July the 26th 1863
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.
Home July 23rd 1863
With pleasure I sett myself afternoon to answer your letter that I received long enough ago to have answered it a dozon times but I have much to do as the men are working at our house. I expect they will get done next week. O Sarah, did old Morgan teare you away from your home. The Home Guards all went from here. Wes and all said if they got to go down to Salem they were going out to see you all but they only got to go as far as Meichell. They stayed there four days and then was ordered home. Wes said he would have down to see but he was taking sick and could not go.
I wish he could have went to see you all. He did not get to see old Morgan but I think the old fox will be caught yet. I wish I could have been at Salem that day when he eat dinner there. I think I should have him something in his dinner so he would not have felt like riding so fast soon again. But there is other men so mean as him and hear in our state too. They copperheads are just as mean as him every bit. They are drilling here every Saturday. The whole Booher get from beginning to ending except Pah and Bill H Booher. Some of them would not give their names or ages to the enrolling officer. Bill Martz said he would kill him if he come back there again. They say they won’t go if they drafted. We will see about that.
When Wes was coming home from Crawfordsville with some of the Wallice Blue, John Booher overtook them. Wes said how are you John but He never so much as turned his head to look at him. First because he went to dive old Morgan out of Indiana. If it was not for the Union men I would want him to come through here and take erything they had. I would be glad to see them.
But Sarah if you was here I would tell you so much about the old butternuts.
I would love to see yours so well and see Sissy and Clarkie tak a romp. Charles has got to be quite a man. He wears pants. You out to see him when his pa come home from Michall, Clarkie asked him if he shot old Morgan. Martha made him a flag and he will take it and when the men comes in wave it saying three cheers for the red white and blue, but I hope it won’t be long before the boys can come home and then we can see each other talk. That will be better than to write. I must have a little chat with Julia.
Your loving cousin
Well Julia you wrote to the girls that if I did not write before long you would come up and tend to me. If I though that would bring you up I would not write at all. If you got here I think you would get in a good humor. Oh Julia, I wish you could have been here the 4th of July. We had such a nice time. The ladies of Darling presented the Wallace Blues with a new flag. We made a dinner and got over a hundred dollars. I must get some more paper or I can’t rite no more.
Note: While this letter is specifically from one of Sarah’s cousins and not from or to William or other members of the 10th, it does give an interesting cross view of the incident with the Morgan Raids so I felt it would be appropriate to include it. Plus, I like Rhoda’s cheek.
Camp near Pelham
July the 19th 1863
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
May the 24th 63
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.
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.
Dear Father and Mother
I don’t know wether I can think of any thing to rite or not as I have rote about all I can think of but it makes no difference wo I rite to. You all get to se what I rite. I am always very glad to hear from any of you.
I can’t think of anything els to rite so I will give you a short discription of the country. Hear it may be interesting to you. Murpheesboro has ben a prety smart town but like all the rest of the Southern towns they are going to ruin. In the place of improving farm 4 to 5 miles and in some places father around merfreesboro the land is level and torable good. Where ever the land is level it is inclined to be rather smampy and for that reason the roads are all graded but in agreat many places the roads are ruined. There has been so much wagoning done. I believe about one half of the timber in this state is sedar. Nearly all the rails are made of sedar. I have saw hundreds of acres of sedar so thick a man could not ride threw it and again I have saw acres in a body that could se nothing but rack. The farmers turn thier attention generaly to the groth of cotten but thier will be but very little of any thing raised this season for the men are nearly all gon both white and black. I shall have to close for the time hoping to remain your loving sun and brother.
Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and all the rest.
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Be sure to rite whenever you can and tell me all the news
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
It is nearly nite and the sun is a going down. I don’t know hardly what I would give to be at home to knight to get in to a good bed with you and our sweet little girl. I hope it will not be longe untill I shall bable to enjoy that great pleasure but there is no chance to get I furlow. None but I hope that Uncle Abe will give me an honorable discharge after awhile witch will be better than all the furlows.
The greatest pleasure that I se is when I am a sleep for very often you and our little girl pays me a visit or rather I visit you. If I could only se you as often as I dream I do I would be glad.
I want you to fix your Crismas dinner and eat at just 12 OCL and eat a little for me and tell me what you had to eat and I will think of you at that time and tell you what I had for dinner.
I recieved your Pap’s letter in due time. I will rite to him in a few days. I sent Sils letter. I want you and and your pap to tell me what you think of it.
This is the evening of the 16th and I am still well. You will have to pay for this letter for I haven’t got any stamps. I will have to close for this time hoping to remain your loving husband,
WM Forder to S. Forder.
Give my respects to all the friends and tell them to rite.
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Rite rite rite
Often often often