September 20, 1865

September the 20th 1863

Dear Sarah,

I seat myself this beautiful Sabath morning to rite you a few lines hoping they will finde you and our little girl well as I am happy to say that I am well. O Sarah what would I give to be at home this morning to go to meeting with you the Church bells are ringing now and it makes me feald very solem to think over the past thier has been thousands of pore fellows lade beneeth the sod within the last year that will never enjoy the society of thier friends hear on earth but I hope they are enjoying unbounded bliss at God’s rite hand whare sicness sorrow pain and dith are felt and heard no more.
I am sorry to say that one more of our little squad is dead. Isac Marty is dead. He died at Nashville but I haven’t been able to lurn the particulars of his death. We left him at Murpheesboro when we left their 3 months ago. He was sick but nobody thought thier was mutch the matter with him but time has proved differant. Time is the best fortune teller in the world.
The rest of the boys are well and I do hope that we will all be spared to return home.
Turn over

Well I will now tell you that we are still at Chattanooga. Our brigade is no longer in the woods division. their is a mounted brigade put in our place so Brigadier General Wagoner has charge of the town for the preasant. His brigade is composed of the 57 Ind 40 Ind and 15 Ind and the 97 Ohio Regiments and the 10t Ind battery. I will now tell you how to direct your letters untill further orders. _____ I will rite it on another peace of papers.
Their was some havy fiting in frunt yesterday but the rebs got the worst of it. I would not be supprised if this would be the bloodiest battle that ever was fought for both armys are reinforcing heavly. I am in hope that this will be the last battle but it is of no use for me to be riting about it for you will se all about it by the papers.

I believe I have rote all I can think of at this time so I will close for this time. I haven’t got any letter from you since I rote last Sunday. The last I got was mailed at Salem but I expect to get one in a day or two. Ma God speed the day when we can talk to each other in the place of riting is my prayer but I will close by saying I still hope to remain your loving and true husband
Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder and child and all the friends rite soon

Upside down on Page 2

I haven’t got that letter from your Pah yet and it is time I was getting one from Mother unless they have turned me of as one of the lost sheep of Iseral but I guess they will all take the time sets rite

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September 13, 1863

September the 13th

Dear Sarah.

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde and welcome letter of the 6th witch came to hand yesterday. I was very glad to hear that you and all the rest of the friends was well but was sorry to hear that you was so uneasy about me. I knew you would be but I could not help it for I rote every chance I got. I can assure you that it was no neglect of mine.

Well I will now tell you that I am well fat and sasy. I never had as nice a time playing soldier before as I have at this time. We are in Chattanooga and Wayoners brigrade is left hear to garrison the town. Our battery is devided into 3 parts now. They have put 2 guns in afort one fort is on the North West corner of town, no 1 and No 2 guns are their. No 2 is the gun I belong to and their is another fort at the North east corner of town. No 4 and No 5 is in that one and No 3 and 6 is in one on the North side of town. We have put 26 of our horses in a good new stable rite in town. Thier is a man to every 2 horses to take care of them. I have charge of 15 horses and 7 men. I have to see that the horses are watered 3 times a day and ishew the feed to the drivers for them and se that they are well curied and taken good care of every way. We have got our tents close to the stable and we have got a large tent and got our table in the center and benches to set on. I am setting on one now and writing on the table. We are first is near rite now as solders ever get I think. We have got a well of as good water rite close as you ever saw if it wasn’t for being seperated from you I would be as well satesphied as I ever was in my life but that is one thing I have to bare with for it can’t be helped at presant but I trust to God that it will not be long untill this wicked rebellion shal be put low so that we that are alive can return home to our dear familys and friends but I do desire to be thankful to God that it is as well with us as what it is for while we are being blest with ripe health and prospect fare, there is so many more a pore soldier laying benith the sod whose friend ware as dear and near to them as they are to us but we know that God will do what is rite if we will only do as we should do.

I know that I am a pore sinful creature of the dust but I trust that God will for give all my sins and take are of us all. It is just one year today since we left home but I trust that it will not be another year untill we will meet to enjoy our selves again. I can’t se how the war is to last mutch longer. The Tenesseens are deserting first as fast as they can. They told Brag they would not fite unless he stade hear. There is ben over 500 diserted since they left hear and they are comming in all the time. God speed the day when thier will not be a reb in America.

You think I had better not sell Quen. It shall be as you say. I have no doubt but what she is dooing well anuff. I am got so that I hardly ever think about our affares out there for I know that I can’t do them any good if I was to set down and cry half my time about them so I have concluded to let them rest easy untill I get home.

You wished I was their to eat peaches. I had lots of peaches while we ware marching but they are pleyed out now and to the pie it is something I know nothing about. I have saw some things they caled pie but not many.
Well this is Monday morning and I am still well. Their is a pretty hard fite going on about 20 miles from hear they have got Brag surrounded I think his doors is sealed or at least I hope so but I must quit for this time for I have got some work to do this morning cleaning up our yard and stables.
So good by for this time hoping still to remain your loving and true husband

Wm Forder
To Sarah A Forder
Rite soon and often

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Captain William A Naylor

Following the resignation of Captain Cox, William A. Naylor was appointed the new captain to the unit. Naylor first received his commission with the unit as First Lieutenant on November 20, 1861, mustered in on January 1862. His new commission was dated for June 3, 1863 and officially mustered into this position on August 4, 1863.  He mustered out of the Indiana 10th on January 23, 1965.

According to a memorial record, Captain Naylor was born September 15, 1827. He enlisted in the Mexican war at the age of 17. Following the war, he moved to Doniphan Missouri in 1869 and worked as mill wright for Colonel Righter who then owned old Bay Mill. He married in 1874 to Nancy A. Watts and they had 5 children together, 4 daughters and one son who survived him. A pensioner salary had him receiving $ 30.00 monthly since 1891 and passed on August 10, 1900 at 73 years old.

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July 26, 1863

July the 26th 1863

Dear Sarah,

I take the preasnt opportunity to rite you a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and I hope these few lines will finde you and Leisa and all the rest of the folks well. I feated somewhat disappointed as I did not get any letter today. I rote your Pah a letter 3 or 4 days ago. I sent it to Salem. I told him that I had made arrangements to have 40.00 expressed to Salem for you. It will be expressed in your pahs name. We expected to have been paid before this time but we are not paid yet but I think we will be in a day or to and as soon as we are paid the rols will be sent rite on to Indianapolis to state agent and the money will be paid to him and he will express it to wharever it is to go. So you can ceep send of a lookout of it. This is a purportedly safe way to send our money home. We are to get 4 months pay this time.
Well I will now tell you that we have mooved campe since I rote to you last. We mooved last Monday about one mile and a half. We crost over Elk River and went into camp rite at the foot of the mountain. We have got a very nice situation hear. Everything is quiet. Their is no indication of a moove at preasant but their is nothing what will turn up but thier is one thing surtain if we have to cross the mountains hear we will have a good time cleaning out roads. When the rebs left hear they choped down trees across the roads and whare they could they blasted rock out of the cliffs in to the road but I think they will have the fun of clearing out thier own roads after the war is settled. Their has been but very little news in the paper for a few days but I am in hopes it won’t be many day untill we hear of the fall of Charls town. Ma God speed the day when Charlstown and all the rest of the strong holds of the trators shall be cleaned out. I think the rebellion has got its head cut of and I don’t think it can live long with it’s head off at least I hope it but still I am not tired enuf of the survace yet to give the theavs one inch. I would rather fite them 10 years than give them one inch. My polacy is when ever they return to thier loyality is to forgive the common soliders but hang the leaders.

You said in your last that Malisa was sick. Purhaps there is something serious the matter that I did not get any letter today. So I will wait untill tomorrow before I seal this up purhaps I will get a letter tomorrow.

This is Tuesday morning and I am still enjoying good health. I got a letter from you yesterday. It was mailed the 24th of this month. You wanted to know if I had got my shirt. I told you all about it in one letter. Perhaps you never got it. I got it in due time. It fits first rate. I have got a good supply of clothing. Now, we are seeing a very nice time hear . Now, if I could only se you and our little girl once in a while I would be satisfied. But I want to close. Hopeing to still remain you true and loving Husband.

Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder and child and all the friends
Rite soon and often all the news you can.

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July 19, 1863

Camp near Pelham

July the 19th 1863

Dear Sarah,

I take the presant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde letter of the 8th of this month which came to hand on the 13th. I was very glad to hear that you and all the rest of the friends were well and I hope when these few lines come to hand they ma finde you and Leisey and all the rest of the friends still enjoying that great blessing as I am thankful to say that I am enjoying the best of helth. We are still enjoying the laying in our old camp yet near Pelham. Everything seams to be quiet hear. Everything is going along smoothly at this time. I have just received your letter of the 14th. I am sorey to hear that our little girl was sick but I hope she is well before this.

I expect you to have had quite an exciting time their. I was very ancious to hear from you to know weather the scamps pade you a visit or not but it seams that they did not have time to run around mutch. I want you to send me the news paper account of the afare as you did of the other raid they made. I se by the paper that the theaving band are a way in Ohio. It looks strange to me that thier can’t be a force raised sufficient to head them in thier wild carear. But I have no dout but what it is the best thing that ever happened for it will show the Butternuts what the rebs would do if they had a chance. I think it is the best thing that ever happened and when I get home I will tell you why I think so.

The prospect is fare for us to get home this fall and I trust to God that it will be so for I long to se the day when peace and quiettude shal prevail over this once happy country. O won’t that be a joy beyond measure when we soldiers can return to our dear familys and friends. I long to se that happy day. You said Paps had got a letter from Jim stating that they had ben on half rashens. We have had a great deal less than half rashens ishewed to us ever since we started from Murpheesboro untill the last 2 or 3 days. We get full rashens of crackers, meat, coffee and sugar but that is all we do get from the comosary department but their is no danger but what we will ceep fat while we get that for their is lots of burys and apls and the peaches will be ripe after a while and the corn will be in rosten ear in 3 or 4 weeks but you must not think we starved or eaven went hungry for their was lots of hay and cattle for meat and potatoes in the gardens for bread but anuf of that.
I expect to send you some money in the next letter for the pay master is hear and he will pay us in a day or 2. We are to get 4 months and 17 days due us. I will have to come to a close for this time. My prayer to God is that he will watch over us and preserve our livs to meet again on earth to enjoy ourselves together. Give my respect to all the friends and tell them to rite when ever they feild like it. It always does me a heap of good to hear from any of my friends. I got a letter from Uncle Billey and the girls last weeak . They ware all well. I rote them on answer the same day but I must say good by for this time. Rite soon and often.

Willam Forder to Sarah A Forder

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Morgan’s Raid

On July 8, Confederate John Hunt Morgan crossed over the Ohio River in to the state of Indiana near Maupuck using two stolen steamboats. There he and a troupe of about 1800 men proceeded to conduct raids on the local communities such as Corydon Vernon, Dupont, New Pekin, Salem, and Versailles. Governor Morton put out a call for every able bodied man to take up arms as a home defense. The resulting Home Guard comprised of enthusiastic but poorly trained men who fought valiantly, but in the end failed to entirely stop Morgan’s progress. The result was weeks of looting, damage and civilian causalities Ripley County, Indiana. One formal battle was fought at Corydon between Morgan’s men and some 400 assembled volunteers. The volunteers managed to delay the Confederate’s advance but in the end were captured and paroled. Morgan’s main targets appeared to be rail depots, bridges, and sources of food, funds and fresh horses for his men. Reports of the time indicated he demanded ransoms and taxes from the locals to not burn mills and businesses. One amusing antidote indicated that Morgan’s men burned the storehouse in DuPont, Indiana and stole some 2,000 hams. Unable to keep them due to flies, they discarded them in route to Salem, leaving a trail of hams for the pursuing Calvary to follow.

Eventually, a large Calvary force under the command of General Edward Henry Hobson, chased Morgan from Indiana with support from the some 65,000 home guard men and Union U-boats on the Ohio River. Morgan and his men left Indiana at Harrison on July 13 and entered Ohio.

There appear to be three distinct goals with these raids. The first was to draw the northern armies away from the confederate lines in support of the civilian populations in Indiana. The second was to disrupt supply lines, as evidenced in Morgan’s focus on depots and bridges. The third appeared to be to drum up further enthusiasm with the local Coppperheads. Morgan, being a flamboyant, handsome, and dashing figure was thought to inspire others to follow in defiance of the Union.

However, Morgan failed to meet any of these goals.

Despite the reign of destruction and terror, Morgan failed to disrupt any communication or supply lines. Locals quickly repaired any damage to the depots he hit, causing mostly inconvenience. He did not occupy any major Indiana city, and regular Federal troops sent in to stop him were insufficient release pressure off Confederate the lines in Kentucky. Finally, Morgan failed to inspire a Copperhead uprising and instead his raids had the opposite effect on the morale and attitudes of the locals. Instead of flocking to him as recruits or inspiring a lasting fear, the locals instead became angry, outraged, and determined to stop him.
In total, Morgan spent three weeks in Indiana and Ohio.

While this is not directly related to the Indiana 10th, the raiders appeared to have passed through Darlington and the incident is referred to in several of the upcoming letters.

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June 15, 1863

June the 15th 63

Dear Father and Mother,

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as I am thankful to day that I am well. You said I must excuse you for not riting sooner. Will do so this time hoping you will do better. The next time I don’t want you to bother about my affars out North for it will do no good for I can’t se but what we have done our duty so If they are mean anuf to take what little I have let them have it thier way for a while but the time will come when they will have to give an account of thier procedings. I am willing to let them rest untill fall.

Purhaps some thime ma turn up by that time so that I can come home. I would be willing to sacrifice every sent I am worth if it would crush this rebellion for what would our property be worth if this government is let go down. I say let us fite them untill they are whiped and in the next place I am willing to fite them with negros or anything els and thier is but very few men hear but what is in for fiting them with negros as they have commenst the game first. But perhaps I had better stop for you ma think this letter has rather a black appearance but it is my sentiments at least but I will close hoping to remain your loving sun in law while life that last

Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard

Rite soon and often

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The Copperhead Movement

In up coming letters, you will start to hear William discuss the local “Copperheads”  The Copperheads or “Peace Democrats” were northern sympathizers to the confederates.  They were defined by being anti-war, pro-slavery, and very vocal about their stance.  Historians note that many Copperheads focused on political activities such as organizing anti-war political rallies, opposing pro-war and abolitionist candidates, and fighting against the draft.  Some Copperheads attempted to talk Union soldiers into deserting.  There were also indications that some Copperheads had been planning to assist with the escape of Confederate prisoners and sometimes served as paid informants to Confederate agents.  A series of trials in 1864 accused prominent Copperheads of treason.

The majority of Copperheads were in the southern Midwest in southern Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana which is likely why they feature so frequently in letters between William and his family in Darlington, Indiana.  Demographically, members of the Copperhead movement consisted of former Southerners who had moved north of the Ohio River, the poor, and merchants whose businesses were suffering due to loss of business down south.  The group also consisted of many German and Irish Catholics from mill town and mining communities.

There remains a fair amount of debate among historians on the effect of the Copperhead movement on the war as well as the extent of their loyalty to the Union and the depth of their racist views. 

 

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