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
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.”
On the 2d of June, 1863, Captain Cox resigned, when Lieutenant W.A. Naylor was promoted to the Captaincy.
February the 15th 63
Camp near Murfreesboro
I seat my self this good sabath morning to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as thank God it leaves me and all the rest of the boys. Well, I received your letter that was rote the 1 of this month with this paper in it and I was sory to hear our little girll and mother was sick but I hope they are well by this time. I am very anxious to hear from you again and I think I will in a day or to.
The is as warm as spring hear the most of the time. The grass is beginning to gro and the birds to whistle as thou everything was peaceable and quiet. Our Captain has ben gone home several days. He will be back befor long. Now the people at LaFayette have made a lot of things to send to the batry and he is going to bring a lot of new horses. We have got new harness for all our horses this last weeak and we are getting the guns repared some oo that we will soon be redy for a nother fite but I hope they will leave the fighting part out. It seams that you didn’t under stand what I meant by being changed. What I mean is that we are now the 2 Devision 1 Brigade but this is best way for you to direct your letter.
10th ind Bat
We are still laying in our old camp yet but I don’t think we will stay heare much longer. Forage is getting rather hard to get so that we will have to go some place and I don’t care for I am tire of staying heare. The pay master is hear. We will get some money in a shorte time maybe today. I don’t know how much we will get yet. I rote some time ago that I would express it to Salem in your Pap’s name. I expect it will be thare by the time you get this letter. You neadent send me any more paper now for I can get all I want. Now I will have to come to a close for this time hoping to remain your loving husband while life shal last don’t for get me in your prayers. I hope it will not be long untill we can come home. Give my respects to all the friends
Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder
Rite soon and often and tell all the friends to rite
Sep the 28th 1862
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you well and dooing well as thank god it leaves me and all the rest of our squad. Well, I will now tell you a little a bout our movements. We got on the train at Indapolis bound for Louisville Friday night at 5 oclock. We got to our batry a little before day lite. We then ladown and selp about 7 our. Our batery was down at the loer end of town. We had orders to march as soon as we eat breakfast so we hitched up and started. We hadn’t the least idear where we were going but we started up the river and went up threw town. We hadn’t went far before it commenst raining. We marched some 6 mils and went in to a camp again. It rained on us until nearly night when it cleared of so that we had a pleasant knight and it is still pleasant this morning. I can’t tell how long we will stay hear but not long. I expect for there is no danger of the rebbels coming hear. It is a general beleaf that the fiting is a bout over.
I have taken charge of 2 horses. There is 6 horses to each cannon and 3 drivers. I drive the wheel horses of canon No. 2 witch is a 10 pounder and will throw a ball 5 mils. I will now come to close for this time I will rite again in a few days and I want you to rite and let me know how you are getting along. I hope you have become better satesfided by this time. I don’t want you to worey your self about me for I assure that I am dooing well and seing an easy time. Don’t forget to pray for me that I ma be spared to return to enjoy our society.
So fare well from your loving husband
Wm Forder to Sarah Forder and daughter
Jacob Marty is hear now and I saw Dave Sands yesterday. I don’t know how many boys I have saw since I have ben hear that I know. I saw Jrd Cad yesterday. He told me to send his respect to you and all the rest of the folks. Direct your letters to the 10th Ind batery Cap Cox 21 brigade 6th Division.
William here mentions three friends, “Jacob Marty”, “Dave Sands” and “Jrd Cad”. No soldiers with the name Marty or Cad served with the Indiana 10th Battery though about a dozen soldiers by the name of “Jacob Martin” served with various Indiana and Illinois units. There is also no David Sands with the unit but a volunteer by the name of Thomas H.B. Sands from Darlington is listed. He mustered in on September 13, 1862 and mustered out on July 10, 1965.
“Cap Cox” refers to the unit’s Captain, Jerome Cox. He received his commission on November 20, 1861 and resigned on June 2, 1863. More on him to be posted.