This is out of order--there's a smudge and I originally thought it was dated 1869. This is the last from cousin Josephine.
Noblesvill Hamilton County Ind
March the 9th 1869
Once more for the last six months I take my pen in hand to write a few lines in answer to your letter wich I recieved to day at dinner. I had looked in vain for the last five months for a letter and I gave it up last week. I was so glad that I had to quit eating to read the news but I was badly dissipointed not finding your miniature but I am satisfied to wait untill the next letter if you are not so long about getting one started. You will think this is most thundering plain talk but you know me or at least you used to know me. I have got to be pretty in the last few years but I am not so wild as I used to be.
I am sorry to hear that my miniature was damaged but I could not send it so far in a case the post master says he would not insure it to go. O yes I had forgot to tell you that I am well at presant and all the rest of the folks and I hope when this long or short letter comes to hand they will find you well and all the rest of my folks out there. some of them that I have never saw but while I am on that subject I will tell you I and pa talks of coming out there next fall if nothing happens. O how I do wish that it was me instead of this letter that was going to [illegible] dont you. and I don't want you to be married before then and then I want you to come home with us won't we see a jolly time it makes my heart fairly come in my throat to think about it.
I would have like to been at your house the other night and went to meeting with you but just wait untill I come then we will go nobody knows where.
there has been a great deal of sickness in our part of the county this winter. there was not girls enough to be hired to take care of the sick. all of our larger girls left school to go and well I have not been at home to stay for three months but I am going home in 2 weeks to stay and I don't think that I ever will work away from home again. it is to hard for me. I think I have done my share the woman I am working for is very sick she don't want me to go home she wants me to stay all summer but I take her not in the day time. She told me to day that I had no faults at all that she could find. she said I done my work precisely right. I was so glad to hear her talk so. I have not went to school vary much. this I went untill I took the ague then when I got well I come over here and have been here ever since.
I have written 2 letters to you since I recieved one from you. I wrote one of the hardest letters one sunday evening out under a cherry tree just after I had come from a peach orchard. you did not say any thing about it and so I concluded you never recieved it for would have been laughing yet for it was enough to tickle a dog if he could only larn his abcs.
We have had a few cases of the small pox in this town in the fore part of the winter. it never got spread, only in three families.
I recieved a letter from Henry See [?] last saturday. they was all well as far as they knew. I suppose you have heard that Uncle Elisha is dead as [illegible] did not write before. she came out to see us just six weeks before he died. he said he did not feel well when he was here.
You said they did not tell you who amanda married. his name is William Hodson. I never saw him.
I am tired and sleepy. I will go to bed and dream what to write tomorrow.
March the fourth. I thought it was time to finish my letter. I am still writing to the boys in the army when you come out here I will let you read them. some of them are splendid to read.
I wish you were here tonight to go with me to the wedding. there is a couple going to be married in the Methodist Church at six o clock. there was to many young folks married last winter and now I don't know of but one man out of the number but what has gone to the army and what better condition are they now in. some of them are a great deal worse of then they would have been had they stayed at home. I know that I would not exchange places with none of them. this war has caused Indiana to shed more tears in the last 2 years than them ever this generation ever knew. how many of our boys have gone that will never more return their native homes or see their friends. O it is most awful to think of. Just think of the boys from our settlement that are dead and wonded [?]. the sad that we are to never more see our neighbors is intirely broke up every boy that was over 18 went and some that was under that age. there is a great many that I think will live to go.
I do not know of any thing of importance to write but when you get this letter I dont want you to wait untill another six months is gone before you now remember. I concluded you were married and never expected to write any more. that is the way I am and write there tell them that I live on the same old farm yet and the post office is not changed. I have not herd from them for a year. I may close to night so no more at presant.
From your loving Cousin
To Washington Tharp.