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Heritage \ Writings \ Mary's Diary 1863 \ Jan-Feb-Apr

Diary of Mary Jane (Craft) Hemminger
Diary excerpts of soldier's bride during Civil War.
  • Contributed by Phyllis Nilsson of Toledo, Ohio (April 2004)
  • Note 1: Bold, underline or italic have been added to highlight names & places.
  • Note 2: No editing was been done during the transcription of this diary.

    Reprinted from 1863 diary of Mary Jane Hemminger, nee Craft.
    Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, 1863.

    Thursday, January 1, 1863 -
    "Arose this morning thinking Isaac would surely come today. Talked to the baby about Papa. Commenced to look for him about three o'clock this afternoon. It is dark. No Papa tonight."

    Friday, January 2, 1863 -
    "I thought Iasaac would surely come today. It is night and he has not come yet. If he does not come tomorrow I shall give up looking for him at all."

    (Transcriber's note: There were no further entries for January 1863, no mention if Isaac came home during that time, but I like to believe he might have and she was too busy enjoying his company to write in her diary.)

    Saturday, February 28, 1863 -
    "Went over to Bay City today for some money. Had to walk a part of the way on the ice and a part of the way in a boat. Received a letter from Isaac dated the 23rd of February. He says he leaves tomorrow for Washington. I thought to see him again before he left."

    Sunday, March 1, 1863 -
    "I am very lonely today and am very much disappointed because I did not see Isaaac again before he left. If I had known he was not coming home again I would ________."

    Saturday, March 28, 1863 -
    "I expected a letter from Isaaac, but did not get one. Am very much disappointed. I am very lonely when I don't hear from him every week. I long to see him. I love him very much more than I thought I did. Darling husband."

    Sunday, March 29, 1863 -
    "I have thought of Isaac all day long. I have not been out of the yard today. Mary and Mrs. Orton have just gone home. The baby is not very well. I hope she is not going to be sick. Started a letter to Isaac, can't finish it tonight. Baby is sick."

    Monday, March 30, 1863 -
    "I tried to wash today. Baby is worse. I had to hold her most of the day. Finished my letter today, but did not get a chance to send it over. Mrs. Thelie came today and mother went to Mary's with her."

    Tuesday, March 31, 1863 -
    "Very stormy today. I intended to go over to Bay City, but it is too cold. I received a letter from Isaac today. He is not well. Mrs. Thelie came here today on her way home. Persuaded her to stay all night."

    Wednesday, April 1, 1863 -
    "Quite stormy yet decided to go over to Bay City. Went by the ferry and came back on the Little Nell. We was very much frightened it blew so hard."

    Friday, April 3, 1863 -
    "Father scairt us very much. He was drunk, he got the ax, and said he would kill mother. We all ran. I don't know wheher he would hurt us or not. We thought it was best to keep out of his way awhile."

    Saturday, April 4, 1863 -
    "I went over to Bay City today. I got a wagon for baby. Took her out riding when I got home. I called on the Makitricks. Had a very pleasant time. Saw the bride. They invited me to visit her when she gets to keeping house."

    Sunday, April 5, 1863 -
    "It has been very pleasant today. I took the baby down to Mary's today. Mrs. Orton was there. Mary's baby is most as large as Ella. Everybody out walking today. I miss Isaac very much. Dear husband."

    Monday, April 6, 1983 -
    "Stormy again today. Father is drunk again. He called us all the names he could think of. I can't stand it this way. If he don't do better, he must go in his own house to live. I told moher so."

    Tuesday, April 7, 1863 -
    "More pleasant today. Washed today. I took the baby out riding this afternoon. I wrote a letter to Isaac this evening. I expected a letter from him today, but did not get any. I hope I will get one tomorrow."

    Wednesday, April 8, 1863 -
    "I went over to Bay City and had the baby's likeness taken today. It is not a good one, and I am sorry I took it. The first time I have a chance to get a better one, I shall ____ (rub?) it out. I expected a letter from Isaac today, but did not get one."

    Thursday, April 9, 1863 -
    "No letter yet. I am almost sure Isaac has left Washington. If he has, I shall not hear from him very often. How I wish this war was over. I could be happy if Isaac was home again. I am afraid I shall never see him again."

    (Transcriber's note: Parenthetically, it was exactly two years from this date that Isaac died at Vicksburg.)

    Friday, April 10, 1863 -
    "If it was not for my baby, I should wish I was dead. I have not a friend left since Isaac went away. Even those I thought was my friends have turned against me. I would give all I have got if Isaac was home again."

    Saturday, April 11, 1863 -
    "I received a letter today from Isaac. He is well. His letters are very precious to me. He said, 'I live for you and by baby'. He said he loves me more than ever. It is sweet to know he loves me. If I was sure he would come back safe, I should be happy."

    Sunday, April 12, 1863 -
    "I have thought about Isaac most all day. I was over to Mrs. King's today. I find I have more friends than I thought I had. Mother says everyone thinks I don't pay enough for my board. It ain't so."

    Monday, April 13, 1863 -
    "I sent a letter to Isaac. How I wish I could see him. I used to think he did not love me, but I know he does now. If he was back again, we could take more comfort than we ever did. Dear husband."

    Tuesday, April 14, 1863 -
    "I am in better spirits today. If Isaac was in no danger, I could be quite happy while he is away. My baby is a great comfort to me. I am thankful that she keeps well. I wish the war was over. God, grant it be soon."

    Wednesday, April 15, 1863 -
    "I heard today that father was going to move back home. If he is not suited with what I pay him, I had rather he would. I had rather keep house than to pay more. It will be lonely, but I am not afraid."

    Thursday, April 16, 1863 -
    "I went avisiting today. We had a good time. There was eight of us ladies. While the rest was talking, I was thinkking of Isaac the most of the time. It has been a very pleasant day. If Isaac was back again, I should be happy."

    Friday, April 17, 1863 -
    "I received a letter form Isaac today. He is on picket guard. Now is the first real danger he has been in, and I am very fearful for him. If he was only back again I should be happy once more."

    Saturday, April 18, 1863 -
    "I have been over to Bay City. It has been a very warm, pleasant day. I met Mrs. Orton in the store. Sophia was with her. They were very cool. I don't know the reason. I am not going to say a word against anyone after this."

    Sunday, April 19, 1863 -
    "It has been a stormy day. Mrs. Heywood was here today. Her husband was with her. He drew his baby in the wagon. I wish my husband was here to take his baby for a ride."

    Monday, April 20, 1863 -
    "Mrs. Heywood was here today after some things she left yesterday. I went home with her and she persuaded me to stay all night. We had a good visit."

    Tuesday, April 21, 1863 -
    "I came home today. The folks looked cross and Hellen picked a quarrel with me because I pushed Emma away when she was striking my baby. She told me I could leave. I don't think I shall leave my own house for her."

    Wednesday, April 22, 1863 -
    "It has rained all day and it is raining yet. Hellen has not spoke to me today. I shall not speak first because I did not commence the quarrel. I wish Isaac was here. I am so lonely."

    Thursday, April 23, 1863 -
    "It is very pleasant tonight. I went avisiting today and when I got back, I found a letter from Isaac. He said he thought William would get a discharge. I hope so, and then Hellen will have to leave."

    Friday, April 24, 1863 -
    "It has been pleasant today, but very windy. Mrs. Makitrick was here today and we had a good visit. I have written to Isaac this evening. I feel more contented than I did."

    Saturday, April 25, 1863 -
    "I received a letter from Isaac today. It is the third one I have had this week. I must write oftener than I have. I have two comforts left, Isaac's letters and my darling baby."

    Sunday, April 26, 1863 -
    "It has been very pleasant today. Mrs. Heywood , Mary, and I took our babies to ride. We had a very pleasant time. I should be quite happy if Isaac was here. I wish the war was over."

    Monday, April 27, 1863 -
    I washed today and Emma bothered me half the time. I shall be glad when Bill comes to take them away. Mother and I will take more comfort when they are away."

    Tuesday, April 28, 1863 -
    "It has been very cold today. I went over to Mr. Sweney's (?) to get an order for some money. I was over to the boarding house today. It reminded me of our honeymoon."

    Wednesday, April 29, 1863 -
    "It has blowed very hard today. I went over to Bay City and I was very much frightened. There was horse on the scow. He kept trying to get off. I was very glad to get home again. There is no place like home."

    Thursday, April 30, 1863 -
    "It is very pleasant today. We have just got back from Mrs. Shelie's (?) It is a long walk and we are very tired. We are all going to church tonight. It is a great treat to have church here."

    Introduction Diary: May-Jun-Jul

  • Hemminger Diary Pages
    Diary: Jan-Feb-Mar-Apr
    Diary: May-Jun-Jul
    People Referenced
    ? Sophia
    Craft, Emma
    Craft, Helen M.
    Craft, William
    Hemminger, Ella May (baby)
    Hemminger, Isaac (husband)
    Heywood, Mrs.
    King, Mrs.
    Orton, Mrs.
    Sheeley, Mary Ann
    Sheeley (Shelie), Mrs.
    Sweney, Mr.
    Thelie, Mrs.
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City
    Boarding house
    Little Nell (boat)
    Picket guard
    Related Notes
    Little Nell:
    Steamship on Saginaw River carrying passengers between Bay City and Saginaw.
    William Craft:
    Found in 1880 Census - William T., born 1839 in Ohio, resides in Bay City. Parents are Fred & Bertha Kraft. Spouse Emma.
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.