November 21, 1862

November the 21th 1862

Dear Sarah,

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. 

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November 14, 1862

November the 14th

Dear Sarah,

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.

Turn over

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
Wm Forder
To S.A Forder
10th IND. Batry
Cap Cox
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. 

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November 11, 1862

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.

Yours truly

WM Forder
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.  

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September 28, 1882

Sep the 28th 1862

Dear Sarah

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.

 

Notes:

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.

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FAQ

1. What’s up with the spelling? Readers will notice that some of the spelling in these letters are, to be blunt, atrocious. This is not me. I attempted to preserve the spelling and syntax as accurately as possible against the original. However, readers should note that photocopies from microfilm are not always that clear, the handwriting is not always stellar and sometimes the spelling was so bad that a given word was unfathomable. Therefore, in some cases, I was forced to use context along with general word shape and in some few cases experience with the writer’s writing style in order to glean the best transcription from a jumble of nonsense. Therefore, if some small parts are not 110% accurate against the original, I do beg the reader’s indulgence.

2. Can you post the original, handwritten letters? You will not at any time see a scan or image of any of the full, original letters posted to this blog. These are transcriptions only. The reason for this is that the microfilm copies technically belong to the Indiana Historical Society and they are bound by specific rules, sometimes set out by the donor of the collection. Therefore, I was given very specific instructions on what I can and cannot post. I can post the transcriptions and the graphics from the stationery, but not a scan or image of the entire letter. If you wish to view the original microfilm, they can be found at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis. Their website is www.indianahistory.org. You can request copies via email or visit to view the microfilm in person. Please reference “Letters of Forder and Hubbard Families Microfilm Collection F90” when making your request.  Photocopies are available for a fee.  The original, original letters were returned to their owners after being photographed to microfilm in 1963 and their current location or owners are unknown. 

3. Is this the complete “Letters of Hubbard and Forder” collection? No. More letters existed going as far back as 1860 within the collection and as far forward as 1867. I largely requested letters starting when William Forder joined the 10th in 1862 and going through his and Jim McMullen’s time of service with the unit and stopping in 1865. Most of the letters are from them, but I included a few from other family members that relate directly to war conditions of the time.

4. Do you have any photos of William, Sarah or anyone else? Not at the time this blog was established but if any come to light, I will be sure to make a supplemental posting of them or include them in a letter post if I am so permitted.

5. Was your ancestor James actually friends with William? Why transcribe letters from someone you are not related to? As indicated in the first post to this blog, it is possible that James and William crossed paths and even worked together. Just because William doesn’t mention James in a letter does not mean that a connection was not possible, it’s just not confirmed. However, I volunteered to transcribe this section of the collection because I felt it would give me good insight into James’ day to day existence.

6. Are you going to transcribe the rest? This was a volunteer project that held personal interest for me, which is why I targeted only letters relating to William and Jim McMullen’s service periods as they were contemporaries of my ancestor. With the demands of my current day job and other projects, I don’t have the spare time to transcribe the rest at this time. However, that doesn’t rule out future possibilities.

7. Some letters are undated. How do you know when they were written? Unfortunately I don’t. For now we have to assume that any letters were kept in relative order by their keepers through the years and scanned in that order. Therefore, any undated letters are included in relation to the other letters in the collection and will be posted the day after the previous letter.

8.  How will we know when the next post/letter is coming?  Can you post more frequently or regularly?  The release of letters is timed to the date they were written on.  Sometimes there are gaps in the timeline for the letters.  I’m hoping that the supplemental information will help fill in some of the bigger gaps but otherwise, we are all bound by the writing schedule of William Forder and company.  Please take lack of updates up with them.

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Credits

I wanted to take a brief moment to acknowledge a few contributors to this blog.

The first credit should go to Kate Scott and the References Services Department at the Indiana Historical Society for providing me with photocopies of the letters and giving permission for me to create this blog. They are the official holders of this collection on microfilm and Kate has been an enthusiastic supporter of my project since I first emailed about the letters. If you enjoy these letters, please consider visiting their website at www.indianahistory.org and becoming a member or making a donation to their mission.

Second, design credit should go to Alysia Robinette for lending her graphic design skills to this project. Not all the letters photocopied cleanly and some came in with some fantastic letterhead that I desperately wanted to preserve and use. Also, she was determined that this blog looked better than “just a bunch of text” and made it so.

Credit for help with supplemental information goes to my Aunt Clara Carlson who leveraged her subscriptions to genealogy websites and an unwavering and intense interest in history to assist in this project.

Design and Transcription supervisors are Morgana and Scorn who have ensured that all letters were typed with cat-warmed hands and that nobody sat at a desk for too long without a nose or tail in their face.

I also wanted to acknowledge the Forder and Hubbard families and William Max Norris who loaned this collection to the Indiana Historical Society in 1963. Without their preservation of these documents, we would not have them today. If any of you see this blog and wish to send me any additional historical information on your family, please feel free to do so.

And of course full credit should be given to William, Sarah, and Jim and all the “rest of the friends” for writing to each other and thus recording a first hand account of the history they lived.

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Introduction to the Indiana 10th Project

As William would put it “I take the preasant opportunity to seat myself and rite you a few lines hoping they will find you all well as I am happy to say I am well….”

Welcome to the Indiana 10th Project. This blog features letters and information relating to the Indiana 10th Battery, Light Artillery who fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. I first engaged on this project during a genealogy project tracing some of the history of my Great Great Grandfather James Grigg who was enlisted with the unit. Very little details on James exist and most of that information came from public records and paperwork. He was born to Noah Grigg(s) and Catherine Dillman in 1827 and worked as a farmer and blacksmith. This would explain why he was recruited into a battery as the big guns required maintenance and the assistance of horses, making smithing skills such as shoeing horses and repairing guns important to the battery. He served with the Indiana 10th Battery, Light Artillery from 1862 to 1865. His first marriage was to Ellen Parkinson and upon his return, he filed for divorce with the reason listed as infidelity. Ellen was expecting but he hadn’t had a furlough in the three years he served. No death or future records of her exist, so we assume she died in child birth. James then quickly married Sarah Galbreath, who had a 3 year old son named Edward – my great grandfather, who assumed James’ family name. Our family has a host of theories on that one so feel free to come up with your own.

James died in 1911 and was buried in Rensselaer, Indiana. We also located and confirmed a single photo featured on the Indiana State Library website, posted below. Finally, we know that James was completely illiterate, unable to even sign his name to any documents. Instead, he indicated his signature with a simple “x” and a witness signed that the mark was his. This fact is relevant to this project as it means that no other documents, such as letters or diaries, exist from him. Eager to know more about his day to day activities during the Civil War, and having already taken an interest in reading Civil War letters from Union Soldiers, I set about to see if any letters exist from the Indiana 10th Battery. My primary hope was to see if any of the letters mentioned James.


The following letters are a selection from the “Forder and Hubbard Families Letters” Collection at the Indiana Historical Society representing the civil war years only. William Forder is the principal writer through the bulk of these letters. Most of them are to his wife Sarah and their daughter Melissa. It is possible that James and William crossed paths but he was never mentioned in William’s letters. This is most likely because William and Sarah came from Darlington, Indiana and therefore Sarah and the others would not have known him and James likely didn’t contribute anything of note to William’s time or service. The companion mentioned most in these letters is Jim McMullen, William’s brother-in-law, who also served in the 10th. He had also contributed letters to this collection. Other contributors include various family members writing about the war to each other.

In addition to the letters, this blog will also feature some information on the battery’s movements, the fights they contributed to, and other bits to help put the contents of the letters into context. The letters will be posted on the same dates as when they were written, 155 years after the fact. I hope everyone enjoys the letters as much as I did transcribing them.

Hoping to remain your faithful and true transcriber

Christine Griggs

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