August 17th 
When I wrote to you yesterday I forgot that I could not send it until tomorrow. I’m glad of it for I wanted to write some tomorrow anyhow, & I’ll scribble a little tonight while [cousin] Alice [Alden] writes to Tom, and then I must put in a few words too for Tom is our foster brother who has just gone into the army the 2nd time. We have been busy all day since the washing was done getting little tokens and letters &c. ready to send by Uncle Gilbert [Alden] who is to start to his regiment [92nd Ohio Infantry] in the morn. I’m sorry to have him go but I won’t have much time to get lonesome as I expect to commence school before long. Then I’ll be too busy.
The mail wasn’t very generous today. I only got letters from Eunice Kelly ¹ & Leander [Abby]. ² He has taken quite a notion of writing to me lately. There was one from him Saturday containing three sheets closely written. You used to think I had some interest in the “Abbe at Devil’s bend” (that’s quoted from Joe) and I don’t know but a person might think so yet. He wrote the last to inform me of the death of Jim McGavic. ³
August 18th 
I said I wanted to write today. Can you guess the reason? ‘Tis because it is my birthday — my 22nd birthday — and it takes me back in memory to several of its ancestors in the past — days when I was younger & I was going to say happier, but that is only partly true. Although I am far away from all the old associations that I loved so well, still I carry something in my heart that is a source of constant happiness; unknown in those days. So I’m glad this beautiful morning, and look forward with bright hope to the future.
Hoping this will find you equally blest, I am as ever your friend. — S. C. Alden¹ Eunice M. Kelly (1843-1898) was the daughter of John Kelly (1815-1867) and Sarah Palmer (1811-1901) of Mount Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa. The Kelly’s relocated from Marietta, Ohio to Mount Pleasant in the 1850s. Eunice married Robert A. Chandler (1842-1918) in 1870. Robert was a Civil War Veteran, having served in Co. I, 14th Iowa Infantry for three years. ² Henry Leander Abbey (1835-1874) was the son of John Billings Abbey (1805-1876) and Abigail Harriet Kingsbury (1804-1844) of Baltimore, Henry County, Iowa. Leander married Margaret E. Wilson (1840-1908) in December 1864. ³ James (“Jim”) McGavic (1830-1863) enlisted in Co. G, 11th Iowa Infantry in 1861. Jim died of dysentery on 26 July 1863 at Black River Bridge, Mississippi. Jim was originally from Virginia but was residing in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, at the time of his enlistment.