Rosamond's Love Letter

January 1, 1898
My Dearest Ross,
        My heart is filled with joy as I write on this first day of the New Year.  To you, my Darling Sailor, I owe this happiness for the beautiful gift I received on Christmas Eve.  You know me so well and your thoughtfulness never ceases to amaze me. 
        The stitching detail of the roses and the perfectly crafted mirror and brushes are beyond anything I've ever seen much less had as my very own.  They will forever grace my dressing table and as I brush a hundred strokes each night, every stroke will whisper my love for you.
     Your letter, I've read over and over to assure myself of your safety onboard the USS Maine.  You must know the news papers are boldly declaring  war against Spain.  Oh My Dear, even though you say you are safe as can be, I fear for you as your ship protects the Havana Harbor.   
     My heart and soul will only be at peace when you come home and are safe beside me never to be parted again.  April cannot get here soon enough.  Your tour will end and our life together will begin with our marriage in May.  Oh My Sweet, the Roses will be in full bloom and my bridal bouquet will be filled with my favorite Pink Peace Roses.  Hurry April ~ hurry May, and hurry home my Husband To Be. 
Forever yours,

 Rosamond Louise Ivy daughter of Billings Socrates and Lucy Asenath Pittman Ivy
was  22 years old during the Spanish-American War, an age when most young women were contemplating marriage and looking forward to a life with a husband and children. 

In my research of Rosa Lou, as she was called by her older sister Mary Ellen and younger sister Corrie,  her twenties were spent in the home of her parents and the only wedding was that of Mary Ellen.
The decades passed and each Census from 1910 through 1940 recorded Rosa as Single, another 10 years older, and living with her widowed mother Lucy and eventually with her widowed sister Mary Ellen.  As I wait for confirmation of her death date and her final resting place, I couldn't help but wonder why she remained unmarried her entire life.
As a 'Hopeful Romantic', I had to give Rosa Lou at least one chance in life for Love.  
 I just wish the ending could have been a 'Happy Ever After' one.
Rosamond's Love Letter was never answered...as happens with a young girls hopeful for love letters to her diary.  Had it been a 'real' love letter and had there been a 'real Ross', the ending would have been one of forlorn love and tragic loss.  Had Ross been a sailor on the USS Maine, he would most likely lost his life in what history describes as:

The Maine is best know for her catastrophic loss in Havana Harbor on the evening of February 15, 1898.  Sent to protect U.S. interests in the Cuban revolt against Spain, she exploded suddenly without warning and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew.

You may be more familiar with this US History through what was at the time called the 'Yellow Press' by W.Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer who blamed Spain and printed the rallying cry, "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain".  ~Wikepedia~

August Ancestor Anecdote ~ Rosamond Louise Ivy...2nd Cousin 3xRemoved.
Sources:  Ancestor.com....Family Tree Research
US Census Records 1880-1940
Family Search.org and Wikepedia
Photos from Collection of CollectInTexasGal...all rights reserved.

If you are a 'Story Reader'...You, too, can be a 'Story Teller'.
What 'Dear Diary' Stories are in Your Family Tree?

Linking To....Beverly's Pink Saturday


  1. Very interesting, Sue. Sad, too.

  2. I loved this, Sue - the blend of history and wishful imagination. Perfect!

  3. What a wonderful letter and story you blended so beautifully here! I love hearing your stories of your ancestors. Thanks for sharing sweet friend! Hugs Anne

  4. I agree with the others. You've blended these things beautifully. You are a wonderful storyteller.

  5. You had me at "my dearest Ross". What a heartfelt letter. She was lovely and I to wonder why she went unmarried. Thanks for your Pink Sat visit.


  6. You touched my heart, Sue. I often ponder unanswered questions in our genealogy research.

    Happy Pink Saturday, sweet friend.

  7. Love how you have used your research to write such a wonderful "love letter".

    You are a talented lady!

  8. How sweetly charming the letter and how poignantly remembered the life. The words call to mind what Miss Anne Elliot must have written in her diary all those many years after she was persuaded to refuse Captain Wentworth.

    I cannot delve into our own genealogy without wrapping them in sunnier stories of my own making, though none are so evocative of love lost as this one.

    Looking forward to returning to your delightful writing, for more glimpses of such real people.


  9. Hi Sue, I have been so neglecting my blog friends and I have missed you. You can be sure I will catch up with your posts I have missed.

    Today's post is a sad story and ending. I wonder what happened. It was a precious love letter. I didn't know the history of the 'Maine' War is terrible.

    Thank you so much for your sympathy and kind words about my cousin. We leave this Thursday for her memorial. I can hardly think about her being gone. And yes, our clothes dated us for sure. HA!

    Here is a funny memory about my cousin. She visited us (the five sisters) every year for over 50 years. Her husband wasn't happy about her coming to Florida( our home for many years) alone every year. So, what is the best thing to keep him happy? A trip to the sexy nightwear store. It was tradition for all of us to shop for skimpy nightwear so he would continue to let her come and visit us. HA! It worked.

    Wishing you happy days.
    xo, Jeanne

  10. Loved this Sue - and your header photo! I just started a mini collection of clocks (I have 3)!

  11. You've done it again -- taken a bare bones story and put it in its historical place to evoke real emotion from all your readers. I wish I could think this way.


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