February 3rd 1863 - In camp on Crane Creek Missouri
I wrote you not three days ago but having received your fond letter of the 22nd of last month I will write you a few lines. Nothing of interest has occured since I wrote you. We are still laying here. Our Colonel is in the field and we look for him back to-day or to-morrow then I think we will know where we will go. I am very glad to hear that George is going to tend the place this season. It maybe I will be there to help put in at least I hope so. I am so happy to hear you are in good health. Tell Alice and Flora to be good girls and I will fetch them something nice when I come home. Tell Jimmy that pa says he must be a good boy that I have got a little axe that I am going to fetch him. Kiss Charley as for you I hope I will not find you as poor as I did when I come from California. Tell me if you ever write to boys in Iowa or if you ever hear from them. Tell me how father and mothers health is this winter and all about everything. Give my respects to old Jimmy and his wife and all inquiring friends. Tell me if you can hear from Nelse. Nate is well. Harry is sick in hospital.
From your most affectionate husband.
May 5, 1863 - Polk County Missouri
My dear wife:
It is now raining and I am in my wagon and I thought I could not put in the time any better than by writing to you as I know that you will be anxious to hear where we are. We are now about 50 miles northeast of Springfield so you see that we have done some traveling since I last wrote. We have to get up at 3 o'clock and start at five and travel on till night, the roads for last three days have been very bad. It will take about three days yet to get there. I think we will get our pay when we get there how I am to get you some money I do not know I will have to trust a little at a time in the mails I expect. I sent you ten dollars by John Fereon I hope you get it. We are encamped in a large timothy meadow which makes a good grazing for our mules on an old sesesh farm. The boys have cleaned him out of all his chickens, bacon, honey, corn, hay and in fact everything that they wanted and a good many things that they did not want. They are burning the rails from around his field of wheat and part of the mules are eating it up. So you can see the way we use them. This old man has 3 sons in the rebel army some of the boys of the tenth regiment caught a bushwacker the other day and was taking him under guard and he broke and run from them and they put a hole through his body but he died game. he hurrahed for Jeff Davis and told the boys to tell south to never give it up. I still enjoy the best of health and could enjoy myself a good deal more if I could know that you were all well. I hope to hear from you before to long I will write again when I get to our journeys end. So I will quit for the time and may God bless and protect you all is my daily prayers.
From your every-faithful husband.
Sarah A. Norton John A. Norton
May 20th 1863 - Rolla Missouri
My dear wife:
Having nothing else to do I thought I would write a few lines to you. I wrote a letter to you four or five days ago but since then I had the pleasure of reading your first letter and what a joy to hear from you. Six of us came to Rolla to have our wagon fixed. We got here yesterday I expect about noon. I heard of Wm. Godfrey. I am sorry to inform you that he was left in the road 20 miles this side of Fort Scott sick with the measles and what I hate is that he was left in the hands of a sessionist with a rebel doctor but the boy that was with him thinks he will be treated well. Ben won't get his discharge they have written him ordering him back. I received a letter from him 3 nights ago he said his children had all had the measles. They leave at five so I will bring my short letter to a close by asking Gods blessing to rest with you all. I have had a bad cold but am better now.
Sarah Norton John A. Norton
May 27th 1863 - Rolla, Missouri
My dear companion:
I wrote to you from here some five days ago from this place. Since then I have been back to Salem to the regiment and have been paid off and returned here last night. I have expressed my money to Emporia with a lot of the Emporia boys we sent it to J.R. Swallow so after you get this you will have to go and send to Emporia after the money. It is in a package by itself and directed to you. I have sent you seventy dollars so you must pay up the little debts and take receipts for them and fix yourself up comfortable I am not afraid to trust you with the money for I know that you not lay on to any without you have need to. I would that I could of sent you some before but that was impossible I am afraid that the children had to stay out of school for want of clothes if they did tell them pa says to study hard to catch up. We were paid for six months 78 dollars a piece I have not gotten any of my extra pay yet but I think we will get it in a few days. I received your second letter when I got back to the regiment and I have got one of same date for Will. I was very glad to hear that children had gotten along so well and as for yourself you must get some Lincoln coffee to stop that headache. I would to God that I could of got a power of attorney from Walt so that I could have drew his money and sent it to him for I know he needs it. I think quite hard of father for making you pay that five dollars for the agreement was he was to wait until I was paid off or I would not made the arrangement for him to have paid the taxes but such is the way I find the soldiers that are away fighting for their country are generally treated. Truly this war is testing the principle of all classes of men. I have not heard anything more from Will. Tell Walt that Whitman is one of General Ewings body guards. Ewing is acting Major General over the first division army of the frontier. Everybody is in good spirits about the war. Grant has whipped the rebels in four pitched battles down at Vicksburg and has taken a large number of guns and provisions. There is talk that we are going back to Kansas but I guess there isn't anythng certain about it. I will write an order to Swallow for you so that if you send for it you can send the order. It may be you can get a chance to go up yourselves and do your trading. I will also enclose 50 cents there will be 20 or 30 cents expressage share. I have not found out whether there was anything paid on that thrashing or not you had better try and go to Emporia and go home by the thrashers and square it up. He lives on dry creek and I believe his name is Even Jones.
Sarah Norton John A. Norton
July 3rd 1863 - Independence, Jackson Co. Missouri
My dear wife:
I have been looking for a letter for two nights but have looked in vain. I guess you did not write last week, but that need not hinder me from writing you. I am happy to inform you that my health is good and I hope that these few lines may find you the same Gods blessing. I have no news of importance. We are still staying here enjoying first rate, but I don't think we will stay to long but I think we will not go far from here we may get to go to Leavenworth. I am thankful that we did not have to go to Vicksburg. The mules run in the pasture days and stay in the shade. We are having fine times now for we have taken our rations to a womans house and give her two bits a week a piece to cook them and they are cooked rite. our boys fetch in potatoes and onions and apples so you see that such living is much to good for a soldier, but we will try to stand it if the regiment will let us stay here. Three of our boys started home on furlough this morning. I expect that I could of went now but I had rather wait till September for I can do more good then than I could now. Tomorrow is the fourth and the negroes of this place say that the whites ain't loyal enough to give us a dinner. Ben is staying with us I haven't heard anything here from Will. I attended Came;ete (NOTE: Campbellite?) preaching last Sabbath and went to prayer meeting last night but they never pray for the government. I long for the time to roll around that I may again be permitted to meet you all again. I can't bear the idea of being separated from you two years longer. I can't help thinking of those I love but I put my trust in God and hope there is a better day a coming if not on earth in heaven. Tell Alice and Jimmy that in two months more I hope to get a kiss from them again. Tell Jimmy pa wants to know if he has got the knife and axe yet? Kiss little Charley and tell him pa will come before bye and bye. I don't expect to hear from you before next week but I will not put off putting this in office till morning perhaps I may get a letter to-night. Well I will quit for this time and get to dinner.
From your fond and affectionate husband.
Sarah Norton John A. Norton
July 12th 1863 - Independence, Jackson Co. Missouri
My dear wife: (in health and in vigor, Thanks be to God)
I am again permitted to write to you again although I have not had a letter from you for over two weeks, but that does not hinder me from writing to you I am afraid that either you or some of the children are sick. In the letter that I got from Walter he said that you had got your likeness taken and was a going to send it and a letter to me but they still do not come. If you should get sick and could not write you must get Eunice to write, or in case of sickness I think I could get to you in time. I was glad to hear that you had got your money. I hope you have got now things to be comfortable for yourself and the children. News about ourselves, we are still here although we were ordered away day before yesterday and got loaded up and got three miles on the road towards Kansas City and was ordered back. After we got back company D. and K. and ten men out of D. and ten out of F were ordered to take two day rations in their haver sacks and they started about ten o'clock that night and 100 calvalry went with them they have gone on a secret mission to where the bushwackers has a rendezvous. We are looking for them back to-night. Will is here at last and has got his old position he is now orderly for whole company was glad to have him back again. The men were all in good spirits, the other evening when the news of the surrender of Vicksburg and the cutting up of Lees army came in they made the cannons howl and churches that the people would not open and ring bells the soldiers opened and rang them themselves and they kept it up till ten or eleven o'clock. There is an order in now for our regiment to be mounted and you bet the boys feels good over it. I think we will not stay here but a day or two longer. I think we will go to Kansas City and whether we will stay there or not I can't tell. We may get to go to Leavenworth. The talk is now that we will be paid off again this week. O how I wish you could have some of the good apples that the regiment is getting. We have some to eat and sauce and pies to our hearts content. Such soldiering as this I don't mind. All I hate is being away from those that I love. There is here where I am staying a little boy just about the size of Jimmy and whenever I see him playing around it makes me think of home. I am now writing on a stand upstairs in a little closet by a little window in a large brick house it goes a good deal better than sitting on the ground and writing on a knapsack. I hear the boys are coming back so I guess that I will quit and go and see what they have done.
From your affectionate husband.
Sarah Norton John A. Norton
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