An old Proverb says “That whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.”

Joseph Culver Letter, July 21, 1863, Page 1

Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Gallatin, Tenn., July 21st 1863

My Dear Wife

I have delayed writing for four days hoping to be able to answer your last two letters in person. An old Proverb says “That whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.” Whether it will apply in my case or not cannot be determined, except as time may solve the problem.

Last week Genrl. Rosecrans was in Nashville1 & a few of the fortunate ones got permission to visit him & secured leave of absence to visit home. Flattered with a hope of success, I immediately sent in my petition but it arrived too late, as he spent but one day there, & I have been waiting very impatiently for it to reach him & receive his decision. After this long delay I can hardly hope for success, as it will fall into the hands of his aid whose orders prohibit the issue of any such document. I cannot say that I have no hope, but rather that the chances are growing very small in my favor. Let us wait & see.

I am sorry to inform you that Mrs. Smith is no better & but very little hope is entertained of her recovery.2 She is occupying the room you had at Kings. I saw her at noon to-day. She was scarcely able to speak & is entirely helpless. Everything is proceeding as usual.

I recd. a letter from Sister Hannah which I will enclose.3 They had not received my last letter & do not know where you are.

I will write as soon as my fate is decided if I am still to wait for the favorable opportunity. I hope you have entirely recovered from your illness & are enjoying yourself. I cannot write at length, but will either be with you soon or write a long letter. Till then Goodbye. May the richest of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you. Kiss Frankie & Mother [Murphy] for me & love to all.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. General Rosecrans’ field headquarters were at Tullahoma. On July 18 the general was in Nashville. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXIII, pt. II, p. 542. []
  2. Mrs. Margaret Smith was an invalid. []
  3. Hannah Culver, in her six-page letter of July 9, had described in detail the occupation of Carlisle by Ewell’s corps, and the engagement on July 1 between the Rebel cavalry and Union militia. Hannah Culver to J.F.C., July 9, 1863, Culver Collection. []

About Colleen Theisen

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