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.

Upside down on Page 1
Sende me a few extra postage stamps for I can’t get any hear.

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October 26, 1863

October the 26th 63

Dear Sarah,

I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well and I am happy to day that I am enjoying the best of health and the rest of the boys are all well. I expect you will think it has taken me a long time to rite this letter but I haven’t had any chance to send it away yet but I will send it today. I will not rite any more to you this time as I want to rite a little to Emily and the boy. Rite as often as you can and don’t forget to pray for me.

Wm Forder to SA Forder

Well Emily

I received your very cinded letter and was very glad to hear that you had not forgotten me. I would be very glad to se you but that is an impossibility at the present for I belong to Uncle Abe at the present but I hope it will not be long until he will get threw with me for I would like very mutch to be free once more so that I could go where I pleased. I have always heard it said the darkest hour was just before the day and I think if it gets mutch darker than it has ben for the last 2 or 3 months it will be a gloomy time but it seams to me this dark spell can’t last mutch longer at least I hope not for I dread the coming winter. Solidering will do very well in the summer and fall but look out for the winter but I think I can stand the hardships better this winter than I did last for my health is a great deal better now than it ever was before and I feald thankful to God for it for wo be unto the sick soldier but I feald that their is one that will do all things well and that is a nuf for us.
But I must close as I want to say a little to the boys. I want you to rite when ever you feald like it for it always pleases me to hear from any of you. So good by for this time. Still hoping to remain your loving brother

Wm Forder to Emily P Hubbard

Well boys, I would like to se a few lines from you. Rite and tell me what you are a dooing and how you and Milton is getting along with your <???> and 40 other things I would like to hear about. You must excuse me for not riting any more but I haven’t room this time so I will have to close for this time.

Wm Forder to GSS Hubbard

 

Note:  The question marks once again indicates a word that was obscured in the original letter.  In this case, an ink blot or other stain completely marred the one word of the sentence.  My best guess would have been “Mothers”. 

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October 17, 1863

Dear Sarah
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

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October 10, 1863

October the 10th 63

Dear Sarah,

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.

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September 29, 1863

September the 29th 1863

Dear Sarah

I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very cinde letter that came to hand today. It was rote the 15th. I was very glad to hear that you and the rest of the friends was well and I hope when these few lines come to hand they will find you still enjoying that great blessing as I am happy to say that I am still well and in good spirits. It is usles to try to tell you anything about the fiting hear for you get all the news by the papers long before you get my letters. Our battery is on the North side of the river down opposite lookout mountain. The rebs have got possession of lookout mountain and our men have got forts built all along on this side and got several guns in there so we expect an artirly fite every our. Both partys are getting guns in position as fast as they can. Our devision and brigrade are both in town. Their is no forces this side of the river only just anuf to ceep the rebs from crossing above and below town. I will draw up a cind of a sceteh of our position hear so that you can understand it better.
You must not think that old Rosey is whipped because he has fallen back in side the fortifactations for he can’t be whiped.

I am riting by candel lite so I will not try to rite mutch but if nothing turns up so I can’t I will rite some more tomorrow. You seam to be very mutch disappointed because I can’t get a furlow and I beleave you think I don’t want one and I guess you are rite but it would make no difference how bad I wanted one for I could not get it. Neither could any other man in this battery so I think it is the best not to want one. Don’t you think it is the best not to want any thing when you know you can’t get it. Now I don’t think hard of you for wanting to se me for I want to se you but I can’t at presant so I will try and be contented and I hope you will but I have got for to note.

Well this is the morning of the 30th and I am still well. It seams that you don’t understand it about our time being out. I will now tell you just how it is but I hope we will be honorablly discharged before that time and I think if Rosy gives the rebs a decent whipping hear we will get home some time this winter one year from the 7th of November the battery time will be up. There is 40 days aloud to each year for furlows that would make 4 months. Some day that time will be taken of the end of the 3 years. If it is you se our time will be out the 7th of July but if they ceep us until the 7th of November they will give us pay for the furlow time. I think that is fare. Now I don’t think you can help but understand this but if their is any thing you don’t understand don’t be afraid to say so for I will be happy to answer any thing you will ask if I can. I long to se the day where I can lay my arms around your neck and have a long talk.

Upside down on page 2

I will now close for this time. Still hoping to remain your loving and true husband

Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder and little girl

Give all my respect to the friends.

Note:  No sketch was included with this letter.  It’s possible that the drawing may have been lost, done on the back of the page and never scanned, or beginning to realize the dangers of letters which detail troop positions should they fall into enemy hands, military authorities took the sketch before the letter reached Sarah. 

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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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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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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. 

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May 24, 1863

May the 24th 63

Dear Sarah,

I again seat myself to rite a few lines to you in answer to your very welcom letter that came to hand yesterday. I was glad to hear that you was well. You said Leisey wasn’t very well but I hope you and hir and all the rest of the friends will be well when this comes to hand as I am happy today that I am well and doing the best I can. The rest of the boys are all torable well except Isreal Moore. His is at the hospittle at town. He has the cronic direa. The days are very warm hear now but the nites get torable cold towards morning. I can’t hardly rite for fiting the flies. I never saw the like of flies before in my life but we can’t expect any thing els for we can’t go in any direction but what you can se hundreads of dead horses and muells and besides that filth of all cinds in abundance. I should be glad to leave hear just to get rid of the filth and smell that is hear. We are liable to make a forward moove ment at any time for thier is a heavy forces gon out in front down some whare. Whare but I don’t know whare our men are still very buisy at work on the breast works hear. They are mounting some very heavy guns hear. The boys are all in fine spirits and ancious for the rebs to advance on us but I think they know better than that.

Turn over.

Page 4th

Well this is Monday and I am still well. You said you wanted to know if Isac said anything about quean loosing hir calf. He did not all he said was that he thought I had better sell hir for he had no use for hir and he thought the money on interest would be worth more to mee than the mare. I told him to sell hir for 70 dollars and as meuch more as he could get. I have no dout but what he will do the best he can. I told Sile that I wanted that note of stocks and you can se by his letter that he near said a word.

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May 18, 1863

May the 18th 63

Dear Sarah,

I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and Leisa and all the rest of the friends well as I am happy to day that I am well and dooing the best I can. The rest of the boys are all well but Israel Moore. He has the cronic direa. The doctor says he would send him to the Hospitalle but he is afraid he would die if he was to but I am in hope he will get well in a few days.

We are still laying in camp near Murpheesboro. The days are really warm and the nites rather cold. I received your cinde letter last Saturday. I can’t se how it is that our letters are so long going to you when yours come to me in 2 days. You said you wished I could se our sweet little girl. I can assure you thier is nothing that would give mee more pleasure that to see you and hir. I often se you both in my dreams and o how happy I feald. But when I awake and finde myself quite up in my day house, I wish it wasn’t mee but I hope and pray that the time is not far distant when this wicked rebellion shall be put down. You wanted to know what I thought about the war closing I can’t tell much about it some times I think it will be over in a short time and there again I can’t se the stopping place but their will be an end to it some time sooner or later that surtain The soldier ar as a general thing in good spirits and are determined to put down this rebellion or die in the attempt.

We have ben in the survus over 8 months but it doesn’t seam as tho it had ben moore than half that long to me but not so with you. I know for you have nothing to attract your attention while on the other hand we have some thing to draw our attention. But I shall have to close for this time still hoping to remain your loving Husband and father

Wm Foprder to Sarah and Melisa Forder
Rite soon and often.

Note: Israel E Moore mustered in on September 13, 1862 and died in Murpheesboro on July 6, 1863. It appears that Mr. Moore did not recover.

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