiment for the Civil War, where he stayed till its close.

            Matilda and I went to the Dr. Newell School, taught by John Plumley.  It was a small school with only a few nearly grown scholars, and we large ones were nearly all in one class in all our studies.  These were:  George Dinsmore, far the best scholar among us; J. Hannibal Newell, next best; then Jennie and Katie Wier, half sisters to George Dinsmore, wee very bright scholars and handsome and fine, congenial school chums.  Jennie was Matilda’s chum and Katie was mine.  John Brandeberry and his brother Isaac were the other grown young men.

            John Brandeberry enlisted this year of 1851, as one of the first Volunteers, and was all through the Civil War.  He was a fine man.  He died a few years ago.

            Isaac is a fine man and has raised a fine, big family, and now lives near Cutler on his farm.  I visited him and his good wife there last summer and had a fine time.

            In the year of ’57, ’58 and ’59, all the wise railroad men, so many of whom boarded and lodged in our old home, and my father would say “a war is sure coming in this country soon.”  They were all posted by reading so many newspapers on the political issues of those times.  The question of “Slavery” was just boiling in those days, and that is why “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was coming out in the newspapers.  Read that old book and you will see how things were drifting.

            Father said to mother and all of us, “There is an awful ‘Civil War’ coming in this country.  I may not live to see it, but I fear my sons will all be in it.”

            It came two years after his death – a little sooner and he anticipated.  The campaign of 1860 was a very exciting one between Lincoln and Douglass, and we at the “old home” were reading those newspapers containing all the memorable speeches of Lincoln – among them his farewell speech to his friends at Springfield, on February 11, 1861, and the last of which he said”

            “I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return – with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.  Without the assistance of that Divine Being, (who ever attended him) I cannot succeed.  With that assistance, I cannot fail.  Trusting in Him who can go with me and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will be well.

            To this care commending you, and I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”
A. Lincoln