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.
November the 21th 1862
I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and Lisa and all the rest of the friends well and dooing well as thanks to God it leaves me well. I have had a very bad cold but I have got well again but Jim McMulin is prety sick but I hope he will soon get over it. I can’t tell what ails him but I think it is cold working on him. I will tell you what cured me. We was
We ware encamped at Silver Springs and the water was bad and the doctors thought it would be best to go whare the water was better so I wasnant able for duty. So I got in the ambulance and rode that day and the next day which was yesterday. Jim was sick. Him and me got in the ambulance to ride and we hadent went far until the old thing broke down. Then we had to get out and walk about 3 milds before come up with the batry so I thought if that was playing sick I would quit for as soon as we got up with the batry we claim our horses and so I think I will quit playing sick after this but it did not have the same effect on Jim. We are encamped 10 milds from Nashville on Stoon River. We expect to stay hear severall days but thier is no telling for a soldier can’t tell what we will have to do. Tell your Pap I want to know what he thinks about the war coming to a close. It is supposed by a good many that it will play out by spring.
I must tell you that Iseral and me is some for Iseral got a letter from Mrs. Moore the other day and she said that Mrs. Hiatt said that Silas had to attend to 40 mens business but never mind their will be a day of recning some of those odd Sundays or some other time. But I will have to come to close for this time
hoping to remain your loving husband until death
WM Forder to S. Forder
Write soon and often and tell all the news
Give all my respect to all the friends
Note: Isreal E. Moore was mustered in on September 13, 1862. He died at Murfreesboro, TN September 11, 1863.
Silas Hiatt was born Aug 5, 1823. He married Eliza Booher in 1848 and died May 18, 1901. More information can be found in his obituary.
November the 14th
I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping these will find you and Lisa and all the rest of the friends well as thank God it leaves me well, fat and sasey. I received your letter last nite witch was maild the 6th. I was very glad to hear that you was well and all the rest of the friends. I don’t know whare to direct my letters but I will direct it to new retreat for I expect you will be their before this letter is. I hope you got my last letter so that you knewe what to do about the horses. I rote to Pap about the same time and told him what I wanted done with them. My wish was that they should be taken down their if they had to be taken on the cars but if you did not get any word about it I hope you have done for the best. Mrs. Moore has rote about going in to our house. She said you was wiling for hir to go in to it if I was. I suppose by that you you have taken the thing out and put them in safe ceeping. Let it be as it will. I will try and be satesphide with you arrangements when you rite. I want you to tell me all about what you have done. I haven’t got any answer to the last letter I rote to your Pap or to my Pap or the last I rote to you or the last I rote to Sile. We have no chance to send letters only once I awhile. I have got one wrote for your Pap and I don’t know when I will have a chance to send that or what either.
You wanted to know if I wanted any thing. I can assure you that I am dooing very well. I have one pair of good pants, 2 pairs doars, one dress cote, one over coat, 2 shirts, 4 pair socks, 1 pair boots, one blanket, 1 oil cloth. Me and Jim sleeps together so you se we can sleep very well. I will now tell you whare we are. We are at Silver Spring Ten.. I will now come to a close. For the preasant give my respect to all the friends and expect the same.
From your loving husband
To S.A Forder
10th IND. Batry
21th brigade 6th Division
Upside down on page 4
Rite as soon as this comes to hand.
Note: This letter starts an interesting pattern. William occasionally would write notes upside down on the pages of his letter. It was usually small asides asking for the recipient to write but made transcribing a challenge as I had to determine where the right side up vs upside down text was.
Novem the 11th 1862
Dear Father, Mother, Brothers and Sister,
I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as thanks to the god it leaves me well. I am enjoying the best of health. I have not got any answer to the last letter I rote to you nor to the one I rote to Pap about going after Sarah. Neither have I heard from Sarah since she rote and said she expect you out after hir in a few days so that I don’t know whare to rite to hir untill I hear something farther and I hope that will not be long for I am very ancious to hear what the result has ben but I hope you have got Sarah and Lisa and Julia down their by this time and I hope you have got my horses down their to for I know they will go the way of all the earth if they are left out their but I feel satesfide that you have done the best you could.
I will now tell you whare we are. I think when I rote to Pap we ware at Glasgo. We went from their to Galiton Tenesee rite on the banks of the Cumberlain River thirty six mildes above Nashville and yesterday morning we started towards Nashville but we went in to camp 19 miles from Nashville. They say the Rebbels are fortyfying some place near Nashville but I don’t know whether it is so or not. Their is one thing surtan that we are now in an enimys countery and thier is no telling when we will have a fight this being the fact. It looks awful to be the destruction of property.
It is now dark and I will have to finish by the fire lite. I would leave it until morning but their is no telling at what minit we will be orderd to moove for that reason I will close for this time . Give my respect to all the friends and expect the same. I want you to rite as soon as this comes to hand and tell me all the news.
To G. and C. Hubbard and friends.
Jim is well
Note: This is the first letter we have from William to his in-laws. Sarah is in reference to his wife, naturally and “Lisa” refers to his daughter Malissa. Julia is the wife of Jim McMullin and is Sarah’s sister. At one point, it was decided that Sarah, Julia and Malissa should be brought back to live with the Hubbards, and the rest of William’s possessions were sold off. There is a letter from George Hubbard regarding this matter in the collection that I did not initially request, but I may request a copy to add to the blog retroactively as this sale of possessions turned out to be significant.
In November the battery returned to Nashville, via Glasgow, where it remained until General Rosencrans commenced his movement against Murfreesboro.
James “Jim” McMullen was William’s main companion at the Indiana 10th. He and William were essentially brothers-in-law, having married Hubbard sisters Sarah and Julia. Jim McMullin was born August 1841 but there is no exact date and no information available at this time on his parents. He and Julia married on October 3, 1861 and had no children at the time of his enlistment.
It is interesting to note that unlike James Grigg and William Forder, Jim McMullen’s occupations on the census records do NOT include smithing as an occupation. Instead, he has been listed as being a butcher, a janitor at a school house, and a mail carrier. However, these come from post war census records, so perhaps at one time he was a blacksmith as well. Or perhaps he opted to accompany his good friend and brother-in-law to war with the Indiana 10th.
The Hubbard family figures largely in the letters as Sarah, her father, and family are the main recipients of William’s letters. George Hubbard was born on May 12, 1803. His wife, Charlotte Stewart was born on Mary 30, 1805. They married on January 2, 1827 and had 13 children together.
Sarah Hubbard was the 7th child, born on September 1, 1835. She married William Forder on August 28, 1860. Their daugther Milissa Alice Forder who was born August 11, 1861. Milissa would have been only a year old when William enlisted in 1862.
Sarah’s sisters Emily and Julia are frequently mentioned and included in letters. Emily was born December 4, 1843 and Julia August 6, 1835. Her sister Julia married Jim McMullen on October 3, 1861.
Other siblings mentioned are Peter Taylor Hubbard and Winfield Scott Hubbard, born 1848 (14 years) and 1851 (11 years) respectively. They would have been too young to have joined the war efforts.
Aside from her husband and brothers-in-law, Sarah had two additional brothers in service. These were:
William Cornet Hubbard – Company G, 58th Indiana Infantry
James Frank Hubbard – Company G, 58th Indiana Infantry