This letter was written by Sarah Little Park (1838-1919), the daughter of Robert Park (1783-1863) and Norrilla Printy (1806-1863) of Higginsport, Brown county, Ohio. Jesse born in 1847.
Sarah wrote the letter to Corp. Francis (“Frank”) M. Park (1836-1901) who served in Co. K, 188th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). Frank mustered into the regiment on 14 February 1865 and mustered out on 21 September 1865.
Addressed to F. M. Park, Co. K, 188th Reg. OVI, Tullahoma, Tenn., Care of Capt. [John T.] McCormick
Postmarked Higginsport, Ohio
Higginsport, [Brown county, Ohio]
June 14th 1865
Well Frank, as I have not wrote you for some time, I will drop you a line or two. We got your letter a day or two ago. It found us well. It’s raining now and Jess us just going out to plant tobacco. He is about half done. We have fine weather now—enough rain to keep things growing. We have a field of the best corn in the neighborhood. That field by the cottonwood, you never seen such a pretty field of rye. It will be to cut in two or three weeks. I guess our wheat is tolerable good. Our potatoes rotted in the ground by so much rain. Jess is going to plant again. We have a fine lot of sweet potatoes set out. Whether they do any good or not. Everything looks pretty well.
Our Nigger can’t be beat for work. He will stay here all summer. Jess has a heap of fun with him. He sings and dances.
The Fourth Ohio Cavalry got home last Friday. Ech ¹ is at home. The 18th Ohio Infantry went down last Friday. I suppose to Camp Dennison. If they are mustered out, Park & Guss will be at home. Boats of soldiers are going down everyday. The boys will certainly be at home before long. Jow got a letter from Park last week and he said he thought they would be at home soon.
I must tell you what is done with the wool. Well we weighed the wool off 15 sheep and it comes to 85 lbs. I washed and picked it when I got it ready for the factory. I had 49 lbs. It lost almost half. I am going to have jeans, flannel and carpet chain made of it. They are to do all at the factory. I can scarcely write on this paper. We have no other kind now. Well, as I was about to tell you, the rest of the wool I did not wash, it is upstairs. Ten sheep have died since spring. Five died after they were sheared. Calvin has sold his old tobacco for 13 cents. What do you think of that? He says he sold for 15 but Jim think [he] lied out of it and holds on to the tobacco, We could get 15 for ours, I expect. There has been no offer made yet.
Two little boys were drowned at Higginsport last week. Buckley and Scott are their names. I hain’t heard from Ell for a long time. I don’t know how they [are] getting along. I am going down there this week. Then I can tell you I have heard from Leonard but once since he moved. I don’t know why he don’t write.
Pick nicks scarce. I have only heard of one or two this summer. There is to be a great Free Mason walk in Ripley the 24th.
Manda Drake was married last week [8 June 1865] to John [W.] Kellum. Sunday School is going on as usual but there is not as many come as last summer. I guess Lise Richards is going to get married. There is an old widower going to see her from Manchester. He has seven children but old Jack is in for it. He says he can’t keep Liza always. It is some of old Lick’s matches as he is related to Miss Cochran.
Nate is here often for Jess to go with him places but I tell Jess to not go for Nate gets drunk every time. So does Sam. He come to Sunday school full of whiskey one Sunday.
Wot’s wife has got a boy one day old. Julia is up. Kirkpatrick and Sallie Brady are married. So Jennie has run her race.
Our garden don’t look so well as it did last summer. It has been so wet I could not work in it. It has been in full bloom. The flowers are fading now. You never seen such pretty roses. Miss Northup sent me a yellow rose bush. That is a nice thing. Lizzie and Marion are to be married before long. Mag is down at Palestine. There is nothing stirring in the country.
I suppose you have heard that old Ben Baker killed the noted thief George Lucas. ² He split his head open. Had him buried with one foot out of the dirt the way he was discovered.
Park went away mad and is yet, I recon, for he has never wrote but twice yet and that was in Guss’s letter a few lines. I have never wrote to him for if I did, I recon he would answer it.
I have been canning up gooseberries and currants today. We will have lots of blackberries this summer. Both orchards are loaded with peaches. I guess we will have some apples. I have paid America. She said she needed money so bad that she would take $1.25 so I paid her. Jane Evans wants to come back here to stay. I would like to have her after while. Jess is gone so much after night. I will have to quit. My paper is full.
— Sarah Park
Guss writes to us once a week. Martin Gray has his money. It is a chance if he ever gets it from what I understand, it would not do to tell him so how does whites come on. Liz comes over here often. Leand is sick. She has laid in bed ever since last winter. Write whenever you can.
¹ Possibly Harrison Echers, who served in Co. B, 4th OVC. He mustered out of the regiment on 15 July 1865.
² I cannot find anything in the newspapers regarding the killing of George Lucas. There was a Black man residing in Brown county named Ben Baker; I suspect this was a case of one Black man killing another—apparently with an axe.