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.  

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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. 

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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.

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Excerpt from Regimental History

Note:  The following is a section from the official Regimental history as recorded in the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 3, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1866.  Additional excerpts will be posted prior to each major movement of the regiment, with links to sites detailing the histories of the battles that are indicated in the report.

The Tenth Battery of Light Artillery was ordered to be raised on the 13th of November, 1861 and was recruited in the Eight Congressional District during the remainder of the fall and winter of that year, with recruiting headquarters at Lafayette. Rendezvousing at Indianapolis it was there mustered into service on the 25th of January, 1861 with Jermone B Cox as Captain and on the same day left the state capital for Louisville. At that place it went into Camp Gilbert, where it remained until February 1862, drilling and preparing for the Tennessee campaign. Joining General Nelson’s division of Buell’s army, it marched with it to Nashville, assisting in the capture of that place.

In March, the division moved to the Tennessee river and crossing over participated in the Battle of Shiloh on the second day. The battery, however, owing to the lack of transportation, was compelled to remain at Savannah until after the battle. After camping on the field of Shiloh for a brief period the battery moved with the army against Corinth and participated in the siege of that place. Upon its evacuation it marched with Buell’s army into Northern Alabama to Athens where it was placed in the reserved artillery. Remaining there until the latter part of July, it then moved to Decherd Station, Tennessee, where it joined Gen. Thomas J. Wood’s division and, with that division, campaigned through Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. Upon the advance of Bragg’s army it fell back to Nashville, and from thence marched through Kentucky to Louisville. From Louisville the battery moved through Kentucky, participating in the campaign that ended in driving from that state the rebel General Bragg’s invading army.

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Introduction to the Indiana 10th Project

As William would put it “I take the preasant opportunity to seat myself and rite you a few lines hoping they will find you all well as I am happy to say I am well….”

Welcome to the Indiana 10th Project. This blog features letters and information relating to the Indiana 10th Battery, Light Artillery who fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. I first engaged on this project during a genealogy project tracing some of the history of my Great Great Grandfather James Grigg who was enlisted with the unit. Very little details on James exist and most of that information came from public records and paperwork. He was born to Noah Grigg(s) and Catherine Dillman in 1827 and worked as a farmer and blacksmith. This would explain why he was recruited into a battery as the big guns required maintenance and the assistance of horses, making smithing skills such as shoeing horses and repairing guns important to the battery. He served with the Indiana 10th Battery, Light Artillery from 1862 to 1865. His first marriage was to Ellen Parkinson and upon his return, he filed for divorce with the reason listed as infidelity. Ellen was expecting but he hadn’t had a furlough in the three years he served. No death or future records of her exist, so we assume she died in child birth. James then quickly married Sarah Galbreath, who had a 3 year old son named Edward – my great grandfather, who assumed James’ family name. Our family has a host of theories on that one so feel free to come up with your own.

James died in 1911 and was buried in Rensselaer, Indiana. We also located and confirmed a single photo featured on the Indiana State Library website, posted below. Finally, we know that James was completely illiterate, unable to even sign his name to any documents. Instead, he indicated his signature with a simple “x” and a witness signed that the mark was his. This fact is relevant to this project as it means that no other documents, such as letters or diaries, exist from him. Eager to know more about his day to day activities during the Civil War, and having already taken an interest in reading Civil War letters from Union Soldiers, I set about to see if any letters exist from the Indiana 10th Battery. My primary hope was to see if any of the letters mentioned James.


The following letters are a selection from the “Forder and Hubbard Families Letters” Collection at the Indiana Historical Society representing the civil war years only. William Forder is the principal writer through the bulk of these letters. Most of them are to his wife Sarah and their daughter Melissa. It is possible that James and William crossed paths but he was never mentioned in William’s letters. This is most likely because William and Sarah came from Darlington, Indiana and therefore Sarah and the others would not have known him and James likely didn’t contribute anything of note to William’s time or service. The companion mentioned most in these letters is Jim McMullen, William’s brother-in-law, who also served in the 10th. He had also contributed letters to this collection. Other contributors include various family members writing about the war to each other.

In addition to the letters, this blog will also feature some information on the battery’s movements, the fights they contributed to, and other bits to help put the contents of the letters into context. The letters will be posted on the same dates as when they were written, 155 years after the fact. I hope everyone enjoys the letters as much as I did transcribing them.

Hoping to remain your faithful and true transcriber

Christine Griggs

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