Courtship by correspondence
A former Union soldier was riding in a buggy with a lady. At the toll gate, there was a young woman working as the toll collector. He paid the toll and drove off. The lady companion, was irritated and finally accused the former soldier of flirting with the toll taker. He profusely denied any inappropriate conduct. Remember, post-American Civil War was still the Victorian Era and there were certain rules to be followed in conducting oneself. She pointed out that he had been staring at the toll collector. He replied that he had seen her before and could not place her and hence the staring which he did not consider flirting. The lady companion replied that she had known the toll collector and that she had never left New York State. He, being from out of state and this being the first time in New York, could not have possibly seen her before. Tensions mounted when the answer came upon him.
He saw her photo several times during the war as it was carried by a sergeant in his unit. His sergeant, not being well schooled or read, desperately wanted to court the lady but could neither write very legibly nor was he gifted with words. Hence, the soldier was recruited to write the sergeant's letters for him. The soldier added that the sergeant expressed an intent to marry the woman when he returned from the war. This satisfied his lady companion. She professed that the toll collector was a friend and that her friend was also not a good writer. Like the soldier, she had been enlisted to return the correspondence of the sergeant. They laughed at the coincidence and felt that they had been courting each other through proxy. The buggy was turned around and they drove back to the toll booth. Speaking with the toll collector, it was learned that she had indeed married the sergeant who had courted her during the war.
As for the former soldier and the lady, they also got hitched.
BTW, a big thank you to Hafoc for his story about his great-granddad.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!