Head Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Atlanta, Georgia September 25th 1864
My Dear Wife
Another day has passed, another week commenced, and God has been and still is with me. I long for some news from home. No mail to-day, and consequently no letters for me. The Enemy captured and destroyed the mail train supposed to contain several days mail. I presume they have those intended for me. I still hope that you are well, but I cannot entirely remove the anxiety to know which continually haunts me.
The Sabbath Day has been unusually pleasant and happy. This morning I attended church in the city; this evening I preached at the Hd. Qurs. of Co. “G” from Hebrews, 2nd Chap. 2nd & 3rd verses. God was with me, & my soul is happy. We propose to commence a series of protracted meetings on Tuesday evening [the 27th] to continue so long as it may be profitable. Pray for us and ask all our friends to pray in Faith. We trust that God will pour out of his “Holy Spirit” upon us.
Lieut. Smith resigned some two weeks ago, and his papers returned home approved. He will start for home sometime next week. He was a good officer, & I am sorry to lose him. I shall try to have [Chris] Yetter succeed him but may not succeed. Godfrey is entitled by rank, but, having been promoted over Yetter without sufficient reason, I should much prefer Yetter, & I am satisfied the Company would also. Smith was loth to leave the company and service, but the condition of his wife’s mind and health left him no choice. He has been in perfect misery ever since he returned [from leave].
I thank God with all my heart for giving me a wife, who, while she is strong and earnest in her attachment, is willing to sacrifice so much for her Country’s good, who, instead of repining and mourning, can be cheerful and even comfort me. Believe me, I do not love you less than if you were less strong and self reliant; and, if I thought our Holy Father would not disapprove, I would pray to love you more. You have all my love, stronger than life and above all else, save God. I tried to imagine myself in the congregation at home, but there was so little resemblance. God is still the same in love and manifestations of mercy here.
All the Company are in good health. Nate Hill is still on duty in the city but was out to see us to-day. Alf Huetson was also here; he is well, & says there is a rumor afloat again that our Crops will be ordered to the Potomac. I cannot think it true so soon after this last call. We have no news to-day owing to the loss of our mail last night. We recd. by telegraph yesterday news of another victory in the Shenandoah Valley, also of rumors of Peace propositions from Jeff. Davis. The latter is rather improbable. If God will speed our cause until the close of the coming campaigns here and elsewhere, we may hope to have them in such a condition that such propositions may come within the bounds of reason. Just now I believe they would ask much more than we could honorably grant.
Atlanta is almost rid of citizens. You have doubtless read in the papers the correspondence between Genls. Sherman and Hood. To persons afar off the policy adopted may seem severe, but, under the circumstances, it was all that humanity could dictate. It was impossible to subsist them, & we have suffered so much from an inveterate foe in our rear that it has become a necessity to drive them before us.
The weather changed very suddenly last evening, and the night was very cold. We were scarcely comfortable with our overcoats this morning, but the day became very pleasant, though it is quite cool to-night.
Bill Myers of the 20th Ills. was here to-day. Alva Garner is sick in Hospital at Marietta; all the rest are well. [Lt.] Smith went to church in the city to-night with a squad of 12 of the Company. There is very encouraging revival in progress in several of the churches. May God increase the good work.
I saw a letter from Mrs. Paige to-day to Myers. She had heard of her husband’s death only through the papers & was trying to cheat herself into the belief that it was not her husband. May God deal kindly and pour the oil of consolation into her heart. Poor woman. With all his faults, she loved him dearly, and the future will look very gloomy to her. He was an excellent and faithful soldier and a very efficient officer.
Let us lift our hearts in praise and thanksgiving for his boundless mercies to us. Give my love to Mother [Murphy] & Maggie and kiss baby for me. I would like much to see him.
I fear Green’s book & my stamps and tobacco have met the same fate of your last letters. May the richest of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you, and the Grace, Love, and Peace of “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” abide with you. Write as often as you can make it convenient.
Your affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver