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.
Upside down on Page 1
Sende me a few extra postage stamps for I can’t get any hear.
May the 18th 63
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.
February the 20th 1963
I take the preasnt opportunity to rite a few lines to you in answer to your cinde letter that came hand yesterday and the miniturs came all rite. I was assuredly glad to get them. I think yours look just like you but Leissy’s I can’t tell anything about it. I think it would have taken better in dark close but it will doo very well. Every body wonders how I came to get such a good looking woman. That’s our business, not theirs and they say that is a cute little girl too. The socks haven’t come yet but you neadnt to bother about that part. I have socks a plenty . We got a little money yesterday and but a little. We only got 3 months pay and after paying our clothing bill we hadn’t much left. We are aloud 3 1/2 dollars a month for clothing and you know we had to draw a full suit in the start. So after getting the clothing bill I got 21.85 and thier is a month and a half behind to go uppon. I can’t send very mutch home. I had borwed a little and I want to ceep a little to wich you will have no objection. I know the express man will be hear today. I guess if not he will be hear in a day or to and then I will express 12.00 to Salim in your paps name. This is a very small sum but it is the best I can do to ceep 10 or 5 dollars to buy a little something fit to eat once in awhile. This will be enough to buy you and our little girl a dress or to. You said you wished I could se the little girls playing together. I wish I could. It would be joy beyond measure.
You wanted to know if my teeth bothered any more. I haven’t had the tooth ache 5 minits for 4 months or more. I expect you would like to know wether I am well or not. I can tell you that I feald better now than I have for a long time. The rest of the boys are all well except T Sands. He is frechly sick. He has a severe cold settled on his lungs.
I hope when this comes to hand it will finde you all well. I will have to close for this time. Rite soon.
From your loving husband
Wm Forder to Sarah Forder
February 1th 1863
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and our little girll and all the rest of the friends well as I am thankful to say that I am torable well. I have a bad cold at this time but that doesn’t amount to any thing. We are at time leying in our old camp yet. The wether is warm the most of the time but it was rather rany fide. We haven’t had scarcly any snow this winter. I haven’t saw any ice over 1 inch thick this winter.
I never was at such a loss for something to rite as I am at this time. We have ben leying here so long that every thing has becom old. O Sarah, I do wish that this war would play out so that I could come home so that I could tell to you with my mout what I now have to rite. It seams to me it can’t last mutch longer. Their is bound to be lots of desertions after we get paid but I don’t think I shal ever come to that. I think to much of you and my friends to bring this disgrace. This niger question is a going to make bad work in our army I am afraid.
You wanted to know wether I eat any horse meet or not. I did but I did not know it untill after I had eat it for I had a plenty of crackers to eat so that their was no danger of my starving but their was lots of the boys that was glad to eat horse meat or anything else that they could get. Turn over if you plez
Well Sarah, you have ben wanting to send me something. I will tell you what you may send me. That is a checked shirt and if it comes all rite you may send me a nother so that I will have 2. But don’t try to send but 1 at a time. Now I must close. Try and be a good girl and don’t forget to pray for me that I may prove faith to you and our god out that it ma not be long untill I should be able to return to you. Yours truly
Wm Forder to his loving wife Sarah Forder.
Note: The use of the word “niger” is quite offensive in modern vernacular, however back in 1863 this was the polite term to describe an individual of African decent. To remain true to the transcriptions, I am required to leave the text exactly as written.
The Hubbard family figures largely in the letters as Sarah, her father, and family are the main recipients of William’s letters. George Hubbard was born on May 12, 1803. His wife, Charlotte Stewart was born on Mary 30, 1805. They married on January 2, 1827 and had 13 children together.
Sarah Hubbard was the 7th child, born on September 1, 1835. She married William Forder on August 28, 1860. Their daugther Milissa Alice Forder who was born August 11, 1861. Milissa would have been only a year old when William enlisted in 1862.
Sarah’s sisters Emily and Julia are frequently mentioned and included in letters. Emily was born December 4, 1843 and Julia August 6, 1835. Her sister Julia married Jim McMullen on October 3, 1861.
Other siblings mentioned are Peter Taylor Hubbard and Winfield Scott Hubbard, born 1848 (14 years) and 1851 (11 years) respectively. They would have been too young to have joined the war efforts.
Aside from her husband and brothers-in-law, Sarah had two additional brothers in service. These were:
William Cornet Hubbard – Company G, 58th Indiana Infantry
James Frank Hubbard – Company G, 58th Indiana Infantry
Sep the 28th 1862
I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you well and dooing well as thank god it leaves me and all the rest of our squad. Well, I will now tell you a little a bout our movements. We got on the train at Indapolis bound for Louisville Friday night at 5 oclock. We got to our batry a little before day lite. We then ladown and selp about 7 our. Our batery was down at the loer end of town. We had orders to march as soon as we eat breakfast so we hitched up and started. We hadn’t the least idear where we were going but we started up the river and went up threw town. We hadn’t went far before it commenst raining. We marched some 6 mils and went in to a camp again. It rained on us until nearly night when it cleared of so that we had a pleasant knight and it is still pleasant this morning. I can’t tell how long we will stay hear but not long. I expect for there is no danger of the rebbels coming hear. It is a general beleaf that the fiting is a bout over.
I have taken charge of 2 horses. There is 6 horses to each cannon and 3 drivers. I drive the wheel horses of canon No. 2 witch is a 10 pounder and will throw a ball 5 mils. I will now come to close for this time I will rite again in a few days and I want you to rite and let me know how you are getting along. I hope you have become better satesfided by this time. I don’t want you to worey your self about me for I assure that I am dooing well and seing an easy time. Don’t forget to pray for me that I ma be spared to return to enjoy our society.
So fare well from your loving husband
Wm Forder to Sarah Forder and daughter
Jacob Marty is hear now and I saw Dave Sands yesterday. I don’t know how many boys I have saw since I have ben hear that I know. I saw Jrd Cad yesterday. He told me to send his respect to you and all the rest of the folks. Direct your letters to the 10th Ind batery Cap Cox 21 brigade 6th Division.
William here mentions three friends, “Jacob Marty”, “Dave Sands” and “Jrd Cad”. No soldiers with the name Marty or Cad served with the Indiana 10th Battery though about a dozen soldiers by the name of “Jacob Martin” served with various Indiana and Illinois units. There is also no David Sands with the unit but a volunteer by the name of Thomas H.B. Sands from Darlington is listed. He mustered in on September 13, 1862 and mustered out on July 10, 1965.
“Cap Cox” refers to the unit’s Captain, Jerome Cox. He received his commission on November 20, 1861 and resigned on June 2, 1863. More on him to be posted.