This letter was written by Henry McEuen Jones (1848-1930), the son of John Haines Jones (1801-?) and Rosanna (“Rosey”) Mceuen (1802-1876) of Franklin county, Missouri.
Henry M. Jones was born on 3 November 1848, near Union, Missouri. At the age of 15, Henry ran away from home and enlisted in the 10th Missouri Cavalry in the Civil War but was taken prisoner, and held in the Cahaba Confederate prison in Alabama until the close of the war.
After the war he re-enlisted in the U.S. service and served int he west and southwest. He later went to St. Louis where he was engaged in police work 20 years, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was first sergeant of Company C of the Jefferson Guard during the World’s Fair. He moved to Carthage six years ago, having been retired during the few years he has lived here.
Addressed to Mr. John H. Jones, Shotwell P. O., Franklin Co., MO
Postmarked Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
March 31st 1866
I again take this opportunity of writing you a few lines informing you that I am well and I hope this may find you all well and doing well.
Well, Father, we are going to the [M Co.?] and I want you all to keep in good spirits and I will do the same. Well, we will be fighting before 3 months, I think, but a man can’t expect to soldier without fighting some way or other. Well the mail will pass through once a month. You must all make your letters come even and I will do the same. I will write as soon as I get settled out there. Mother, don’t be uneasy about me for I can take care of myself wherever I am. If I was out of this, I could be with you, but I am not and you must not fret about me. I am very well respected in the company and get along fine. But still I would take my Eagle ¹ if I could get it or I can stay my 3 years just as it comes.
I have pretty good health since I left St. Louis. I weigh one hundred and 65 pounds. I believe that beats the old man and all the young ones. Well, do the best you can till I can do something for you. I will close with sending my love to all. Write soon as you receive this. We are not going to start before the first day of May. We will leave here but the letter will follow me, I think. We will go meet at Fort Smith. The regiment is divided at all posts in Arkansas and we will meet there and start for Mexico the first day of August.
Address Pine Bluff and it will follow me. My love to all the family and all enquiring friends. — Henry M. Jones
To his Father, John H. Jones, Rosana Jones, and R. T. Jones
Please write soon so that I will get the letter before I leave this state. Mother, keep up your mind. I will taken of myself. H. M. J. to his parents.
¹ I believe when Henry says he would “take my Eagle” he is referring to the pay that is owed him for his service — an “eagle” being the largest gold coin in circulation at the time.