October 29, 1863

October the 29 63

Dear Sarah

I take the presant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde letters that came to hand some 3 days ago. It was dated mailed the 20th. I hope these few lines will find you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well, as I am happy to say that I am well. The rest of the boys are all well. I got a letter from Jim the day before yesterday and he is well and dooing fine. You seam misunderstand me about the furlow business. Which do you think would be the best to be whining and crying around for a furlow when you know you can’t get it or would it be best to be contented and take things as easy as basable. I would give as mutch for a flurlow as you would and would be as glad to se you as you would me but it is an impossibility. All that we can do is to wait with patience untill our time is out. I long to se that happy day. I hope that God will take care of us to meet again to enjoy each others society.

We are still laying in our old position thier has been some prety hard fiting hear for the last 2 or 3 days. You will se by the papers that our men have crost the river below lookout mountain. Thier was 12 of us drivers took our horses and went about 2 miles and took 4 guns out of the first Ohio Battery and went down to the river while our men drove the rebs away from the other side and laid the poutoon bridge but the papers will tell you all about it. Everything is quiet today but I don’t know how long it will last. The rebs still think they will be able to take Chattanooga but I think it will be the soarest take they ever took if they do.

You said you would send me Malisays miniature. Have it taken standing if you can for I want to se how tall she is. You wanted to know if we had to set on our horses in time of battle. We have to be on them a part of the time but when we are standing still we generally dismount and if the bullets are coming very close we can ley down on the ground if we want to and thier isn’t many that have to be told to lay down when the bullets come whistling around thick and fast. If there is any thing else you want to know I will tell you as near as I can.

I will now close for this time. You neadent make yourself uneasy about my coming home. When my time is out for if I am spared to return I will come as soon as I can but I must close for this time.

Still hoping to remain your loving companion while life shal last and after death to meet around Gods throne to sing a new song but I must close to good by for this time still hoping to se you soon.

Wm Forder to SA Forder

I send my best respect to all the friends. Rite as often as you can.

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Sende me a few extra postage stamps for I can’t get any hear.

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

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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

Regimental History

On the {???} August the movement over the Cumberland mountains began. General Wood moved from Hillsboro, by Pelham, to Thurman, in Sequatchie Valley. From thence Wagner’s brigade (the Tenth Battery accompanying it), moved to the Tennessee river, opposite Chattanooga, the battery shelling the town on several occasions.
During the movement that resulted in the battle of Chicamauga, the battery was stationed at Chattanooga, with Wagner’s brigade which garrisoned that post.

Note:  On this particular page and part of the formal regimental history, a large ink blot had obscured a significant section of the text.  Some of the words for the previous portions affected were only partly obscured, allowing me to extrapolate the information under the blot.  Unfortunately, the exact date in August indicated was completely covered in the thickest part of the mark and therefore unreadable. I am posting this part of the history on the 21st of August which is when Wagner’s brigade shelled Chattanooga. 

Civil War Portraits

During the American Civil War, photography was coming into it’s own as an art form and widespread practice. For the first time, photographers ventured out into the battle field, sending home poignant images of the horrors of war. Soldiers lined up to have their portraits taken and requested the same from beloved and missed family members at home. As you read through the letters, at several points William specifically requests that pictures of Sarah and very specifically his daughter Melissa, be taken and sent to him.

There were several basic processes for photography during the civil war. These were daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, iron tintypes and cartes de visite (or card photographs) and stereographs. Tintypes were enormously popular during the Civil War because they were inexpensive, quickly produced, durable and could easily be mailed without fear of damage. During the civil war, it became common for soldiers who were about to leave to pose in uniform so their loved ones had a photo before they left. Itinerant photographers also visited the encampments, setting up temporary studios near the army camps to take portraits of the soldiers to be sent home.

Tintype photos are made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. There were two different processes that could be used, wet and dry. In the wet process, a collodion emulsion with silver halide had to be formed on the plate just before it was exposed in the camera while still wet. Chemical treatment then reduced infused crystals to microscopic particles of metallic silver in proportion to the intensity and duration of their exposure to light, resulting in a visible image. The dry process was similar but used a gelatin emulsion which could be applied to the plate long before use and exposed in the camera dry. With both processes, an underexposed negative would be produced where densest areas appeared gray whereas the darkest areas of the subject would be transparent. Once set against the dark lacquer backing of the metal plate, these transparent areas would appear black.

Many soldiers felt it important to document their lives and existence through portraits just prior to and during the war.  Thus enters an interesting conflict with this portrait of James Grigg.

The photo is clearly labeled as being of James Grigg and the website we obtained it from identified him as being from the Indiana 10th.  However James was not an officer, but the man in the portrait is wearing an officer’s uniform, thus lending some doubt as to if this was our James. Some extensive discussion among family members and the Indiana State Library, followed by a process of elimination for all other James Grigg we can find in Civil War archives for the State of Indiana, basically identifies the man in the portrait as my own ancestor. So why then the officer’s jacket? The best answer we have is that the jacket had been loaned to James to wear for his portrait.

Having your portrait taken during this time was considered a formal occasion.  Most portraits of this period featured individuals in their “Sunday best” and if a subject did not have appropriate clothing, the photographer may have kept a stock of suitable items for their patrons to borrow for their sitting. In the end, these portraits would become valuable and important keepsakes for friends and family to remember their beloved soldier in his absence and possible death. On the soldier’s end, portraits from home helped them keep a connection to their sorely missed loved ones and serve as a reminder of their purpose.

For us, these portraits that endure gives us a glimpse into the determined, sometimes eager and brazen, individuals who fought in the most divisive wars in US history. It puts a face to the conflict like no other. For more information on Civil War Portraits, Yale University has an online exhibition here.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.