December 11 1864 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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In this short letter, John teases Mollie about her other suitors and speaks of his eagerness to leave Camp Chase. His letter hints the tedium of the days in prison.

Sunday Morning
December 11th 1864

Camp Chase, Ohio
Prison 3, Barracks 7

Miss Mollie, my friend,

Yours of the 28th of November has been received and duly considered and in return I am glad you are still good health and enjoying yourself so finely. You will no doubt think such a delay in answering your letter is a little strange. One reason is I did not have the ring completed and another is I have been a little unwell for several days–but nothing very serious, but am all right again. I only wish I could make a party of two to have some fun with you as I used to, but it looks like I never will cease to be an inmate of Camp Chase but, as the old maid said of marrying, as long as life lasts there is hope… (No allusion whatever.)

I think my time will not be more than four years longer at any rate. I am sorry for you. I would advise you to make haste and get off but I am afraid you might offer some of the same sort of advice to me, so I will keep quiet on that score. Clint was a good looking fellow. Chalk and him would have been a very handsome couple traveling down life’s rugged road together, but probably she has her heart placed on one fine specimen of the masculine gender, probably a minister– what do you think of the picture. I have heard it was an ill omen for the wedding cake to fall. Was it cut or did it fall by accident or its own accord? Enclosed you will find a ring for Dora sewed to paper, a pearl sun with branches on each side.

We have nothing of interest to write or talk about, only what we have to eat for the coming meal. I can boast of a half pint of meal and spoonful of salt for breakfast with plenty of water. I will send you a ring soon like this if you admire the pattern.

I must close. Write to me soon and often. This is my birthday but you cannot guess my age.1 Goodbye for the present. My regards to Dora and love to Ruby.

I remain your friend,


Metadata: Sender’s location: Camp Chase, OH | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY
  1. John Haun was 30.