May 8 1864 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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With this letter to his sweetheart, John Haun enclosed a homemade ring. The stitch marks where he sewed the token to the page can be seen in the photographs below.

Sunday Morning
May 8th 1864

Camp Chase, Ohio

Dear Friend,

As it is Sunday and my day for writing I will devote part of it in answering your kind letter of the 1st of May, the day of all picnics. “Can I have the exquisite pleasure of accompanying Miss Mollie to Orkney1 today.” I take it for granted you say yes if you will behave yourself. I am well and thought how I would like to attend one in this beautiful month.  I am glad to learn two loving hearts are made happy in the persons of Gabbie and Billie. Tell him he did not act fairly with me to take my sweetheart in my absence. Don’t you think so?

Speaking of correspondents, I am determined you shall not get ahead of me in that line. I am corresponding with a young lady in this state near Cumberland, Ohio, Miss Nannie McClelland. I received a letter from her yesterday telling me to be hopeful, “that every cloud has a silver lining.” I thought of your remark about Billie the minute I read it.

Mollie, I would give anything in this world to pay a visit to Georgetown once more and be a free man, but I have little hope of it soon. I never knew how to appreciate liberty when I had it not until now.

Dora must be paying a visit someplace. Give her my unbounded _____ when you write to her. Tell Tom to make haste and get well enough to go fishing with me when I come. I want a jolly lot of girls along when I go, “I can fully realize the import of these two little words “At Home.”

I have received a letter from my father recently and was glad to learn they were well and getting along finely. I wish I could say the same of myself. I shall try very hard to get to see you before I leave finally.

Which one of the Crumbaugh boys was in the Louisville prison last fall or summer? I heard one of them was.

Must close for the present. Write soon. Enclosed you will find a ring made by myself out of a button, with a gold vine, a silver heart and leaves. If you get it I will send you a prettier one. Tell Dora I have not forgotten her. I might have the good luck to pop in to see you when you least expect me. Tell me if the ring is too large or small–I had to guess at the size. I will sew it to the letter.

Mary, write to me soon. I should like so much to see you. Truly, your friend,


(Give my love to Chalk)

P.S. Rub the ring with a dry silk handkerchief to make it shine. Until I see you I shall try and take care of what you admire most.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Camp Chase, OH
  1. Consult the map for specific location.