You will be surprised on looking at the date of my letter to find it written at Nashville, but such are the fortunes of War

Joseph Culver Letter, February 3, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters 1st Brig., 1st Div., llth A.C.
Nashville February 3rd 1864

My Dear Wife

You will be surprised on looking at the date of my letter to find it written at Nashville, but such are the fortunes of War. We are still here. This morning we were ordered out at 10 o’clock, loaded up, & were ready to start when the order came for us to remain here for the present, so we have unpacked and set down to work again.1 How long we will remain here we cannot tell. I am almost sorry you went home. The Col.’s family were hurried off at short notice & have scarcely more than reached home.

I presume as I recd. nothing by telegraph you are safe at home. There is just the least bit of a possibility that I may be at home a few days soon but not enough to base a hope upon. Col. [Harrison] told me to-day that as I am in command of the Band it would devolve upon me to go North to purchase their instruments.2 It sounds too much like a joke, but I will try & make it do me all the good I can. But do not expect anything, and you will not be disappointed, & be sure and say nothing about it.

There is nothing new. I bid some of the ladies goodbye this morning, expecting that to-night we would be on the road to Bridgeport. I presume, however, all the women here are happy. It is rather unpleasant to be held in readiness to move & just when you have succeeded in reconciling yourself, to find all reversed. It is the general opinion still that we will leave as soon as more troops arrive, which are reported on their way here.

I was to see Capt. Hoskins this morning. He is some better. Enclosed is a photograph which you will not fail to recognize. I have not seen the boys [of Company A] since the order to move was countermanded, but presume they are satisfied. It seems quite lonely. I would like to walk over to “Drake’s” to-night and find you there. Would it not be pleasant?

I am waiting anxiously for a letter from you, which will certainly arrive before the week is out. I have recd. no letters since I last wrote, neither have I had time to answer those on hand. I was at the Express office to-day, but the box of butter had not yet arrived.

I had a very agreeable visit to-day from R. D. & A. A. McDonald.3 They are on their way to visit some friends at Decherd and also at Chattanooga. The latter are in the 125th Ills.,4 the former are relatives and Rebel citizens. They both look well. Alex was discharged last May, and both are doing business in Danville, Illinois. They took dinner with me & started out this afternoon.

We are all well. May God bless you with good health and surround you with innumerable blessings and comforts. Give my love to all the family.

Good night,

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. For the background to these orders and countermanded orders see J.F.C.’s letter of February 1, 1864. []
  2. One of J.F.C.’s duties as aide-de-camp to Colonel Harrison was to serve as commander of the brigade band. []
  3. Robert D. McDonald had been a 30-year-old Pontiac merchant. In 1860 he was a bachelor and listed the value of his real estate at $1,500 and his personal estate at $4,000. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA. []
  4. The 125th Illinois was assigned to the Second Division, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and was camped near Rossville, Georgia. []

About Colleen Theisen

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