1861-65: Moses Langley Whittemore Letters

These letters were written by Moses Langley Whittemore (1840-1865), the son of Daniel B. Whittemore (1802-1888) and Lovina Goodhue (1808-1857). In 1860, the Whittemore family resided in Canal Lewisville in Keene township, Coshocton county, Ohio, where Daniel worked at his trade as a cooper. By then, Daniel was married to his second wife.

128447427_1398316901
Moses L. Whittemore Headstone

Moses enlisted at the age of 22 in September 1861 as a private in Co. C, 51st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). He was promoted to corporal in December 1862 and mustered out as a veteran with his regiment at Victoria, Texas, in October 1865. He died of broken health just weeks after his discharge.

The earliest letter in the collection dates from September 17, 1861, the day Moses was examined and mustered into his regiment. Writing to his family from “Camp Meigs,” Moses describes the pageantry of the occasion and the departure of his regiment: “We reached Newcomerstown about 8 oclock just as the company was preparing to to get on the boat those that had not been sworn in were called out of the ranks and sworn in after which a splendid flag was presented to the company by the ladies of N.[ewcomerstown]…After prayer a short time was given for friends to take their farewell leave of the soldiers. I never attended any occasion where there was so much weeping…As we left N. we were hailed by deafening cheers…” Moses’ journey with the 51st from Camp Meigs via rail and down the Ohio River is described in greater detail in his next letter which was written from Camp Dennison on November 6, 1861. Moses reports also that his regiment was inspected by Gov. Dennison, “rifled muskets having raised sights” are expected to be dispensed, and that he is “surrounded by a great deal of sin.” He assures his family that he will not forget his Christian religion: “I do not forget that I have a soul to save a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.”

The 51st Ohio served in various capacities after it was formed, but did not participate in its first major engagement until the fall of 1862 when the regiment met and defeated Wheeler’s Confederate Cavalry at Dobson’s Ferry. The 51st then when on to suffer casualties at the Battle of Stone River before moving on to occupy Murfreesboro. Moses’ next letter is written from Murfreesboro and dates from May 1863. In this letter he describes his current situation including rations and accommodations, and writes in glowing terms about this commanding officer, General William Rosecrans: “The[re] is a camp report afloat that the rebel army is advancing in force but it is still not believed by many…nothing would please Rosy more than to have the enemy attack his army at M…Their policy is to draw us out from under the cover of our fortifications and then attack; they have been endeavoring to do this for the last mo. but our skillful warriour, Rosencrans [sic] seldom bites at rebel bates; he understands strategy…. let me tell you that not withstanding he has not much sympathy for rebs, he sympathizes with his own men in their suffering and does all he can for them…” Moses goes on to describe being reviewed by Rosecrans who inquired of each Colonel as to the condition of each regiment. Upon reviewing the 51st, Moses reports that the General stated “this regt looks well, very well.” 

In January 1864, Moses is still at Murfreesboro. On the 16th of that month, his birthday, he writes a 9pp missive to his family detailing his thoughts upon turning 24. The majority of the letter reflects upon his spiritual journey, and how the conflict that rages on in the country reflects a larger struggle and overarching question regarding Protestantism’s place in the world. “This is, indeed, an eventful age; the sword is carrying carnage & destruction into several states of our own native land; a million men have seized the weapons of death, and, meeting in deadly conflict, are strewing our lovely plains with the dead, and dying…in short, we are engaged in the most stupendous and important conflict that has ever been known in the history of the world; & what has caused it?…what are we fighting for? These are questions which are of vital importance, not only to the American, but to all the civilized nations of earth. The nations of Europe are watching with an Eagle’s eye…to see whether man is capable of self-government or not;…to have it decided whether there is any redeeming qualities in Protestantism or no…”

Moses’ next three letters are written from Blue Springs (near Cleveland), TN, and near Atlanta, GA, during the spring and summer of 1864, just after Moses’ reenlistment. During this period his regiment was involved in the Atlanta Campaign. Following that campaign his regiment moved west until it mustered out in Victoria, TX, at the end of the war. While Moses’ military record does not indicate that he suffered illness or disease, a family history indicates that Moses “died of disease contracted in the service” shortly after his regiment mustered out.

zoar
A half plate tintype of four members of Co. B wearing the uniform of the 51st OVI. These four infantrymen were from the Zoar, Ohio. Their names were (l-r) Samuel Knoffle, Gottlieb Trost, Jacob Kaiser, and Simon Briel

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE

Camp Miegs [near Canal Dover, Ohio]
September 17, 1861

My dear parents, brothers, sister & friends,

An opportunity being offered me of informing you of my situation, I availed myself of it. I am glad to say that I am well and enjoy myself as well as could be expected. We reached Newcomerstown [Ohio] about 8 o’clock just as the company was preparing to get on the boat, those that had not been sworn in were called out of the ranks and sworn in after which a splendid flag was presented to the company by the ladies of Newcomerstown. The company then marched to the [canal] boat at which place Rev. Gaskill ¹ united in prayer. After prayer, a short time was given for friends to take their farewell leave of the soldiers, I never attended any occasion where there was so much weeping. I do not think that there was a dry eye among the females. Friends were advising friends to trust in God. If love, sympathy, and affection were ever shown, they were shown there in all their brightest hues.

As we left Newcomerstown, we were hailed by deafening cheers. Two brass bands went up with us to play for us while going up. We got up to Port Washington about noon where we dined. We started from Port Washington at 1 o’clock and arrived at Canal Dover at 9 P. M. at which place we landed and marched over to camp (distance ½ mile). In the morning we were furnished with picks and shovels to dig our fire places. We are divided into messes of 18, two cooking one day, another two the next, and so on.

Our rations are composed of the following articles: wheat bread, beef, pork, potatoes, rice, sugar, coffee. We have plenty to eat. There are 5 companies in camp and two more are expected soon. Our is Co. C—it being the third one in camp. James Goodhue, L[ester] Emerson, and the two Stonehockers are well. James Goodhue enjoys himself finely. We have been furnished with a blanket and as we were examined and mustered into service today, it is probable that we will receive our uniforms soon. James Emerson came here last Friday. He was examined and sworn into Co. C. All of our company passed examination except two names unknown to me.

Having told you all the news, I think proper at the present time I will close by asking an interest in your prayers that I may perform faithfully all the duties devolving upon me.

— Moses L. Whittemore


¹ Allen Gaskill (b. 1819) was connected with the Methodist Church in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and in 1861 he volunteered in Co. C, 51st OVI and was elected 1st Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in March 1862 but failing health caused him to resign his commission in December 1862, just before the Battle of Stone River.


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO

Camp Dennison, Ohio
November 6th 1861

My dear parents, brothers, and sister,

An opportunity having offered itself to me to write to you, I avail myself of it.

Our regiment left Camp Meigs [on] Sabbath, November 3rd, for Cincinnati. We went from the camp to Wellsville on the Ohio river by railroad, the distance being 90 miles. We started from [Canal] Dover at 6 A.M. and got to Wellsville at 2 P. M. After waiting about 3 hours for a boat, we got on board the Commodore Perry and started for Cincinnati at which place we got Tuesday noon. We stayed in Cincinnati about 3 hours when we marched to the cars which were to convey us to Camp Dennison which is 16 miles from the city. We got to the camp about dusk. We found six regiments here, two of which are artillery. It required 3 boats to take down our regiment, whose names were as follows: Commodore Perry, Florence, and Morengo.

One of the soldiers on the Commodore Perry was drowned, He fell off (or as most of them say, deliberately walked off) and sunk to rise no more. He had been drunk all day and when he was drowned, was drunk. His son os in the regiment Alas!! for intemperance!! It brings man to a level with the brutes; destroys his abilities; ruins his reputation; and, if indulged in long, destroys his property.

Our regiment was inspected today by Gov. Dennison. He said it was the best regiment he ever faced! (So it was said.) We expect to get our arms on the morrow. They were brought into camp today. They are rifled muskets having raised sights.

We saw a great many objects while passing down the Ohio river worthy of notice. We passed about 150 towns and cities while on our way from Wellsville to Cincinnati, the principal of which were as follows: Steubenville, Wheeling, Marietta and Portsmouth.

James Goodhue and three Emersons are all well. James appears to like camp life well. Each mess has a small house as cabin of its own. There are 500 acres in our camp and the railroad passes through it. You are aware no doubt that I am surrounded by a great deal of sins—sin of all species and classes. But in the midst of all of it, I do not forget that I am accountable for all the deeds done in the body. I do not forget that the actions of the Christian are intended to represent the principles of the Christian religion. I do not forget that I have a soul to save—a heaven to gain—and a hell to shun. I am forced to shudder when I see soldiers marching on to the field of death cursing and swearing!!! Alas! for human depravity. I had learned while at home that man was sinful but never before have I seen his sinfulness exhibited in so daring a manner. I have great reasons to thank God that I was permitted to have religious training while so many have been brought up to wickedness. Thanks to you also, my dear parents. May heaven be thy eternal reward is my prayer. Although the probability is that we will never again meet here [on earth], we can look forward with a glorious anticipation when we shall meet in heaven.

Send my love to all inquiring friends. Direct your letters to Camp Dennison, Hamilton county, Ohio. — Moses Whittemore

Write soon. So no more.


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THREE

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
May 4th, 1863

Dear Parents,

I seat myself this beautiful morning to write a few lines to you. Since I received yours of the 13th ult., I have written two (2) (with this one) letters, but have not received an answer. I sent you a letter on 17th ult. containing a receipt or order on Seth McLain for $35.00 and in that letter I requested that immediately, on receiving it (the receipt), you might send me word whether you got the receipt or not. I don’t know but if you did. I’ve never had any information of it. If you didn’t, let me know and I will get another. James and I are well. Considerable sickness in army at present. I learn by your letters that you like very much for me to send my likeness to you; no doubt but what it affords you great pleasure to see it. But the artist that we have here at present can’t—or at least doesn’t—take good likenesses.  You say that Albert’s was a good one but it was not taken by our artist. But I will say this—that next pay day (which will be soon) I will send my likeness home, let it be good, bad, or indifferent.

I have not much news to write this morn. The army is still at Murfreesboro. The camp report afloat that the rebel army is advancing in force but it is not believed by many, We dare not hope that he (the enemy) will attack us under cover of our strong works. Nothing would please Rosy [Rosecrans] more than to have the enemy attack his army at Murfreesboro. They will [not] do it. Their policy is to draw us out from under the cover of our fortifications and then attack. They have been endeavoring to do this for the last month but our skillful and successful warrior—Rosecrans—seldom bites at rebel bates. He understands strategy as well as Jeffy. We have at present in this department only about 50,000 men but are being reinforced daily.

Doubtless you hear a great many conflicting tales about our mode of living in the army, how we are clothed, &c. That you may not be deceived in matter, I will give you some information on the subject. Our rations consist of the following articles: hard crackers, beef, pork, hominy, very fine beans, sugar, coffee, vinegar, and occasionally molasses and peas. We have a plenty of the above articles. It is true that we have not a great variety of articles as the generality of people in civil life, and should we expect it? Certainly not. It is true that vegetables such as onions, cabbage, lettuce, &c. would have a great tendency to promote health in the army, but we know that they are not to be had here and therefore we are willing to be deprived of them for a season. But Rosy has got  garden containing 150 acres at Nashville planted in garden seed of all descriptions. The vegetables raised are for the sick in hospitals. This shows clearly that our general does not forget his suffering sick. Let me tell you that notwithstanding he has much sympathy for rebs, he sympathizes with his own men in their sufferings and does all he can for them.

rosy
CDV of Rosecrans—“a very pleasant looking man—nearly always smiling in public.” — M. L. W, 51st OVI

He is a very pleasant looking man—nearly always smiling when in public. He reviewed our Corps recently accompanied by his staff (about thirty (30) officers) and body guard. We were drawn up in line of battle (which means in two (2) ranks) and the Gen. passed along in our front. He would halt at every regiment and inquire of the colonel whether his regiment was supplied with clothing or not and such other questions as he saw fit to ask, As he passed by the 51st [OVI], he says, “This regiment looks well, very well.” We did look pretty well that day for we had heard in the morning that Rosecrans was to be present at the review and consequently we put on as many “French airs” as possible, and, well, I told you what he said. I don’t wish to give any occasion for anyone to charge me with boasting of the 51st [OVI], but I must say that OI believe that they observe cleanliness of clothes and person as much as any regiment in the Army of the Cumberland. We have learned by observation the truthfulness of the often repeated assertion that “cleanliness is indispensable to good health.”

On Saturday we [are] exempted from all military duty and we are allowed to wash our clothing and person, clean up camp and our quarters, &c. &c. The Sabbath (when in camp) is devoted to rest. Our large bell tent (such as we had in [Camp] Meigs) have been turned over and we now have the French cover tent, or as the soldiers call them—“dog tents”—which when pitched are 4½ feet long, 6½ wide, and 5 feet high. —no, 4 feet high. One tent is allowed to each two men. My tent mate is William Davis of Newcomerstown, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio. We get along finely. He is an obliging and accommodating young man, surely. Tell Mary L. that she must write me a letter. Well, I need not say “must write” but tell her that I would like very much to read another of her interesting and news-abounding letters. I wrote last, did I not Mary? Well look here. Daniel and George must—well there is that “must” again—I should have said write to me, They have several times and wrote good letters too. I could read their letters with as much ease as any of the rest. They are fast improving in penmanship. What became of that box of provisions, clothing &c. which you said was made up for the 51st? Was it ever sent after it was taken back from Coshocton? We never “shure” as the Tennesseans say. The peaches here are about as large as a full grown acorn, but you must bear in mind that vegetation here is at least a month if not six (6) weeks in advance of that in Ohio.

Well halloo! Here comes James Goodhue down to my tent with a letter from home. Well of course the first question that I would ask would be how are the folks at home, and next, did your receipt get home or to Harrison, that you sent. Well, what did he say? “My letter does not say a word about the receipt that I sent to Harrison or about your receipt either. What is the date of your letter? April 26th. When did you send the receipt? April 19th. Something strange about this, is there not? You say Harrison is working for you. Please tell him to inform James whether or not he got that receipt and by so doing much oblige James. Well, I don’t know as I have any more to write at present so I will finish out this line and quit.

— Moses W.

P. S. Send me a May copy of Age and Messenger if you please.

2nd P. S.  I must say that this is the dirtiest, poorest composed, and poorest written letter that I have written for a long time. The fact of it is I had no news to tell and consequently I did not take much pains in writing. No, I think not, you say of course. M. L. W., Co. C, 51st Regt. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 21st Army Corps, Department of the Cumberland.


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FOUR

Lunette Rousseau
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
January 16th 1864
Birthday Anniversary

Dear Parents,

Another year of my life has gone—another birthday come. On the 16th day of January, 1840, I was born & consequently, today, I am twenty-four (24) years of age. O have often thought that birthdays should be made occasions of deep thought & honest meditation. When I take a retrospective of my life & consider the goodness & mercy of God which has followed & protected me through all the shifting scenes of my life; who has rescued me from all the dangers incident to both civil and military life; who has almost miraculously upon two (2) occasions  spared my life; who has caused the deadly missiles of the enemy to pass to the right & left; in fire, when I consider, that it has been through the compassionate love of God that I still live & enjoy health, I am ready to exclaim with the Apostle, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom & knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgements & His ways past finding out!” Rom. XI—33.

I have always taken great interest in reading the biography of great & good men, but to me, my own biography is the most interesting of all. It is true that I have not arose to eminence & fame among my fellow men & been applauded by the masses for overcoming great obstacles & performing great deeds, but there are some traits of character which claim consideration & which are possessed not only by the great & honorable, but by us who walk in the humble paths life. It is indeed interesting & instructive to contemplate the mysterious workings and operations of the immortal soul & the longer I live & the more I see of the world, the more I am led to wonder at the mighty powers of this immortal spark—this vital principle. As far as physical traits & troubles are concerned, I never experienced many of them before I enlisted. While at home, I fared well—enough to eat & wear, had the privilege of going to school, had the privilege of attending church, had the privilege of instruction on the subject of religion, had access to all kinds of useful literature, had a kind Father & an affectionate Mother, peaceful brothers & lovely sisters—in short, everything that tended to make life happy & comfortable were at my disposal.

I enjoyed myself well until I was about thirteen years of age when I commenced a conflict—not with poverty and want, however, for I have just told you that as far as temporal things were concerned, I had all that heart could wish, But it was a conflict of principles. It was a warfare between right & wrong, between truth & error, between faith & infidelity. It was a conflict which lasted & which warred fiercer & fiercer for six (6) years & which ceased, not when I joined the church nor yet when I was baptized, but while at a prayer meeting in the house of Mother Mulford. Here it closed & here, I believe, God first spoke peace to my troubled soul. It was then that I felt as never before—then that I had “peace which passed all understanding” and then that I had a foretaste of the Heavenly Jerusalem. I thought that I was a converted man (or boy rather) when I joined the church, but whether I was or not, God only knows; but that I was not acting the hypocrite in so doing, subsequent actions proved. I still sought for a plainer view of my acceptance with God & found it to my satisfaction in the house above-named. It was the most important event that ever took place with me and I believe that every person of whatever grade in society may find pleasure in the contemplation of the events of his own individual history and especially those who are laboring for the honor and glory of God and the salvation of their fellow men.

I acknowledge that I have not attained to that degree of usefulness in the world that I might have done; I know that I have mis-improved time & talent & that I have done many things which I should not have done & left undone many things which I should have done, but I would repent of all my past sins & resolve to do better in the future; to consecrate myself anew to the service of Christ. Notwithstanding I have reason to mourn over my past sin—my shortcomings—my coldness &  unfruitfulness in the service of God, yet I have great reasons to rejoice. I rejoice that I still have a disposition to serve God, that I feel sorry for the sin that I have committed, that I desire to do better, that my faith is constantly increasing, & that the worship of God is more delightful than ever before. O! yes, my dear parents, although your son is far from you in the midst of excitement & confusion, in the midst of the cares & anxieties of the camp, in fire, surrounded by every conceivable form of wickedness, I say although this is the case, I am still trying to serve God. The Grace of God has been sufficient for every day and trial & I have no reason to doubt but what it will be.

I don’t wish to appear egotistical for I hate egotism and always have, but I will just say for your consolation that I thank Almighty God that I can truly say that I have not been guilty in a single instance since I’ve been in the army of committing either one of the four leading sins of every army—namely, profanity, intemperance, gambling, & adultery. I don’t know how others would feel but it gives me more pleasure to be able to say this than it would to know that I was Lord of the world; yea, I dee, one single opportunity of secret prayer more valuable than all the crowns of Europe & the applause of a united world. But by the Grace of God, I am what I am, & to Him & Him alone, be all the glory.

A great many would have us think that it is impossible to live a Christian in the army. They say that “when we get home” we will leave off our evil habits & live Christians! I have heard scores, yea, hundreds of soldiers offer this silly excuse for indulging in sin. Think of it, God says, “My grace is sufficient for every day and trial.” But poor, sinful, deluded man throws the lie into the teeth of Jehovan & says, it is not sufficient for every trial! It is not probable that they consider that they are charging God with lying. Let us hope that they don’t, but let us also hope & pray that they will consider whereof they speak before they commit such a preposterous crime. And of all that I have said in this letter, this is the sum: there is a divine reality in the religion of Christ; religion is the most valuable of all the things of earth—either of a temporal or spiritual nature. The love of God in the soul gives that peace which passeth all understanding. We are under obligations to God for every good thought, word & deed. The Grace of God is sufficient for every day and trial. Then since this is the case (and who dare dispute it), let us “hold fast our integrity and not let it go, knowing that we shall reap in due time if we faint not” for if God be for us, who can be against us.

This is indeed an eventful age. The sword is carrying carnage & destruction into several of the states of our own native land. A million men have seized the weapons of death and meeting in deadly conflict are strewing our lovely plains with the dead and dying; wives are mourning the loss of husbands who have been killed in this parricidal war; Mothers are bereft of sons who have sacrificed their lives in maintaining the liberties of their Fathers. In short, we are engaged in the most stupendous and important conflict that has ever been known in the history of the world, & what has caused it? What is the occasion of these stupendous armies & powerful navies? What object is to be attained to compensate for this loss of blood and treasure? In short, what are we fighting for? These are questions which are of vital importance—not only to the American, but to all the civilized nations of earth. The nations of Europe are watching with an eagle’s eye the progress of this conflict of principles, the Lords of England are waiting patiently to see whether man is capable of self-government or not, & Napoleon & the Czar are anxious to have it decided whether there is any redeeming qualities in Protestantism or no. Yes, my dear parents, we are engaged in a work which concerns not only this generation—which will soon pass away—but of generations yet unborn. But let us not falter nor grow weary in well doing, knowing that “all things shall work together for good to them that love God.”

Let us look through the storms, troubles, & trials of this sinful world to that land where all is peace, where all is love, where war & strive are never known, where parents and children will meet to part no more forever; where we shall be permitted to sing the song of Moses and Lamb, throughout the ceaseless ages of Eternity. We all have friends & relations in that good country. I’ve a Mother & brothers & sisters who, I’ve no doubt, have got safely home, & who are tuning their golden harps anew in the Paradise of God. Who is it that does not desire an admittance in this lovely country? Who is it that does not desire to see that lovely Jesus, who died that we might live, who is now in Heaven interceding for sinful man? But let us wait patiently. Let us be willing to spend & be spent in the service of God. Let us be faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, do all that we do with an eye single to the glory of God & his Christ & for the establishment of truth and justice throughout the world, knowing that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

And let us not be impatient either in regard to our national difficulties; a great many appear to be very impatient because the war lasts so long. They love the cause and their country, but they are very much troubled because the war lasts so long. I don’t blame them for longing for peace, for we all do that, & ought to, but let us remember that great things move slow; that God is engaged in this great work, & that with him “a day is as a thousand years and a thousands years as one day.” We should not forget that in the eternal age of God, he does not reckon time as we do who are of but a few days, but that he employs one generation to commence a work & another to complete it. Let us then to “labor & to wait” assured that God will, in His own good time restore peace to our distracted country. In the meantime, I bid you farewell, & if we are not permitted to meet again on earth, may we form an unbroken family around the throne of God.

— Moses Whittemore

Just as I was going to put this letter in the [post] office, the sergt. informed me that he had got a box for me. I opened it & found a pair of boots, fruit, butter &c. Nothing damaged. Everything in perfect good order. I am sorry to say, however, that the boots were too small in the instep but I will either trade them for another pair or sell them & take the money & buy a new pair. I am truly thankful for this gift. I will not forget it. It is now Sabbath and I am going to meeting. It is now time.

From your son, — Moses


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FIVE

Blue Springs near Cleveland, Tennessee
April 24th 1864

Dear friends at home,

I am happy to inform you that I have arrived safely at the regiment once more. It is lying at the place named above. I arrived about noon today—24th inst.  Boys all well. I wrote a letter at Louisville. Did you get it? I had to march seventeen (17) miles only.

They tell me that James Goodhue is married!!! Have you heard anything about it> James appears to think so himself but somehow or other I “can’t see it” for you never mentioned it to me; neither did Uncle Seth’s folks; nor the girl’s folks for I saw them & talked with them. There is something mysterious about it indeed.

No news to write & direct to Cleveland, Tenn., Co. C, 51st O. V. V. I.

Respectfully yours, — Moses

P. S. Please inform in regard to local bounty.


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SIX

Near Atlanta, Georgia
July 29, 1864

Dear friends at home,

I read your welcome letter of the 19th inst. a few days ago and would have answered it then but we marched that day—26th. I was glad to hear that you had heard from me once more and that of the 8 or 10 letters which I had written, you had got at least one. I don’t wonder that the mail don’t reach you since it has to pass through the guerrilla gauntlet of 350 miles between Atlanta and Chattanooga. So since the campaign opened, the rebels have got more of my letters than you have.

I received a letter from Mary and also two papers the same day that I got yours. Mary’s letter was dated July 15th. I was sorry to hear of Sylvester’s sickness but hope he may soon be able to join his command. If I had ink I would write oftener and more than I do but it is the next thing to an impossibility to get it since there are no sutlers here. When I get it (if I ever do), I’ll write a long letter.

As to our movements, I say nothing about for you know by the papers better than I can tell you. You say send for what I want. I want a few stamps—three cents. I still keep well and James [Goodhue] also. I will not write more at present for this pencil is entirely unfit to write with or attempt to as I have done.

Write soon. Yours respectfully, — Moses


TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SEVEN

One and a half miles from Atlanta, Georgia
August 19th 1864

Dear Parents,

Lying in camp and not being otherwise employed, I thought I’d write a few lines to you, not that I’ve any special news to tell you for I have none, but because I know you’re anxious to hear from me often, and also because I want to send you several articles. I wrote a letter about a week ago to you, I’ve written two since I received one from you. I still enjoy good health. Have since I left home. James [Goodhue’s] health is good also; never better.

I received a Messenger from you about a week ago; also two Ohio State Journals, an Age, &c., for which receive sincere thanks for they were indeed to me welcome messengers. I read them & reread them & then lent them to others. I see by the Messenger that the Coshocton Association met last Saturday. Would to God I’d been there. I think they are the best meetings I ever attended but why talk or even think about atending such meetings; I’m now on another mission entirely; yet not quite another, for we still are endeavoring to establish truth and justice in the world, as they (God’s Ministers) are. I would like very much to have a Minute of the proceedings of the Association. Please send one. It will be invaluable to me.

I learn from one of James’ letters that Sylvester is dead! It somewhat surprised me to hear it but then why should I be for we are in a world of change and death. I can and do deeply sympathize with Mary in this great loss, but hope and pray that she may be resigned to the will of God, who doeth all things well. James’ folks didn’t say where nor when he died. Please give the particulars in next.

I haven’t drawn any money since I left home but have sufficient yet for some time. You will continue to send some paper and envelopes if you please for it is almost impossible to buy them here. I’ve got the money, but there are no sutlers up. Daniel, please write me a line and tell me about the farm—the crops, stock, &c. &c. &c. Tell Mary I wrote her on the 3rd inst. but as yet have received no answer. Send a lead pencil in next if you will. Several of the boys have received them in that way. Don’t forget that Minute. Write soon to, — Moses W.

P. S. Please state all about how the recruiting is progressing. Keen’e quota &c. Who is volunteering? This is dirty paper—can’t help it; from carrying it two or three weeks. Excuse please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s