1898, May 31 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to fiance Lewis Hesse

Rosalie is excited that Lewis is coming home on Sunday, but concerned that the war will force him away from her shortly thereafter as they are calling for more men & more after that.  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 4-5     Letter Page 6


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, May 31, 1898

Dearest Lewis: –

Your welcome letter of the 29, just received and was read with pleasure.  I am going to answer right away.  Lewis, I just wish I knew for sure if you were coming home Sunday morning or not.  I should hate to be disappointed.  I’ll be so glad when you come back dear.  But maybe you won’t be with me long, because they’ve made a second call for soldiers already, and this mornings papers say as soon as this call is filled another will be made.  According to that dear, things don’t look encouraging after all.  Oh I’m thoroughly disgusted with the way the war is being carried on the last 2 weeks or so, it’s nothing but folling around and doing nothing but wasting money and losing precious time.  I wish dear you could let me know if you will come Sunday morning or not, for if I can expect you i’ll go to church at 5 o’clock and then I will be home when you come.  You see for a long time I always go to church at 9:45 and I don’t want to do that next Sunday, if I can expect you.  See?  There is one thing you will get a scolding for, and that you hardly answer my letters.  Here I tell you about just how I spend every minute of my time and you never make one comment on it, not even so much as to say you enjoy reading about all the different people I mention and how I spent the time with them.  I’m going to scold you good for that, see if I don’t.  Say, ge whiss, you had almost all Sunday to write in, and you say you were feeling good too, and there you could only send a 4 page letter, shame yourself, I don’t treat you that way on a Sunday, even if I have my hands full of work. Oh, I know you were packing your truck and riding wheels & etc., but the Sunday is long.  I am glad to hear that your hand is so much better, I hope it will be entirely well when you get here.  Say do you know I think if you wait till the last evening to tell Geo. V. you want all your money Saturday, that you will have to stay there till Monday in order to get it?  Well I will now tell you of myself.  Sunday afternoon when I stopped writing to you I washed & dressed and teased the mischief out of Will D. & his kid, until the man swore I was crazy.  I was feeling good for the time being anyway.  No one else came all day long and it was getting so lonesome.  Well in the evening W. D. went to work & J. & I. arrayed in wrappers and pushing the baby carriage for the world as though we were 2 married women going to meet our husbands, took a walk, after which we went to our seperate homes, and I said my prayers & went to bed.  But don’t you forget it sir, when you get back you’ll take me out walking every evening you are with me.  I’ll fix you for 4 long months of loneliness, just wait.  Well Monday morning I went to work and the boss had a fit.  He was simply horrid, unbearable, miserably crazy, a dirty spaniard, (that’s the worst I can call him) we had to work all day, although it was decoration day and we were way ahead; oh he was just dogish all day.  In the evening I expected a letter from  you, but didn’t get any.  I began to mend a wrapper & then Dan Obrine came and I began to tease him about a young lady and in a little while Edd D. & Bennie Sanders came and between Jack & the 3 boys I managed to get along alright till bed tie.  This morning I had a headache & a stiff neck and didn’t feel exactly well otherwise.  But the boss just drove us at work like slaves, and at 3 this afternoon there wasn’t a thing to do in the office & he let us go home.  I am feeling somewhat better than this morning.  but far from feeling good.  Well it is half past 5 o’clock now, and as I want to do some sewing before it gets dark I guess I’ll close this letter short.  Well over the water, I hope everything will go smoothly with you till  you are with me again.  See?  With best love & a kiss I will alway be

Your own true


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