Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills.
Gallatin, Tenn., July 9th 1863
My Dear Wife
Another day has passed without any mail, with the usual promise that it will come to-morrow. Morgan has gone with a portion of his command to Indiana. Should he venture any considerable distance his capture is certain.1 Reports still confirm of the fall of Vicksburg & the rout of Lee’s Army in Penna., but we scarcely believe it all.
By the time we get reliable news, great changes will doubtless have been effected. It looks to me much like the last struggle before their [the Confederates] final overthrow.2 Some 5000 deserters from Bragg’s Army have come into Rosecrans’ Camp.3 They are rapidly evacuating Tennessee.4
We may look for stirring times where small detachments are stationed. We are expecting reinforcements here daily of an entire brigade, even now within striking distance of the place, so that our duties if we remain here will have lighter duties to perform.5
Our health is still good. Russell is rapidly improving & is able to be about most of the time. I have nothing new to communicate. How I wish for some word from you. Kiss Frankie for me.
May God bless my Dear Wife
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver
- Morgan and his division after crossing the Ohio had struck northward into Indiana, and on the 9th passed through Croydon. J.F.C.’s forecast was correct. Morgan’s raid north of the Ohio caused thousands of militia to turn out, and with the Ohio and other rivers and streams of the region at or near flood stage, it made a recrossing of the Ohio problematical. [↩]
- Most Union leaders would have echoed J.F.C.’s estimate of the situation. The Confederates, however, fought on and the war continued until the spring of 1865. [↩]
- The figure (5,000) given by J.F.C. as the number of Confederates who had abandoned the fight and had surrendered to Rosecrans’ army during the Middle Tennessee Campaign (June 24-July 7), is greatly exaggerated. During this period, 1,634 Confederates were captured, of whom 616 claimed “to have delivered themselves” voluntarily, being “conscripts or tired of the war.” O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXIII, pt. I, p. 425. [↩]
- General Bragg’s Army of Tennessee had evacuated Middle Tennessee, crossing to the south bank of the Tennessee River at Shellmount and Kelly’s Ford on July 6-7. General Rosecrans now halted his pursuit to bring up supplies and consolidate his gains, preparatory to advancing on Chattanooga. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXIII, pt. II, pp. 900-902. [↩]
- On July 7 Rosecrans directed Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, commander of his reserve corps, to send one or two regiments to strengthen the force at Gallatin. This was in response to General Paine’s plea for reinforcements. Ibid., p. 518. [↩]