The mails have been quite irregular of late

Joseph Culver Letter, August 4, 1863, Page 1

Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Ills. Vols.
Gallatin, Tenn., Aug. 4th 1863

My Dear Wife

The mails have been quite irregular of late, & I have recd. no letter since Friday [July 31]. However, I feel assured that if anything serious had happened you would have telegraphed.

I wrote to you night before last informing you that my petition for Leave of Absence had been rejected. I have not yet heard from the one Doc. Heermans took for me, &, in the event it also fails, I have prepared another to go up through the regular military channels again. I am not altogether hopeless as Col. Case & Capt. Lamb both leave for home in the morning having been successful.1 My former one was missent in some way, &, although I do not feel very confident of Success, I shall have done all that was in my power.

My health is quite good, &, if I had the assurance that your health was improving, I should be happy. While you have not written discouragingly, I am led to believe from the tenor of your letters that you feel much depressed. This is one reason why I have looked so anxiously for a letter for the last few days. I hope most earnestly to hear, my Dear Wife, that your health is improving & that you are happy. I am blessed with excellent health at present for which I hope I am sufficiently thankful.

Mrs. Smith is rapidly improving and will be able to start home next week if she continues to mend. Bill, the oldest of our cooks, died in the hospital this morning.2 He has been quite sick for some time. Lt. McKnight is very sick; he has been growing worse for some ten days. I do not think the Drs. consider him very dangerously ill. Uncle Bart. Allen is not well yet, & we have on the sick list Leonard, Chritten & Shellenbarger.3

Christ Yetter was detailed in the Mounted Squad & is acting Orderly for Co. M. We are sorry to lose him, but he can do more in that capacity.

I have recd. no letters since I last wrote. I shall surely expect a letter from you to-morrow. Remember me kindly to all our friends. Give my love to Mother & kiss Frankie for me. I shall trust all in the hands of a kind Providence & hope for your speedy recovery of health. Pray that God may assist me & keep me through Grace Divine. I shall write as soon as I hear from you & report progress every other day as I have done to-night. “May holy angels guard thee”

Good night

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. On July 30 leaves of absence for 15 days, with permission to travel outside the Department of the Cumberland, had been granted to Col. Henry Case and Capt. Albert Lamb. Regimental Papers, 129th Illinois, NA. []
  2. Bill, a freedman, had been employed as a regimental cook. []
  3. Christopher C. Leonard, 27-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on September 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. He was promoted to corporal on May 9, 1863, and was mustered out on June 8, 1865, at Washington, D.C. James M. Chritten, a 20-year-old farmer,was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. Private Chritten was promoted to corporal on May 9, 1863, and on July 4, 1864, he was detailed to the U.S. Sanitary Commission at Kingston, Ga. Joseph Shellenbarger, a 19-year-old horticulturist, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois Volunteers. Private Shellenbarger died March 31, 1864, in the brigade hospital at Wauhatchie, Tenn., of pneumonia. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. []

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