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.
October the 26th 63
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
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”.
September the 20th 1863
I seat myself this beautiful Sabath morning to rite you a few lines hoping they will finde you and our little girl well as I am happy to say that I am well. O Sarah what would I give to be at home this morning to go to meeting with you the Church bells are ringing now and it makes me feald very solem to think over the past thier has been thousands of pore fellows lade beneeth the sod within the last year that will never enjoy the society of thier friends hear on earth but I hope they are enjoying unbounded bliss at God’s rite hand whare sicness sorrow pain and dith are felt and heard no more.
I am sorry to say that one more of our little squad is dead. Isac Marty is dead. He died at Nashville but I haven’t been able to lurn the particulars of his death. We left him at Murpheesboro when we left their 3 months ago. He was sick but nobody thought thier was mutch the matter with him but time has proved differant. Time is the best fortune teller in the world.
The rest of the boys are well and I do hope that we will all be spared to return home.
Well I will now tell you that we are still at Chattanooga. Our brigade is no longer in the woods division. their is a mounted brigade put in our place so Brigadier General Wagoner has charge of the town for the preasant. His brigade is composed of the 57 Ind 40 Ind and 15 Ind and the 97 Ohio Regiments and the 10t Ind battery. I will now tell you how to direct your letters untill further orders. _____ I will rite it on another peace of papers.
Their was some havy fiting in frunt yesterday but the rebs got the worst of it. I would not be supprised if this would be the bloodiest battle that ever was fought for both armys are reinforcing heavly. I am in hope that this will be the last battle but it is of no use for me to be riting about it for you will se all about it by the papers.
I believe I have rote all I can think of at this time so I will close for this time. I haven’t got any letter from you since I rote last Sunday. The last I got was mailed at Salem but I expect to get one in a day or two. Ma God speed the day when we can talk to each other in the place of riting is my prayer but I will close by saying I still hope to remain your loving and true husband
Wm Forder to Sarah A Forder and child and all the friends rite soon
Upside down on Page 2
I haven’t got that letter from your Pah yet and it is time I was getting one from Mother unless they have turned me of as one of the lost sheep of Iseral but I guess they will all take the time sets rite
Moutgomery County PNA
September 13th 1863
It being a pleasant and calm day will undertake to address to you a few lines to inform you that we are all well at this time and I hope and trust these lines will find you all enjoying good health and prosperity. The health hear is tolerable good considering the weather has bin so verry hot and dry but night before last we had a splendid rain to most we have had a one time cince last April. This has bin a verry dry season in this part of the cuntry and a verry singeally season. There has bin food in every mouth so far. We had a frost the 30 day of August to make ice at night. It nipt the corn beady and vines in places but has done but verry little damage in this neighborhood. The corn crop is not so good as as we jenerally have but I think this will be plenty to do this part of the country if nothing happens. It yet is seems to be verry late. I suppose it being so dry is the cause. The wheat crop is verry good. Oats and grass way berry lite. We have plenty of all kinds of fruit, peaches is now ripe. I will now tell you something in regard to the lines in this part of the world. Every thing bears a very good price horse and cattel is high. Stock hogs seams to be low, there is noting said about pork hear yet, Shaafe bears a good price. Wheat is worth about 95 cents per bushel. Corn 50 cents per bushel. Oats 10 cents. Hay pr ton $8. Potatoes per bushel 75 cents. butter per pound 10 cents. eggs 7 cents per dozen. lard 9 cents per pound. bacon 7 cents per pound. chickens each 10 cents. Cornmeal per bushel 60 cents. Thew molasss of William Forder is sold. William Adams got them. He paid me for fifteen gallons . I want Sarah to write to me how many gallons there was in the barrel as I have forgot he never took them away until June. I want Sarah to tell me how to send him the money by a currier letter or by express. He paid me 40 cents per gallon. He told me that was the price you gave him a good one. I will now come to a close as I am can’t of something to write. Love you as a family in sending our best wishes to you all so good by for this time
Note: Even though this letter was from George Hubbard to William Forder and is not related to the water, I choose to keep it in the collection because I was intrigued by the itemization of pricing and products within the letter.
August the 28th 63
I seat myself this morning to rite you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope that these few lines will find you enjoying the same great blessing. It has been about 2 weeks since I have had an opportunity of riting to you. We left Pelham on the 16th and I have received 2 letters from you since that time and was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you and Leisa and the rest of the folks ware well. We are now laying on the top of the mountain. Chatanoga is about 8 miles from us on the other side of the Tenesee river. We can se the town. The rebs are thier in hevy force and I think they intend to give us a fite hear. We have ben hear 5 days. We are waiting on the rite and center. They are swimging around. I think the calculation is to surround the town. We ma have to ley hear some time for Rosey will have everything redy before he closes in on them. It is splendid senery hear. We can se as far as the eye can se. We are 1500 feet above the valey. Wilders brigad of mounted men are down in the valy in between us and the town. His battery has shelled the town. Some the rebs fired a 32 poinder at them twice. The first shot cild 4 horses and took of a sargents leg but the other shot done no damage. They fired several shots at our men with smaller guns but they could not reach them. The river is 6 hundread and 50 yards wide in frunt of the town. I don’t think our brigade will have mutch of any fiting to do for I think the fiting will be on the other side of the river for we can’t get about to them nor they can’t get to us with out putting pontoon briges across and I don’t think that will be done yet awhile.
We are waiting for an opportunity to go close a nuff to shell the town some, if they would let us go within 2 miles of the town we can give them fits with our 10 pound Parit guns. I think the most of the fiting will be done with artilery.
I don’t want you to be uneasy about me for God is able to take care of me. I think if we are successful hear it will be the last fiting we will have to do. You want me to get a furlow that is an impossibility for thier hasn’t ben but one or to men got furlows in this brigade for 4 or 5 months that I know of and that was to sick men and to one whose family was dead dying and sick. We will have to wait the lords time. He will do what is best for us if we only put our trust in him. My daily prayer is that the time will soon come when this wicked rebellion shal be put down so that we can return to our dear familys and friends. God speed that happy day but I must close for time.
Still hoping to remain your loving husband Wm. Forder to Sarah Forder.
Pray for me that I may prove faithful to you and our God so fare the well for this time. Rite soon and often.
Upside down on page 1: Our riting material is at back in the rear. We made out to get some paper and envelops this morning. Thier is only our brigade and 3 of four guns and have ben for 6 days.
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
Sunday June the 7th 63
I am still well and hope when this comes to hand it will finde you and all the rest enjoying the same blessing. I have just returned from a strole. I went over to the grave yard witch lays to our rite about 1/2 a mild. Their is about 1,000 newly made graves their. I saw 6 coffens put in the ground while I was their and I wasn’t their over 20 minits and I guess it wasn’t a very good day for buring eather.
Thier is men imploid to stay thier and dig graves put in the coffens and fill up thier graves levell with the ground and stick up a peace of plank at the head with the name, co and reg and the no of the grave but a nuff of that. The seam to be trying our lines. The report is that we will make a moave in some directions tomorrow but it is very unsur today. The boys are very ancious as a general thing to make a meove. The news are very chearing at the presant from the Eastern Arma. Ma God prosper the rite is my prayer.
I was glad to receive a few lines from you. I hope thes few lines will finde you well as I am thankful to say that I am well. I should be very happy to se you and have a talk about the past for I expect I could interest you for a few minits by telling you what I have seen and experienced since I last saw you but I trust it will not be long untill this war will come to a close so that I with many more can return to our familys and friends. Turn over
Well Emily I will close by saying I hope to remain your loving brother wm Forder to Emily Hubbard
Well Taylor and Scotty
I expect you think I have forgotten you but I have not. I often think of you and wonder if you and Milton Stile have as good a time as you did last fall. I want both of you to rite me a great big letter and tell me all the news and what you are doing and I don’t know what besides but I will know when you rite it. So good by for this time rite soon.
Yours Wm Forder to T & S Hubbard
Give my respect to all the friends
Note: This letter is fairly unique in that he is writing to Sarah, Emily and their brothers Taylor and Scott in one missive. A quick google search failed to bring any information up on Milton Stile but it’s presumably a friend of the boys.
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.
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