Mt. Pleasant [Iowa]
July 4th 1865
From my heart I wish you a happy 4th. Oh, if I could in any way contribute to your pleasure, how gladly would I do it. But ’tis little I can do — only keep loving you truly & devotedly whatever may come. I know you will think of home today & of the much loved little band that will enjoy themselves together, every pleasure ten times sweeter because it it is shared by those dearer than life, & then you will think of Neal & hope she is with them & happy too. Poor Mag will be lonesome in the gayest crowd today. She would be happier if I was with her for there is true sympathy between us & for her sake I would like to be there. They are to be in town today, but my duty is beside the bed of a sick woman & because it is my duty, I do not murmur. There may be another reason why I bear the confinement with so good a grace. ‘Tis because if I were with the gayest, there would be one missing & the thought of his absence would cloud the brightest joy I could know.
Mrs. Frick ¹ fretted herself nervous this morning about my being disappointed of going to the Grove. Had to give her morphine & while she slept under its influence, I ran to the [Post] Office & met a great deal worse disappointment. Expected one of your dear letters & it had not come. ‘Twill soon be two weeks since I got the last. I wish I could write something lively & cheerful. ‘Tis very dull writing of my poor prosy self & of my worse than prosy life & off you I know so little. We’re getting to be almost strangers this summer. Only think, in the last three months I’ve only five of your letters. What if we should get to be complete strangers & each live as if the other lived not. The possibility of such an event comes over me sometimes like a wintering blight & it seems as if the day of our meeting grows farther & farther off too. A month ago, it seemed only a short time till you would be here & then the great load would be lifted from my heart. But now it is heavier than ever. There, I’m making a blue letter of this after all my good resolutions. I’ll quit till I get in a better humor.
Evening. Well I did have a little 4th after all. A lady kindly offered to sit with Mrs. Frick until I could go to the grove & see the Soldier’s Dinner. I met many friends & among others, the Liberty crowd of course & feel much better for their cheerful & sympathetic words. And when I must come home, Mag came with me & stayed till evening. She scolded some because I could not go home with them tonight & I should have liked to go oh so much, but there are many things I would like to do but cannot.
Mag got a letter from Enoch ² today — the first for three months. Rather a tardy lover, I think. ‘Twouldn’t satisfy me. ‘Twas eight days later than anything we had from you & told of your safety. ‘Tis not of that we worry though now. But we long for sympathy & love if it must come to us folded in a bit of paper. I believe if I had a husband, I should not be satisfied if he did not caress me — & often too — in the same fond & fervent manner as he did when a lover. He must tell me of his love & mean it all. Well, methinks I hear you say as you read this, “I think she has about run out of anything to say.” You’re mistaken though for if you were here I verily believe I could talk all night if you did not fail in replies. ‘Twould be of a thousand little nothings though too simple to write.
Oh yes, I saw many of the old 1859 4th of July crowd & asked several of them to compare that with this & tell which was best. All agreed in preferring the quiet one. Among others were James Chandler, Neal Spearman, Leander [Abbey] &c. &c. & all gave their reasons. I didn’t tell them that the reason I like so well to look back to that one is that is the day I owe the acquaintance which has ripened into a love that is a part of my life. I’ve talked enough for tonight. I must go & fan my patient. ‘Tis excessively warm. Good night & God bless thee with His chicest blessings, my own dear Lot.
I am ever your, — Neal¹ The “sick woman” Neal was referring to was the wife of David Z. Frick (1818-18xx), a resident and former mayor (1852) of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Though twenty years older than his wife, David was married to Lucinda Pixley, the daughter of Benjamin and Lydia (Conner) Pixley. Lucinda died on 18 July 1865 as Neal will tell Lot in her letter of July 22nd. Lucinda’s death may have been from complications related to childbirth as her infant son, Charles Frick, died on 21 May 1865 within two weeks of his delivery. ² Mag’s “lover” Enoch may have been 2d Sergeant Enoch A. Sexson (1841-1921) who served with Lot Abraham in Co. D, 4th Iowa Cavalry.