Head Quarters, Co. “A”, 129th Ills. Vol. Infty.
Gallatin, Tenn., June 28th 1863
Sunday has passed. I hoped to have time to write to the S. S. Pic Nic to-day, but was disappointed. After being relieved from guard it was time for church, & after church I found some blanks on my desk waiting for me. I made them out & spent a short time looking up a sermon & then Dress Parade.1
I preached to-night from Isaiah, 26th Chap. & 4th verse to a very large congregation, house full to overflowing & had unusual liberty. I hope done some good. Oh, how I wished to be in the pulpit at Pontiac to-night with your eyes looking up into mine. I tried to imagine you were here. Bill Russell went with me.2 I feel very happy; God has been good. I always feel well after trying to preach. I thought to-night of the little children who were wont to gather around the alter & say “Our Father Who Art in Heaven,” a type of angelic purity; of the time standing by my Mother’s knee I first learned to love Jesus. Dear Mary, those are among the fondest recollections of my youth. As soon as our boy can comprehend, teach him to love Jesus. I know you will. May God help us to do our duty & make him obedient & loving. Let our prayers ascend in his behalf.
No word yet from Father, I feel very anxious to hear from him.3 Mrs. Smith is not enjoying good health. Allen heard from Lou yesterday; she arrived home safe. How is Sis & Mrs. Remick getting along Spiritually? Is Sis punctual in attendance at S. School, Church & class? Use your influence to help her along. I feel some anxiety for her. Tell me how Abba & Lida are?4 Are they study [studious] or are they carried away with fashion & self importance? I feel a very deep interest in their spiritual welfare & have prayed for them much. Remember me to all the little ones.
Give me all the information about the result of the Pic Nic. I will send my Gold Watch home by the first opportunity; one of the wheels is broken. If you wish to carry it with you, get it fixed, & I would rather it were running than not. I bought another yesterday.
As it is getting late, I must get my light out. May God bless you all. Give my love to all the family. I hope to hear from you soon. Kiss Frankie for me.
J. F. Culver
- Beginning on Tuesday, June 23, the regiment fell out for reveille at 4 A.M., guard mount at 7:30 A.M., dinner at 12 noon, retreat at 7 P.M., and tattoo at 8 P.M. Dress parades were held twice a week, on Saturdays and Sundays, at 6:30 P.M. There were two weekly battalion drills, held from 4:30 to 6 P.M. on Mondays and Fridays. Regimental Papers, 129th Illinois, NA. [↩]
- William Russell, the former sheriff of Livingston County, had been employed by the regimental sutler Edwin Maples as his assistant. [↩]
- Soldiers of Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s II Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, had been in occupation of Carlisle, Mr. Culver’s home town, since June 27. Hannah Culver on July 9 reported, “Father’s health is not improving. He is better one day and worse the next. He seems to be wearing away. He is very weak and does not eat more than necessary to sustain life.” Hannah Culver to J.F.C., July 9, 1863, Culver Collection. [↩]
- Abba (Abigail) and Lida were the teenage daughters of J. W. and Sarah DeNormandie Remick. Their father was a prosperous farmer and clerk of the Livingston County Circuit Court, while their mother was a superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA; History of Livingston County, pp. 315, 648-649. [↩]