1898, April 22 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to finace Lewis Hesse

Rosalie recounts pro-war actions taking place throughout St. Louis, talks of Havana Harbor in Cuba, and expresses sadness that she has been seperated from Lewis for three months now.  Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.


Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter Page 1      Letter Page 2-3      Letter Page 4     Letter Page 5     Letter Page 6


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Apr. 22, 1898

My own dear Lewis:

It is now just 8 minutes after 9 o’clock and I just came home from J’s where I went to have a rump (??) with our little Myrtle.  She’s the sweetest little kid ever breathed dear I wish you could see her.  I just couldn’t go to bed this evening without writing to you Lu.  you must be thinking of me more than usual this evening or something, for I can’t get you out of my mind.  I just wish you were here just for a short talk this evening.  Well I’m doing the next best thing anyway, that’s writing.  Well dearest I hope you have had several good sound days rest since I wrote you last, and that you have gotten fully over your long stretch of constant work.  Well Lu I will now tell you of myself since Wednesday evening.  I slept sound when I went to bed, and spent a passable day at work, but Lu dear you have no idea what terrible exitement there is in the city every day since was has been declared, it’s just terrible, and honest it just keeps my poor nerves in a constant jump with the booming of canon and the unearthly yelling of the news boys with their extra papers and the hurrahs of men.  I can tell you my side pain lets me know it’s in existence quite often these last few days.  This afternoon a buggy went up Olive St. with two Spanish flags draging behind it in the dust, and all the news boys running behind trying to tramp on them.  Then again, on Calafornia Av. & Gravois Av. they hung a dummy and called it Shealer, to a post and the school children came late and gave for excuse that they had been stoning Whealer.  Most every house in town is decorated with flags and bunting, and every wagon buggy, car, bycicle or just everything that can carry a flag or wear a badge is wearing or displaying one or some a dozen.  Well our N. Atlantic squadrone, adn Geo H. with it is blackading Havana since about 9 o’clock this morning, and the “Nashville“, one of the gun boats captured a Spanish merchantman loaded with lumber off the coast of New Orleans to-day.  I tell you dear we are having exciting times here lately.  I wish you were with me.  Well Thursday night Dan O’brine was at the house again and J. & Myrtle came also.  J. & I got pretty hot words over certain things, I tell you I was good & mad for a time.  I will tell you when I see you what it was about, for I can’t write it to you.  See?  Well Lu dear I said my prayers and went to bed.  I slept good again and to-day I felt passibly well.  But the constant excitement wears one out terribly.  This evening I came home and amused myself on the guitar for a while and the Ott came over and I went with hi to Jennie’s and had a roll around on J’s bed with the little one.  Then I came home to write to you dear, and here I am, all alone in the front room seated in the arm chair, (the one you & I liked best you know.) at the center table writing and thinking of my own Lewis.  I am trying the best I can to forget about my dress, that I must make over, at least till I feel better.  Darling old sonny, do you know that to-morrow morning it will be just 3 great, long months since you left me on our sofa sick as the mischief?  Yes dear 3 months, 1/4 of a whole year, and how much further are we in accomplishing the purpose for which we parted?  I for one have made but little headway, but in about 3 weeks if I don’t get good and sick, I’ll have some good news to tell.  But Lu the time is so long to me, see dear I don’t mean to complain, but you can’t understand how lonesome I am sometimes.  Well dear it is now 10 o’clock and I must hurry to bed as I am so sleepy.  Well good night dearest and God bless you and keep you safe from sickness and harm and be with you in any good you may undertake So with ever so many kisses and another fond good-night I will always be your Very own ever loving, ever true sweet heart


You will find the Irishman’s proof in this letter but you must send it back in your return letter.  Keep the proof in the dark please Dody with best love.  The Irish man looks cross and squints his eyes but otherwise it is exactly him, Gracious the cannon are shooting again, even as late as it is, Dody.


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