August 28, 1863

August the 28th 63

Dear Sarah

I seat myself this morning to rite you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope that these few lines will find you enjoying the same great blessing. It has been about 2 weeks since I have had an opportunity of riting to you. We left Pelham on the 16th and I have received 2 letters from you since that time and was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you and Leisa and the rest of the folks ware well. We are now laying on the top of the mountain. Chatanoga is about 8 miles from us on the other side of the Tenesee river. We can se the town. The rebs are thier in hevy force and I think they intend to give us a fite hear. We have ben hear 5 days. We are waiting on the rite and center. They are swimging around. I think the calculation is to surround the town. We ma have to ley hear some time for Rosey will have everything redy before he closes in on them. It is splendid senery hear. We can se as far as the eye can se. We are 1500 feet above the valey. Wilders brigad of mounted men are down in the valy in between us and the town. His battery has shelled the town. Some the rebs fired a 32 poinder at them twice. The first shot cild 4 horses and took of a sargents leg but the other shot done no damage. They fired several shots at our men with smaller guns but they could not reach them. The river is 6 hundread and 50 yards wide in frunt of the town. I don’t think our brigade will have mutch of any fiting to do for I think the fiting will be on the other side of the river for we can’t get about to them nor they can’t get to us with out putting pontoon briges across and I don’t think that will be done yet awhile.
We are waiting for an opportunity to go close a nuff to shell the town some, if they would let us go within 2 miles of the town we can give them fits with our 10 pound Parit guns. I think the most of the fiting will be done with artilery.

I don’t want you to be uneasy about me for God is able to take care of me. I think if we are successful hear it will be the last fiting we will have to do. You want me to get a furlow that is an impossibility for thier hasn’t ben but one or to men got furlows in this brigade for 4 or 5 months that I know of and that was to sick men and to one whose family was dead dying and sick. We will have to wait the lords time. He will do what is best for us if we only put our trust in him. My daily prayer is that the time will soon come when this wicked rebellion shal be put down so that we can return to our dear familys and friends. God speed that happy day but I must close for time.

Still hoping to remain your loving husband Wm. Forder to Sarah Forder.

Pray for me that I may prove faithful to you and our God so fare the well for this time. Rite soon and often.

Upside down on page 1: Our riting material is at back in the rear. We made out to get some paper and envelops this morning. Thier is only our brigade and 3 of four guns and have ben for 6 days.

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Regimental History

On the {???} August the movement over the Cumberland mountains began. General Wood moved from Hillsboro, by Pelham, to Thurman, in Sequatchie Valley. From thence Wagner’s brigade (the Tenth Battery accompanying it), moved to the Tennessee river, opposite Chattanooga, the battery shelling the town on several occasions.
During the movement that resulted in the battle of Chicamauga, the battery was stationed at Chattanooga, with Wagner’s brigade which garrisoned that post.

Note:  On this particular page and part of the formal regimental history, a large ink blot had obscured a significant section of the text.  Some of the words for the previous portions affected were only partly obscured, allowing me to extrapolate the information under the blot.  Unfortunately, the exact date in August indicated was completely covered in the thickest part of the mark and therefore unreadable. I am posting this part of the history on the 21st of August which is when Wagner’s brigade shelled Chattanooga. 

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Civil War Portraits

During the American Civil War, photography was coming into it’s own as an art form and widespread practice. For the first time, photographers ventured out into the battle field, sending home poignant images of the horrors of war. Soldiers lined up to have their portraits taken and requested the same from beloved and missed family members at home. As you read through the letters, at several points William specifically requests that pictures of Sarah and very specifically his daughter Melissa, be taken and sent to him.

There were several basic processes for photography during the civil war. These were daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, iron tintypes and cartes de visite (or card photographs) and stereographs. Tintypes were enormously popular during the Civil War because they were inexpensive, quickly produced, durable and could easily be mailed without fear of damage. During the civil war, it became common for soldiers who were about to leave to pose in uniform so their loved ones had a photo before they left. Itinerant photographers also visited the encampments, setting up temporary studios near the army camps to take portraits of the soldiers to be sent home.

Tintype photos are made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. There were two different processes that could be used, wet and dry. In the wet process, a collodion emulsion with silver halide had to be formed on the plate just before it was exposed in the camera while still wet. Chemical treatment then reduced infused crystals to microscopic particles of metallic silver in proportion to the intensity and duration of their exposure to light, resulting in a visible image. The dry process was similar but used a gelatin emulsion which could be applied to the plate long before use and exposed in the camera dry. With both processes, an underexposed negative would be produced where densest areas appeared gray whereas the darkest areas of the subject would be transparent. Once set against the dark lacquer backing of the metal plate, these transparent areas would appear black.

Many soldiers felt it important to document their lives and existence through portraits just prior to and during the war.  Thus enters an interesting conflict with this portrait of James Grigg.

The photo is clearly labeled as being of James Grigg and the website we obtained it from identified him as being from the Indiana 10th.  However James was not an officer, but the man in the portrait is wearing an officer’s uniform, thus lending some doubt as to if this was our James. Some extensive discussion among family members and the Indiana State Library, followed by a process of elimination for all other James Grigg we can find in Civil War archives for the State of Indiana, basically identifies the man in the portrait as my own ancestor. So why then the officer’s jacket? The best answer we have is that the jacket had been loaned to James to wear for his portrait.

Having your portrait taken during this time was considered a formal occasion.  Most portraits of this period featured individuals in their “Sunday best” and if a subject did not have appropriate clothing, the photographer may have kept a stock of suitable items for their patrons to borrow for their sitting. In the end, these portraits would become valuable and important keepsakes for friends and family to remember their beloved soldier in his absence and possible death. On the soldier’s end, portraits from home helped them keep a connection to their sorely missed loved ones and serve as a reminder of their purpose.

For us, these portraits that endure gives us a glimpse into the determined, sometimes eager and brazen, individuals who fought in the most divisive wars in US history. It puts a face to the conflict like no other. For more information on Civil War Portraits, Yale University has an online exhibition here.

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Captain William A Naylor

Following the resignation of Captain Cox, William A. Naylor was appointed the new captain to the unit. Naylor first received his commission with the unit as First Lieutenant on November 20, 1861, mustered in on January 1862. His new commission was dated for June 3, 1863 and officially mustered into this position on August 4, 1863.  He mustered out of the Indiana 10th on January 23, 1965.

According to a memorial record, Captain Naylor was born September 15, 1827. He enlisted in the Mexican war at the age of 17. Following the war, he moved to Doniphan Missouri in 1869 and worked as mill wright for Colonel Righter who then owned old Bay Mill. He married in 1874 to Nancy A. Watts and they had 5 children together, 4 daughters and one son who survived him. A pensioner salary had him receiving $ 30.00 monthly since 1891 and passed on August 10, 1900 at 73 years old.

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