Monday, April 23, 2012

Wednesday, April 23, 1862 (Cincinnati)

We rose early.  Indeed I slept but little.  The noise of the arrivals by the different trains coming in during the night kept me awake.  Mr. Brock came to show us the way to the breakfast room which is in quite a different part of the house from that in which we took supper.  We went along the marble paved halls (which were being washed by ten or a dozen housemaids on their knees) a good way till we were ushered into a room lighted by gas in which were a great number of neatly spread tables.  There were few persons there at that early hour, except the servants.  We seated ourselves, called for breakfast, were well served.  Mr. Brock took our purse, settled our bills ($1.75 apiece) saw that our baggage was all right, got into the omnibus with us and went to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati depot where he got our baggage checked and left us wishing us a pleasant journey, -- we mentally voting him the "Prince of Conductors".  
Our way was along the bank of the Ohio river, now quite high and in some places out of banks, to Lawrenceburg, Ind. some thirty miles below the city.  Mill Creek and the great Miami were might rivers spread for miles over the level country.  From the car window I had a fine view of the Kentucky shore which appeared to be for the most of the way highly cultivated with many pleasant looking homes surrounded with trees and shrubbery.  Lawrenceburg appears to be a town of considerable size, we only saw the shrubs and of course could not judge of its beauty.  Along the Ohio the green hills and blossoming fruit trees were beautiful.  In eastern Indiana we saw several running brooks and stone fences.  These disappeared as we penetrated the state, the land became flat, but thickly wooded.  I saw no stately grand old trees as are, or were, often seen in Ohio.  Vegetation was much more backward than at home, a few only of the trees showed any signs of spring.  We passed field after field of stumps standing in the water which owing to the late heavy rains give the whole country the appearance of an interminable swamp.  I thought it a dreary land.
Mrs. Stewart is a very desirable traveling companion, intelligent, social and full of spirits.  A Hoosier lady who shared my seat for several miles told me that every body had ague there at first but became acclimated at last and like the country.  Her two sons were in the army, one now at Pittsburg Landing.  The other was taken prisoner at Lexington, Mo., by the rebels but afterwards released.  She pointed out to me her sister's home, a neat little white house.  She was a good Methodist sister, shook hands with me at parting and wished me a safe journey.  
At Indianapolis we changed. cars.  The red-headed conductor into whose charge Mr. Brock had committed us placed us upon the right train and attended to our luggage.  We bought a mug of coffee at the depot and dined sumptuously from our baskets on the cars.  
White river flooded.  Passed some pleasant towns between Indianapolis and Terre Haute.  Shelbyville is quite a pretty place.  At Terre Haute we did not change cars but a new conductor came on.  The Wabash like all the other rivers was beyond ordinary bounds and looked like a respectable river.  I noticed a small steamboat lying below the town.  Eastern Illinois where we saw it is not unlike southern Ohio; but as we go westward the whole country changes its appearance.  At Kentucky station, a few miles east of Paris, we parted with Mrs. Stewart.  
The prairies seen by me for the first time now absorbed my attention, until we arrived at Pana just before dusk.  Mr. Walton and Jimmy were waiting with the carriage to convey us to his house.  East of Terre Haute I met on the cars Rev. William Rosseter who was on his way to that place with his little daughter.  I also talked some with a lady and her little girl who were on their way from Philadelphia to the same place.  We have had a delightful trip, made connections all right, conductors gentlemanly and nothing to complain of.  Clara was overjoyed to see us and Mr. Walton and the children not less glad.  Our railroad fare from Cincinnati was $9.20.

Peggy's comments:
I find it wonderful to read Julia's comments about the landscape, the vegetation, and meeting travelers on the train.   And it is especially interesting how she and her companions relied upon the help of the conductors and other male friends to make arrangements and to escort them from place to place.
Mr. Walton is Julia's brother-in-law and Clara is Julia's sister.

No comments:

Post a Comment