Your letter of 29th March came to hand this morning

Joseph Culver Letter, April 3, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps
Wauhatchie, Tenn., Sunday, April 3rd 1864
My Dear Wife

Your letter of 29th March came to hand this morning.1 I am very happy to hear that you are well. This day opened very beautiful. I was on my way to the Company when I recd. your letter, & have just returned. I intended to delay writing until this evening, but I have an opportunity to send it by a man going home on furlough. I haste to write before the train goes north.

I found the Company all well. I did not see Chris [Yetter] or Nate [Hill] but heard they were well. There is still considerable uneasiness about the promotion to major. Nothing definite is yet known.

I cannot understand why Cox is making inquiries about his policy.2 I will write to him, however, and also to the Insurance Company. It occurs to my mind that the policy on our house may have expired. I think it runs for three years from May, 1862, but it is barely possible that it is for only two years. I wish you would make inquiry. The policy is in John Dehner’s hands, and is assigned to Dehner and Russell.3

I recd. a letter from [Lieutenant] Mitchell yesterday; he is improving slowly but will not be able to come up for some time yet. My health is very good. I recd. a letter from Bro. Johnie yesterday & will write to him to-day.4 I have his letter. I am glad to hear from Bro. Sammy, & will inform Bro. Johnie.5 Sis will have returned by the time this letter reaches you. Give her my hearty congratulations; I may possibly get time to write to her to-day.

A private of Co. “E” of our Regt. named Hildreth, went home on furlough yesterday.6 I did not know he was going until just before the train started, or I would have sent a letter by him. He promised to call and see you & bring such things as I want. I need badly about a dozen prs. cotton socks & two shirts. Get the longest shirts you can. I think Henry [Greenebaum] will give you some good ones. I will enclose a note to him. If the man does not come, you can send them by first opportunity.

Give my love to all. I am very happy that you write so often. I will write again, possibly this afternoon. May our Father in Heaven keep you in perfect health and make you happy. Give my love to Mother and Maggie.

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letter of March 29 is missing from the Culver Collection. []
  2. David Cox was a 47-year-old Pontiac Township farmer. In 1860 he was living with his wife, Gracie, and their six children, and valued his real estate at $6,000 and his personal estate at $600. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA. []
  3. John Dehner, a Pontiac merchant, was born in Germany in 1808. In 1860 he was living with his wife, Jane, and valued his real estate at $16,000 and his personal estate at $12,000. Ibid. []
  4. Sergt. John Murphy, whose unit was camped at Loudon, Tennessee, had written, “I have been anxious to hear from you on Sammy’s account. I vainly hoped to hear of his whereabouts through you. I can get nothing definite about him. About a month ago he was in Springfield. We have received the descriptive rolls of some 14 or 15 recruits and only three of them arrived at the Battery. Some of them have been a month and a half on the road and one young men . . . died in Indiana on his way to our company. I wish Sammy could get here. It is two-fold harder and more unpleasant for a new soldier to be knocking around in barracks than to go at once into the field.” Sergeant Murphy reported that all was quiet in East Tennessee, and the battery was “preparing with all possible dispatch for the Spring Campaign. We are temporarily in the Dept. of the Ohio, and the only Battery in this department that is equipped for marching and as a consequence if there is a movement made soon in this section of country, we will be called out. I hope that we may have from 30 to 60 days longer in which to prepare. It is quite difficult to get the necessary equipment here. We are pretty well supplied with horses.” John Murphy to J.F.C., March 22, 1864, Culver Collection. []
  5. Pvt. Sammy Murphy had written J.F.C. from Camp Yates, Springfield, Ill., on March 22. Sammy explained that he would have written sooner, but he “expected to leave here soon and thought I’d wait and write when I got to another place. They have sent away the Inft. and Cav. recruits and I think the Art. will leave soon, but I have thought so for some time. I am the only one for Battery ‘M’ that is here, and I would rather be with it than here. “The weather has been cold here for a few days past, but it is getting warmer now, and begins to look like spring. Camp Yates is situated one mile west of Springfield. It is a pretty nice place for a camp, and we have pretty good water. The Governor’s mansion is just a little ways from camp.” Sam Murphy to J.F.C, March 22, 1864, Culver Collection. []
  6. Joshua T. Hildreth, a 30-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8. 1862, as a private in Company E, 129th Illinois. He was mustered out near Washington, D.C., on June 8, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. []

About Colleen Theisen

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