June 7, 1863

Sunday June the 7th 63

Dear Sarah,

I am still well and hope when this comes to hand it will finde you and all the rest enjoying the same blessing. I have just returned from a strole. I went over to the grave yard witch lays to our rite about 1/2 a mild. Their is about 1,000 newly made graves their. I saw 6 coffens put in the ground while I was their and I wasn’t their over 20 minits and I guess it wasn’t a very good day for buring eather.
Thier is men imploid to stay thier and dig graves put in the coffens and fill up thier graves levell with the ground and stick up a peace of plank at the head with the name, co and reg and the no of the grave but a nuff of that. The seam to be trying our lines. The report is that we will make a moave in some directions tomorrow but it is very unsur today. The boys are very ancious as a general thing to make a meove. The news are very chearing at the presant from the Eastern Arma. Ma God prosper the rite is my prayer.

Well Emily,
I was glad to receive a few lines from you. I hope thes few lines will finde you well as I am thankful to say that I am well. I should be very happy to se you and have a talk about the past for I expect I could interest you for a few minits by telling you what I have seen and experienced since I last saw you but I trust it will not be long untill this war will come to a close so that I with many more can return to our familys and friends. Turn over

Well Emily I will close by saying I hope to remain your loving brother wm Forder to Emily Hubbard
Rite soon

Well Taylor and Scotty

I expect you think I have forgotten you but I have not. I often think of you and wonder if you and Milton Stile have as good a time as you did last fall. I want both of you to rite me a great big letter and tell me all the news and what you are doing and I don’t know what besides but I will know when you rite it. So good by for this time rite soon.

Yours Wm Forder to T & S Hubbard
Give my respect to all the friends

 

Note:  This letter is fairly unique in that he is writing to Sarah, Emily and their brothers Taylor and Scott in one missive.  A quick google search failed to bring any information up on Milton Stile but it’s presumably a friend of the boys. 

June 6, 1863

Murfreesboro Tenn

June the 6th 1863

Dear Sarah,

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde leter that I received on Wednesday. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was all well and hope when this comes to hand it ma finde you all well as I am thankful today that I am well and so are all the rest of the boys but Iseral and I haven’t heard from him since I rote last. We are still leying in our old camp with 7 days rations in our haversacks and napsacks redy to march at any time. Their was hevy cannonading in the direction of Franklin day before yesterday but we haven’t heard what the fracus was yet but we get the Nashville papers every day and they will be hear in a few minits and I think it will give a detail of the afare.
Well this is about 4 o’clock today. Papers states that thier has ben a fite at Franklin but give {illegible}.

I received your letter of day before yesterday a little while ago in witch you stated that Robert was wounded. I hope that he is not hurt very bad and I hope he will get home for I know that he can be taken a great deal better care of at home than he can in a hospittle. I hope you will hear the particulars about him before you rite again. I wasn’t expecting a letter from yo today as I had got one from you this week but you neadent think that I got mad about it for I would be glad to hear from you every day. I dreamed last nite of being with you and clasping my arms around your waist and prest you to my boosem and having a long talk with you. You ma guge of my disappointment. When I woke and found myself griled up in my dog tent but my prayer to God is that the time will soon come when I with many more can enjoy that great pleasure ma god speed the day.

If any thing thing should turn up that we should have to leave hear and you shouldn’t get a letter for some time you will know the reason for when we go their is no telling when I will get to rite. Be of good chear. I don’t think the rebs can hold out mutch longer the way they ar getting whiped on every side but I must clsoe for this time. I looked for a letter from your Pah this weak but I expect he is very buisy at this time. Tell the old gentleman I haven’t for got hime and I would give 5 cents at least to se him but I must quit so good by for this time.

Wm Forder to a loving wife S. A Forder and all the rest rite rite.

Note:  The part marked as illegible was a small bit of writing crunched in at the end of the first page to complete his sentence.  It runs upwards to the end of the page and is nearly impossible to read. 

Information on Captain Jerome B Cox

Finding information on Captain Jerome Bonaparte “Bony” Cox proved to be a challenge at first.  We know that he received his commission on November 20, 1861 and resigned on June 2, 1863.  We assume he mustered out with the rest of the 10th Indiana Battery.  There was no reason given as to why he resigned and none are indicated in these letters.  However, a news article indicates there was an issue with misappropriation of funds, a charge which was brought forth against him at some point but eventually dismissed. 

His life after the war did garner some greater attention.  Following his service, Captain Cox and his family moved to California sometime before a third daughter was born in 1867.  He engaged in a business deal that eventually turned bad and ended up filing a law suit.  The suit continued on for years and became so heated that Cox shot and killed the man he had sued.  There was a trial but he ended getting off.  The lawsuit itself continued all the way to the California State Supreme Court where he won a large settlement, including interest. 

The incident is alluded to in his obituary which reads: 

Funeral of Jerome Cox

A touching Eulogy by General W.H.L. Barnes

Amid appropriate ceremonies and a profusion of flowers the remains of Captain Jerome B Cox were laid to rest yesterday in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.  The funeral services were held at the Masonic Temple, and were attended by the members of Pacific Lodge No. 136 Free and Accepted Masons of which the deceased was a member, and a number of friends and relatives. 

After the services of the Masonic order had been read General Barnes delivered eulogy which visibly affected his hearers.  He began by saying he had come to speak one kind word for his old friend who had been summoned to meet his maker. 

Continuing, he said: “Considering the vicissitudes of his life I do not feel like saying that this is an hour of sadness.  To him the sky is no longer clouded; his ears are no longer filled with the conflict of life.  He has passed from us, and I trust, that in his future home he will be happier than he was while in our midst.  There is no patriot who loved his country more than Jerome Cox.  No man has done more for his country than the one whose cold and rigid body is about to be consigned to the grave.  He lived a useful life but circumstances prevented him from enjoying it.  The serious trouble in which he was involved is, in one sense, to be regretted, yet we all felt he was justified.  He was persecuted and laughed at, and in a moment of frenzy he fired the shot that terminated the career of a relentless enemy.  He was right, and I trust that the recording angel will forever wipe the stain from the book of life and allow him to enjoy the peace and happiness that rightfully belong to him.” 

May 24, 1863

May the 24th 63

Dear Sarah,

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.

Turn over.

Page 4th

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 18, 1863

May the 18th 63

Dear Sarah,

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 11, 1863

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

Wm Forder
G Hubbard

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 10, 1863

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 2, 1863

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 1, 1863

May the 1th 1863

Dear Sarah,

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.

Upside down on page 3
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.