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
May the 11th 63
This is Monday morning. I thought I had rote anuf this time but I feald so good over the good news that I must tell you. The news reached hear last nite a bout 7 o’clock that we had Richmond and of all the cheering and yelling I ever heard it took place at that time. It went around the lines like the roling waves of the see. It made very loyal hart bound with joy. The word was braut to the preacher while he was preaching last nite. He stoped short and says the stars and stripes are waving over Richmond and you better believe their went forth to the skies and meity chear.
We all feald as thoe the war can’t last mutch longer. My prayer to God is that the time has come that this war shall close. This is a beautful morning every thing looks chearing to the to the loyal.
I must close for this time. I want you to rite a great big long letter. Yours forever
Note: This bit of news is somewhat surprising and may be a false or incorrect report to the men. According to all historical accounts I can find, the Confederate Capital of Richmond was not taken by the Union Army (even on a temporary basis) until 1865. During this general period of time, the only happenings of note within the city is an event referred to as the “Richmond Bread Riot”. On April 3, 1863 the women of Richmond marched on Governor Letcher’s office to demand action on the massive overcrowding, inflation and other issues plaguing the city. They were turned away and this resulted in a full two days of rioting throughout the city.
A perceived victory in Richmond could have been confused with the capture of Fredricksburg during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, also in Virginia, which ultimately would be part of the bigger yet doomed Chancellorsville Campaign.
May the 10th 1863
Dear Father and Mother and Sisters and Brothers
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as I am thankful to say that I am enjoying the best of health. The boys are all well and in fine spirits. The health was never better than it is at this and the boys are all in fine spirits. Alto the news are rather discuriging from Hookers arma at this time but I am in hopes they will come out all rite yet. I think if they are successful the war can’t last meutch longer at the least I hope not. We are still laying in camp near Murpheesboro but their is no telling how long we will stay hear if we should go out on a scout and you shouldent hear from me for a week or 2. You must not be uneasy about us for I would rather be out scouting around than laying hear in camp. Some think because a man is in the arma he is as good as dead but I don’t think so. I feald just as safe heare as I would at home and if I had nobody but my self to care for I should be very well contented. But as it is I hope it will not be long untill I can return to those I love.
I am going to send Siles letter. I don’t want you to get any ways excited about it. Just consider the source and let it rest untill I get back and I think I can straten things out a little. It seams to rather stick the old fellow that I thanked you for what you had done and didn’t thank him. I generally try to thank thoes whome thanks are due. If I hadn’t thought you deserved thanking I shouldn’t have do so but what you done the very best you could for it was to your intrust to do so but let the old jent slide. He will get his pay some of thoes days. I will have to close for this time. Hopeing to remain your loving and tru friend and suninlaw
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and Children and friends
Note: “Hooker’s Arma” refers to Major General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker who at this time had command of the Army of the Potomac. He was best known for a major defeat at Chancellorsville which was a battle fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863 which is likely the news that William found discouraging. May 3red of that battle was considered the second bloodiest day of the civil war.
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
Upside down on Page 1
I want all of you to rite as often as you can.
April the 19th 1863
It is with great pleasure that I seat my self this lovely sabath day to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde letter that I received a few minits a go. It was rote on the 15th. I was very glad to hear that you ware all well. I am well at this time and so are the rest of the boys and I hope when this comes to hand it may finde you enjoying the same great blessing. You did not say weather you had got the money I sent or not. We got paid agan some 3 weeks ago and I put a 10 dollar bill in a letter for you at the first of weak before last and the first of last weak I put 2 5 dollar bills in a nother letter which would make 20 dollars that I haven’t heard from yet. I have a little more to send but I will wait until I rite again before I send it. We are to start out in the morning on a 6 days scout so that it will be Saturday evening before we return but I would rather beout a scouting around than laying in camp for we have ben laying hear to long that I am bored of the place. We have had a nice time lately. The weather has ben nice and we have a plenty to eat and not much to doo.
I believe I will put a cupple of dollars in this letter and risk it. I want you to be sur to let me know wheather you get the money or not. You wanted to know if we got any eggs hear. The suthars bring them hear and sell them for 5 cents a piece or 60 cents a dozen. I shall have to close for this time hoping to remain your loving husband while life that last.
Wm. Forder to SA Forder and all the friends. Rite as often as you can.
The upside down passages were odd at first but on examination, they flow next to each other from page one to 4 to make a coherent message. Strung together, with a “-” where the line moved from page 1 to four, the message ultimately reads:
I would like to rite – to to your pah but I
haven’t time. Now tell – him I will rite to him the
next time. Tell all – the friends to write
Tuesday April the 14th 63
I seat my self this morning to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well as I am thankful to say that I am well at this time and so is the rest of the boys. I rote you a letter last Saturday and told you that we expected to go out on a scout but but we didn’t go. I told you in that if we didn’t go I would rite again the first of this weeak and you know I always try to fulfill my promises. I put a finger ring in my last letter for you that I made out of a shell that I got out of the Cumberlain River last fall. I don’t know wheather you will get it or not but I thought I would risk it. You must let mee know wether you get it or not.
I started 10 dollars in a letter to you the first of last week and I am a going to put 10 in this one. You must let me know as soon as you can weather you get it all rite or not.
It seams that I can’t think of any thing to rite this morning but I think if I was at home this morning with you I could talk a little. I guess I will close for this time and rite a little to Emily. So good by for this hoping to remian your loving husband
Wm Forder to S.A. Forder and friends rite soon.
Well Emily you said some time ago if I did not hury and come home you would be married befor I got their. Now I think you had better wait untill the soldiers get back because I am prety surtain you would rather have a solider than a coward. But I will have to close so good by rite and tell me all about it and and let me know who is to be my brother-in-law be shure to rite
Wm Froder to Emily P Hubbard
Upside down on page 4
William Forder Emily Hubbard
Dear Father and Mother.
I take the opportunity and rite a few lines to you as I haven’t told Sarah whare we are now. We have mooved back within half a mild of town in side the breast works. Their is a fite expected hear and if there is one it will be a big one and I think if we whip them hear it will about test the tale for them. We are well pirs (?) for them. We are on the east side of town and there is a line of breast that is 7 milds long on this side and it extends clear around the town and then their is some of the toulest breast work on the North West side of town I ever saw and they have got a lot of seage guns planted in there but a nuf of that. The peach trees are in full blossem but it turned cold last nite and the wind fairly blows today but it is to late in the season hear to freeze. I will have to close for this time hoping to remain your loving sun in law and brother while if that lasts.
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and Children and all the friends rite soon
Upside down on page 2
Rite soon and tell all me all the news you can
Transcription Note: The word “pirs” was an enigma and remains so even after several attempts by myself and Alysia to determine the actual word. In context, a word such as “prepared” or “ready” should have been implied. But even going over assumed misspellings, abbreviations or slang options, we couldn’t really determine what exactly William had written. His “h” sometimes tended to drop below the line or it could have been an “f” or “p” which also appear similar in William’s handwriting. In short, we are unsure exactly what word he had indicated, hence the question mark following it.
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.
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.