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LEONORA FINN [later MRS. JOHN A. BODAMER] Listings

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1 LEONORA FINN [later MRS. JOHN A. BODAMER] 1870 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY THE LOVE OF A CIVIL WAR AND INDIAN WARS HERO
ERIE NEW YORK 1870 Good+ Manuscript 
On offer is a super, original 1870 manuscript diary handwritten by Leonora Finn [later Bodamer] of Erie New York. The diary is a significant historical relic stretching back to the Civil War as we learn from casual research that in 1871 Leonora married John A. Bodamer who fought in the Civil War and ended up in a Confederate prison camp, was released and in 1870 (the year this diary represents) headed to Fort Dodge and became a hero during one of the battles there in the Indian Wars. In fact one of the battles was named "Bodamer's Fight." The diary details John and Leonora's courting and engagement year. In the beginning John is home (he lives in Buffalo) with Leonora and the first few months are spent with the couple dating. Then in February John heads Fort Dodge Kansas with the army and doesn't get back home until December. The entire time he is gone she is love sick, lonely and says she can hardly go on without him. He writes about 80 letters home to her and on a couple of occasions she writes a few comments on his experiences with the Indians. For example on July 13th she writes: "Today is very pleasant. I do not feel very well though. I received four letters from John this afternoon. He has been in a large Indian battle and has many honors bestowed upon him for his gallant conduct….." Likely this is a reference to "Bodamer's Fight." History records that John A. Bodamer and 25 men of Company F, 10th Cavalry were escorting a large ox train from Fort Dodge to Camp Supply, about 80 miles south. Near the edge of Indian Territory, about 100 Cheyenne's attacked. Bodamer corralled the wagons and fought off the Indians until nightfall, then dispatched Pvt. William Edmonson to Camp Supply for reinforcements. Narrowly escaping capture, Edmonson reached the post at 11 P.M. When Capt. Nicholas Nolan arrived the next morning the Cheyenne's were gone. During the fight Bodamer and his men killed three Cheyenne's and wounded ten. Two soldiers, a Cpl. Freeman and a Pvt. Winchester were wounded. I actually found a photo on the web with some of the men from the 10th Cavalry taken in 1870. While we reiterate this is Leonora's diary but it gives such great insight to their love affair and relationship as one will see in the following entries. 1870 "January 1st, Another year, 1870. It does not seem possible. But this year I was in the Reed House Ball Room when 1870 came in and 1869 departed. John and I attended the fancy dress ball given by H. Brniala (?) Boat Club and we did not get home until four o'clock this morning. John left me at five. He came down about eleven o'clock for I had asked him to spend the day with me. We did not go out all day. Caddie Tompkins and Free Noble spent the evening with us. John gave me this diary and in 1871 we are to exchange diaries." "January 3rd, This morning it is cold. John was down awhile but I was quite fussy and could not talk with him much. He came down this afternoon again. We did not go out for I thought it too cold. I asked him to stay to tea with me but he did not stay. We did not go out this evening. While we were sitting in the dining room reading a fire alarm sounded. We looked and found it to be on the dock. John went down to see it and then came back for me and I went too." "January 7th, It is just 6:30. I just came down stairs. I wonder if John did go this morning, if so at the time of my writing he is jotting along on the engine by this time. He told me that he would be up again on Monday perhaps. It is now afternoon. This morning I expected that John was on his way home but about 10 o'clock he came in and said that he missed the train this morning and was going at 11 o'clock. He bid me good by again sitting by the window just now and he went by with some man in a sleigh." "January 8th, It is snowing hard this morning and is very cold. Last evening I looked for John until 8:30 and he did not come. I was just going to my room when some one knocked. I went to the door and it was John. As soon as he came in I smelt liquor on his breath. It did make me feel badly and I had him explain to me how it was which he did to my satisfaction. He took it as a medicine. I talked to him however and he felt badly. We spent a pleasant evening and he left me at 12 o'clock." "February 5th, Today is very pleasant day and after dinner John and I went up to Lott's photograph gallery and after we came out of Mr. Lotts we did several errands and then came home. This evening Jon and I were going to the Academy of Music but did not go for we found out that it was not very much. So we went up to Jennies and spent the evening. John stayed with me this evening until 12:15." "February 7th, Just twelve o'clock and John is lying down on the sofa and I am sitting by him. He leaves for the depot at 4 o'clock. 4:10 and my darling has gone. Oh! How lonely and wretched I am. He may not be back again for one year. Oh! How long a time to wait for one whom I love as much as Jon. He felt very bad indeed and could not keep the tears from his eyes. God watch over him." "February 11th, Today is quite warm but I think that we shall have rain by this afternoon. This noon I received a letter from John and it was written on his way west and mailed at Quincy Ill. He says he is very lonely and missed me very much, also says that he is well. This afternoon it did not rain and mother and I went up to the dentist. This evening no one was in and so I answered John's letter and wrote to grandma also." "February 21st, (She has a cross through this passage and then at the bottom of it writes "Naughty Spunky Girl") Another day that all has gone wrong and this afternoon I am determined that I will stay at home no longer for I am always causing some trouble. Where I shall go I do not know but go somewhere I will and after this I hope that all at home may live much happier with out me." "March 12th, I went up street early this morning on some errands for mother. It is very very cold. This afternoon we were very much astonished at hearing a fire alarm and after inquiring found it to be our church. The fire originated from the furnace. It damaged the organ and church ____. They were to have a prayer meeting there this afternoon but the fire broke out just church time. I walked part way up to the church but twas out. Had no company this evening." "March 25th, Oh I do feel so lively tonight, if I only could see my own darling. I went up to Miss Hubbard's this morning to see if she did not want to go out and walk this afternoon as it was so pleasant but unfortunately she is getting ready to go to Buffalo Monday and could not go. I went out, went over to the school. Went to see Mrs. Singer….." "April 6th, This afternoon Jennie Jones came down and her and I went out to walk. We went to the depot for General Thomas's remains passed through this afternoon. It was a sad affair. I mailed a letter to Sarah this afternoon. Had no company this evening. Wrote a few lines to John after I cam to my room." "May 17th, Today has been very warm. I have been out all day. I received a letter from Allie Southward this morning. Will answer soon. Did not go out this evening. About twilight I was thinking of John and I had a very gloomy spell come over me and it seems as though I could not wait so long for him to come home to me." "May 25th, Day quite warm and pleasant. Been cleaning house all day. This afternoon had a call from Frankie Metcalf and Nellie Kellogg. Received four long letters from my darling tonight. Wrote but a short letter this evening but did not answer any of his letters. Will write him soon again. Also received a number of Indian photographs from him, large ones." "June 20th, I have been feeling very badly all day today for this morning I received a piece or telegraph in the dispatch saying that the Indians were on the warpath at Camp Supply and all around them. Oh! I do hope and pray that nothing will happen to John. I did intend to go for a walk this afternoon but after hearing this did not feel like doing so." "July 4th (Buffalo) Day very warm. Did not go out all day until about half past four this afternoon then Sarah Eddie and I went to see the club boat race. It was a very fine race. We did not go out this evening. I met a number of Sarah's friends today. I like Buffalo very much. Tomorrow we are going out for a walk around the city." "July 15th, Day very pleasant. I went out this afternoon to call on Clara Sylvan and Fannie Hubbard. I went to the office where found a letter from John, did not expect one again this week of course. Was very much surprised. Papa received one from him this evening. John wrote him asking his consent to our marriage. All is going to be well…." "August 10th, Day pleasant. Mr. Moor sent word down to me this morning that he would be down to go out rowing this evening. Mr. Spain called here this afternoon. I did not receive any letters from John this evening. I do feel quite disappointed. Mr. Moor and myself went out rowing. When we came home he wanted me to go up the street but I did not feel like it. He left half past eleven." "September 30th, ……How well do I remember one year ago this evening on that evening! John was with me and I was so very happy." "October 26th, Day cold. Went up street this afternoon. Received a letter form Hattie Spencer. This morning I received two letters from John and one of them contained very bad news for me. His application (sent to Washington) was not favorably received and he can not come home to me yet. He says he is going to try again. He is greatly disappointed…" "October 31st, Day very very windy and cold. Last night we had a fearful wind storm on the lakes. Two vessels were wrecked here just outside the light house….." "December 3rd, I am happy, truly as my own darling came this afternoon. He is quite well and feels happy. I shall no longer feel as I have of late. He took tea and spent the evening with me. I could hardly believe that he was really with me. He left me a half past twelve…." "December 31st, The last day of the old year. Tis now evening, just the time that John generally comes in. I wish he were with me now. The darling. He went to Buffalo this morning to spend New Years day with his people. Mother has just reminded me that this is the last New Years Eve I shall ever spend at home as Leonora H. Finn. And so it is for John and I are to be married one week from next Wednesday." BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: Leonora was born in August of 1852 in Pennsylvania to the parents of Philander and Leonora Finn. John was born in December of 1839 in Buffalo New York to the parents of John F. and Elizabeth (Stouder) Bodamer. He enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in April of 1861 as a private in Co. B, 21st N.Y. Inf. In 1863 he reenlisted in the 24th N.Y. Cavalry and was promoted to second lieutenant and later to adjutant. He fought in the Spotsylvania campaign and the battles of North Anna River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and was a prisoner at the Confederate camps, Belle Isle and Danville. At the close of the war he was commissioned lieutenant in the 10th U.S. Cavalry for two years and this is about the time the diary takes place. John and Leonora were married in January of 1871. The diary measures about 3" x 4 ¾" and is 1" thick. It's in good shape other than a worn cover. Overall G+. 
Price: 3085.99 USD
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