John B. Rice collection, 1830-1911
John B. Rice
Courtesy of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
- Physician, of Fremont, Ohio. Married Sarah (Wilson) Rice.
- An addendum of 52 letters between Rice and his wife was acquired by the Center in 2004. The bulk of this collection contains letters which John Rice wrote to his wife and letters she wrote to him during his service in the Civil War. His letters to her (numbering 16) date from Nov. 28, 1863 to Oct. 15, 1864. Her letters to him (numbering 36) date from Jan. 17, 1863 to Feb. 10, 1864. John writes to Lizzie about local soldiers from the 72nd Ohio as well as their family members who may have been visiting in camp. After the death of Carrie Buckland, daughter of General Ralph P. Buckland, a noticeably grieving John describes the circumstances surrounding her death. He devotes several letters to the Battle of Guntown (Brice’s Crossroads), giving a particularly stirring account of its devastation and writing very strong words about the incompetence of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis. Many of the letters deal with Lizzie and her social struggles in Fremont, Ohio. Lizzie reports the activities of their Sandusky County, Ohio, friends and neighbors, informing Dr. Rice of those who died, married, divorced, or gave birth. Lizzie Rice also tells of parties; fundraisers for the war effort; family activities; political disputes between local Copperheads and Union supporters; the town’s celebration after the Union victory at Gettysburg; and local election results and the town’s reaction. Her letters give an interesting look at life on the Northwest Ohio home front during the Civil War. Also includes letters to John from his mother, brother, and friends, and letters to Lizzie from her brother and friend.
- "Home Feb. 10th 1864
My Darling Husband
I received yours of the 1st last evening. Suppose it is the last one I will get until you will get back from your expedition, as you say you do not expect to write again-The Druids had a "Masqurade Ball" last night. I went down with Taylor Lydia and Mary Dillon to see then. Staid until nearly twelve o'clock. The young men are going to get up a "Ball" the 22nd of this month. It will be very select. The number is limited to ninety I believe, and they will not let any person in only those that have invitations. It is to be a "full dress party." At first they intended to have a Masquerade but gave it up ...
Captain Randall is here again. Is one of the "veterans" and has come home on leave of absence. The 49th regiment was expected in Tiffin yesterday. Charlie Norton is going to re enlist. His Fannie Abbey is going home in a few days. Do not know what he will do without her. They say Charlie is a pretty hard fellow. He has not acted the same towards me since that affair I wrote you about. I thought he rather avoided me but perhaps I only imagined it. Do not know why he should unless my manner towards him has been different and had some effect on him."
(See the NUCMC catalog record) (PDF, 103 KB)