Lincoln County Nebraska

We see the Evidence of Their
Depredations of Last Fall
~ Burnt Ranches ~ Dead Cattle ~ &c.

~ 1865 ~
Copyright © 1999, TNGenNet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The envelope is unavailable. The letter was written from Cottonwood Springs, Lincoln County Nebraska Territory, 1865. The letter’s author was a John Wilson, a merchant who may have lived near Chicago Illinois. From the letter’s content, we can surmise that his wife was one “Clara” Wilson. All underlined words are in the original text. Indefinable words are indicated thus: ____


Liberty Civil War letterhead.
With preprinted
Patriotic Letterhead.

Cottonwood Springs June 28th/ 65 My Dear ones at Home

I Recd yours of 15th/ today and I assure you It was a welcome guest, for It was the first word I have had from home Since I left ___ first is Business -- I thot I gave Bl___ __ the a/c [account] of that Dft. [draft] $600. fav. [favor] of ____ & Hibbard in our Settlement. but presume I did not -- It is not Strange tho. that I should have forgotten a great Many things my being Sick & having So Mutch on My Mind & I entirely forgot the Cigar Bill $65. Its all right but I am Surprised that there has been so little Collected for I thot you would have a plenty of ___ to Pay everything My impressions are that I had Paid the $750. to Esq. Wheeler that I Borrowed for my Store a/c but May be I did not. the $1100. was for wareHouse a/c when Jim was Piling up Wheat at 1.30 to 1.50 pr Bush [bushel]. I told him he must Stop or we would have to Barrow & we talked over who we could get It of & I told him I had got It of Wheeler. Suppose Jim has forgotten, Tell Asy to let It Run until I return in the Fall & I will Make all Right. the ___ I Bucked for Converse is $200. to R___ which I think is John Wilson inst__ of the Co. & if it is Jno Wilson & Co. no matter -- tell Jim to keep his shirt on & not loose any sleep for he will not suffer harm from any transaction of mine which he ought to fully understand ere this.
I did not see the Union Dispatch Company when in Chicago but drew $500. on the a/c which I done Some days before I left home. I want Jim & you to keep a Straight[?] a/c of everything & when I we will try and Settle. It was quite impossible for us to Settle before I left. -- as we had so mutch Stuff unsold but had I not been sick we would have looked over but it will make no material difference if we both live. you must get of Jim the exact a/c of the amt. of the Sale of the Stuff at Chicago, wool, & all other things a/c of wareHouse So that you will understand all about It. You want to also look on the wareHouse Ledger & See if I charged him with the Dft. from Wheeler a/c of Hills[?] Sold Just before I left. I you will hurry up Collections & not get in a tight Place again & if you do happen to get short just Borrow enough for 6 months to make you comfortable & give me your note , and I will go your Security for you must be a fit Representative of your Husband. guess you will be a S____ by the time I Return I think of nothing more than Business at present. Am sorry to hear of the Illness of our Sweet Little Harry you must give him a middle name & I will be pleased with It. how I would like to See you all. Dear Clara guard those Precious ones with all your Jealous care & all will be well -- My health is first Rate & I enjoy the Trip hugely & if I only had my Little Family with me I would be perfectly happy -- but it grieves me very mutch when I could not hear a word from you & if I ever take this trip again I will have Them along we have 6 Families in our Team Some Women that is more delicate than yourself & They are getting Stronger ever day We have 63 Wagons & 70 Men all goes along Nicely Hill Whitmore Captain & Myself Team Master. So you See we are offic__ & Capt. in his absence I wrote you at Ft. Kearny that John Comstock had got his Leg Broken. he will probably be home in 5 or 6 weeks. I have a Man in his place. I wrote you to direct to Ft. Lamimie but found that we would not go that way & wrote on the envelope to direct to Ft. Bridger instead of crossing the Platt at Julesburg we will cross about 70 miles this side of Denver & leave Ft. Larrime to the right & go to Ft. Halleck we will go to Ft. Halleck in about 25 days So you direct your answer to this letter there I think the next place [after] Ft. Halleck is in Collorado Ter. I think from there will be Ft. Bridger Utah the next East Bannock Montana Teritory _____ _____ Destination - I think I will ___ __ well at East Bannock as any ___ her it is astonishing how mutch Business there is done over this Road We are hardly out of Sight of ___ going and Coming a great many ___ & a world of Freight going to all parts of the Country a great Many Quartz Mills & Machinery of different Kinds. ___ is full 3 weeks later than usual this Season we are now 90 miles in Hostile Indian Territory & have not seen an Indian yet We keep closely guarded to be safe. We see the evidence of their depredations of last fall -- burnt Ranches dead Cattle &c. I begin to feel like Shooting Cold Lead through a few of their Red Skins. Our heaviest Storms in ___ are but Sprinkles compared with the Platte Stormed -- don’t Rain but Pours & The Thunder & Lightning doges around very carelessly -- We traveled about 400 Miles in the Platte Valley with Ranges of Bluffs on one side which grows higher as we advance. the River Runs from 2 to 10 Miles from the Bluffs water very Mutch like the Missouri but not quite so mutch so. I Shall be glad when we reach the Mountains I had some fun hunting Antelope & Black Tailed Deer killed one yesterday -- had a fine feast & No mistake, wish you could have been here to Share It. We are laying over today washing & getting wood as we have no Chance to wood again for 200 Miles except Buffalo Chips, which are not very good when green or wet but are all right when dry. You warn me against Jealousy oh Lord think Poor Russ has all he can well attend to at home, but I have to mutch to do to write Nonsense home Buttz keep the Strapes all right by the way M___ told me he would let you have Something on that __ if you wanted So you can make a Business of dinning him he is a good subject. if you have not put Stamps on those Notes of the Jessups do so at once & cancel The Stamps -- we have had but a little hot weather yet. We got up at Sunrise got Breakfast Start the Train about 7½ Oclock & Stop at Noon & take a Cold dinner & Corrale at 5 Oclock drive 14 to 18 Miles a day -- there are Ranches every 10 to 20 Miles -- built Mostly with Sods will last a few years do very well where there is No Timber -- My Oxen Stands the Trip Well so far. I told you enjoyed Myself hugely -- well I do Considering everything as Doc Houlz[?] Says A Man ought to be thankful that he lives at all on this Road I wish you could take a peep into our camp when we are filling our old Jackets the Most of the Freighters take Their Bacon or Sow Belly & Dough __ right out of the Pan on the ground with no Table or Seats, but __ ___ ___ We have good Biscuits or Pancakes Home Butter Syrup & Coffee for Breakfast Mush or Bread and Milk for Dinner Tea Bread & Butter Crackers & Cakes & Sometimes Sauce for Supper. Table & Seats. So you See we will not ___ of Course the dust flies & our hands are not very clean but all goes to fill up our Bellies. I often think if you Set Such fare before me at home there would be Music __ but more next time -- I must write to Sister Eliza to day -- tell Netti that her Pa. often thinks of her. Love to all from your affectionate Hus--
write often}
John Wilson

Direct your answer to this to Ft. Halleck Colorado Territory -- I expect to get a Letter from you at Julesburg.

End Notes:
This transcription was made from scans of the letter that was owned (1999) by Charles W. Winter (now decd.). Mr. Winter was the preeminent Nebraska Territorial postal history expert. He wrote “Nebraska Territory Postal History.” (Available: Click Here.).

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