11 Oct 1863
in the top margin] I wrote a long letter to Bryce last week. I hope he
may get it. For fear he should not, write and let him know that I did
and how we are. Let me know how Bryce is when you write.
I set down to write you a short epistle in answer to your last, which
came to hand a few days ago. I was sorry to learn of the death of Mr.
Anderson's little boy and the sickness of you all at home. I hope by this
time you are all in the enjoyment of good health again, which is the greatest
earthly blessing we can enjoy. The enjoyment of good health is one thing
that we out in this western country has every reason to be thankful for.
There has been but very few cases of sickness in the country this summer
and fall, and none at all that was serious, except a few cases of small
pox which was brought in by Colonel Phillips but I believe we have got
rid of them now. At least I hear of no more new cases. Well, John, it
seems from the account you give in your last letter you must have had
a very dry season this year in southern Illinois and consequently light
crops of corn and beans, but if the beans are as high as they were last
year, they will pay you pretty well anyhow. I am happy to say that we
have had a very good season for corn here this year. We had plenty of
rain for corn up to the middle of August, but since that time, we have
had no rain and consequently the ground is very dry and in very poor condition
for putting in wheat. We sowed seventeen acres about a week ago but it
can't come up until it rains. The balance of the ground we have ready
we won't sow until it rains for fear we might only be throwing the seed
away. We had a splendid chance for wheat this fall if it had only rained
so that we could have got it in at the right time, but it may do well
yet. The late wheat was a long way the best. This last harvest some of
it thrashed out as high as 25 bushels per acre. We had another early frost
that hurt the late corn pretty bad. It killed 4 acres for us that was
in the mill. It will be very little account. We started gathering our
early corn. It is turning out very well. The buying of the machine proved
a good investment for us boys. This fall we made 3 hundred and 30 dollars
with her and our own cutting which was considerable and never had a breakage.
We have collected over half of the money already so you see money is not
so scarce after all. I may come home this winter if mother will promise
to have a wife looked up for me, no more __________. We are all well.
Hoping you are the same.
Your brother R. Muir