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

Indiana 10th Inventory

An Artillery Battery is a unit that specializes in heavy fire power weapons.  Modern day artillery units carry rockets, mortars, and missiles.  However, during the time of the civil war, this generally meant one thing.

Cannons. 

And variations thereof.

Historically a “Battery” consisted of a group of cannons, howitzers, and mortars coordinating fire.  The Cannons and Howitzers are defined by the weight of the ordinance it can hurl.  Therefore, a 10lb cannon can fire a 10lb cannon ball.  According to www.civilwarhome.com, the term “Light Artillery” indicated that the cannoniers were mounted and therefore could move faster than their unmounted counterparts.  The guns were typically lower in weight in order to aid in their mobility. 

Another civil war blog, To the Sound of the Guns, lists ordinance records and inventory from various Indiana Batteries including the 10th.  According to these inventories, the unit carried two 12pd field howitzers and four 10pd Parrotts.  For those who are interested, To the Sound of the Guns also lists inventories of related equipment gleaned at various points from the units. 

Image of a 10lb Parrott

Image of a 12 lb Howitzer

December 21, 1862

December 21st Sunday Evening.

All is well but Betts. He is very sick yet he has the fever.

Dear Father and Mother,

I embrace the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well and doing well as I am thankful to say that I am well and Jim is able for duty again. I received your and Sarah’s letter day before yesterday. I am always very glad to her from any of you. We are still laying in our old camp yet and I think we will still lay hear untill the river rises. It looks a good deal like rain this eavning. We haven’t had any very cold wether yet. The ground has ben froze a little for some time but not over 7 1/2 inches at any time. We have lost a great many men at the Fredricksburg fite. I am a fraid it is a bad go on us but you know as mutch about that as I do. It seams that I have riten every thing I can think of at this time as you will se what I have riten to Sarah. I hope it will not be long untill I will be able to return home and then we will talk our trubbls and triles over. Rite soon and often.

I hope to remain your loving son-in-law,

Wm Forder to G and C Hubbard

Note:  Francis M. Betts of Darlington mustered in on September 3, 1862 and was discharged on an unknown date in 1863. 

December 16, 1862

Well Sarah,

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

Rite often

December 6, 1862

December 6th 1862

Dear Father and Mother

I seat my self this morning to answer your very cinde letters that came to hand yesterday. I hope thoes fine lines will finde you all well as thank God they have mee enjoying the best of heath. You can’t imagin the joy that I experienced yesterday when I received two such large letters yours and Sarahs. It made me leap and jump for gladness and shed a silent tear for long you may think this strange but if you ware away from home and friends as I am you would better better under stand it. I don’t wish you to think that I am complaining for I am dooing as well as any of the pore soldiers. It snowed and blowed and tore up back yesterday but it cleared up last night and the sun is shining very pleasant today.

I will now turn to your letter and in the first place say that I am 1,000 times a bliged to you for your goodness and trubble. I am well satesfided with the way you disposed of my things. I never would have thought that Silas would have done the way he has at the least calculation. He has got 190 bushells of my corn but this is rite I recon. If it ain’t, I hope it will be some time and as for my owing him any thing that is something I know nothing about. He seemed to think that you thought I was gon for life but it would not supprise me if he hadn’t better pray that it might be so for if I am sparede to get back he will have to straten a few things.
You thought if I could se that instrument of riting it would make my blud boil. I want you to send it for it can’t make me any mader than I was last week when I got Sarahs other letter. She said he wanted hir to sign a libill. It made mee so mad it would not of done for me to have some sil then, but a nuff of that. We can talk those things over at length when I come back and I hope that will not be longe. It is a continual wish amonge the soldiers that the war would close. I will close for this time. I want you to be sure to rite soon and often.

You truly,
Wm Forder to G. and C. Hubbard and to all the friends

Upside down on page 2 and 3
You requested me to sende Silases letter to you but I had don so before I got your letter I thought you would like to see it so good bye rite soon.

Note:  It appears at this point that there was a dispute with Silas Hiatt regarding some debits or other financial affairs between Silas and William and at some point Silas attempted to pressure Sarah into signing some documents.  It’s interesting to note that in Silas’s obituary, his reputation as an “honest man” was extolled.  I don’t believe William would have agreed. 

December 2, 1863

December the 2th 1862

Dear Father and Mother

I take my pen to drop a few lines to you hoping they will finde you all well as thank god it leaves me well and Jim is getting about well again. I just mailed a letter to Sarah this morning but since that I have got a letter from Mr. Hiatt and I thought I would just send it to you and Sarah just to let you what he has to say. Now I don’t want any of you to let him know that I sent it to you or that I ever said any thing about it or if you do just pleas wait untill after I am dead but I hope threw the goodness of God to be able to return to thoes that I esteem dearer to me than life and to enjoy the society of my friends. As for my little property, I have no idear but what you have done the very best you could with it. Sarah said you was going to rite and when I get that I expect to hear how you dispatched of the things. I desire you to let the leas go, for the expense would be more than the profit so I want you to let it go. Sarah did not say how you sold the thing but all that will be in your letter. This will make 3 letters to you since I have got any from you and tell Paps it would pleas me very much to get a letter from them as I have never got but one from them since I left. I remind we are in camp 3 miles east of Nashville. I will have to close for this time as it will soon be bed time and as I was on guard last night I am a little sleepy.
So fare well and when I say fare well you know what I mean. I want you to rite often and tell all the friends to rite for you have but little idear how much good it does me to hear from my friends.

You true true and faithful son-in-law
Wm Forder to G Hubbard and friends

Printed upside down on Page 1
Send me some stamps. I got 8 a good while ago but they are gone.

Printed in the margins on page 3 where he discusses Mr. Hiatt’s letter.
I got hir letters yesterday after I had sealed up my letter.

Note:  George Hubbard’s date of birth is unknown.  He died 1892.

November 11, 1862

Novem the 11th 1862

Dear Father, Mother, Brothers and Sister,

I take the preasant opportunity to rite a few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as thanks to the god it leaves me well. I am enjoying the best of health. I have not got any answer to the last letter I rote to you nor to the one I rote to Pap about going after Sarah. Neither have I heard from Sarah since she rote and said she expect you out after hir in a few days so that I don’t know whare to rite to hir untill I hear something farther and I hope that will not be long for I am very ancious to hear what the result has ben but I hope you have got Sarah and Lisa and Julia down their by this time and I hope you have got my horses down their to for I know they will go the way of all the earth if they are left out their but I feel satesfide that you have done the best you could.

I will now tell you whare we are. I think when I rote to Pap we ware at Glasgo. We went from their to Galiton Tenesee rite on the banks of the Cumberlain River thirty six mildes above Nashville and yesterday morning we started towards Nashville but we went in to camp 19 miles from Nashville. They say the Rebbels are fortyfying some place near Nashville but I don’t know whether it is so or not. Their is one thing surtan that we are now in an enimys countery and thier is no telling when we will have a fight this being the fact. It looks awful to be the destruction of property.
It is now dark and I will have to finish by the fire lite. I would leave it until morning but their is no telling at what minit we will be orderd to moove for that reason I will close for this time . Give my respect to all the friends and expect the same. I want you to rite as soon as this comes to hand and tell me all the news.

Yours truly

WM Forder
To G. and C. Hubbard and friends.
Jim is well

Note:  This is the first letter we have from William to his in-laws.  Sarah is in reference to his wife, naturally and “Lisa” refers to his daughter Malissa.  Julia is the wife of Jim McMullin and is Sarah’s sister.  At one point, it was decided that Sarah, Julia and Malissa should be brought back to live with the Hubbards, and the rest of William’s possessions were sold off.  There is a letter from George Hubbard regarding this matter in the collection that I did not initially request, but I may request a copy to add to the blog retroactively as this sale of possessions turned out to be significant.  

A brief History of Jim McMullen

James “Jim” McMullen was William’s main companion at the Indiana 10th.  He and William were essentially brothers-in-law, having married Hubbard sisters Sarah and Julia.  Jim McMullin was born August 1841 but there is no exact date and no information available at this time on his parents.  He and Julia married on October 3, 1861 and had no children at the time of his enlistment.

It is interesting to note that unlike James Grigg and William Forder, Jim McMullen’s occupations on the census records do NOT include smithing as an occupation.  Instead, he has been listed as being a butcher, a janitor at a school house, and a mail carrier.  However, these come from post war census records, so perhaps at one time he was a blacksmith as well.  Or perhaps he opted to accompany his good friend and brother-in-law to war with the Indiana 10th. 

A Brief History of William Forder

William Forder was born in Alton, Hampshire, England in 1837 and was named after his father, William Forder Sr.  William Sr., his wife Maria, William Jr., and younger son James came to the United States about 1840.  William Jr. would have been about 3 years old. They first settled in Indiana and had about ten more children.  William married Sarah Hubbard August 28, 1860 and their daughter Milissa was born a year later.  Sarah and William were married only 2 years and their child was a year old when he enlisted. 
 
Photo of a young William Forder.  Notations on the photo indicate it may have been a tin type.
 
William Forder had three brothers who also served the Union during the Civil War.  According to the collection’s inventory, there are letters to and from these brothers which are not included at this time.
 
James Forder, Pvt, enlisted at age 22, on Sept. 18, 1861, Co. D, 38th Indiana Infantry. Listed as missing at Chickamauga. Reenlisted as a veteran volunteer on Dec. 28, 1863, at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sent to Chattanooga hospital Nov. 20, 1864, for chronic Rheumatism. Transferred to a Nashville hospital. Mustered out July 15, 1865.
 
Albert Forder, Pvt, enlisted at age 18, on Sept. 18, 1861, Co. D, 38th Indiana Infantry. Died in Nashville hospital, April 1, 1862, of Typhoid Fever.
 
Robert H. Forder, Pvt, Co. B, 16th Rgt, Indiana Volunteers. Wounded at Vicksburg on May 19, 1863. Died at Washington hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, Nov. 10, 1863.