Hd. Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills., Vols. Infty.
In the Field Near Chattahoochie River July 10th 1864
My Dear Wife
Yours of June 30th has just come to hand. I am most happy to learn that you enjoy such a good degree of health. May our Father in Heaven bless you with a continuance of the same. My health continues to be very good for which I feel very thankful. I am sorry to learn that Lt. Smith improves so slowly, as we certainly expected him to be with us soon.1 I hope, however, that he may soon recover. The health of the Company is very good.
Last night the enemy evacuated all their works on this side of the river, and our lines of Skirmishers were advanced to the river bank.2 The 23rd Corps are on the other side on the enemy’s right flank and probably to-morrow the whole army will advance. Rumor says the Rebs destroyed the R. R. Bridge which is very probable.3
I am sorry that Mathis is disposed to give you any trouble; I will write to Mr. Lyons and Mathis on the subject. Do not allow the matter to give you any unnecessary trouble. The well is not worth repairing and must remain until I get home, if it be God’s will to spare my life.4 If Mathis desires to leave the premises, he will probably give you notice, &, if you cannot readily rent it, it can remain empty. I cannot make any arrangements at present to regulate the matter. If you need money, try and borrow of Mrs. Fellows or Mr. Remick until pay-day.5
We packed up & moved out of camp this morning but were brought back again & now occupy the same ground we have occupied for the last three days.6 I have heard nothing from Bros. John or Sammy yet; they are about 3 miles to the left of us.7 I have enclosed a letter to Mrs. Moran and Wm. B. Lyons in this as I have no ink to back envelopes, though if I can succeed in getting any, I will mail them separately.
I have no desire to sell our property at present, though if Mathis offers you $1,250.00 cash, you can tell him he can have it for that if you desire to part with it. I am very glad you have told me of it, an early knowledge of such things may save me a great deal of trouble. I can very easily settle the matter. All matters relating to business should be known to me. I wish for your sake we could receive our pay, but that is improbable until after the Campaign closes.
I am much obliged for the extracts from the Chicago Tribune. It is always much later than any papers we get.
We had our S. School this morning, and it was a very profitable meeting to me, & I hope to all the rest of the Company present. Chris Yetter and Nate Hill are well. I will write a short note to the aid-society in behalf of Mrs. Moran. Unless they assist her, she will undoubtedly suffer. Her husband recd. no pay since Dec. 31st, 1863, & it will be 6 or 7 months before she gets back pay and bounty due him. Try & get the people interested in behalf of the needy soldiers’ wives. They are doing all they can for the country, & the thought that their loved ones at home may suffer is a great barrier to their enjoyment and a source of constant sorrow.
I should write to the Hill S. School to-day, but it is drawing near mail time, & I think of so much I would like to write as this may be the last opportunity for several days.
Give my love to Mother and Maggie and kiss the children for me. I have enjoyed much of the presence of God; let us praise his name and trust all to him.
The weather is very warm but the health of the troops good. Remember us in your prayers. We live in hopes that the time will soon come where we can mingle our voices with those we love in praise to God for a Country saved from intestine war and in peace and prosperity. Pray for our Country. Now is the day of trial, but, God being with us, all will be well. May the richest of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you.
Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver
P.S. Tell Remick Hume Tuckerman has just come into my tent — that he is well & looks well. He belongs to the 20th Ills.8
- Lieutenant Smith was at home, recovering from the wound received at Resaca in mid-May. [↩]
- The Confederates, on the night of July 4, evacuated their lines behind Nickajack Creek and retired into previously prepared defenses covering the crossings of the Chattahoochie River. On the 5th, Ward crossed Nickajack Creek and advanced his division along Turner’s Ferry road. It was an exhausting march, and on the 6th the division took position “confronting the enemy’s fortifications on the Chattahoochie.” The camps were on a high ridge overlooking the river. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. II, pp. 327, 388. [↩]
- General Sherman, in a successful effort to flank the Confederates out of their Chattahoochie line, pulled General Schofield’s Army of the Ohio (the XXIII Corps) out of its position on the right of the Army of the Cumberland and marched it to Smyrna Camp Ground, near the Western & Atlantic Railroad. On the 8th Schofield’s divisions, with the army’s pontoon train, marched northeast and forced its way across the Chattahoochie at a lightly defended crossing at Phillip’s Ferry. Confederate efforts to destroy Schofield’s bridgehead failed, and on the night of the 9th, General Johnston withdrew to the south bank of the Chattahoochie. Next morning Rebel engineers removed their pontoon bridges, and Johnston’s rear guard retired, burning the railroad and highway bridges. Cox, Atlanta, pp. 134-140. [↩]
- Mathis was renting the Culver property. Apparently, the well had failed and Mathis was demanding its repair. [↩]
- Mrs. Fellows was either the wife or mother of the hospital steward J. Allen Fellows of the 129th Illinois Infantry. [↩]
- In a futile effort to cut off and capture Confederate stragglers, Ward advanced a line of skirmishers to the Chattahoochie. After establishing a picket line, the troops returned to their camps to rest and wait for the Pioneers to bridge the river. O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. II, p. 327. [↩]
- Company M, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, on the 5th had unlimbered its six guns on high ground, near Pace’s Ferry, from where could be seen the spires of Atlanta, eight miles to the southeast. Next day a number of ranking officers, including Generals Sherman and Howard, visited the battery and watched as the gunners engaged Rebel cannon on the opposite side of the Chattahoochie. Report of the Adjutant General of Illinois, Vol. XIII, p. 668. [↩]
- Hume Tuckerman, a 21-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on June 13, 1861, at Joliet, Ill., as a private in Company D, 20th Illinois Infantry. Wounded at Shiloh in April 1862, he was detailed in June as regimental teamster. On Jan. 5, 1864, he reenlisted as a veteran volunteer at Big Black Bridge, Miss., and in June 1864 was detailed as brigade wagonmaster. Private Tuckerman was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 16, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. [↩]