October the 29 63
I take the presant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde letters that came to hand some 3 days ago. It was dated mailed the 20th. I hope these few lines will find you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well, as I am happy to say that I am well. The rest of the boys are all well. I got a letter from Jim the day before yesterday and he is well and dooing fine. You seam misunderstand me about the furlow business. Which do you think would be the best to be whining and crying around for a furlow when you know you can’t get it or would it be best to be contented and take things as easy as basable. I would give as mutch for a flurlow as you would and would be as glad to se you as you would me but it is an impossibility. All that we can do is to wait with patience untill our time is out. I long to se that happy day. I hope that God will take care of us to meet again to enjoy each others society.
We are still laying in our old position thier has been some prety hard fiting hear for the last 2 or 3 days. You will se by the papers that our men have crost the river below lookout mountain. Thier was 12 of us drivers took our horses and went about 2 miles and took 4 guns out of the first Ohio Battery and went down to the river while our men drove the rebs away from the other side and laid the poutoon bridge but the papers will tell you all about it. Everything is quiet today but I don’t know how long it will last. The rebs still think they will be able to take Chattanooga but I think it will be the soarest take they ever took if they do.
You said you would send me Malisays miniature. Have it taken standing if you can for I want to se how tall she is. You wanted to know if we had to set on our horses in time of battle. We have to be on them a part of the time but when we are standing still we generally dismount and if the bullets are coming very close we can ley down on the ground if we want to and thier isn’t many that have to be told to lay down when the bullets come whistling around thick and fast. If there is any thing else you want to know I will tell you as near as I can.
I will now close for this time. You neadent make yourself uneasy about my coming home. When my time is out for if I am spared to return I will come as soon as I can but I must close for this time.
Still hoping to remain your loving companion while life shal last and after death to meet around Gods throne to sing a new song but I must close to good by for this time still hoping to se you soon.
Wm Forder to SA Forder
I send my best respect to all the friends. Rite as often as you can.
Upside down on Page 1
Sende me a few extra postage stamps for I can’t get any hear.
In October the battery was moved to Moccasin Point, on the north side of the Tennessee River, from which place it did most effectual service in shelling the enemy’s works on Lookout Mountain.
October the 26th 63
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well and I am happy to day that I am enjoying the best of health and the rest of the boys are all well. I expect you will think it has taken me a long time to rite this letter but I haven’t had any chance to send it away yet but I will send it today. I will not rite any more to you this time as I want to rite a little to Emily and the boy. Rite as often as you can and don’t forget to pray for me.
Wm Forder to SA Forder
I received your very cinded letter and was very glad to hear that you had not forgotten me. I would be very glad to se you but that is an impossibility at the present for I belong to Uncle Abe at the present but I hope it will not be long until he will get threw with me for I would like very mutch to be free once more so that I could go where I pleased. I have always heard it said the darkest hour was just before the day and I think if it gets mutch darker than it has ben for the last 2 or 3 months it will be a gloomy time but it seams to me this dark spell can’t last mutch longer at least I hope not for I dread the coming winter. Solidering will do very well in the summer and fall but look out for the winter but I think I can stand the hardships better this winter than I did last for my health is a great deal better now than it ever was before and I feald thankful to God for it for wo be unto the sick soldier but I feald that their is one that will do all things well and that is a nuf for us.
But I must close as I want to say a little to the boys. I want you to rite when ever you feald like it for it always pleases me to hear from any of you. So good by for this time. Still hoping to remain your loving brother
Wm Forder to Emily P Hubbard
Well boys, I would like to se a few lines from you. Rite and tell me what you are a dooing and how you and Milton is getting along with your <???> and 40 other things I would like to hear about. You must excuse me for not riting any more but I haven’t room this time so I will have to close for this time.
Wm Forder to GSS Hubbard
Note: The question marks once again indicates a word that was obscured in the original letter. In this case, an ink blot or other stain completely marred the one word of the sentence. My best guess would have been “Mothers”.
This is Sunday morning the 17th and I have got no letter yet. I saw you in my very dream last knight and you was sick but I hope that is not so. What makes me uneasy about you you said you had the headache when you rote. It may be my falt for when we first went to Chattanoga our brigande was left as we thought to stay but you se that fortune proved differant. I told you to direct your letter differant to what you had ben dooing that mabe the reason why I have got no letter for the last 3 weeaks. You may direct them as your first to only put it Cap Naylor in the place of Cox.
I want to know wether you have heard anything from Robert lately and I want to know weather Pahs have heard anything of Jim since the first or not. I saw 2 streaglers the day after the fite out of the 38 but they did not know weather Jim was hart or not but they said thier Regiment was badly cut to peaces. Tell Mother I would like to se a letter from hir once more and tell hir to send me the directions to Robert and I will rite him a letter but I have rote a good deal more than I thought I would when I commenst. But I will close for this time. I hope the time will soon come when I can lay my arm around your lovely form. I don’t know what I would give if I was at home this evening to have a good chat with you. God speed that happy day is my prayer but I must close for this time.
Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder
October the 10th 63
I take the presant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and Malisa and all the friends well as I am happy to say that I am well. I fealt somewhat uneasy about you as I have not got any letter for over 2 weeks. The last letter that I got from you was rote the 13th of September. I can’t imagine what is the reason. We are in just the same position as we ware when I rote last. Our boys are firing a few shots at the Lookout Mountain at this time but for some cause unknown the rebs don’t reply to our shots. We are all in fine spirits allto grub is rather scarce. The most of the boys know what it is to not have anuf to eat. I hope this battle will soon be wound to a close and I think it will be for we are all getting reinforced from the arma of the Potomac, but the papers will ceep you better posted than I can.
Jim Mc. is gone to Stevnson Alabama with his horses. All the middle drivers from all the battery was sent to their about a week ago to fead their horses awhile for feed was so scarce hear. It is about 60 miles from hear. I haven’t any idear when they will be back. The knights are very cold but the days are warm and pleasant. But I can’t think of any thing to rite as I haven’t got a letter from you for so long, but I hope the time will soon come when we can all return home to our dear familys and friends. My prayer to god is that he will spair our lives to meet again on earth to enjoy each others society. I long to se that happy day when we can ley our guns aside and dwell in peace at home. God speed that happy day.
But I will close for this time and I hope the time is close at hand when I will get a letter from you and then I will rite again. I want you to rite as often as you can and don’t forget to pray for me.
I still hope to remain your true and loving husband
William Forder to Sarah A Forder
Tell the friends if any of them feald like riting to me to do so and I will insure them they will get an answer.
Note: It’s likely that Jim McMullen was sent to Fort Harker in Stevenson, Alabama. The fort was constructed in 1862 by Union Soldiers and freed slaves. It helped guard strategic rail lines but saw little more action than the occasional skirmish. General Rosecrans established headquarters at Fort Harker in July, 1863, from where he directed a successful campaign against the position of Confederate General Braxton Bragg in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Fort Harker would be abandoned after the war. Today the site has been restored as a city park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.