On the morning of the 26th of December with Wood’s division, it broke up its encampment in the vicinity of Nashville, and marching with the left wing of the Fourteenth Army Crops to Lavergne, portions of the enemy were there encountered and some fighting ensued. On the 29th, the division moved forward, Cox’s battery supporting Wagner’s brigade, and on arriving within two miles and a half of Murfreesboro the rebel army, under Bragg, was discovered in full force, in line of battle. The division was halted for the afternoon and night. On the following day, the skirmishers kept up an active fire with the enemy, the rebels and about nine A.M., opening fire upon Cox’s battery (which was between the pike and the railroad, and it’s front partly covered in woods.) The artillery fire of the enemy was soon silenced by the well directed shots of the battery.
On the 31st the engagement became general and during the day the extreme left of the division became the object of the enemy’s attention. Skirmishers were seen descending the slope on the opposite side of Stone River, as also working their way down the stream for the purpose apparently, of gaining our left flank and rear. A few well directed charges of grape and canister from Cox’s battery, drove the enemy’s artillery, posted on the heights on the southern side of the river. The enemy concluded his operations against left as night approached, by opening on it with his artillery. Cox’s battery gallantly and effectually replied, but darkness soon put an end to this battery dual.
On the 1st of January, 1863, the division lay in line of battle all day, with nothing more than picket firing and an occasional artillery dual to break the silence. On the 2d the artillery firing was kept up quite heavily during most of the day, and on the following day the battle ended with occasional picket firing. During the entire engagement at Stone River the Tenth Battery had one killed and four wounded.
December 21st Sunday Evening.
All is well but Betts. He is very sick yet he has the fever.
Dear Father and Mother,
I embrace the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well and doing well as I am thankful to say that I am well and Jim is able for duty again. I received your and Sarah’s letter day before yesterday. I am always very glad to her from any of you. We are still laying in our old camp yet and I think we will still lay hear untill the river rises. It looks a good deal like rain this eavning. We haven’t had any very cold wether yet. The ground has ben froze a little for some time but not over 7 1/2 inches at any time. We have lost a great many men at the Fredricksburg fite. I am a fraid it is a bad go on us but you know as mutch about that as I do. It seams that I have riten every thing I can think of at this time as you will se what I have riten to Sarah. I hope it will not be long untill I will be able to return home and then we will talk our trubbls and triles over. Rite soon and often.
I hope to remain your loving son-in-law,
Wm Forder to G and C Hubbard
Note: Francis M. Betts of Darlington mustered in on September 3, 1862 and was discharged on an unknown date in 1863.
It is nearly nite and the sun is a going down. I don’t know hardly what I would give to be at home to knight to get in to a good bed with you and our sweet little girl. I hope it will not be longe untill I shall bable to enjoy that great pleasure but there is no chance to get I furlow. None but I hope that Uncle Abe will give me an honorable discharge after awhile witch will be better than all the furlows.
The greatest pleasure that I se is when I am a sleep for very often you and our little girl pays me a visit or rather I visit you. If I could only se you as often as I dream I do I would be glad.
I want you to fix your Crismas dinner and eat at just 12 OCL and eat a little for me and tell me what you had to eat and I will think of you at that time and tell you what I had for dinner.
I recieved your Pap’s letter in due time. I will rite to him in a few days. I sent Sils letter. I want you and and your pap to tell me what you think of it.
This is the evening of the 16th and I am still well. You will have to pay for this letter for I haven’t got any stamps. I will have to close for this time hoping to remain your loving husband,
WM Forder to S. Forder.
Give my respects to all the friends and tell them to rite.
Upside down on page one
Rite rite rite
Often often often
December 9th 1862
I will inform you what I have been doing to day. I have bin weighing my hogs. I will give you the weights. The white sow coub is 614 lbs. The next best 564 lbs next best 545 lbs. I write now tell you how much thay all average 403 pounds.
Ther was 20 hogs in number.
Transcription note – A math problem was also on the page
Note: This appears to be a letter to William from George Hubbard and William Booher providing him details on hogs.
December 6th 1862
Dear Father and Mother
I seat my self this morning to answer your very cinde letters that came to hand yesterday. I hope thoes fine lines will finde you all well as thank God they have mee enjoying the best of heath. You can’t imagin the joy that I experienced yesterday when I received two such large letters yours and Sarahs. It made me leap and jump for gladness and shed a silent tear for long you may think this strange but if you ware away from home and friends as I am you would better better under stand it. I don’t wish you to think that I am complaining for I am dooing as well as any of the pore soldiers. It snowed and blowed and tore up back yesterday but it cleared up last night and the sun is shining very pleasant today.
I will now turn to your letter and in the first place say that I am 1,000 times a bliged to you for your goodness and trubble. I am well satesfided with the way you disposed of my things. I never would have thought that Silas would have done the way he has at the least calculation. He has got 190 bushells of my corn but this is rite I recon. If it ain’t, I hope it will be some time and as for my owing him any thing that is something I know nothing about. He seemed to think that you thought I was gon for life but it would not supprise me if he hadn’t better pray that it might be so for if I am sparede to get back he will have to straten a few things.
You thought if I could se that instrument of riting it would make my blud boil. I want you to send it for it can’t make me any mader than I was last week when I got Sarahs other letter. She said he wanted hir to sign a libill. It made mee so mad it would not of done for me to have some sil then, but a nuff of that. We can talk those things over at length when I come back and I hope that will not be longe. It is a continual wish amonge the soldiers that the war would close. I will close for this time. I want you to be sure to rite soon and often.
Wm Forder to G. and C. Hubbard and to all the friends
Upside down on page 2 and 3
You requested me to sende Silases letter to you but I had don so before I got your letter I thought you would like to see it so good bye rite soon.
Note: It appears at this point that there was a dispute with Silas Hiatt regarding some debits or other financial affairs between Silas and William and at some point Silas attempted to pressure Sarah into signing some documents. It’s interesting to note that in Silas’s obituary, his reputation as an “honest man” was extolled. I don’t believe William would have agreed.
December the 2th 1862
Dear Father and Mother
I take my pen to drop a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as thank god it leaves me well and Jim is getting about well again. I just mailed a letter to Sarah this morning but since that I have got a letter from Mr. Hiatt and I thought I would just send it to you and Sarah just to let you what he has to say. Now I don’t want any of you to let him know that I sent it to you or that I ever said any thing about it or if you do just pleas wait untill after I am dead but I hope threw the goodness of God to be able to return to thoes that I esteem dearer to me than life and to enjoy the society of my friends. As for my little property, I have no idear but what you have done the very best you could with it. Sarah said you was going to rite and when I get that I expect to hear how you dispatched of the things. I desire you to let the leas go, for the expense would be more than the profit so I want you to let it go. Sarah did not say how you sold the thing but all that will be in your letter. This will make 3 letters to you since I have got any from you and tell Paps it would pleas me very much to get a letter from them as I have never got but one from them since I left. I remind we are in camp 3 miles east of Nashville. I will have to close for this time as it will soon be bed time and as I was on guard last night I am a little sleepy.
So fare well and when I say fare well you know what I mean. I want you to rite often and tell all the friends to rite for you have but little idear how much good it does me to hear from my friends.
You true true and faithful son-in-law
Wm Forder to G Hubbard and friends
Printed upside down on Page 1
Send me some stamps. I got 8 a good while ago but they are gone.
Printed in the margins on page 3 where he discusses Mr. Hiatt’s letter.
I got hir letters yesterday after I had sealed up my letter.
Note: George Hubbard’s date of birth is unknown. He died 1892.