News of Frankie’s misfortune & your health scarcely improving

Joseph Culver Letter, August 10, 1863, Page 1

Hd. Qr. 129th Ills. Vol.
Gallatin, Tenn., Aug 10th 1863

My Dear Wife

I recd. your letter of the 2nd inst., bringing me the news of Frankie’s misfortune & your health scarcely improving.1 I hope Frankie may prove not to be seriously injured. Your letter, though several days later than your last, does not intimate that you have weaned Frankie yet. I expect to hear that your health is rapidly improving after he is weaned.

Mrs. Smith has taken a relapse, and all this day they have been looking for her to die. She was easier this evening. You would scarcely know her. Mrs. McKnight is still here with her husband; he is very low but may recover. Lou [Allen] left for home about 10 days after you left. I informed you [of this] in a former letter. Allen says she is quite well. Mrs. Ray went home about two weeks ago. Mrs. Fisher is still here in good health; also Mrs. Coppage & Mrs. Soir.2 Mr. Kay is still here & expected to be able to start home with Mrs. Smith by to-morrow or next day.3 Saml. McGoodin is in the enjoyment of good [health] & assigns as the reason of his not writing that he cannot write. I have offered to write for him if he calls on me. I have been interrupted & shall close for to-night, so Good night, may holy angels guard you.

Morning Aug 11th/63: I am in excellent health this morning. The weather is excessively warm. I can scarcely tell you which [rail] road is preferable to go to Harrisburg. You can go through New York & Philadelphia. It is about as cheap as any & gives you a chance to see the cities, but is somewhat difficult for you alone. The easiest rout[e] for you is to go to Rochester & take the [rail] road to Harrisburg, direct through Elmira & Williamsport. The fare either way is about the same & will cost from 10 to 15 dollars. If you go by way of New York, you will be compelled to stay there all night, get to Philadelphia about 2 o’clock next day, leave Philad. at 11 P.M., & get to Harrisburg at 3 A.M. next day, leave Harrisburg at 8 A.M. & get to Carlisle at 10. By the other rout[e], you will have fewer changes & at smaller towns. Try & take the train from Rochester in the evening, & you will get to Harrisburg in time for the train to Carlisle next day.

I have not heard what has been done with Allbe & Soph. Gagan took his whole family [to California] with him. We have got Bell tents similar to the one the sergeants used.4 I wish you had returned the Canada Bill to me. I could have returned it & satisfied the old man; as it is, I do not know how to convince him. I sent you a letter from Bro. Johnie by last mail. He is still at Shelbyville, Tenn.

I have been act. adjutant of [for] a week. Phil (Plattenburg) is in the Hospital but will be back by to-morrow. I was interrupted last night, & now it is mail time. I will enclose a letter from Sis giving the Pontiac news. With love to all, I must haste to say, good bye. May God bless you.

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letter of Aug. 2 is missing from the Culver Collection. []
  2. Mrs. Bay of Pontiac was the wife of Pvt. George W. Bay of Company G; Mrs. Fisher of Pontiac the wife of Sergt. Augustus F. Fisher of Company G; Mrs. Coppage of Scott County the wife of Capt. Joseph W. Coppage of Company I; and Mrs. Loir (Lore) of Joliet the wife of Pvt. Robert C. Lore of Company B. []
  3. Mrs. Smith was the eldest daughter of John and Joanna Kay, prosperous Pontiac Township farmers. In 1860 the Kays were living with their other nine children. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA. []
  4. Colonel Case on June 12 had complained to the post commander that his troops were “sadly wanting in tents.” Although the officers had wall tents, the enlisted men had been issued worthless second-hand tents or had picked up tents abandoned by other units. He accordingly wished to requisition Sibley tents for the regiment, as it would be stationed at Gallatin for some time. His efforts to secure Sibley tents for the regiment were unsuccessful, as orders were given by the chief quartermaster, Department of the Cumberland, to have the troops turn in their old canvas and draw “shelter tents.” Case to Sweet, June 12, 1863, Regimental Papers, 129th Illinois, NA. []

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