Letter – Isaac Jones, August 1862


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Letter fragment written by Private Isaac B. Jones of Company C, 3rd Battalion, 18th U.S. Infantry, to his cousin Helen Sofield. In this incomplete letter, Jones writes of his deteriorating marriage, which he blames on his wife’s family. Though he still loves his wife, he is “determined never to be governed by her folks one inch.” Jones writes that he is sorry for the unfulfilled promises he made, but feels he will receive no forgiveness from his in-laws.

-Page 1-

the part of a consistent man, under the circumstances to the best of my abilities. Various other things I could mention equally as bad, but I forbear to dwell on the subject. I am willing and am anxious to do anything in my power to make Lucy comfortable & happy. And I will never rest till I accomplish it. This is if she will go with me independent of the Thompson & Updergraff faction. If not, I will take the one side of the world and she may have the other. I love Lucy as well as ever I did, and always will. I can’t help it but I am determined never to be governed by her folks one inch. You complain of me, and say that I have cruelly deceived you. I am aware that I have made promises that I did not fulfill. It was my sincere intention to live up to all I said. I was unfortunate, and I have felt truly sorry for it, but that don’t seem to satisfy some. I have acknowledged all my faults to Thompson’s folks, have sincerely repented, and bitterly wept,

-Page 2-

but what matters it? Those who no longer love, believe neither in tears nor repentance. Besides they are so strong against me who have once fallen, they hold me by my fault as a slave by his chain. And if I would complain, they would coldly plunge a recollection into my heart and then I must cast down my eyes and hold my tongue. I will say no more at present. I hope you will answer this immediately. I am much obliged for the stamps you sent me. Give my love to Alfred & the children and accept the same yourself. From your affectionate but unworthy cousin,

                                    Isaac B. Jones


Co. C, 3d Batt. Winchester, Tenn

        18th U.S. Infantry   

Excuse this writing. I was in haste and am not well. I am now under the doctor’s charge. I hope I can return to duty in a day or two. I got a letter from Perry Tice a few days since. They were well. 

Isaac B. Jones was a carpenter from Williamsport, PA. He originally enlisted with Captain Joesph E. Ulman’s Battery of Light Artillery PA Volunteers at the age of 27. The company was discharged March 7th, 1862 and Jones re-enlisted with the 18th U.S. Infantry. He was killed in action on December 31, 1862 at the Battle of Murfreesboro.

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