October the 29 63
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.
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
October the 10th 63
I take the presant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and Malisa and all the friends well as I am happy to say that I am well. I fealt somewhat uneasy about you as I have not got any letter for over 2 weeks. The last letter that I got from you was rote the 13th of September. I can’t imagine what is the reason. We are in just the same position as we ware when I rote last. Our boys are firing a few shots at the Lookout Mountain at this time but for some cause unknown the rebs don’t reply to our shots. We are all in fine spirits allto grub is rather scarce. The most of the boys know what it is to not have anuf to eat. I hope this battle will soon be wound to a close and I think it will be for we are all getting reinforced from the arma of the Potomac, but the papers will ceep you better posted than I can.
Jim Mc. is gone to Stevnson Alabama with his horses. All the middle drivers from all the battery was sent to their about a week ago to fead their horses awhile for feed was so scarce hear. It is about 60 miles from hear. I haven’t any idear when they will be back. The knights are very cold but the days are warm and pleasant. But I can’t think of any thing to rite as I haven’t got a letter from you for so long, but I hope the time will soon come when we can all return home to our dear familys and friends. My prayer to god is that he will spair our lives to meet again on earth to enjoy each others society. I long to se that happy day when we can ley our guns aside and dwell in peace at home. God speed that happy day.
But I will close for this time and I hope the time is close at hand when I will get a letter from you and then I will rite again. I want you to rite as often as you can and don’t forget to pray for me.
I still hope to remain your true and loving husband
William Forder to Sarah A Forder
Tell the friends if any of them feald like riting to me to do so and I will insure them they will get an answer.
Note: It’s likely that Jim McMullen was sent to Fort Harker in Stevenson, Alabama. The fort was constructed in 1862 by Union Soldiers and freed slaves. It helped guard strategic rail lines but saw little more action than the occasional skirmish. General Rosecrans established headquarters at Fort Harker in July, 1863, from where he directed a successful campaign against the position of Confederate General Braxton Bragg in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Fort Harker would be abandoned after the war. Today the site has been restored as a city park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
May the 2th 1863
Dear father and mother Sisters and Brothers
I take the preasent opportunity to rite you a few lines to in answer to your cind letter that I received day before yesterday. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was all well and doing well and I hope when this comes to hand it will find you still enjoying that great blessing as I am happy to say that I am enjoying the very best of health at this time and the health is very good in the arma at this time and the arma is in good spirits. A great many think the war can’t last mutch longer but it is hard telling when or whare it will stop but I can assure you of one thing the soliders as a general thime are willing to fight untill this rebellion is put down. If it takes 10 years, all that appears to bother them is the copperheads at home but I don’t think their is mutch danger of thier ammounting to mutch. You speak of the hard times thier and the high prices. I know it is very bad but it is nothing in comparison to what the people have to suffer down hear for when the rebs go to a union mans house they take every thing he has and when our men go to a rebs house they take everything he has and when our men got to a rebs house they take everything he has, so you se it is freely hard when the country is striped of every thing but I think that is the best way to do is to starve them out.
Well I will close for this time hoping to remain your loving suninlaw while life that last.
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard
Well Julia it seams that you have ben sick but I hope you will be well when this comes to hand. You must chear up and not go to getting sick. Jim is fat and sasey and the rest of the boys are all well. It ma be that you and Sarah will not hear from us again very soon for they talk of going out on a 30 days scout. So if you don’t hear from us you will know what is the reason so good by for this time
Yours truly Wm Forder to Julia Hubbard
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I want all of you to rite as often as you can.
March the 8th, 1863
I again seat myself to rite a few lines to you in answer to your cinde letter that came to hand yesterday. I was very glad to get such a large letter or letters I might say for it was from you and your pap. It and the shirt was mailed the 5 and I got them the 7. The shirt came rite a long with the letter. I got the minitures and the socks all rite but I told you about that in my other letters. I sent 5 dollars in my last letter and and I want you to let me know as soon as you can wether you get it or not. I rote it the 4th of the month.
We are still laying in our old camp yet but I can’t tell how long we will stay hear for. Sunday as it is thier is heavy firing going on West of town and it can’t be over 7 or 8 milds from the way it sounds. There is scouting partys out all the time and they they are running in to prowling bnds of rebs every once in a while. They say they was a party of our men atacked yesterday by 4 regiments of negros but the negros got baddly whiped thank fortune.
This is in the afternoon and every thing is quiet. The firing that was heard this morning has ceased. I have just come from a buring. There is a fare fellow has to take his leap of death every few days by sicness but that is nothing in compareason to the deaths carried by powder and lead. It is aweful to ce how this country is being strewed with graves. You can’t go any place hardly but what you can se graves fore fellows. They are sleeping their long sleep and I am a fraid their is but very few of them prepared to met thier god for this is the awefulest place for wickedness I ever saw. It seams like they think they can’t be a soldier unless they can sware, play cards, drink whiskey allthoe Their are some are captains. Thank god the trepassing part of our croud from our Neighborhood are all dooing as well as can be expected under existing circumstances. I will now tell you that I am well and all the rest of the boys except G Sands and Jim has ben to ce him to today and he is getting some better but he is not able to set up yet. I hope this will finde you all well. Ciss our little girl for me. I will have to quit for this time. Rite home soon and often.
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I hope to remain true and loving husband while life shal last. Wm Forder to SA Forder
February the 26th 1863
Dear Father and Mother and Brothers and Sister
I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as I am thankful to say that I am well. I am always very glad to hear from you and it would do me a heap more good to se you all but I am willing to wate with patance for the sake of our beloved country. I know that I could not be satesfide at home while the simpesithers are are cutting up so I don’t want to come home until I can stay for I don’t think I could stand it to part with my dear family and friends again. I hope it will not be long untill this thing will be settled. I wish all the northern simpesithers ware in a fite with a nuff powder under them to blow them to heaven and I had a orders to touch it off. I hope that will have more sense than to make it necessary for an army to pass threw our beloved state for it is awful to se the destruction of property where an army goes. The farming is all destroyed for 2 or 3 milds around Murfreesboro and from hear to Nashville within site of the road there is a great many large farms that thier ain’t hardly a rail left or any timber left to make rails. We are still laying in camp near Murfreesboro and I haven’t any I dear how long we will lay hear but I hope we will stay untill the wether settles. We have had a heep of rain and lately it has rained for 36 ours and it is still raining rite along.
I told Sarah that I would send hir a little money but I haven’t had any chance to sende it yet. If I don’t get a chance to send it before long I will sende it in a letter but I will let you know when I send it and how I sent it. I will have to close for this time.
Hoping to remain your loving Sun and Brother
Wm Forder to GS Hubbard and children
Rote as often as you can. Rite rite rite
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I forgot to say that Jim McMullen is well fat and sasey
January the 30th 1863
Dear Wife and Friends
I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your cinde letters that came to hande yesterday. I was glad to hear from you and to hear that you and our little girl is all and all the rest of the friends ware well. It came threw in a hurry. It was mailed on the 24th and I got it on the 29th. I had thought I would not rite for a day or to but as you sent the material for a letter, I thought I would fill it out while I had a chance for the chat is that we are going to leave hear before long but I don’t know whare we will go to.
The wether had ben a little cold for a few days but it is clear and pleasant to day. I received 2 letters this morning. 1 from Uncle Billey and Albert and one from Ira Hiatt. Uncle Billey said they was all well and that times was prety good. He said money was plenty and Ira said his paw had made a greate trade. He has trade old lock for a 6 shooter and a shot gun. That looks war like don’t it but I ken he ain’t dangerous. I rote to him the other day and told him I wanted him to pay my sate with the money he got for that hay and told him the reason I had not rote to him before was that I did not feald very well toward him since I know of that mistreatment of riting he got up for you to sign. I also told him I intended for him to pay himself out of the corn for his trubble but I thought I had try rather deep. I expect he will rare up behind but I don’t care of he does.
I will now say that I am well and all the rest of the boys. Jim Mc got a letter from home this morning and he got a pare of socks but he don’t know who sent them tho postage on them was 9 cents. I also got a letter from Melaine this morning. She said she had got a letter from you. You had aught to se what she said about me to hear hir tell it I am one of the best men in the world wich is a grand mistake. I only wish I was as good as I should be for I know that I am a pore unworthy crecher of the dust.
I will now close by saying I want you to rite as often as you can. I know it is a hard trile for you for you have nothing to draw your attention like I have but I hope the war will soon be over so that we can all come home. So fare well for this time. From your loving husband
William Forder to his loving wife Sarah Forder
Dear Father and Mother and Brothers and Sisters,
I will name your names if I can’t doo any meare just to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you. I often think of you and hope it will not belong untill I can come home and have a good time with you. Give my respects to all the friends and except the same from your loving sun and brother
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard
Don’t forget to rite so fare well. Rite rite rite
Note: Ira Hiatt was the son of Silas Hiatt, born 1850, died 1915.
Albert undoubtedly refers to his brother, Albert Forder. He was born in 1842 and enlisted in Company D, Indiana 38th Infantry on September 18th, 1861 at the age of 18. He died of Typhoid Fever on April 1, 1862.
At this time we are unsure as to who Uncle Billy or Melaine are.
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.