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.  

Murfreesboro, TN

Murfreesboro TN

Dear Father and Mother.

I take the opportunity and rite a few lines to you as I haven’t told Sarah whare we are now. We have mooved back within half a mild of town in side the breast works. Their is a fite expected hear and if there is one it will be a big one and I think if we whip them hear it will about test the tale for them. We are well pirs (?) for them. We are on the east side of town and there is a line of breast that is 7 milds long on this side and it extends clear around the town and then their is some of the toulest breast work on the North West side of town I ever saw and they have got a lot of seage guns planted in there but a nuf of that. The peach trees are in full blossem but it turned cold last nite and the wind fairly blows today but it is to late in the season hear to freeze. I will have to close for this time hoping to remain your loving sun in law and brother while if that lasts.

Wm Forder to G & C Hubbard and Children and all the friends rite soon

Upside down on page 2
Rite soon and tell all me all the news you can

Transcription Note: The word “pirs” was an enigma and remains so even after several attempts by myself and Alysia to determine the actual word. In context, a word such as “prepared” or “ready” should have been implied. But even going over assumed misspellings, abbreviations or slang options, we couldn’t really determine what exactly William had written. His “h” sometimes tended to drop below the line or it could have been an “f” or “p” which also appear similar in William’s handwriting. In short, we are unsure exactly what word he had indicated, hence the question mark following it.

March 8, 1863

March the 8th, 1863

Dear Sarah

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.

Upside down on Page 1

I hope to remain true and loving husband while life shal last. Wm Forder to SA Forder

February 26, 1863

February the 26th 1863

Dear Father and Mother and Brothers and Sister

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as I am thankful to say that I am well. I am always very glad to hear from you and it would do me a heap more good to se you all but I am willing to wate with patance for the sake of our beloved country. I know that I could not be satesfide at home while the simpesithers are are cutting up so I don’t want to come home until I can stay for I don’t think I could stand it to part with my dear family and friends again. I hope it will not be long untill this thing will be settled. I wish all the northern simpesithers ware in a fite with a nuff powder under them to blow them to heaven and I had a orders to touch it off. I hope that will have more sense than to make it necessary for an army to pass threw our beloved state for it is awful to se the destruction of property where an army goes. The farming is all destroyed for 2 or 3 milds around Murfreesboro and from hear to Nashville within site of the road there is a great many large farms that thier ain’t hardly a rail left or any timber left to make rails. We are still laying in camp near Murfreesboro and I haven’t any I dear how long we will lay hear but I hope we will stay untill the wether settles. We have had a heep of rain and lately it has rained for 36 ours and it is still raining rite along.

I told Sarah that I would send hir a little money but I haven’t had any chance to sende it yet. If I don’t get a chance to send it before long I will sende it in a letter but I will let you know when I send it and how I sent it. I will have to close for this time.

Hoping to remain your loving Sun and Brother

Wm Forder to GS Hubbard and children
Rote as often as you can. Rite rite rite

Upside down on page one
I forgot to say that Jim McMullen is well fat and sasey

February 20, 1863

February the 20th 1963

Dear Sarah,

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 15, 1863

February the 15th 63

Camp near Murfreesboro

Dear Sarah

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.

William Forder
10th ind Bat
Cap Cox
Woods Devision
Louisville, KY

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