October 1, 1864
Mrs. Schreifer wanted me to write her an application for a millinery store. Up to Mrs. Fulton’s (to pay her $31.00 for September rent and $5.00 extras). Down the street. Fauche wants me as a partner if he gets a permit. At Schreifer’s. Got drunk. Evening, at Anthony House. Saw Lange. He wants me to go into business with him. Spent five dollars yesterday.
October 2, 1864
Sunday. Huey here all day. Nothing new.
October 3, 1864
Commenced to teach Dr. [William Armour] Cantrell’s child. Jim Scott here to see if I would hear lessons for him at night. Saw Lange. Nothing new. Quite cold. Down at Wiedemann’s. Schreifer said that anyone who lived as I did was a damned jackass. He is a bigger one.
October 4, 1864
At [Dr.] Cantrell’s. Down the street. Saw Lange [who was] drunk. He came up with me & went to bed at Wiedemann’s. It does not look as if I can get anything to do.
October 5, 1864
Down the street. Afternoon at Wiedemann’s. We went out & we got pretty drunk. He rolled over in bed like a monkey. Julius [Bridges] drunk last night [and] talking about killing Feds. Very noisy. Raised perfect bedlam. (Col. Reefe and others came into my house the 5th of October at $30.00 per month in advance.)
October 6, 1864
At [Dr. William A.] Cantrell’s. Down the street. Nothing new. At Wiedemann’s. [Jim] Scott did not come.
October 7, 1864
Down the street. Got drunk yesterday. Had a squabble with niggers. Have not got over it yet. At Schreifer’s. Drunk. Went up to theatre with him. Rosenberg wants to come here & board. Nothing new.
October 8, 1864
Saturday. Working about the house. Niggers make fun of me & laugh at me. Will let them have their day. Down the street. Can get nothing to do. Got a letter from home. Ma and [my sister] Augusta are going to Connecticut [to visit relatives].
October 9, 1864
Sunday. Mary & I have made up. Schreifer had two horses in yard last night. They ate up part of the fence. Lange came. Went down the street with him. At home all day. (Paid $3.00 for repairing coat.)
October 10, 1864
Permits given out. I got none. Lange did & so did Schreifer & his wife. Went on a drunk.
October 11, 1864
Down the street. Can get nothing to do. At Wiedemann’s. Feel sick. It is mean how they have given permits.
October 12, 1864
Down the street. Kept saloon for Schreifer today. Did not pay me anything. Lange wants me to go in business with him. If he will take me, I will go with him. I hope we can do well. (Paid $3.50 for repairing boots.)
October 13, 1864
Down town. Nothing new.
October 14, 1864
Down town. Lange & I in a spree.
October 15, 1864
Lange got his barrels over the river. Working all day. Yesterday he rented building from Catharina, pd. 20 dollars in advance & then I paid Lange today. He cannot get a license. Bad luck seems to follow us wherever we go. Tired out & sick.
October 16, 1864
Sunday. Lange went off this morning. I went with him. Got up at five o’clock. Went over the river. We had not money enough to take him. Came back, at home. Egan here. Wrote papers for the Russian W. Cadestus Jonkofski. Down street. Got drunk with him Richards & him.
October 17, 1864
Yesterday, Yoest brought account book for me to arrange & post off unkind _____ on him. Down street. Saw Russian. He will get a permit & wants me to go in partnership with him. Thing I will if this fails
October 18, 1864
Working on account books all forenoon. Afternoon, down street. saw Russian. Has not got his papers. Up at Schriefer’s. Nothing new. Been drinking with Russian. Stay with me all night.
October 19, 1864
Got papers for Russian today. Go in business tomorrow.
October 20, 1864
In saloon. Business dull.
October 21, 1864
In saloon. Business better than yesterday but yet dull. Yoest here.
October 22, 1864
In saloon. Business extremely dull.
October 23, 1864
Sunday. Wrote letter to Ma. Lange gone. At saloon in afternoon. Yoest came after the suttler’s books. Paid me five dollars for posting them.
October 24, 1864
At saloon. Business dull. Circus tonight. Nothing new.
October 25, 1864
At saloon. Business dull, very dull. I will not get back what put in, I am afraid.
October 26, 1864
At saloon. Business tolerably dull. Quarrel with niggers. Borrowed of [Pvt. Henry] Kaufman, [Company B] 43rd Illinois. fifty dollars.
October 27, 1864
At saloon. I have a sore mouth. Business dull.
October 28, 1864
October 29, 1864
October 30, 1864
Sunday. At home all forenoon. Yoest here. At saloon. Charly _____ wanted to fight me.
October 31, 1864
At saloon. Business dull. Bridges rather big today.
The letter “from home” was probably from his mother. But included among the Goodrich letters at the Arkansas History Commission is one written by his cousin Lucy A. Fiddis from that time period who also resided in Owego NY and contained much news from home. It read:
Owego [New York]
September 23, 1864
My dear Cousin Ralph,
I am most deeply ashamed of myself for my neglect in writing to you… [Your brother] Steve has just been in here a few moments on his way downtown. Says they have lately got a letter from you. I was over there Monday night [and] came back in time for school Tuesday morning. Of course I had a good time. [I] always expect that when I go over [Owego Creek to your mother’s home]. They were all well then, but Steve says Johnny, [your sister] Augusta’s oldest, fell off the wagon house and hurt his chin & under lip quite badly.
I am teaching here at home, just as I was when you last heard from me — if you have a memory long enough to remember how that was. A school of my own, numbering nearly thirty pupils most of the time, and sometimes fully that. Ever since they told me you had given up teaching, I have felt like congratulating you. So please consider yourself shook hands with, wished much joy, success for the future, no more teaching, but everything pleasant and prosperous. Somehow it seems to me it must be peculiarly trying to a man — this teaching business — not but that they are capable & all that. But generally I think they have not the patience with little wearisome events which occur continually in school, that a woman has. It is not expected of them to like such confinement and restraint as is necessarily imposed upon them either. To be sure, ’tis tiresome to a woman even. And I can imagine one might get pretty well worn out at it. At any rate, I’m heartily glad for your sake that you are out of it for the present.
When are you coming home again? I wish you were here now. I wonder if you have changed much? Steve says you sent your photograph home. I have not yet seen it so can’t decide whether you have changed or not. Send us one if you have to spare. Then I’ll tell you what I think about it.
[My sister] Anna came home about three weeks ago [and] was here over two weeks — the first time she has been home since she was married. They are housekeeping now. Anna says she gets along splendidly in the domestic department. We had a real good visit with her. She is a pretty thorough Baptist by this time though.
I suppose your people have written to you all about [my brother] James, and also much of the other news which I may happen to write, but I don’t know for certain so I’ll run the risk of repeating. We got a letter from James about two weeks ago. He was on Ship Island where he has been ever since last October. He is foreman of the Naval Machine works there. They repair the blockade boats in Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound. I think he had been quite well all summer. He writes nothing to the contrary. Says the island is healthier than the mainland. In his last letter he anticipates being send to Pensacola [and] seems quite anxious to go there because lately they have so little work on the island. He had 14 men and sometimes hardly a day’s work in a week. He has a sail boat of his own [and] also a fishing seine whenever he wants it from one of the vessels lying off the island. Thinks he may come home next summer. I do wish we could all be here together once more. ‘Twoud seem something like old times — only you and James would have quite an additional experience. Maybe that will have the effect of making me look up to you as Oracles. Who knows?
October 1st. By waiting four or five days I’ve got some more news to write you. Have been over and took a good look at your photo. Think you’ve changed somewhat. The expression around the mouth seems a little different. Your mother and [sister] Augusta started for Connecticut last Tuesday night. Hope they will have a pleasant time.
Newton Hollister from Glastonbury [CT] came here night before last [and] is up in Candor now. He is going to Newfield today, then coming back here again, then home. His brother James has been in business in Memphis for some time past, but is at home now.
This summer in my vacation I went in company with a young lady friend of mine up into New Hampshire amongst the mountains. Went up Mt. Washington and also went to all the pretty & wonderful places around there. Then we went up in the northern part of Vermont on Lake Memphremagog. Staid there a few days, then I left my friend and came down to Hartford & Glastonbury while she visited her relatives up in Vermont. Then we met again in Hartford & came on together. We had a splendid time. Enjoyed ourselves everywhere.
What a long letter I am writing to you. I’ll desist now however. Will you answer this? What do you think about it? Anyway write and tell me just what you think about me. Give me a piece of your mind [for being tardy in my correspondence]. I’ll try and be more thoughtful of other people’s wants in the future. Only be as lenient a judge as possible.
Mother & all the rest send love.
Yours affectionately, — L.A. Fiddis