May the 24th 63
I again seat myself to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very welcom letter that came to hand yesterday. I was glad to hear that you was well. You said Leisey wasn’t very well but I hope you and hir and all the rest of the friends will be well when this comes to hand as I am happy today that I am well and doing the best I can. The rest of the boys are all torable well except Isreal Moore. His is at the hospittle at town. He has the cronic direa. The days are very warm hear now but the nites get torable cold towards morning. I can’t hardly rite for fiting the flies. I never saw the like of flies before in my life but we can’t expect any thing els for we can’t go in any direction but what you can se hundreads of dead horses and muells and besides that filth of all cinds in abundance. I should be glad to leave hear just to get rid of the filth and smell that is hear. We are liable to make a forward moove ment at any time for thier is a heavy forces gon out in front down some whare. Whare but I don’t know whare our men are still very buisy at work on the breast works hear. They are mounting some very heavy guns hear. The boys are all in fine spirits and ancious for the rebs to advance on us but I think they know better than that.
Well this is Monday and I am still well. You said you wanted to know if Isac said anything about quean loosing hir calf. He did not all he said was that he thought I had better sell hir for he had no use for hir and he thought the money on interest would be worth more to mee than the mare. I told him to sell hir for 70 dollars and as meuch more as he could get. I have no dout but what he will do the best he can. I told Sile that I wanted that note of stocks and you can se by his letter that he near said a word.
May the 18th 63
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and Leisa and all the rest of the friends well as I am happy to day that I am well and dooing the best I can. The rest of the boys are all well but Israel Moore. He has the cronic direa. The doctor says he would send him to the Hospitalle but he is afraid he would die if he was to but I am in hope he will get well in a few days.
We are still laying in camp near Murpheesboro. The days are really warm and the nites rather cold. I received your cinde letter last Saturday. I can’t se how it is that our letters are so long going to you when yours come to me in 2 days. You said you wished I could se our sweet little girl. I can assure you thier is nothing that would give mee more pleasure that to see you and hir. I often se you both in my dreams and o how happy I feald. But when I awake and finde myself quite up in my day house, I wish it wasn’t mee but I hope and pray that the time is not far distant when this wicked rebellion shall be put down. You wanted to know what I thought about the war closing I can’t tell much about it some times I think it will be over in a short time and there again I can’t se the stopping place but their will be an end to it some time sooner or later that surtain The soldier ar as a general thing in good spirits and are determined to put down this rebellion or die in the attempt.
We have ben in the survus over 8 months but it doesn’t seam as tho it had ben moore than half that long to me but not so with you. I know for you have nothing to attract your attention while on the other hand we have some thing to draw our attention. But I shall have to close for this time still hoping to remain your loving Husband and father
Wm Foprder to Sarah and Melisa Forder
Rite soon and often.
Note: Israel E Moore mustered in on September 13, 1862 and died in Murpheesboro on July 6, 1863. It appears that Mr. Moore did not recover.
May the 11th 63
This is Monday morning. I thought I had rote anuf this time but I feald so good over the good news that I must tell you. The news reached hear last nite a bout 7 o’clock that we had Richmond and of all the cheering and yelling I ever heard it took place at that time. It went around the lines like the roling waves of the see. It made very loyal hart bound with joy. The word was braut to the preacher while he was preaching last nite. He stoped short and says the stars and stripes are waving over Richmond and you better believe their went forth to the skies and meity chear.
We all feald as thoe the war can’t last mutch longer. My prayer to God is that the time has come that this war shall close. This is a beautful morning every thing looks chearing to the to the loyal.
I must close for this time. I want you to rite a great big long letter. Yours forever
Note: This bit of news is somewhat surprising and may be a false or incorrect report to the men. According to all historical accounts I can find, the Confederate Capital of Richmond was not taken by the Union Army (even on a temporary basis) until 1865. During this general period of time, the only happenings of note within the city is an event referred to as the “Richmond Bread Riot”. On April 3, 1863 the women of Richmond marched on Governor Letcher’s office to demand action on the massive overcrowding, inflation and other issues plaguing the city. They were turned away and this resulted in a full two days of rioting throughout the city.
A perceived victory in Richmond could have been confused with the capture of Fredricksburg during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, also in Virginia, which ultimately would be part of the bigger yet doomed Chancellorsville Campaign.
May the 10th 1863
Dear Father and Mother and Sisters and Brothers
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as I am thankful to say that I am enjoying the best of health. The boys are all well and in fine spirits. The health was never better than it is at this and the boys are all in fine spirits. Alto the news are rather discuriging from Hookers arma at this time but I am in hopes they will come out all rite yet. I think if they are successful the war can’t last meutch longer at the least I hope not. We are still laying in camp near Murpheesboro but their is no telling how long we will stay hear if we should go out on a scout and you shouldent hear from me for a week or 2. You must not be uneasy about us for I would rather be out scouting around than laying hear in camp. Some think because a man is in the arma he is as good as dead but I don’t think so. I feald just as safe heare as I would at home and if I had nobody but my self to care for I should be very well contented. But as it is I hope it will not be long untill I can return to those I love.
I am going to send Siles letter. I don’t want you to get any ways excited about it. Just consider the source and let it rest untill I get back and I think I can straten things out a little. It seams to rather stick the old fellow that I thanked you for what you had done and didn’t thank him. I generally try to thank thoes whome thanks are due. If I hadn’t thought you deserved thanking I shouldn’t have do so but what you done the very best you could for it was to your intrust to do so but let the old jent slide. He will get his pay some of thoes days. I will have to close for this time. Hopeing to remain your loving and tru friend and suninlaw
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and Children and friends
Note: “Hooker’s Arma” refers to Major General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker who at this time had command of the Army of the Potomac. He was best known for a major defeat at Chancellorsville which was a battle fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863 which is likely the news that William found discouraging. May 3red of that battle was considered the second bloodiest day of the civil war.
May the 2th 1863
Dear father and mother Sisters and Brothers
I take the preasent opportunity to rite you a few lines to in answer to your cind letter that I received day before yesterday. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was all well and doing well and I hope when this comes to hand it will find you still enjoying that great blessing as I am happy to say that I am enjoying the very best of health at this time and the health is very good in the arma at this time and the arma is in good spirits. A great many think the war can’t last mutch longer but it is hard telling when or whare it will stop but I can assure you of one thing the soliders as a general thime are willing to fight untill this rebellion is put down. If it takes 10 years, all that appears to bother them is the copperheads at home but I don’t think their is mutch danger of thier ammounting to mutch. You speak of the hard times thier and the high prices. I know it is very bad but it is nothing in comparison to what the people have to suffer down hear for when the rebs go to a union mans house they take every thing he has and when our men go to a rebs house they take everything he has and when our men got to a rebs house they take everything he has, so you se it is freely hard when the country is striped of every thing but I think that is the best way to do is to starve them out.
Well I will close for this time hoping to remain your loving suninlaw while life that last.
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard
Well Julia it seams that you have ben sick but I hope you will be well when this comes to hand. You must chear up and not go to getting sick. Jim is fat and sasey and the rest of the boys are all well. It ma be that you and Sarah will not hear from us again very soon for they talk of going out on a 30 days scout. So if you don’t hear from us you will know what is the reason so good by for this time
Yours truly Wm Forder to Julia Hubbard
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I want all of you to rite as often as you can.
May the 1th 1863
Threw the goodness of god I am purmitted to rite you a nother letter witch I hope will finde you and all the rest of the friends well as I am thankful to say that I am enjoying as good health at this time as I have for several years. I know that you will think their is some thing to matter that I didn’t riter last weeak. I will now tell you the reasons. I told you in my last letter that we ware going out on a 6 days scout but as it happened it tured out to be a 10 days scout. We started out on the 20 and got back on the 30. We went out a bout 40 milds. We had a good time. We first went to MacMinville and took 200 prisners and burned the town and then went Leiberty and took a few more prisners and burnt a part of the town. We went from their to Alicande got some more prisionrs. Thier our calvra and mounted infantry went to Lebinon.
I haven’t heard what they done thier but there was between 3 and 4 hundred prisners braut in and where there was 50 familys mooved in with us, I think, and mabee more that many any how.
Well anuf of that you wanted to know how I liked my shirts. I like them first rate. I could have sold them for 3 dollars a peace but I would not take twice befor them for they are so much better than the wolen shirts. I have got everything you have sent me all rite. I got a letter from Jsade Booher yesterday. He wants to know if I will sell queen. He thinks it would be for the best. He thinks the money on in trust will be better than the mare. I am going to tell him to set hir and loan the money and send you the note for I know she will be a bother to him. I will send Sils last letter so you can se what he has to say. I rote to him to send me the note and
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You neednt to let Sile know that I sent all his letters to you.
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If I get time I will rite to your pah tomorrow tell all the friends to rite
Notes: The letter appears to be incomplete and ends here. With regards to the raids, it’s worth noting that during the Civil War, it was common for the soldiers, after raiding a small town that the unit did not have the man power to hold, to evacuate the residents and burn the property after stripping it of anything useful. This way, the enemy would not be able to avail themselves of anything useful as well.