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.

June 15, 1863

June the 15th 63

Dear Father and Mother,

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as I am thankful to day that I am well. You said I must excuse you for not riting sooner. Will do so this time hoping you will do better. The next time I don’t want you to bother about my affars out North for it will do no good for I can’t se but what we have done our duty so If they are mean anuf to take what little I have let them have it thier way for a while but the time will come when they will have to give an account of thier procedings. I am willing to let them rest untill fall.

Purhaps some thime ma turn up by that time so that I can come home. I would be willing to sacrifice every sent I am worth if it would crush this rebellion for what would our property be worth if this government is let go down. I say let us fite them untill they are whiped and in the next place I am willing to fite them with negros or anything els and thier is but very few men hear but what is in for fiting them with negros as they have commenst the game first. But perhaps I had better stop for you ma think this letter has rather a black appearance but it is my sentiments at least but I will close hoping to remain your loving sun in law while life that last

Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard

Rite soon and often

June 7, 1863

Sunday June the 7th 63

Dear Sarah,

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.

Well Emily,
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
Rite soon

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

May 10, 1863

May the 10th 1863

Dear Father and Mother and Sisters and Brothers

I take the present opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as I am thankful to say that I am enjoying the best of health. The boys are all well and in fine spirits. The health was never better than it is at this and the boys are all in fine spirits. Alto the news are rather discuriging from Hookers arma at this time but I am in hopes they will come out all rite yet. I think if they are successful the war can’t last meutch longer at the least I hope not. We are still laying in camp near Murpheesboro but their is no telling how long we will stay hear if we should go out on a scout and you shouldent hear from me for a week or 2. You must not be uneasy about us for I would rather be out scouting around than laying hear in camp. Some think because a man is in the arma he is as good as dead but I don’t think so. I feald just as safe heare as I would at home and if I had nobody but my self to care for I should be very well contented. But as it is I hope it will not be long untill I can return to those I love.

I am going to send Siles letter. I don’t want you to get any ways excited about it. Just consider the source and let it rest untill I get back and I think I can straten things out a little. It seams to rather stick the old fellow that I thanked you for what you had done and didn’t thank him. I generally try to thank thoes whome thanks are due. If I hadn’t thought you deserved thanking I shouldn’t have do so but what you done the very best you could for it was to your intrust to do so but let the old jent slide. He will get his pay some of thoes days. I will have to close for this time. Hopeing to remain your loving and tru friend and suninlaw

Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and Children and friends

Note: “Hooker’s Arma” refers to Major General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker who at this time had command of the Army of the Potomac. He was best known for a major defeat at Chancellorsville which was a battle fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863 which is likely the news that William found discouraging. May 3red of that battle was considered the second bloodiest day of the civil war.

April 19, 1863

April the 19th 1863

Dear Sarah,

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

April 14, 1863

Tuesday April the 14th 63

Dear Sarah,

I seat my self this morning to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you and our little girl and all the rest of the friends well as I am thankful to say that I am well at this time and so is the rest of the boys. I rote you a letter last Saturday and told you that we expected to go out on a scout but but we didn’t go. I told you in that if we didn’t go I would rite again the first of this weeak and you know I always try to fulfill my promises. I put a finger ring in my last letter for you that I made out of a shell that I got out of the Cumberlain River last fall. I don’t know wheather you will get it or not but I thought I would risk it. You must let mee know wether you get it or not.
I started 10 dollars in a letter to you the first of last week and I am a going to put 10 in this one. You must let me know as soon as you can weather you get it all rite or not.
It seams that I can’t think of any thing to rite this morning but I think if I was at home this morning with you I could talk a little. I guess I will close for this time and rite a little to Emily. So good by for this hoping to remian your loving husband
Wm Forder to S.A. Forder and friends rite soon.

Well Emily you said some time ago if I did not hury and come home you would be married befor I got their. Now I think you had better wait untill the soldiers get back because I am prety surtain you would rather have a solider than a coward. But I will have to close so good by rite and tell me all about it and and let me know who is to be my brother-in-law be shure to rite

Wm Froder to Emily P Hubbard

Upside down on page 4

William Forder Emily Hubbard

April 11, 1863

April the 11th 63

Dear Sarah,

I seat myself this after noon to rite a few lines to you in answer to your cinde letter of the 5th wich came to hand day before yester day. I was very glad to hear that you ware all well and I hope thoes few lines ma finde you still enjoying that great blessing as I am happy to say that I am enjoying good health at this time. We are still in our old camp yet. Their is a romer a in camp that we are going out on a scout to morrow and if we do go we mea begon several days. So I thought I had better rite to day so that you would be sure to get a letter next weeak. But if we don’t go I will rite again the first of the weeak.
It cinder bores mee the way Sil Hiatt is a dooing but I have trust that it is best to take things coolly. So I seat down yesterday and rote him a torable deasant letter and asked him to send me an account of the settlement before him and {Illegible} and I told him after he had sent the account and saw how they stood if there was any thing coming to him I would send it to him or have it sent for I wanted that note and the note I must have.
Now this is acting the hipacrit for mee to rite him a friendly letter and it goes against the grit to do so but you know as well as I do it is no use trying to force him to do any thing. So I think the best way is to be as easy as possible untill we get clear of him.
I rote Issac Booher a letter last March. I forgot to say that his letter was in yours that I got day before yesterday. It hasn’t rained any hear for over a weaks. It is getting very dirty. I should have to close for this time. Hoping to remain your loving husband
Wm Forder
Ciss our little girl for me. Rite as often as you can

 

Notes:  “Tand Sudisil” would be the closest literal transcription of two words that appear in the text in the section marked illegible.  I have no idea what the actual text was, though the writing was mostly clear.  When attempting to transcribe these two words, both Alysia and I even went as far as tracing over the words in an attempt to ferret out the actual text but the technique did not work in this case.  I speculate that there is a name indicated here.

A family history on the Booher family indicates that a Jacob Booher settled in Darlington, Indiana and had a younger brother named Issac who lived in Virginia.  It’s likely that William met him through Jacob.