February the 15th 63
Camp near Murfreesboro
I seat my self this good sabath morning to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as thank God it leaves me and all the rest of the boys. Well, I received your letter that was rote the 1 of this month with this paper in it and I was sory to hear our little girll and mother was sick but I hope they are well by this time. I am very anxious to hear from you again and I think I will in a day or to.
The is as warm as spring hear the most of the time. The grass is beginning to gro and the birds to whistle as thou everything was peaceable and quiet. Our Captain has ben gone home several days. He will be back befor long. Now the people at LaFayette have made a lot of things to send to the batry and he is going to bring a lot of new horses. We have got new harness for all our horses this last weeak and we are getting the guns repared some oo that we will soon be redy for a nother fite but I hope they will leave the fighting part out. It seams that you didn’t under stand what I meant by being changed. What I mean is that we are now the 2 Devision 1 Brigade but this is best way for you to direct your letter.
10th ind Bat
We are still laying in our old camp yet but I don’t think we will stay heare much longer. Forage is getting rather hard to get so that we will have to go some place and I don’t care for I am tire of staying heare. The pay master is hear. We will get some money in a shorte time maybe today. I don’t know how much we will get yet. I rote some time ago that I would express it to Salem in your Pap’s name. I expect it will be thare by the time you get this letter. You neadent send me any more paper now for I can get all I want. Now I will have to come to a close for this time hoping to remain your loving husband while life shal last don’t for get me in your prayers. I hope it will not be long untill we can come home. Give my respects to all the friends
Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder
Rite soon and often and tell all the friends to rite
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.
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.
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.
Upside down on page one
Rite rite rite
Often often often
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.