Though this is the Sabbath, we have marched 16 miles

Joseph Culver Letter, February 28, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
In Camp on Big Flat Creek, 5 miles South of Shelbyville
Febry. 28th 1864
My Dear Wife

Though this is [the] Sabbath, we have marched 16 miles.1 It rained sufficient to lay the dust & marching is very pleasant. The Post Office in Shelbyville was closed, so that we had no opportunity to mail letters.

To-morrow we will reach Tullahoma, if nothing happens, where we can send our letters back, & I hope we will get some mail. Everything passed off very pleasantly. The men are tired. The roads since we left Shelbyville are not good. We will have no more pike & may expect some bad roads.

My health is good. The country through which we passed to-day north of Shelbyville was very fine; on this side, it is very broken. I should have been pleased to call & see Bro. Johnie’s lady friends there [at Shelbyville], but I have forgotten their names.2 We got into camp about two o’clock.

Write to me often. May God bless you with health and happiness. Be cheerful; all things work to gether for our good. Give love to all & accept the most ardent for yourself.

Your Affect. Husb.
J. F. Culver

  1. On the 26th Harrison’s brigade broke camp at sunrise, and by 10 o’clock halted on the Stones River battlefield. The soldiers visited the graves, paled at the sight of bleaching bones, and shook their heads at the way the storm of canister and exploding shells had shredded the cedars near Round Forest. The march was resumed and, passing through Murfreesboro, the troops halted and camped alongside the Shelbyville Pike south of town. A 13-mile march was made on the 27th, but it was fatiguing because several streams, the bridges of which had been destroyed, had to be forded, and the road “was either covered with several inches of dust, or led through a rocky, hill country.” Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 45-46. []
  2. Sergt. John Murphy had been stationed at Shelbyville from June 29 to September 6, 1863. While there he had courted several local girls. []

About Colleen Theisen

Outreach and Instruction Librarian. Lover of coffee, as well as 19th century photography, painting, tourism and print.
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