If you have experienced all this, you can sympathize with me to-night

Joseph Culver Letter, July 10, 1863, Page 1

Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Gallatin, Tenn., July 10th 1863

My Dear Wife

If you have ever anticipated without presuming to doubt the arrival of glad tidings & being delayed day after day with bright hopes for the morrow (when anticipated pleasure brings but blank disappointment & you are left in doubt & uncertainty with great fears for the result). If you have experienced all this, you can sympathize with me to-night.

The mail arrived for the first time this evening for 9 days, bringing a large number of letters for a large majority of the Company, but none for me. No news from my wife. No knowledge of where you are, whether you have reached your destination & are in good health, & a great many things that I expected to hear. No news from home, not a letter or paper.

To say that I am disappointed is scarcely half. I fear something has happened but what I cannot determine. I pray God my fears may be groundless & all be well. Oh, how anxiously I have looked for this mail. I shall most earnestly hope for some news to-morrow. If you were near where a telegram would reach you, I should not wait for the train for word from you, & yet if anything has happened I hope our friends would be considerate enough to let me know immediately. I shall hope on; hope that you are well & Frankie also.

My health is quite good. We were reinforced to-day by the 71st Ohio Regt.1 Two more regts. are expected with a Batallion of Cavalry.2 I can but close & wait. My God bless & keep you both, fill you with love & grace divine.

Good Night

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. The 71st Ohio Infantry had spent the winter of 1862-63 at Fort Henry, Tenn., and was ordered from Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, to Gallatin in the first week of July. There it was to help guard the railroad between Nashville and Mitchellville. Reid, Ohio in the War, Vol. II, p. 410. []
  2. There was no substance to the rumor that the force at Gallatin was to be further reinforced. General Rosecrans had decided that three infantry regiments (the 129th Illinois, and the 71st and 106th Ohio) and one battery of artillery (the 13th Indiana) were sufficient to hold Gallatin and guard the railroad. []

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