We had a bad night on picket last night & have just got fairly dried out

Joseph Culver Letter, October 31, 1863, Page 1

Headqrs. Co., “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vol. Infty.
Nashville, Tenn., Octr. 31st 1863

My Dear Wife

I was somewhat disappointed this morning in not receiving a letter from you, though the last came through in so short a time that unless the others were equally fortunate, they could not reach me within two or three days.

We had a bad night on picket last night & have just got fairly dried out. It rained almost incessantly and was very cold. I was for once rather fortunate last night, and had the use of a lounge & fire, where I rested very comfortably. We intend to make shelters on each of the picket posts, so that it will at least protect us from the wet during the few hours we are off duty.

It is clear and cold to-day. We have just been notified to appear for Brigade Drill at 12 o clock which, in addition to the amt. of duty we perform, is beyond all reason. We get no rest at all. A heavy guard was detailed this morning to guard Boats to Carthage.1
I presume it will be a pleasant trip; we shall learn when the guard returns. If, in addition to the duties on hand, we have to guard them [the boats], we need not expect to spend any time in camp this winter.

I have written no letters since my last to you nor received any. I anticipate more hopeful news from you next time.

We were mustered for pay this fore noon & expect to be paid off in a few days, yet cannot tell. [Lt.] Smith is off on train guard. Christ Yetter recd. a letter from Miss Hill this morning. All are well. I feel very tired & will lay down until drill which will be in an hour. May God abundantly bless you & speedily restore Frankie & Father to health. Kiss Frankie for me & give my love to all the family. Farewell.

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. By the end of the third week of October, Burnside’s Army of the Ohio found itself running short of clothing and certain other quartermaster stores. Great difficulty was encountered in supplying the army by wagon trains from the depots at Camp Nelson, 160 miles to the northwest in Kentucky. A road was accordingly opened from the railhead at Clinton to the mouth of Big South Fork of the Cumberland. During high water steamboats could ascend the Cumberland to that point. With the Cumberland on a rise because of heavy autumn rains, the Quartermaster Department was employing steamboats to stockpile supplies at Carthage, preparatory to forwarding them to the mouth of Big South Fork. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXI, pt. I, pp. 680, 756.
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