undated (before March 1865) – Martha Haun to John J Haun

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This letter fragment of unknown date belongs to the period of John Haun’s incarceration at Camp Chase. In it, his mother Martha Haun urges him to keep up his spirits and expressing her anxious desire to see him again in California.

…must try and tell us what we can do for you. At any rate, my dear, son keep up good spirits for that will have a great influence upon your health. I think it is the fate of war. Bear it as well as you can and think it will not last always, and when it is over, you are not like most of your poor comrades, striped of everything but will have plenty to come home to.

Now my precious son I must bid you farewell again. Oh how much I want to see you none but God knows. Hope keeps me alive. I feel that God will permit us to meet again on earth. I will not suffer myself to despond but put my trust in God believing that he will do all things and that we will meet again in peace. Never give it up but try and maintain your rights, trusting in God that he will prosper those that put their trust in him. Farewell, farewell my son. Write on the receipt of this to your anxious and devoted parents.

M. Haun

Metadata: Sender’s location: Quincy, CA | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH

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

November 28 1864 – Martha Haun to John J Haun

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John’s cousin Maggie Webb forwards him a copy of a letter from his mother and promises her assistance.

Monday 28

My Dear Son,

Your Aunt Jane sent me a letter she received from you with one from herself they are all well. Your Pa and myself are well but oh! my dear one how anxious we feel for your safety and welfare—you know [illegible?] can you unless placed as we are. I write you this note my darling to tell you to write to your cousin Maggie K Webb, of Louisville Kentucky for anything you need. Be sure to answer her promptly with acknowledgements of her packages. You will get a letter from her soon. She will send you what you are most in need of and do fail not to answer her promptly with acknowledgements of what she sends you. I corresponding with here and she will send you for me what you want. Direct to your cousin Maggie K. Webb of Louisville Kentucky. As I am far from you she will send you any little comforts you may need. Write on receipt of this. I have been hoping every letter would being the glad intelligence of your release.

Farewell my much loved son, your devoted mother,

Mrs Haun

My dear cousin I received today for your from your mother a letter of which the above is a copy–she violated the prison rule of writing on a single page. I feared you might not be allowed to receive it, though but a page in reality. I will send it however. Did you get my letter last week? Write immediately and send a permit to receive what you need. As you are sick perhaps you can get a permit to receive provisions.

Your affectionate cousin,

Maggie K. Webb

Metadata: Sender’s location: Columbus, OH and California | Camp Chase, OH
Notes: “Written by mother and cousin Nov 28 64, received Jan 12 1865”

October 31 1864 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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In this partial letter, Mollie writes to John Haun on the receipt of the ring he crafted for her in prison, telling him of her sister’s welfare and a petition to free another Georgetown POW.

Monday Morning
October 31 1864

Kind Friend,

I did not receive your letter until the 25th although it was written on the 16th. The ring arrived safe with the letter. I can wear it, but it is rather too small. You have forgotten, I guess, that my 
hand, like myself, has its usual share of flesh. Two years is sufficient time to forget such trivial matters in. I prize it very highly, think it very pretty.

Dora is in Henry County1 but we hear from her often. She has quite a nice little school of 30 scholars. It is out the last of November. I am going down and then we are going to Louisville as we were disappointed this summer in not getting there.

Mrs Kershaw and Mrs Bonner, formerly Miss Laura Heady was to see me on Saturday. Laura has married quite a fine looking man with plenty of cash. She came over dressed very fine, with a splendid horse and buggy of her own. She lives just 7 miles from Danville. Just imagine you hear Charles Hatten give a long sigh. I think from Dora’s letters she also meditates something rather strange, from the way she speaks of a certain one of the male sex.

I met with Mrs Webb at our church last night. We have a new preacher, quite an intelligent and pleasant man. Mrs Webb thinks him superior to any since Noland.

You speak of spending another winter in Camp Chase. I should call on someone to make endeavors to release you first. I expect Mr John Lemon will be released. His friends drew up a petition here, and sent it to Washington on his behalf. Johnnie Barkley shot himself, but it is just a flesh wound.

Metadata: Postmark: Georgetown, KY | November 1
Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH
Note: “Dated Oct 31st 54, Received Nov 3rd 54”

August 27 1864 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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In this partial letter to John, Mollie returns his flirtatious teasing and laments the approach of another winter in the POW camp.

August 27th 1864

Dearest Friend,

Dating my letter calls to mind that another summer has come and almost gone. Winter with her chilling blasts is almost upon us and you are still an exile and a prisoner from your home. But talking of, or thinking about, this does not mend the matter in the least, or many a prisoner ere this would have been released from locks and bars.

You it seems adjusted your guessing cap, rather than the studying one, but you will have to make a better guess than that before you can come anywhere near it. You must try again before I till you. I am glad to hear that my long letter contributed somewhat to your happiness. It is a pleasure to me to add to the pleasure of my friends. If you will exonerate me from all appearance of flattery I promise to do better in the future, and you know Ruby well enough to know, when she makes a promise, it is not a mere matter of moonshine.

You ask if I will not allow you to joke me about my badness, that you go according to contraries, please take it that way. Well interpreting the bad as good, the sour as sweet, there is a rather pleasing closing to your letter. But running my eye over it again, where you say the original will suit better than any other, that she is, you know, plump pretty, and very neat with all. Shall I think my friend means the reverse of all this? If so just let me know a little by degrees—it will be easier to bear. I wait your explanation.

I have some little news. Mr Noah Spears and Chap Steaffee are married, and are on a bridal trip to the falls. My old sweetheart Tom Cocks has been here. I had quite a chat with him at the drugstore. Tillie Price and Grit Weeks are inseparable. Mr Crocket broke the match up between his son and her. Harve Tailor is dead. His wife received a letter from his Captain, he fell on the battle field at Atlanta. Mrs John Wright is also dead. I do not know the particulars of his death. Mary Nickles was buried on Sunday week last. Her’s was indeed a happy death bed. She was so willing to go, and talked so beautifully to those standing around although many tears were shed all knowing

Metadata: Postmark: Georgetown, KY | August 31
Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH
Notes: “Dated August 27th 64, Recvd Sept 5th 64”

August 26 1863 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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John Haun writes to his sweetheart Mollie of the campaign from Tennessee, life as a POW, and mutual friends.

Camp Chase Ohio
August 26th

To M.C.B.,

Dear Friend your welcome favor of the 18th1 came safely to hand on the 25th and it contents carefully pursued. But when at last my eyes at the bottom of the page and saw the name attached my heart fairly leaped and went—well no matter now—suffice it to say words are inadequate to expressing feelings in the news of a letter from one I had so truly despaired of came at last, and with it the assurance that I was not entirely forgotten. “I read reread and then read it again.”

As you remarked, little did I think a year would lapse without my seeing my old native town with so many hollowed associations and fond recollections of the past and numerous friends. “Flowers made to bloom wither, wither and fade.”2 I had little thought of leaving the state the night I stopped at Mrs Lemon’s to tell her and Tom goodbye. By the way please recollect providence does not always attend to his own patch. It would not have been a compliment to you as namesake had my horse been old and unsightly in the eyes of men. But he was just to the contrary, a little too high nettled at times similar to _____, hence the name.

You censured me with forgetfulness of you. “Oh what a word.” Probably it would have cost me less anxiety and consciousness had it been so, but you accuse me wrongly. It was the next thing to an impossibility at that time to send a letter from Tennessee to Kentucky but I suppose there was some sent through nevertheless. Had it been otherwise you would have received not only one but probably more than you would like to have been troubled with, for it seems you have been enjoying yourself finely, dancing, going to picnics, &c, &c. It would seem the gentlemen or dancing, one or the other, possessed far greater attractions now than in days of yore, for it was more than I ever could persuade you to do, not thinking it harm by any means as I have often told you. But the people are going by contraries nowadays. However I sincerely hope you will keep your promise with your Paris friend as regards dancing.

I spent my winter in East Tennessee at Sweetwater,3 a small town on the Virginia and Tennessee railroad, a pleasant little place. We did not leave there until the 10th of February when I joined my command at Beech Grove.4 Since that time have been in some close places as you supposed, closer than I would like to be again. You will probably think I am jesting when I tell you I have gone to sleep and had pleasant dreams while riding along some dreary rank but it is nevertheless true, being perfectly worn out from loss of sleep, riding day and night.

Of course I had a sweetheart in Tennessee—you know my weakness for the fair sex. The next question is what is her name. I know you want to know it. Well I will tell you. It was Mollie T., a lady of “sweet sixteen” as the novel says, with large blue eyes, bright hair and a nose slightly inclined heavenwards. She sings and plays with exquisite taste on the piano. What do you think of the picture?

What has become of Sallie McLeonnell, also Laura Ready. I am sorry Evan Cannin’s is in ill health. Married life does not agree with him it would seem. I should like to attend singing school as I used to very much, and to go home with Mollie. You would like to see me, I imagine, no more than I would you.

I understand the church members lay aside their religion on certain occasions, more especially the Methodists. Is it possible, bad girl, for one that was so opposed to dancing to participate? Bad girl truly.

Jones Griffin was moved to another part of the prison so I am alone. Our boys have all been removed to Camp Douglass. Howard Graves is very sick with the fever. I heard that some of our town boys had left Kentucky to avoid the draft. We are regaled every evening with music from a brass band and a sight occasionally at the fair sex as their curiosity brings them hither to get a sight at Morgan’s horse thieves. [Bammin?] is only second rate compared with to us. Criticisms are unnecessary.

As regards your letter, send to us again, for I assure you your letter was duly appreciated as it is about all the enjoyment we have, receiving letters from our friends. But I am overstepping my bounds and must hasten to a close. I heard from your sweetheart last winter, Tom Flanagan he was in Mississippi. Wouldn’t you like to see him. Frank A. is not married yet. I suppose it is postponed indefinitely. C.H.W.’s cousin Sallie N. asks your whereabouts at the present time. Poor fellow, he is here sick and I fear will never recover. I have been sick myself for the last two weeks but have nearly recovered at least sufficiently so to be out of all danger.

It is somewhat of a task for me to write a letter from this place, because there is nothing that would be of any interest to you, and as I suppose you have very few acquaintances here besides myself that I could make mention of. I suppose it is useless to say anything concerning my seeing cousin John and Thornton, for it has been such a length of time since I saw them in all probability you have heard several times since then. At any rate it will do no harm. I saw them in March last near Liberty, Tennessee.5 They were well and in good spirits. They left Smith’s Regiment about that time and joined with Breckenridge6 in exchange for Wallace and Howard Graves, so as to be with Albert. I have not seen or heard from them since.

You say my sweetheart is as pretty as ever—so much for that—and that she is awaiting patiently for my return. Well, I fear that will be some time yet. I am fearful she is depending on a broken stick. You ought to go and see her often, for I think you would find her quite entertaining but probably it will be well necessary to remind you of the fable of the gay grasshopper and his friend, and take warning of his case.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Camp Chase, OH | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY

July 21 1864 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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Mollie tells John the Georgetown news as usual. She mentions that his parents have petitioned their senator on his behalf and wonders whether he will return to California on his release, or visit her in Georgetown. This letter includes an enclosed newspaper clipping of a poem entitled, “Off to the War” by Fleeta which has not been retyped.

Thursday July 21 1864

Dear absent friend,

I think every time, I take up my pen to write to you perhaps it will be the last time I will address a letter to you in prison, that Providence will surely favor you in some way, that once again you may enjoy and be restored to those privileges one knows little how to appreciate until swept away by misfortune’s ceaseless visits. But may hope our guiding star still buoy you on. Never think for a moment or allow yourself to harbor the idea that Mollie can forget former friends and associated fun, or change the old for the new, such is not the case. Although she may not write as often as you might wish, yet it is not because she thinks less of her friends than others, but it is owing to a natural distance, or antipathy for writing.

I expected you would receive our letters on the same days as Mrs Webb sent me a little note, written by your ma requesting her to direct and forward on a letter for you. She not knowing whether or not you had been removed, sent to me wishing to know your address. Your ma spoke of her distress on your account and her application to their Congressman on your behalf. I sincerely hope her endeavors may be crowned with success. She advises you to return to California. I think myself it is very good advice. You would then be away from the difficulties attending war. But I am selfish enough, not considering your own comforts, to wish that you would remain here, and help us, share our troubles.

You say of course there are secrets in your duck’s letters and you will let me see them, if I will promise not to tell Chalk. Well I should like to see them but dislike entering into such an agreement for if she was to insist you know you used to say she was quite an inquisitive little body, and the old adage being true, that woman’s promises are made to be broken, I might tell. Dora I think is some what relieved since she has gotten home as Buddie raised up on the street, shook hands with her and invited her up to see his wife. Dora says it seems as if I was blamed on all sides but she will exonerate me of all blame. And you—I had hoped at least to claim one friend who would rather pity than blame when all the world was to ready to censure—but considering I weigh 121 1/2 pounds I suppose my shoulders are broad enough to bear it.

You want me to select you a pretty plump sweetheart of that weight. I intended to ascertain the weights of the girls, and if there were not any of the specified weight and requirements to give you the original. As to the plump pretty and neat part of it, I can’t say, but suffice it is to say, you would have to be ready to pity when others blame, the last to censure, the friend that sticketh closer in adversity, before you could have the original for a sweetheart. Not thinking of course, that perhaps you would not except of her on any terms. But enough of such.

Mrs Bell White has lost her little girl, Mary Lou White, with scarlet fever. She took it very hard. We have had a great deal of it amongst the children. Fannie’s three have had it, but are well at present or very near. E. Canon is much worse.

There was quite a large picnic in Dudley Davis woods by the well two weeks ago but I did not attend, being in the country. The Georgetown boys contemplate giving one this coming Saturday. They expect Saxton’s band down. I think I shall attend. We three houses have quite a lot of company, Grandma’s, Aunt Price’s, and ours. An aunt and two cousins from Lexington, cousin Tom Chalk, Uncle Bob’s wife and daughter from Paducah, Aunt Ritcherson, and two cousins from Wellington Missouri. No time to get lonesome.

Mat Sanders was up on Saturday and I, thinking he came to see Aunt Tish, went downtown. He is as mad as you please with me, but if my burden does not thicken much faster perhaps I can bare it. Tommie L. and Annie Price are in Clark.

If you will just teach me how to commence a letter as pretty as yours is commenced I will be under lasting obligations to you and will try and teach you something in return, if you have not graduated in everything, so accomplished that Mollie, in her humble attempts, would fail in all undertakings which would be any thing but pleasant to her.
You say you do not remember who it was that came near making you lose your hat. If you remember, you was standing in the middle of the street at the hotel and like all the rest, made good use of your hat till a body would have thought every hat was worn out. Well I shook hands with the one who you, as all the rest, delighted to see, the Legion of the day.

I heard from Fannie Johnson the other day. She is well and hearty. When Fan was here, there was a gentleman from Lexington down to see her, and since Fannie has been gone he came to see me. He came down last Sunday. I am trying my best to cut her out and she knows it, for I told her I was going to try. She does not know he was down last Sunday, and you know I, like all girls am crazy to see her. I know you will say I am mean or a bad girl.

Ma McCann came down the same day I was at Orford, and came on out to see me, but could not find the house. Don’t you think after coming to Georgetown and then out there it was too bad not to find me. I am dealing altogether in Lexington beaus at present which doubtless you will think strange, but if you were to see M.C. you would not wonder. I wish you would come home so I could claim a Georgetown beau. I believe they all know me too well.

I have something to tell you which I thought to tell you in this letter but will wait till I see you. It is some thing that will surprise you very much, I know, for it did me. Perhaps you may hear it but if you have not, you will.

Sometime soon the men of Georgetown are getting up a burlesque show of some kind similar to one we attended for the benefit of the poor. I have no news to tell you scarcely, and still I wish to fill out my sheet of paper, with something to while away your time for a little while, even if it is uninteresting—but am fearful on account of its length, that it will not be delivered. But as mine are generally short and far between they may indulge me some. You surely have drawing masters in Camp Chase from the looks of your letter.

We have such beautiful moon light nights now I often think of the pretty night we were sitting in the door after Johnnie. Gabbie, Eaf, and Ellen had left, and the wonderful meteor on that occasion. I always shall believe you were frightened, for you just sat and would not talk to me for five minuets or more. You say you are going to come and see me if no one else. Well now don’t get out and start home without showing your pretty face in Georgetown.

I have just been wondering to myself if you do think of going home. I believe it is this month one year ago that you were made a prisoner. John Lemon is very sick at Camp Douglas1 I suppose your health is good as nothing has been said on the subject lately. You ought to bleach white as snow in a year leading a prison life, but perhaps it is built on the order of the prison at Frankfort.

I am suffering with a very sore mouth, don’t you feel sorry for me? It hurts me to talk and you know that goes hard with me. You would not try any roguery now, I guess, for fear of contagion, if you were to come home. Mollie, Chalk and Mary in one letter, would you not think of another name, Ruby or something else to call a fellow by. Anybody would imagine you were talking about a dozen girls. Just so you think I am worth that many, it is all right.

Mary has written, now you do the same, the very same or the next day after you get this anyhow. You are selfish and wish to keep all, and send all of yours in return. Well, I should never be satisfied with a part in the world. I am two much like you are yourself in that respect. All or none. I don’t like divisions of that kind do you?

Please write very very soon, from,

Mollie C. Burns

What I thought of telling you that was so astonishing is concerning myself, guess and if you don’t succeed I will tell you.

Metadata: Postmark: Georgetown, KY | July 26
Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH

April 12 1864 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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Mollie describes the local news to John, including plans for upcoming weddings, recent deceases, visiting, and embarking on a new correspondence.

April 12th 1864 Tuesday

Dear Friend,

I have taken my pen this morning up to write again and sincerely hope I may proceed without interruption. Yesterday, just as I had collected my writing materials Will Lroyman drove up with some of our relations from Missouri, a Mr Jackson. They spent the day. Consequently my letter had to be postponed, as on several occasions before.

We have nothing new on hand to relate in the way of news, excepting Billie F. and Gabbie H. are
 to be married today week. They are going to spend a few days in Cincinnati. Mrs F. intends giving them a little entertainment when they return. They contemplate boarding with her, I suppose, as Pa has been fitting up a room there.

Billie Page was up yesterday and told me that Gabbie wished him to remain to attend the wedding, but business prevented. The reformers are holding a protracted meeting conducted by Card have had some LD auditions. The Baptists commenced their spring campaign on Sunday last. Our meeting closed on Sunday night after a continuation of five weeks. A great many members of our church went up to Mrs Moody’s to sit till bedtime with the preachers before they left us. I had quite a nice escort in the person a very interesting young minister. I never laughed as much in all my life. I told him I had often heard it said that Methodist preachers could tell the hardest yarns gotten up, but never knew the correctness of the statement before.

Barnie S. and Jennie Winter are to be married next week also. But from marriages to death—old man Hall is dead. Rumor says he left Mrs Webb but four thousand dollars and bequeathed his residence to Mrs Adam, his niece, and her son $2,500. He has made a great many divisions of his wealth. He died as he lived, concerning himself with his worldly matters. Manulius Johnson is also dead.

Jessie McConnell and Tom Martin spent Sunday week with me. Jessie expects to start for California the latter part of this month. He is coming to bid me goodbye, he says, as I won’t go with him. He says he thinks I might as well go with one person as another, but as it is best to say some, and leave some, I will not give you my reply.

I was thinking if we should ever meet again, and you should haul out some of my last two or three letters on me, I should be taken with a sudden desire to leave, or blush considerably. But your good heart, in consideration of modesty, would spare me, I hope.
Mike Barlow arrived here on furlough to have his eye operated on. He has a cataract growing on it. Several prisoners were brought in this morning: some of the Bager’s boys, Jimmie Cantrill, not Ness’ brother, but his cousin becoming tired of Canada tried to make their way through but failed. Johnnie S. just flies around as he pleases. Eaf is in Dixie. He went round by water and is now with General John H Morgan.1

But to tell you of a correspondence I am carrying on, I received a letter from Rock Island from a Mr John H Collins requesting a correspondence. I never heard tell of him before. He is a Mississippian. I consented provided he would not criticize. His letters are very well worded and prettily written, and anything for a novelty. I wrote asking by what means he got possession of my address.

And your friend is married, well such is life! War, although full of its horrors, has not complete sway over all. You tell me you have been in prison eight months, and Camp Chase at that. The name seems to be expressive of horror and suffering. Would that it was in my power to assist you, but such being not the case, I can only give you my warmest sympathy, which is but poor comfort. It is pleasant to think, although prison doors are shut upon us, that shall there are some friends that are ever mindful of us. It seems as though peace will never be restored for you Rebels are about to be as impertinent and troublesome here as when all you boys left us.2

Sallie Dougherty has been up visiting but has now gone home. It is now striking twelve. I wonder what you are driving at, a good dinner. I guess not, but you can appreciate good living more when you are released, if such ever be the case. I wish you were here to come up and sit with me till bedtime. I have been going to meting so much that I shall be lost, and then I have got so much to tell you about that has happened since you left. I often think of the evenings we have spent together in times that are past and gone. You say that I would not know you. I think you are mistaken. I should be very sure to know you. I guess you are sporting a suit of whiskers, as shaving is not always convenient, especially in prison. The sun first shines, and then it rains. It is a true April day, so much like my thoughts—sometimes all sunshine, as it were, and then all gloomy and dark, it seems, as midnight. But I should not write of gloomy thoughts to you, but rather try and cheer you, for you, I suppose, have your share of them.

But I must close, paper being exhausted. I sincerely hope we may have the pleasure of seeing you in Georgetown before long. Write soon.

Your friend –as ever,

Mollie C Burns

I send you as much of that article you sent me as you desire. How much is that?

Metadata: Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH

January 21 1864 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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John Haun writes to Mollie, acknowledging the receipt of letters from Maggie Webb and J.P. Kinsley, and explaining the reason for his long silence toward his parents.

Prison 1, Mess 9
Camp Chase, Ohio

January 21st 1864

Dear Friend,

Your welcome letter of the 7th1 was received the evening of the 18th containing one of inquiry from my friend in Pennsylvania2. You may imagine I was surprised receiving a letter from that quarter concerning the lost babe, myself. I immediately seated myself and responded to it.

I also wrote one to my dear mother and father concerning my whereabouts. No doubt you will consider me very negligent for not so doing before, or still worse, think that I care but very little for my parents, but such is not the case. I have been led to believe from time to time I would soon be released when I could write giving more fully an account of my “sojourn in Tennessee” and likewise that at Camp Chase. Thus the time has passed to the present. I think Mrs Webb a very warm friend of mine, but she, like a great many others, knows but little of the difficulties that prevent a person from getting a release from Camp Chase. I have tried almost every means within my knowledge but as yet have been unable to gain my liberty on any terms and I am not alone in this endeavor as friends are unable to accomplish much at home.

I requested some of my friends to write to my parents when I left home telling of my whereabouts, but it seems they have not complied with their promises, or their letters have been miscarried.

Mollie, Mrs Webb asked me some very funny questions regarding yourself once upon a time, but I did not commit myself as I thought such questions out of place. I can certify to you being a truthful young lady.

I cannot say I did not suffer during this cold spell but I’ve done very well considering the circumstances. It was the coldest weather I ever experienced in my life but I hope the worst is over for this winter. Mollie I am very fond of mince pies particularly when “mam makes ‘em.” Tell your ma to preserve me one in vinegar so as it will keep until I can get it.

Just consider my meaning regarding George Jackson like everything else I say—a pack of nonsense with no meaning particularly. I am well a ware he never waited on you. I am very sorry for poor Evan Cannon and for Sallie, should she lose her husband too early in life, but such things will happen. Mollie, you are a busy little woman ain’t you? As for taste, I always know you possessed that qualification to perfect—hence the cedars. I flatter myself I would make some poor girl a good husband—if you consider starving by degrees good.

If I do not appreciate you, please, just show me the lad that does, as brass buttons are valuable here. As for you not allowing another theft, I do not see how you can prevent it, for rogues do not generally ask permission to steal, so I will not. Bear in mind this is leap year and I will answer all questions required of me. I must hasten to close. Do as I have done by writing soon,

Your friend,


Metadata: Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH | Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY

January 6 1864 – Maggie Webb to John J Haun

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A short note dashed off by John Haun’s cousin Maggie Webb after learning of his incarceration.

Louisville Kentucky
January 6, 1864

John Haun,

My dear Cousin,

I have just learned through Ms. Robinson of San Francisco that you are a prisoner at Camp Chase and sick. As your cousin I claim the privilege of ministering to your comfort and 
hope you will immediately grant me the privilege of doing so. Please write as soon as you get this and let me know what you need and I will furnish you with great pleasure. You will soon know to send me a familiar. Let me hear from you immediately.

Your Affectionate cousin,

Maggie K Webb
Care of Webb, Cooke and Co.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Louisville, KY | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH