Head. Qurs., 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th A.C.
Wauhatchie, Tenn., April 13th 1864
My Dear Wife
I did not have the pleasure of hearing from you to-day as I expected, nor did I write last night as I promised. I felt very confident yesterday morning of getting an opportunity to visit Lookout Point but was disappointed.
My time was occupied in getting the yard fixed up. I planted cedar all around the yard; it looks more like a fancy garden now than anything else. We have four good comfortable houses with a gravel walk along the front for a pavement and a gravel walk to the road. We have also built a fence around our yard with pine and cedar around the border and on both sides of the walks, with an arch over the gate.
Co. “A” have just completed one of the finest Arches I ever saw. I cannot fully describe it. It is after the gothic style, with one principal and four smaller entrances. It is about 20 feet high. The center is full of strange devices, on one side is the mall and wedge, the weapons of Abe Lincoln; on the other side, a bundle of sticks, a symbol of strength. Over the center piece, the letter “A” made of mountain moss, and on each side:
Just above the word Regt. is another gothic structure, which I cannot describe. The design was made by Alf. [Huetson], & he has promised to make a sketch of it for me.
Genl. Hooker inspected the Camps to-day, with Genl. Ward & Col. Harrison. All say it is the finest Structure of the kind they ever saw. The boys are very proud of it. I was over this evening; all are well.
Maj. Genl. [George H.] Thomas will review our Division to-morrow. Great preparations are being made. We expect to make a good impression and will try hard to.
My health is very good. I have been working around the Head Qurs. all day to-day & feel a little tired to-night, yet I could spend a few hours talking with you if you were here to sit on my lap to-night. I can think of a great deal to say that would appear foolish on paper perhaps. There is no news. Nothing has been heard concerning promotions in the Regt. yet; at least, I have heard nothing. I wish very much you would see our place now; everything seems so pleasant.
Last night the Band of the 79th Ohio serenaded us; it was delicious. They also sang several airs. I hear one of the members of our Band playing on an old horn out at the Band Quarters. It sounds very sweet. We are expecting our instruments every day. I hear that the party that went North for them, sent to New-York for them & went home to wait for them. It would have been an excellent chance for me. As their order was unlimited, they have been away about 23 days already. But I hope to get home, if God Spares my life, to stay by and by; until then let us ask God for patience. May he bless you with health and happiness. I often muse thinking over our life from our first acquaintance. Has it not been very happy even amid our sorrows? May “Our Father in Heaven” continue his blessings to us.
I intended to write to Mother [Murphy] to-night, but it has got very late & I must be up very early. I detailed 50 men to clean off the Review ground, & they will report before I can get up unless I get to bed soon. It is now nearly 11 o’clock.
Tell me if you are happy. My heart yearns to-night for communion with you. Tell me all your troubles; do not fear to trouble me, I will try and cheer you. I often long for an opportunity to contribute to your happiness and comfort. Rest assured that you have my heart’s best affections.
Next to God and my Country, I love my wife. Do you not know it? If I thought you did not, I would not say so, and yet I know you love to hear it. In you is centered all my desire of life, and I believe to secure your happiness is my highest Ambition outside of duty, and I believe you feel it so. Kiss Mother for me; I will certainly write to her soon. Remember me kindly to all. May Holy angels guard thee to-night, and may “Our Father in Heaven” keep you.
Your Affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver