Cyrus Byington Letter September 22, 1865 Transcript

Belphrie, Ohio
Sept 22 1865

My Dear Father and Mother,

I have this morning received your letters dated July 21 and 31 on address to me at Bath Mo.  A few days since Lucy had a letter from mother of the same date.  These letters are very precious to us.  I am very sorry that my letter dated in June should have so [unintelligible]  finding you.  So my personal affairs, it can only be accounted for in this way that I had in previous letters written you about myself, my situation.    But as it seems you have not received any of my letters in which I have spoken most fully of myself I will do so now.  I was brought out to Little Rock by General Steele.  I was with this 2 Brigade in which the 77th Ohio Vol Inf  was a part under command of Col Wm B Mason who [unintelligible] for his ire in Marietta in this Right.  I found several acquaintances.  Capt A W McCormick who edited a paper in M several years ago.  Ed Dale, a cousin of Lucy’s. Elijah McCarty, Robt Fleming and probably a dozen others who were from Marietta.  Col Mason treated me kindly and allowed me to sleep in his tent.  I had to walk all the way and when I reached L. R. my ankles were so inflamed that I walked with much pain.  Besides we were very short of rations.  I lived nearly two days on one cracker.  I tell you I was nearly starved when I got to Little Rock.  I borrowed some money from Ed Dale and Capt McNaughten Provost Marshal at L. R. by which I was able to go to Ohio.  I could not bring anything with me consequently when I arrived in Belphri I had no clothes not even a change.  Uncle A T Nye was owing me a little with this I was enabled to pay back what I had borrowed and got me some clothes.  I remained here about two months.  I made application to Col R McNewport Quartermaster at Belp for a situation stating to him my destitute condition and the absolute necessity of my doing something for myself.  He immediately offered me a place in his office giving me $60.00 per month.  I remain there just one year; my salary was increased at different times until when I resigned I was getting $100 per month.  I came here intending to go on to Ark, as soon as possible.  I bought a nice trunk and out of my wages I had filled it with clothes for myself and a great many things for Eliza.  I had bought 5 nice dresses, shawl, gloves, shoes, stockings and numerous other little things for her.  Lucy had made up a box of things for you and Father which I was taking out for you.  I had gone as far as Cin, when in passing through the city my trunk was lost.  The box I have sent to Cain, where it is now.  I have a check for the box but my trunk is gone with all I had in it.  I had a good many letters for you in the trunk from friends here.

I have persuaded a law suit against the Omnibus Co but whether I get any things for it is not known.  Law is very uncertain sometimes.  Tho this is a very plain case, the trunk was rec’d unasked by them and consequently they are responsible.  My plan is to go on as soon as I can get through with this business.  If Father comes to L.R. I would like to go there with him.  I spend the winter with you and attend to my land.  Homes are high here an so will not be practicable for me to buy.

I was very sorry to hear Eliza had gone to Texas.  I was over there and disliked the country very much.  She had better go to you now and wait until I come.  Camden I presume is full of troops and will be no place for her unless she can live with Miss [unintelligible] A different state of things will exist in the south hereafter.  Geo has a house here if you to move to Ohio.  Life is holding on to it in order to hear from you about it.  But I will be able to tell you more about which when I see you. The last two years and have tried my very much grey hairs have multiplied in my head.

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You will be taken care of Mr Dana died last spring and left Geo all his property so that Geo is rich.  Uncle Rett says he is the richest man in Belphrie now.  He gets $1200 a Bbl for vinegar and has more orders than he can fill.

Every body has gained nothing during this war and some regret that the war is over because their chances for speculation is over.  You would not know that the US had had a war if it were not for the papers.  No one seems to care much about it.  Everyone has a plenty, plenty of good money and C.  The war has been on one side the South has had all the suffering while the North has grown rich.  This is true.  Father has some land in Mureen county (80) acres said to be good.  Geo has 2000 acres which he thinks $20,000.  The Land warrants will be good.  Land in this neighborhood is very high.

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I want Mr Perry to attend to my land until I come on.  I should think Jolin Kingston had lived in ___

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When he says every man must pay his taxes in person on his property that this is a US Rule.  I shall be in so the difficulty will be settled with out any trouble.

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My board in Ballo cost me $8.00 a week besides my washing and fuel and light.  My business was very pleasant office hours __ from 9 AM till 4PM giving time for dinner at one o’clock.  Col Newport was in college the same time I was and knew me well.  When he first met me he said it seemed like old times.  He appears very glad and shook my arm almost out of joint.  You have friends in the North personally but the Choctaw influence I think has lost a great deal when connecting itself with the southern Board but what could they do?  I have asked, remain neutral?  Impossible!  I think the ______ under the circumstances did the best they could.

_______ you need have no fear about support in future.