Horace Ide was an excellent writer and his letters are full of evocative descriptions and wry humor. He wrote many letters to the Caledonian describing several of his trips to Florida for the home town readers. There are several more I have yet to transcribe.
Horace describes the rail journey from New York to Savannah and reminisces about his Civil War service. Published January 21, 1876.
We arrived at Salisbury about dark, and I tried to get something to eat from an old lady who had a table on the platform of the depot. She had boiled eggs, bread and fried squirrel, and offered to put me up a snack for one for 25 cents, or a snack for two for 50 cents.
The journey from Savannah to Jacksonville over land and then further south by paddlewheeler on the St. Johns River. Published February 4, 1876.
Arriving at Jacksonville about ten o'clock, P.M., we stopped at the St. John's House, kept by Mrs. Hudnall. Over the door of the dining-room was the motto, "The Lord will Provide" and we judged by the appearance of the table, that it was left almost entirely to him.
A visit to Dunn's Lake and an orange grove, and an exounter with a Florida Cracker. Published February 18, 1876.
His apparatus was rather primitive, consisting of two iron rollers set in a wooden frame, and turned by a horse and mule attached to a sweep. The cane was crushed between these rollers, and the juice was caught in a barrel underneath. he gave us some of it to drink, and we found it much sweeter than sap.
A trip to a Georgetown orange grove and an encounter with a wild hog. Published February 25, 1876.
The hogs are lean, long-nosed, land-sharks; have a great faculty for finding a hole in a fence, and three of them will destroy an acre of sweet potatoes in one night. I found one in my field one day, and we made up our minds that that hog would not come in there any more. First we stopped up all the holes, and then armed with clubs entered the field intending to kill him.