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THE CHERISHED LETTERS 1863

THE CHERISHED LETTERS

cannon1863

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Camp near Manchester, Tenn.

Jan, the 6th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and affectionate Wife,

Once more I catch an opportunity of writing you a few lines I am not verry well. I have been exsposed so much for the last 13 days for which time we have been contending with the enemy and I am yet unharmed by the bullets though I have been in several close places, though some of our company have fallen. Jane your brother C. C. is dead he was shot last Wednesday and as the enemy helt the Battle ground we cound not get him away. I was not along when he was shot. I went the next day to get him away but could not. I went in gun shot of the enemy and had to turn back without him. It is thought another one or two of our company is dead and wounded, there was a hard battle fought at Murfresburough we drove the enemy back with great slaughter on both sides and now we are on the retreat towards Tulahoma. I donít believe there was the first man in favour of retreating except old Brag he is censured on all sides, I never heard anything so bad in my life.

Times are very disheartening to us worn out soldiers we have had to go and take the weather night and day some nights we ride all knight rain or shine and I tell you it is killing men and horses verry fast. My horse donít look like the same horse. I am resting today for the first time since last Wednesday. I heard your Brother Thomas was wounded in the arm and thigh though I expected you will heare all about it before you get this. James Staton was killed. I cannot heare any thing for certain about Brother Levert but from what little I can find out I donít think he is hurt. I hope not.

It looks like nothing but kind Providence saves any of us and unto him all alone do I trust sometimes I feel like if it was not for you and little children, and if I was prepared I would as soon dy as live. Jane, I want you all to pray for me that if I should fall that I may be prepared to meet God in Judgement for this I pray daily. Oh, it is an awful thing to view a battle field to sea the dead lying in every direction. Jane I have not received a line from home since I left home. You cannot imagine how bad I want to hear from you all and more particular how bad I want to sea you all. Jane take care of our little children and do the best you can.

Excuse bad writing and bad composed letter. I am in no fix for writing to day so I will close by hoping you are all well and doing well. Give my respects to all inquiring friends and receive a full share for yourself and children. I have not heard from Richard Hudson since he left for the hospital.

No more at present, only I remain as ever your affectionate husband til death,

Thos. W. Hendricks.

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Camp near Tullahoma, Lincoln Co. TN

Jan 20th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My dear Kind and Affectionate Wife:

I catch at an opportunity this evening to answer your very kind and welcome letter which came to hand day before yesterday evening by your pap. I was glad to get a letter from one more time, but very sorry to hear that you and my dear little children had been sick and suffered so much, I hope you are all well before this time, yet it is painful to me to hear of my loved ones being sick and I still feel some uneasiness fearing you all are not well yet.

Jane my health is only tolerable good at this time. I have been exposed so much, we have a good deal of rain and cold rainy as I ever felt. I am as fleshy as I ever was in my life and I am just about as little account for it. There are a good many complaining in our company at this time and it looks like we have went thru enough to kill a mule.

You do not know how much good it does me to eat those nice potatoes and wheat cakes you sent me, also so much nice butter. Jane, you never could have sent them to me at a more acceptable time, they just fill the bill. I have some of them right here by my side, so I donít wait to get hungry before I have to eat a little of something you sent to me, they put me in mind of home and I think of you every time I look at them. What you sent me would sell for 8 or 10 dollars here in camp, but $20 could not get them from me. When in camp we get plenty of pork and beef and flour, when we are out on picket or scout we very often suffer for something to eat. Part of our Regt. And me too left the day your pap got here to go to where General Whealer is, we had been here about one week, recruiting as it was late before we knew we would have to go, we had to start without rations, so some of the boys that were left behind brought us rations that night, and they told me your pa was in camp, so the colonel let me off and came back to see him. I met him on his way to see the other boys, so I am still in camp and not on the scout, and it is still raining some this evening and very muddy. Your pap said he would come back this way. I am sorry I was not here as he went up. I may have to leave here before he returns. I have not seen the apples you sent by him; I suppose he forgot to leave them.

John Bowerman and J. J. are complaining some, also a good many others.

Jane as for war news I have nothing worth writing, everything appears to be on a stand here now, it is hard to tell whether we will retreat further or not. It is reported here that General Whealer has captured one gunboat and 3 transports since we left him. That is part of our Regt. With him all the time, just as our horses and us are able. My horse was run down during the Battle but was recruited again considerably. J. Dís mare is still unable for duty. I donít think she will ever will be fit for cavalry service any more to do any good.

Jane, I want to be at home with you and our little children very bad indeed, but I fear it will be a long time. It is hard to be parted so long from loved ones and to have to go thru the dangers and hardships that we do to please the ambition of a few men, but we have it to bear and no telling how long, but I can say to you I am still trying to do the best I can and I hope if we never are permitted to see each other on earth that we may be prepared to meet in Heaven. Jane do the best you can for yourself and little children. I must close for this time, so farewell, I remain as ever your affectionate husband til death.

Thos W. Hendricks

To E. J. Hendricks.

I want you all to write soon and as often as you can.

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Camp Near Shelbyville, Tenn

Feb 1st, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and affectionage Wife

I once more seat myself to write you a few lines in answer to your

very kind and welcome letter you sent by Mr. D. Nelson. I was glad to hear from you but sorry that you and our little children were till unwell. Oh you cannot imagine how it distresses me to hear of my loved ones being sick and suffering so much. I cannot help being uneasy all the time but I hope that providence may bless and take care of you all.

Jane my health is about as it has been, except diarrhoea I have been pestered with that for a day or two but I think I am better of that today. I have taken a heap of cold while on the last march.

We started on march last Sunday and got to where we are now camped

last Friday and it was the awfulest march I was ever in. It rained and

snowed and froze and the muddiest road I ever saw and rough, some times a wagon would mire down, some times one would break down and some times we would nearly freeze and so we had a bad time of it, us and wagons too; but have been exposed so much we are partly used to it yet nearly every body is complaining and several sent to the hospital.

John Bowerman and Benton and J. D. Hendricks are about as common. I heard that Richard Hudson was dead. A man that was sent to the hospital when he was has got well and come back to camp, he told me Richard died some three weeks ago he says he saw Richard after he was dead. You cannot imagine my feelings when I heard it, it made me feel awful. I thought of his friends at home and felt for them. I know it will nearly hill his mother. Richard was a good messmate but he is gone, and Uriah Tidwell the man said was given up by the doctors, he was sent off when Richard was, he was in our mess. Wm. Huffstutler was in our mess also. Wm. Steel and G. B. Foust and John Huie are now sent to the hospital they all were in our mess; out of twelve there is only four here, namely John and Benton Bowerman, J.D. and Thos W. Hendricks, us four by kind providence are still able to be in camp and mess together, and I hope we may be spared to return home together and that before long.

Jane as for war news I have but little, only on yesterday the yanks drove in our pickets and captured several wagons that were out after forage they also got several men, the 1st Alabama was ordered to saddle up, the Yankeys are coming so off we went to meet them, but they turned and we could not overtake them although we run our horses about five or six miles to give them a pull, when we started I expected we would have something to do, but the yanks would not stay to see it, they had been in about 28 miles of our camp. I am afraid they will get hold of Wheelerís spoon and feed us out of it.

Jane I have clothing plenty, my socks are all whole and good, so is the rest of my clothing, the pants you sent me are splendid. I sent one pair of pants and drawers home by your Pap, the drawers were so small they would not button at all. They were too small every way.

I heard from Brother L.L. a few days since, he was well I wish I could get to see him. I hope I will yet some of these days. Kiss the children for me and tell them I have not forgot them, sometimes when I think of home I cannot help sheding tears; to look at my condition here is disheartening.

Give my respects to all, so goodby dear Wife.

Thos. W. Hendricks..

 

(part of a letter from Thos. W. Hendricks to Wife, Eliza J. Hendricks).

"Tell them I want to see them all verry bad, as it is getting late I must close. No more at present but I remain as ever your affectionate husband til death.

Thos. W. Hendricks

P.S.: I have to frank letters for the want of stamps or change. Sometime we have to give up our shot guns and draw Belgium rifles. We will have to box up our shot guns and send them home I exspect. I donít think the government will take them atal."

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Feb. 9th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My ever dear and affectionate Wife

I one time more attempt to scratch you a few lines to let you know something about how I am getting along. I have been sick five days though I am better today I have been able to be up and knock about some today though I have to ly down every once and awhile today. It is cold I think that ails me. When I was first taken I was on guard duty and it was one of the coldest days I ever felt. It was cloudy and snowing occasionally when knight came I had to give it up and have not been able to do anything since. I thought I was going to have a severe spell of Pnewmonia feaver and did have feaver but I taken medison and stoped it. I am very sore in my breast yet and horse I have not much appetite to eat yet. My feet are frost bitten I think. My toes hurt and burn sometimes just like they were frost bit. I tell you Jane, this is too cold a country for me to do well in as a soldier. I want to sea warm weather come again. We have fared verry ruff for the last two or three weeks both with bad weather and sorry rashions although I have been sick and the Doctor came to my ten to sea me yet I got nothing to eat but corn bread and poor beef.

I tryed to get permission yesterday to go out to a private house and stay a few days until I got better but could not get permission to go, the doctor said I ought to go, but Major Blakley who has command heare now said if I went anywhere I would have to go to the hospital and that is the last place I am going to when sick. I think Colonel Nunley has gone on furlough for 30 days and I think Major Blakley has but little fealing for a soldier.

Jane donít be uneasy about me I think I will be well as common in a few days and I hope when this comes to you that you & little children and all my friends may be in good health and doing well. Jane I cannot help but repeat that I want to sea you and little children almost beyond discription. I tell you I have thought of home often for the last few days but I pass it off the best I can and I am still trying to do the best I can and as nigh right as I can. J. D. and Benton & John Bowerman are tolerable well. Every thing is quiet along the lines now. Excuse my badly written and composed letter.

Tuesday morning the 10th, Jane I do not feal any better this morning. My brest is in a bad fix somehow when I cough it hurts me verry much. My back is verry weak also I am able to be up some. Jane, Captain Whorton has not drawed my money yet if I had it I would send you some of by Mr. Bynum. I think I will get it in a few days and then I will send some home the first chance. Jane donít be uneasy about me I hope when death comes, let it be long or soon, that I may be prepared for it. Oh that I could be at home until I get better at least. Jane give my best respects to all inquiring friends as I am feable I must close;

so farewell to my loved wife and children.

Thos W. Hendricks

to Eliza J. Hendricks.

Thursday morning 12th.

Jane I feal better this morning. I taken Blumast yesterday. I think it has helped me, I think I will be as well as common in a day or two.

Jane I have drew $132.20. I wil send you One hundred dollars by Uncle Elis Clowdus. I sent this letter by him also.

Write soon

T.W.H.

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Feb 17th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and affectionate Wife,

It is with pleasure that I write you these few lines in answer to your verry kind and welcome letter dated Feb. 3rd, by the hand of Thos. Tidwell. I was glad to heare from you & little children. But it greaves me to heare of your health and the health of our little children being bad.

Jane I feare that place is becoming unhealthy by your having chills and feaver occasionally & I also fear you try to do too much hard work and expose yourself too much outside of the house. Jane, I donít want you to work out if you donít make one ear of corn. I had rather pay five dollars per bushel for corn than for you to work out. I know it will make you sick if you undertake it. I have some hopes of peace this spring or summer. I hope I may be permitted to go home in time to cut wheat at least I live in hopes if I die in despare. Jane we get papers heare in camp every day - very blurry, unreadable - something about North ? threatening to succede from Lincolnís ? and not ? Negro policy ?. If they get divided among themselves then we will soon have peace but now is the time for us to ? ? help on their division.

Jane this leaves me in better health than I was when I wrote to you last. I sent a letter to you by Elis Clowdus and I sent you one hundred dollars by him also. I was verry unwell then as I stated in that letter I was confined for several days in my tent, but I am about well as common. I cough a rite smart yet but donít be uneasy about me. I hope that I may be permitted to return home some day to live with you and our sweet little children where I can tell you many things that I cannot write, and enjoy each others presence and company and raise up our children in the way they should be, for this I pray often.

Jane, I cannot write to you about our little children without my heart swelling to its fullest exstent. No one can tell the fealings of a father and Husband being absent from his loved ones except they have tried it. You wrote about my sweet little babe setting alone and laughing so pretty. Oh, that I could be there and sea her and get some sweet kisses. I think I could hold her and Martha and Mary and my little man Franklin all on my lap at the same time and be exactly comfortable while you would be getting a good breakfast and tell you how I get my breakfasts heare. Oh, that that day may soon come.

Jane,the pants you sent me are verry good. My clothing is all good except my overcoat and it does verry well yet. The comfort you sent me is great it gust suites me exactly. I kept about $62.00 for my own use. I will close for the present.

I remain as ever your devoted husband till death,

Thos. W. Hendricks.

Write often & I will try to do the same.

 

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Feb 21st, 1863.

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My dear and affectionate Wife.

I avail myself of the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. My health is only tolerable good. There has been so much wet cold weather that it seemes like I never will get cleare of cold. Some times I suffer a good deal with my brest which is that case at present and diarhoea. I feel a good deal better today than I did yesterday. My health is changeable. Jane, I have just received the box of provisions you sent me by Mr. Murphree. You donít know how proud I am of them it does me so much good to eat anything good especially when they come from home. You could not have sent a variety more palitable to my taste than the things you sent. I have been wanting to get hold of some sausage meat for some time. Those apples you sent are nice and verry good.

I wish I had something to send to you and my sweet little children but I have nothing atal to send. There is no chance for soldier to get anything heare that you would have. As for something to eat we get meat 7 bread, port & corn bread mostly heare of late. There was awhile we got the sorryest of Beef. J.D. & John & Benton are well as common. They are out at the picket line some 6 or 7 miles from heare. I have been heare in reserve camp for some time. I have been acting as orderly Sergeant heare in camp and the order is for one Sergeant to stay heare all the time and one commissioned officer. It keeps me from guard duty and all such. When a manís horse gives out if he donít get another one immediately he is put in infantry. There has been several dismounted in this Regt lately, two in our Company. I have made application for Brother L. L. to be transferred to this company. I gave the inspector General his name. He said he would try to get Levert transferred if Levert would mount himself, that is find horse bridal and saddle. I think Levert will mount himself to get to come to our company. I will be verry glad if I can get him in our Company. I heard from him a few days since. He was well as common. I have been in about five miles of him for several weeks and cannot get to go to sea him.

It is pretty hard but I am getting used to all such and can pass it all by without a murmur.

Jane, I am still trying to do the best I can and be submissive in all things. There is some skirmishing in front occasionally but it is uncertain when we will have a general engagement. The enemy is not advancing any yet. If they do advance we will give them the best he have got. Jane, Mr. Murphree said he thought he had a letter for me from you but he could not find it. He may have sent it out wheare the other boys are in front. If he did bring one, I will get it I reckon but I wish I had it now. Jane, I believe I have wrote everything that would interest you at present as I started a letter to you yesterday by Mr. Graves. I will close by saying that I want to sea you & little children and all my friends verry bad. Give my best respects to all enquireing friends and receave a full share to yourself and little children. I hope you are all well by this time. I am anxious to heare how Ma has got. I hope she is well by this time, so fare well.

I remain as ever your affectionate husband til death.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

To. E. J. Hendricks.

 

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

March 6th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind & affectionate Wife

I embrace the present opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. My health is tolerable good at this time and I hope you & little children are enjoying good health, though from some cause unknown to me I am in distress about you. I fear you are not all well I study about home a great deal some times I fear I neaver will sea you all any more in this life but the good Lord only knows these things, I dream of home verry often but it is only a dream after all. The health of our Company is not good we have 21 in the hospitals at this time. Capt. Ingram and Lieut Moss are both gone to the hospital & Johon Bowerman is sick & will have to go today, he has the feaver. I heare there has been 2 or 3 died lately in the hospitals. J.D. & Benton Bourenan are well as common. We are exspecting a fight heare every day there has been several skirmish fights heare lately the weather is verry bad most of the time a heap of mud.

Jane it seems sometimes like it is too much for human nature to beare to have to be parted from home & every thing that is near and dear to me and have to go threw what I do but I trust to God for protection and a better time. Jane I crave to sea you all one more time in this life & I pray God that we may be spared to live together again. Donít be uneasy about me for I will do the best I can for myself and you do the same Jane when you write again write whether you have received that hundred dollars I sent to you by Elis Clowdus.

As I am in a hurry I must close give my best love & respects to Pa & Ma and all our friends and receave a full share to your self & little children so fare well to my loved wife and little children.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

to Eliza J. Hendricks.

P.S. exscuse bad writing, etc.

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

March 8th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and affectionate Companion.

I embrace the present opportunity this Sabbath morning of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. My health is tolerable good at this time, that is it is better than it has been for some time.

Sometimes I feel tolerable well and then in a short time I feel very unwell. I stand camp life better than I ever expected I could.

Jane, I received a few lines from you by Mr. Wm. Ellis. I was very glad to read another letter from your hands, it gave me great satisfaction to learn that you all were well and doing as well as you are. I have been suffering with uneasiness about you and little children for fear some of you was sick.

Jane you wrote that Franklin and Mary said they wanted to see me. Tell them that I want to see them very bad., that I think of them every day and I want them to be good children. I wish I could be there to hear Martha talk and nurse her and my sweet little Baby; you wrote that I would not know her now she has gown so fast. I think you are mistaken, her sweet little features are fresh in my memory yet and some times it seems like I cannot stand it much longer in this wicked war, but I still put my trust in a higher power for protection and deliverance. There is skirmish fighting in front every day, the cannons are now thundering away, I can hear them distinctly. Sherrif Nelson was wounded in a skirmish day before yesterday, he was shot thru the hip bone, so I have been told, he is badly wounded. There was one man killed dead in Capt. Musgroves Company at the same time. The health of our Company is not good, there are 20 now in the hospitals. Capt. Ingram and Lt. Moss have both been sent to the hospital. John Bowerman was sent off day before yesterday to the hospital, he was bad off. I hear he will have a hard spell, there are a good many complaining here in camp. J. D. Hendricks and Benton Bowerman are well as common.

There have been two of our company dismounted and put in infantry on account of their horses giving out. When a manís horse gives out he has to get another immediately or he is put in infantry and his horse turned over to the government. My horse stands it tolerable well, but if he should give out shortly (but I donít think he will) I expect to go to infantry myself.

Cavalry is always on duty, or we are at least, a horse will never pay for himself in cavalry, it will take about all a man can make to keep himself and a horse.

Jane when you write again, write whether you have received that money I sent to you by Elis Clowdus, I sent by him one hundred dollars $100.00).

I have about sixty dollars on hand now. We get plenty of meat and bread to eat, we bought a mutton the other day. I thought it was the best meat I ever eat, wish you had a piece of it.

Tell Pa and Ma I want to see them very bad, I will write to them shortly. I must close so farewell for this time Dear companion.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

To Eliza J. Hendricks.

P.S. Excuse bad writing, this paper is no account.

 

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

23 Mar 1863

to Eliza J. Hendricks.

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear and Affectionate Wife,

I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I have been very hearty for sometime until yesterday and today I am verry unwell though I think I will be well in a day or two. I have been pestered heare of late with toothache and sore teeth. Jane I have gust receaved a letter from you & one from Ma & one from Samuel. I was glad to get so many letters from old Blount at one time. I was glad to learn that you & our little children were well & doing so well as what you are & to heare of all my friends being well except Aunt Mary Ann. I was sorry to heare of her being sick though I hope she is better before now.

Jane you wrote that I would not know my baby if I was to sea her. I think you are mistaken. Her sweet little features are fresh in my memory yet and pen cannot describe how bad I want to sea her & not only her but all the rest of you. Neaver did I want to be at home with yu and children worse than I do at this time, no one knows any thing about it until they the trial of it, but we must endure it & look for better times which I hope are gust ahead. Jane donít be uneasy about me. I am getting along as well as I could exspect & in fact I have stood it better than I ever thought I could. I am trying to do the best I can for myself & I am still looking to Providence for protection.

Jane we get plenty of meat & bread to eat, that is we get a half pound bacon per day & one pound corn meal which does tolerable well. My horse looks tolerable well. Jane I got those drawers you sent by Thos. Walker with a nice potato rolled up in them which eat verry good and was a great rarity. My socks are tolerable good yet. They will do me a good while yet. My cotton shirts are tolerable good yet I think they will last me some 3 months yet perhaps. If I had a chance I would sendpart of my lincey clothes home and my comfort. My jeanes coat & pants and vest will last me all summer I think. The health of our company is not verry good.

We have had a heap of sickness in our Company and nine died of disease and two killed. J. D. and Benton Bowerman are well as common. We have some fightg in in front every few days not much damage done though on nary side. It is thought the Yankeys are falling back they have drawed in their picket lines but it is uncertain yet what they will do. I hope they go back and neaver stop this side of the Ohio River.

As it is getting dark I must close. Give my little children a kiss for me: Give my respects to all enquiring friends and receive a full share to yourself and children, so good-by dear Companion.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

To Eliza J. Hendricks.

P.S. I got the apple Ma sent to me by Thos. Barnes & it was verry good. I send this by hand part of the way.

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Camp, near Shelbyville, Tenn.

March 25th, 1863

Mr. Moses Hendricks,

Dear Father and Mother,

With much affection & Respect, I embrace the present opportunity to drop you a few lines in answer to your verry kind & welcome letter, Dated 13th inst., which came to hand a few days since, by Thos Barnes, and you may be ashured that I read it with much interest & delight, and feel encouraged by the instruction given therein, and to hear that are all well & doing well as what you are. I have been verry unwell for a few days but I believe I am about strait again. The duty I have been doing heare of late has been light, all the officers and most of the men have been out at the front & I have been left heare in camp to take charge of those of our company heare in camps, so I have been favored heare of late from being exsposed so much. I have a tent to sleep in & have put up a skalforld to sleap on to keep off the ground. There has been some fighting in front every day or two, but not much damage on either side. The yankeys have drawed in their picket lines heare of late I donít know wheather they intend to retreat or advance. Some think there will be no geneal engagement heare but that is uncertain, I think. I was surprised to learn that you all & especially that Jane had not receaved any more letters from me than what she has. I have sent by nearly every body that has been heare from Blountsville some times two or three letters a week & I donít think there has ever been a week lately but what I have wrote as much as one letter some of you.

I have nothing of much interest to write now, only the health of our company is some better than it has been that is those who are present. We have 18 in hospitals sick most of them I exspect in GA. We get to eat mostly Bacon & corn bread we get a half pound of bacon to the man per day & one pound cornmeal is gust what we get to eat and nothing else; and the bacon is not dryed at that. The country is eat out so clean that it is almost impossible to buy any thing to eat in the country that is nourishing. Some ask as high as one dollar for one quart of buttermilk, for a mutton $8.00 Chicken from 1.00 to $1.00 & Ĺ, Crablantern (?) or half moon pies 50 cents apeace & ct. but I donít buy any such prices.

My horse stand it tolerable well. We have been getting pleanty of corn but verry seldom any fodder or hay. Ma, you can tell Jane I think I will have plenty of clothing to do me until June at least. I think I will send some of my lincey clothes home the first chance I can get. The weather will soon be warm enough to pull off my lincey shirt & drawers & I donít want to pack any more on my horse than I nead. It is a hard matter to get washing done heare some times we have to ware a shirt 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and by that time we get lousy.

I started a letter to Jane yesterday, and wrote one to Sam & Elizabeth. I want you all to think of me when it goes well with you.

Thos W. Hendricks.

To Moses and M. A. Hendricks.

P. S. Write soon and often

 

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Reserve Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

March 31st, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and Affectionate Wife.

I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along, my health is only tolerable good. I have an aching thru my back and shoulders and a soreness in my breast. I think it is cold. Am frequently that way, my appetite is tolerable good, so think I will feel well in a few days again. The health of our company is not good at this time, there are several cases of the measles in our company now, and Milton Robbins has the mumps, he is getting better. Baily Murphry died here in the tent last night, he had measles, he died with congestion of the lungs. That makes 10 died in our company of diseases, not counting John Mullins, we have no official report of his death yet. We have lost two killed and four taken or killed and 2 wounded, making an aggregate of 18 men. Jno. D. and B. Bowerman stands it pretty well. We have very cool weather hre now, no more prospect of a fight here than has been all along.

Jane there is some prospect of our Regt. getting to go to Ala., Colonel Clanton the first Colonel of the old first Ala. Regt. has been to Richmond and returned a few days, since he has been here he has permission from the authorities at Richmond to take this Regt., provided Generals Whealer and Johnson are willing, so Col. Clanton has now gone to see them, if they come to it we will be down towards old Bount in a week or two but I am afraid Whealer will not consent to it. If he does consent to it, I guess we will go through Blountville. If so you need not doubt but what I will give you a call and tell you a great deal more than I can write and see if I have been absent from my sweet little children so long that I have forgot how they look. But it wonít do to indulge too strong in hope for that, for it may all fall to the ground. May God grant it to be so for we are tired and worn out with this country. We have 19 men now sick in the hospitals. Jane it seems like that if I could get to go to Ala and get to see you and little children and the rest of my friends I could stand it a great deal better than to have to stay here or go to Kentucky.

I received a letter from Brother L. L. yesterday, he wrote he was well, I received a letter a few days since from Ma dated March 20th, and was very glad to hear that you were all well and doing well. If John Bowerman and John Huie are dead we have not been informed of it here yet.

Jane, as for bodyguards, we have plenty and more than two at times. I cannot get a garment washed for less than 25 cents and not often at that. Jane I will need some clothing after a while, but I will write in time if I donít get to go to Ala. One of my socks has got a right smart hole in the heel and you had better think I thought of you this morning when I put it on, but I think my socks will do ma a right smart while yet.

I started a letter to Ma and Pa and one to Samuel, all in the same envelope the morning of the day that I received Maís in the evening. I expected to send them by hand but I failed. I must close. Excuse hand writing for my paper and pen are both no account and I am nervous, so farewell.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

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Camp Near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Apr. 3rd, 1863

Mr. T. W. hendricks

Dear Kind and affectionate Brother,

Thos, I grab the present opportunity to answer to your very kind & much esteemed letter of the 1st of this inst. I rec'd it yesterday evening. Apr. 4th. Well, Brother Thomas I will try to write again. I had just commenced writing yesterday and had to quit to police of a new camping ground we have moved to I will try to finish writing. We moved about 3 hundred yards. This leaves me in common health & I do hope these few lines will find you well. I was very glad to get a letter from you and hear you was well. I also received one from Jane about the same time I recd yours. She wrote they was well. I will enclose it with mine and send it to you though you may have heard from them later. I haven't any news of interest to write. You said something about coming to Palmers Company a letter or two back. I think you had better wait awhile but I have no idea you will come. N. J. VENABLE has been elected 1st Lieut. he has not been assigned to duty yet. I think Capt. PALMER will be our Major if he is I can't tell who will be our officers. Don't think though that I don't want you to come to this Co. for I had rather we was together. You said something about your Regt. going to Ala. I would be glad I belonged to your Co. and if you go to Ala. I would be the gladdest in the world to belong to your Co. Brother Thos. I want to see you very bad it looks hard two Brothers have to stay as close to each other as we do and cant get to see each other. I might get a pass for one day but I can't walk up to your Camps and back in one day and I would have to get a pass from Major Gen. WITHERS and I had just as soon trye to get a furlow almost. The health of our Co. is only tolerable good. Several in the Hospittle. Henry RETHAFORD & Lloyd BEAVERS is both at the hospittle.

Well, I must tell you John HUDSON has come to our Company. John COWDEN & James TAL......? stayed in our Camps a knight or two. They both belong to Old BRAGG's escort. Well Brother I believe I have told you all the news so I will close for the present. I want you to write soon and often.

Give my best regards to Benton & John D. tell me who is your mess. I will stop. I remain your devoted brother until death.

L. L. Hendricks

To T. W. Hendricks.

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Reserve Camp near Shelbyville

April 1st, 1863.

Mr. L. L. Hendricks

Deare and affectionate Brother,

I embrace the present opportunity to answer your verry kind and welcome letter which came to hand day before yesterday. I was verry glad in deed to read a letter from you and to learn by it that you was well. You stand it better than I thought you could. I do hope your health may continue good, Brother L. L. I have neaver received but the one letter from you. You stated in it that you had wrote 2 or 3 but I neaver have seen them. I and J. D. have both wrote to you. I have wrote some 2 or 3 myself. I suppose it was carelessness in the post masters though I sent one or 2 by hand. I think the best way is to frank them and then they will put them through much better I think.

We are camped some quarter of a mile off to the right of the Shelbyville and Murfresboro Pike. It is about 7 Ĺ miles from heare to Shelbyville. L. L. I want to sea you verry bad and if I had any chance I would go to your camp on a visit but it is a hard matter to get a pass to go anywhere without we have particular business. I am acting Sargeant and have been nearly ever since the battle, and all the rest of the officers are out at the front so I am left heare in camp to take charge of what men are heare and my presence is always required, but if I ever get the chance I will come to sea you, & I want you to do the same if you can get the chance. L. L. I received a letter yesterday from Jane. She said they were all well, but the measles were in the neighborhood verry bad too.

It is with me as you said; it does a heap of good to get a letter and learn that all are well at home. The health of our company is not good. There are several cases of measles heare now. Milton Robbins has the mumps. He is getting better we have about 20 in the hospitals. J. D. and Benton stands it tolerable well.

Colonel Clanton the first Colonel of the 1st Ala Regt. Calvalry is trying to get us to go to Ala if he succeeds our Regt. will leave heare before long for Ala. That suits us all verry well if he can but succeed & if we get off, oh how glad I would be to have you with us. Clanton has been to Richmond and has got permit from the authorities there provided Whealer and Johnson are willing and he is gone now to sea them so we will know in a few days I suppose. I give our inspector General your name with some 5 or 6 others several weeks ago. He said he thought he could get you heare by you mounting yourselves but I reckon he never done anything with it.

I must close excuse bad writing my pen and paper are bad. Write soon & often so fare well I remain your devoted Brother until death.

Thos. W. Hendricks

to L. L. Hendricks.

P.S. I send this by Tapley Murphree. He belongs to the Ala Regt. Col. He is up heare his Brother died heare in our company day before yesterday & he is now gone to see him buried.

 

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

April 13th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My Dear and Affectionate wife:

I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. My health is not good, I have been very unwell for about two weeks, though I am some better now, I think I will be able to out to the front in a few days. All is quiet out there now, no prospect for an early battle as I know of. The health of the company is not very good, some have yellow jaundice, some mumps and some have the measles. There have been several died in hospitals. John Bowerman died at chattanooga March 30th, but I have wrote that in a letter to Pa and Ma the other day. John, David, and B. Bowerman are well.

Jane this is the second letter I have wrote since I have received one from you, your last as dated March 17th. I would like very well to get a letter from you, I am looking for one every mail, I want to know how you and our sweet little children are getting along. Jane you donít know half how bad I want to be at home with you and them, nothing on this earth could afford me half the satisfaction that home and friends there would if I was but permitted to go there and stay in peace. But Jane, let us still live in hope and do the best we can and try to live as nigh right as we can.

There is still some talk of us going to Alabama, but I fear that is all talk and no cider, yet I have some hope as it suits my notions so well.

Jane, as for clothing, I am making out very well yet, after it gets a little warmer I would like to have about 2 pairs of cotton socks. I intend to send my heavy drawers and shirts home the first chance I get, they are too heavy to pack all summer. I will write before I need clothing in time for you to send them if we stay any where about here. We may possibly have to go to Kentucky this summer, but I hope not, but there is no telling what we may have to do or go to. Some of our boys that were taken prisoners at the Murphysboro fight have been exchanged and come back to camp last night, Lige Hudson for one, Culbertson for another, James Fowler is on his way, OíRanzo Brown is some where on the way sick.

Jane we get one half pound bacon and one pound corn meal per day to the man and some times the meal is coarse enough for grits, and some times we get a little sugar and rice, very seldom though. That is our diet sick or well. We eat wild onions when we can get them, just the same as if they were garden onions or shallots, in fact when we are well we eat anything we can get, rabbits, coons, squirrels, and everything else. We had a rabbit for supper last night and it was mighty prime, I tell you. Jane, I have just come to the conclusion that a soldier will eat anything almost that he can get. Jane, we still have some bodyguards occasionally, though I have not been pestered with them much lately.

Well, Jane, I believe I have wrote everything that I can think of that would interest you. Tell Franklin he must eat a heap of milk and mush and grow fast so that he can drop corn for me next spring if we should live and the war ends, which I hope it will in time for that at least, if not sooner. I have wrote to you all since I have received answers. Tell Mary and Marty I want to see them very bad and little Sissa, I reckon you will have to kiss her for me. Ma wanted me to send her a name. Jane I had rather you would name her yourself. I wrote to Ma that I would as soon we was named after you as any name I could give, so you can call her Eliza or Eliza Jane, or either one of the two names or both, or any other name that suits you, and I will be satisfied. She is pretty enough for any name I know that can be given, but it donít matter so much about the name after all. You must write soon and often, so farewell,

I remain as ever your devoted husband till death.

Thos W.Hendricks.

Eliza J. Hendricks, Benjamin, Mary, Martha, Sissa and all.

 

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Camp near Middleton, Tenn.

April 24th, 1863.

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Kind and Affectionate Wife,

I take the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am well as common at this time and I hope when these few lines comes to hand that you all may be enjoying good health & doing well. Jane, I have not heard from you in some time. I am anxious to heare from you all. I have nothing of much interest to write you. We have a heap of duty to do. Some of us are on picket & scout every day and knight too. There are some indications for an early battle.

The yankees come out towards our picket lines every day or so but they go back again. I was out a picket knight before last. My horse taken the distemper or glanders and go to poor & weak that he could hardly strike a soap so far. Last Tuesday it was reported that the Yanks were coming in line of battle so we saddled up and off we went to meet them and my horse was so weak that he could scarcely keep up but we did not fight any. The Yanks went back and as we returned to camp my horse fell down in a creak and bruised his knee which made him verry lame, so I was compelled to swap him off and get a better one or go to infantry. I have got a good horse by giving $200.00 to boot. You may guess that horses are verry high heare though my horse was entirely give out he was not worth anything heare to me.

Jane, the first chance you have to send by a right trusty hand, I want you to send me $160.00 (One Hundred and sixty dollars). I have paid forty dollars & there is one hundred 7 sixty still behind. We will draw $47.60cts, before long I expect, but I want to keep that much on hand. Donít send the money until you know you are sending it by a trusty person.

We get but little corn & no fodder nor hay. We get corn meal & bacon to eat tolerable plentiful well. We get one half pound bacon per day & from one to one pound & a quarter of meal per day. We have some verry nice weather now. Our tents have been turned over to the government so we will have no more tents until cold weather comes again. I reckon we will gather up old boards about plantations and build scaffolds so we can keep tolerable dry when it rains if we are not on picket or scout. I believe we fight more in wet weather than dry.

Capt. Ingram has got well & returned to camp. He looks hearty. There is a right smart of sickness in camp. I believe they left about 3 tents down at the reserve camp for the sick. John, D. H. & Benton Bowerman are well & harty. I heard from Brother L. L. Hendricks & John & Wm. Deaver a few days since. They were all well.

Jane, the time seames long since I was with you & little children. Cannot describe the fealings I have some times when I get to studying about home and loved ones there. But still I am trying to do the best I can for myself both for the present & future and I hope you are doing the same.

Jane, take good care of our sweet little children & train them up in the way they should go. Tell Pa & Ma I want to sea them verry bad. Tell them I think of them often. Give my best respects to all of our relations and enquiring friends and receave a full share to yourself and sweat little children. I will close by saying write soon & often & I will try to do the same, so fare well.

I remain your unworthy husband,

Thos W. Hendricks.

To: Mrs. E. J. Hendricks.

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Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.

Apr. 21th, 1863

Mr. T. W. Hendricks, Dear Affectionate Brother,

One time more I take my pen in hand in order to answer to your very kind and welcome letter which come to hand over a week ago. I got your letter on Sunday. I neglected writing that day, so next morning we started on picket. I forgot to take any paper so I haven't had the chance we go back off of picket last evening. Stayed out 8 days. We went out on the Eagleville pike. I think that is the name of it. We had a nice time. I was very glad to get a letter from you but sorry to hear of you not being well. I fear you will never have any good health in the army. This leaves me not very well. I haven't been well for some time. I am troubled with the diarhea and have had a pain in my head. I think my head has rise in side I have some fever though able to be up all the time. I hope I will be well in a few days. I recd a letter from Ma of the 7th and one from Pa dated the 12th inst. They are all well or was when they wrote. I have just wrote them a letter.

Brother, I haven't anything interesting or new to write. I thought last week I would trye and get a pass today and go and see you but I don't feel able to walk that far. I would be glad to see you and the rest of the boys. I don't suppose any of them are with you though, none only the sick. Tell me who and how many of the Ingram's Co. are in camp with you.

As I am unwell, I will stop. Write soon.

I remain your devoted brother until death. Fare well.

L. L. Hendricks.

To T. W. Hendricks.

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April 14, 1863.

My Deare affectionate child,

Through the kind mercy of God we are all well & I hope these lines will find you enjoying the same greate blessing. I received youre verry kind message last evening at youre Aunt Mary Ann's. John David had been up to see Greaves. He brought us your kind letter wrote on the 9th. O, how glad I was to heare from you but sorry to heare of so many of our men being cut down and wounded. I feare before this time there are a great many more fallen. I thought the recruits was going to be drilled before they was taken into battle.

The Yankeys was making theare way to Warrington last Saturday night to take the men that was theare drilling. Theay heard it & theay started about 8 Oclock & come home. Ruben ELLIS has a company expects to start next Friday. They think now thay will go to Shelby Springs. The yankeys went on & took Summerville we heare today, Gorge HUFSTUTTLER and John DAYLIES son Gorge is in Ellis's Company. T. W. talkes of starting next Wednesday with William DEAVER but I don't know for certain whether he will or not. I haven't seen him today. I went by theare this morning. He was gone out to hunt his cows. They went to Mr. Deaver's last Thursday, got home last evening. They think theare will be a draft or the Militia called out & T. W. talkes of going & joining Capt. SKINNER's Company; The greatest excitement heare that has ever been heare. I have an opportunity of dropping a few lines to you & sending it by Mr. GILLAND & Mr. TIDWELL. I believe this is all the way we can heare from each other. I want you to write every opportunity & write me about the boys. I feare that when I heare from you that I shall heare that you too are fallen. O, do try and call upon God who is able to save. I dread to heare from Corrinth again & anxious to heare our doom.

Theay are finishing planting the cornfield this evening. Theay commenced planting it the Thursday after you started. Theaye has been so much rain so thaey are neare done with it. John is still with us. He does tolerably well. It tires your Pa to plow very much. He has to lay off.

Milton ROBBINS & Mary HOLLY married yesterday at Harbins Church. he moved his things down wheare ? lived last week. Her people new nothing of it. It is now sundown & I want John to take this down to night to those men. They passed by at five this evening going to Corrinth with a wagon after their wounded friends. I told them if you was wounded to fetch you. They said they would fetch as many as they could. Tell S. M. howdy for me & all the rest of the boys. Your Aunt Mary Ann has been very bad off last week. Doc LUIS is tending on her. I, your Pa, D. A. & S. J. went to see her last evening after meeting. She was some what better. She got up a little while we was there. J. D. was complaining right smart. he hurt himself a lifting last Fryday at our log rolling. He hant ben well since. It took them all day to finish rowling. write soon. I must stop as it is getting dark. May God bless & take care of you, so fare well. I remain youre deare Mother untill death.

M. S. Hendricks

(two separate parts of the same letter. but no date given as when this part was written. confident I am he never can walk so far if he had nothing to carry, O i wish he was with you. I see in our yesterday's paper that it is thought that Bragg has declined trying to take Louisville awhile. Price & Vandorn was driven back at Corrinth, there is 70 Northern ships landed at Mobile. It looks like the enemy will overpower ours as sin & wickedness & extortion runs so high. Well, we have been looking for a letter from you every mail this week, but hope we will get one tomorrow. Aunt Mary Ann got one from J. D. Tuesday but said nothing about none of you. he said some of the boys would come home as soon as you drawed your bounty after clothing. you come if you can.

(From next page).....six hundred apiece: he will give one hundred dollars he has brought M. Ann I think at eighty five dollars. Jane has a right smart of wood you hauled yet. We stay with her a night or two every week since you left & we will as often as we can. She never will suffer for anything while we have. I wish you could get your place back for one hundred dollars. Jane's Father says he will write to Fitzpatrick to know whether he will rent the house or not. Grigsby wants to rent the land if he does he says Jane can have the houses. I wish you could come home & see about it. I expect your tools is made. Mr. Deaver said he would send a hand over next week to help gather the corn. My deare child, I do hope you are trying to put your trust in God & If you do he will be found. Seek him with your whole heart. I do pray Heaven's Blessings to rest upon you & deare brother, O, we want to see you.

M. S. Hendricks.

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Camp near Pikeville, Tenn.

May 4, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear and Affectionate Companion:

I embrace the present opportunity to write a few lines in answer to your very kind and much esteemed letter, which I have just received by the hand of Mr. Hanes. It gave me much satisfaction to learn that you and little children were well and still have plenty to eat and that you are getting along so well with your crop. My health is good as it has been for sometime. I can eat all that I can get, our rationís are the same that they have been for sometime, forage is getting scarce here. The health of our company is only tolerable good, some of the boys have the mumps and some are just getting over the measles. John D. Hendricks and B. Bowerman are well and harty.

Jane I am glad you sent me those cotton socks, yarn socks are getting too warm. I believe I will send one pair home by Mr. Harbin, I will also send this letter by him.

Jane those apple and peach butter eats very good. I donít know how you kept them so long. As for war news I have but little; there has been a long calm, that is there has been no heavy fighting for some time. I think the enemy is just waiting to get the advantage, which I fear they will accomplish, if our Generals donít keep wide awake. Now is the time for us to hold our positions in the different armies in order to have peace soon.

Jane, I have but little to write to you now, having written to you and Ma and Pa but a few days ago. I have not received a letter from none of you since Mr. Moss left. Tell Brother D. A. I would like very much to hear from him, it has been a long time since I have received a letter from him.

I want you all to write often it is a great satisfaction to me to get a letter from my friends, you wrote that Mary and Franklin sent howdy to me, tell them I have not forgot them but that I want to see them very bad indeed. Oh that I could be at home if it was but for a few days to be with you and our little children it would relieve my mind very much. I can see little Martha a running abut in my imagination with Franklin and Mary, while my little babe is crawling and climbing up by chairs and working with the pots and ovens generally. I hope the time may soon come when we all can enjoy each otherís company while life may endure. Jane let us hope for better times and try to live as nigh right as we can. I for one am trying to live that way, but I have many things to contend with here. I have a great desire to get home to help you raise up our little children in the way they should be. I will close so farewell.

I remain your affectionate husband till death.

Thos. W. Hendricks

to E. J. Hendricks.

(Included in letter to Eliz. J. Hendricks dated May 4, 1863)

Dear Father and Mother:

Having wrote to you lately and also to Jane I will write but a few lines in this letter to you to let you know that I have not forgot you yet.

I received your very kind and much esteemed letter by Mr. Harbin, which gave me much satisfaction to learn that you were all well and doing well.

Pa you seem to be distressed by the way you wrote about our fate, well it is tolerable rough, but donít suffer your mind to be pestered about it, donít listen to everybodyís tales. Mr. Moss for one, I think exaggerates considerably. When he was up here he said that wheat had the rust when he left home and that the fruit was killed and that there was not more than three bushels of corn to the family in Blountsville, but I did not believe it, and so you need not believe everything you hear about the army yet we are treated bad enough and too bad. I must close I will write to you again soon.

I remain your son till death,

Thos. W. Hendricks

to Moses and M. S. Hendricks.

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Camp neare Pikeville, Tenn.

May 24th, 1863

Dear & affectionate Wife,

I avail myself of the present opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. My health is as good as it has been since I entered the army, in fact I have felt as well for 2 or 3 weeks as I have for several years past. I never was hartier in my life I could eat about one third more than we draw. Some times we draw Ĺ lb of Bacon to the man per day, & verry often we draw one pound of poor Beef in place of Bacon so our principal diet is corn Bread 7 poor Beef. But we buy a little bacon Butter and sometimes a few eggs; 4 of us have bought & eat up 9 dollars worth of Bacon since we came heare which has just been 2 weeks. Provisions are scarce and high heare so is forage. Wheat looks fine & there is a good deal of corn planted in this valley.

I donít know how long I will stay heare it may be a good while before I am sent to my company. I expect I will have to stay in the Eitc corps until I get to be well drilled. We were sent heare for that purpose. We sea an easier time heare than when we were with our Regt. There is no Yanks close about heare though there are some bush whackers not far off. Jane, you can tell ma. I receaved her letter day before yesterday. Capt. Ingram forwarded it to me. I was glad to heare that you were all well, but sorry to heare of them invaders passing through that country but they have done their do & it was no lasting advantage to them. Jane as I have wrote 2 letters since I came heare (one to you and one to Pa & Ma) I have but little to write now having been heare but two weeks. Jane I want to sea you & my little children very much, pen cannot describe my feelings at times about home & the ties that I have there but I still hope for a better day to come, I donít know now fare it is from heare to Blountsville But I suppose it is about 4 days travel or about 150 miles. If I could get a furlough I guess I would ride it in 4 days. I hope when this comes to hand that it may find you all well & doing well, so fare well.

Your devoted husband,

Thos. W. Hendricks.

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Murra County, Tenn.

June the 18th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Kind and Affectionate wife,

I embrace the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive though not as well as I have been. I have been unwell ever since we left Sequatchie Valley. I have been pestered with a pain in my back and left side, though it has about left me now. I had to stop and stay at a private house two nights and one day, and was well treated while I stayed there. We are now camped in Murra county, Tenn. 7 miles from Columbia, I suppose about 30 or 35 miles west of Shelbyville.

We left Sequatchie last Monday was a week. They thought then that the yanks were advancing, so Wheeler sent dispatch for the Eighth Corps to take up the march immediately for the battle field, but when we got there everything was quiet, so we were sent where we are now stationed. We got here last evening.

Jane, as for war news, I have nothing late. I suppose you get the news as quick if not sooner than I do, so I will omit giving any for what we hear is very much mixed anyway. I am very anxious to hear from Vicksburg, I have some fears about that place.

Jane, it seems like it has been a long time since I received a letter from any of you. The last one I got was dated May 24th, nearly one month ago. I want to hear from you worse than every before, but I will not complain. I feel thankful that we are all still alive, and that there is some hope at least of enjoying each others presence and company at some future day. If it would do any good I could sit here on this lime rock and weep from morning til night, but that would only add new grief to a full supply, so I pass time off the best I can. I am very anxious to hear from Brother L. L. I have not heard one word from him since you and Ma wrote last, which was the 24th of May. I hope that he has got better and got a furlough to go home before now.

Wheat crops are very good in this state and corn crops look fine. So far there has been plenty of rain, people are beginning to harvest here now. Our fare is about the same as it has been for sometime.

Jane if you have any chance at anytime to send me some money do so, five dollars is all the money I have got and that is next thing to none these times. It has now been about 6 months and a half since I have seen any of you, that looks like a long time to be from home and little ones who are as dear as life itself, but Jane they are in your care and all that I can say is to do the best you can and try to train them in the way they should go. I feel deeply interested in their training.

Jane when you write give me all the news and especially about the children, although I expect they have well nigh forgotten me by this time, but tell them that I have not forgotten them, and that I want to see them very bad, and little Eliza that sweet little Babe must be very smart to be walking so soon. Give her a kiss for me.

Jane when you see your Pap tell him I would be very glad to have another pair of boots before much longer, so if he has an opportunity of sending me a pair soon he will oblige me much by doing so. I intend to try for a furlough before long, but I have not idea of getting one, though I can but try.

When you write direct this way

Gen. Wheelerís Eighth Corps,

In care of Col. Blakey,

Shelbyville, Tennessee.

I will close by hoping these few lines may reach your hands soon and find you all well and doing well, give my best respects to parents and friends and receive a full share yourself, so farewell.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

(Write soon)

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Camp near Trenton

Dade County, Georgia

July 8th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks.

My ever dear and affectionate wife,

as I suppose you are verry anxious to heare from me I will write you a few lines in response to your kind and welcome letter which came to hand yesterday dated June 11th. I am well and hearty & I hope when these few broken lines comes to your hands, that you all may be well & doing well. I am sorry to heare of my little children being unwell but I hope they are well before now. But, Oh, the sad & lamentable news, of the death of poor Brother L. L. I wish I could of seen him one more time in this life but I hope he is better off & that our loss is his eternal gain. Some may imagine that a soldiers life is an unaffectionate life, but my affections increase daily for my friends, & sometimes it seams like I could almost die in peace if I could get to see you all one time more.

I have been making an effort for a furlough but I canít tell yet how it will come out. My Brigadier General has approved it for me, but it yet has to be approved by General Martin commanding this Division & then by General Wheeler and Bragg. I fear they will not all approve it. There is only one thing that will cause them to approve it and that is to give me a chance to get another horse. Our retreat from Cowens station, Tenn. To this place nearly ruined our horses. It was so warm my horseís back scalded verry bad and we got almost nothing to feed on, so that is the plea on grounds that I have got my furlough started on (I inserted in the furlough that I would have me a good horse if they would let me go home after it).

I would be willing to sacrifice fifty dollars in my horse to get to go home. My horse is as good as a great many others heare but I am willing to get another if I can get to go home by doing so. Jane, fifty dollars is nowhere nor $100.00 neather compared with the pleasure it would afford me to be with you all 15 or 20 days. If I could see you and our children half as often as I dream of you it would be not new thing. Jane I reckon you thing I am verry slow about writing to you but it was not because I did not want to write, it was because I had no chance to write till now. I have not receaved a letter from any of you of a later date than June 11th and that is the first since I left Sequatchia Valley. I think there must be letters somewhere on the way for me. I am anxious to heare from you.

Our troops are all on this side of Tennessee River. We crossed at Bridgeport and came down on this side. We burnt the Railroad bridge there. We had a tiresome retreat & it rained nearley every day since we left Columbia. I donít know how long we will stay here the division is heare now for the purpose of recruiting men and horses which is verry much needed. I donít know whether we will be sent off to drill any more or not. I have heard some talk that we will when our wagons gets heare. You need not write until you heare from me again. If my furlough fails I will write as soon as I find it out. We are now in Wills Valley about 70 miles from heare to Blountsville. If we go off and drill it is verry likely that we will go nearer home than we are now.

No more. Your devoted Husband,

T. W. Hendricks.

 

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Cherokee County, Alabama.

Sept. the 14th, 1863.

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My Dear and much esteemed Wife:

I avail myself of the happy priviledge of writing you a few lines to let you know where I am and how I am getting along. I am at Uncle John Chapmans, I have been here ever since Saturday night. I was unable to travel and got permission to stay here a few days. I will go on tomorrow as my health is much better than it was when I stopped here. I go to Cedar Bluff last Saturday morning, where I found the Command, but the command was ordered away to Lafayette, GA, it started that evening, and I being verry unwell the Doctor told me to go with the wagons which were going towards Rome, and If I became unable to leave he said for me to stop at a private house and stay until I got able to travel. He also gave me some medicine to take which made me tolerable sick, and when I get here at Uncle Johns I got a pass to stay a few days, and as I am a good deal better I expect to go on towards Rome tomorrow and overtake the wagons. I think I will be stout in a few days.

Uncle Johnís folks are all well. I had no difficulty in traveling from home to my command, I took my time and found it without any trouble.

I hear that Bragg has fell back from Chattanooga, and that most of the yankey army is on this side of the Tennessee River. I expect there will be a heavy battle up that way soon if it has not already commenced. I have not heard any definite news though for a day or two.

Jane donít be uneasy about me for I think I will be well as ever in a few days, I want to hear from you all very bad. I am fearful you all have not got well of the sore eyes yet, but I hardly know where to tell you to direct your letters, for there is no telling where we will be stationed at next. Perhaps you had better direct to Rome, GA, in care of General Wheeler, or any place that you can hear that Wheelerís headquarters are at.

When you write again, write whether you have ever heard anything about our sheep or not. I forgot all about them when I was at home. I will close for this time, so farewell.

Your devoted Husband,

T. W. Hendricks.

 

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Near Rock Spring Campground, GA.

September 21st, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear and Affectionate Wife.

I avail myself of the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am. I am still unwell, I have been sick nearly every since I left home. I stayed at Uncle John Chapmans a few days as I wrote you when I was there. I was improving when I left there but the nights have been so cold lately that I have taken a heap of cold, which has put me nearly past going, but I hope I will be well soon.

There has been a severe battle fought up above Rock Spring Campground and I learn this evening that the Yanks have been under full retreat all day and that they are aiming to cross the Tennessee River closely persued by our troops, it is said the yanks fought harder than ever before. I suppose we lost a great many men.

Jane I donít know where to tell you to direct to me now, for I donít suppose we will stay here more than a day or so, if that long. We may go in to Tennessee soon if the Yanks still give back, but I canít tell anything about that now. I want to hear from you all very bad. Give my best respects to all my friends and relatives and remember me to my little children whom I think of often.

I remain your affectionate Husband til Death.

W. Hendricks.

To Mrs. E. J. Hendricks.

 

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Camp Starvation

Marshall County, Ala

October the 26th, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My Dear and much esteemed Wife:

I avail myself of the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope that these few lines may soon come to hand and find you all well and doing well.

We have had a rough time since we left home last. There has been a heap of bad weather (cold and wet) and but little to eat, I had rather have the rations I started from home with than all that I have had to eat since, and this is the tenth day since I left. I have eat bread that Bounce would not eat unless he was starving. I think it was made of corn shelled off by the rats, scraped up on the crib floor two yers old at that, and it has been about thirty hours since I have had any bread at all. Sometimes we get a little beef and sometimes a little bread and sometimes a little parched corn. We have just bought a half bushel of grits so we will have some bread today.

We left our old camp near Courtland last Thursday. We got to this place last night. We are camped between Warrenton and Deposit, some 2 Ĺ miles from Warrenton; I expect we will stay here for several days, but I donít know where we will go to from here. I f you get this soon write immediately and direct to Guntersville, Ala., direct in care of Capt. Ingram, 1st Ala. Cav. Reg. Co.

There has just been a soldier marched up and down by our camps and I think clear thru the Briggade with several armed men behind him and four Buglers with their music which seemed to say, stole, Stole a pistol, with a piece of paper tacked to his coat behind with them words on it in large letters. I tell you he looked bad, he belongs to the 1st Confederate Regt.

I must close for I want to send this by Mr. Hudson and he is about to start, so farewell. Write soon.

T. W. Hendricks.

P.S. Kiss the children for me and give my respects to all.

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Near Knoxville, Tenn.

Nov 23, 1863

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

My Kind and Affectionate Wife.

I seat myself to wrote you a few lines in answer to your very kind and welcome letters which came to hand, one yesterday and one day before, and also one from Ma. It gave me great satisfaction to hear for you, that you all was well and doing so well, it gives me great satisfaction to read a letter from you, to hear of you and little children being so well cared for, a friend in time of need is a friend indeed. You stated in your last letter that you and Pa and Ma all wrote to me in one letter, that letter has never come to hand yet, and as we have to leave here tomorrow I donít expect I will ever get it. I am sorry that I have not got to read it. We are ordered to Murphysboro, Tenn.

Jane you asked me in your last letter for advice, but unless I was at home to see how everything goes on and how the times are I do not know whether my advice would be best or not. But I will say, have all the wheat and oats sowed that you can and keep what little we have got together, as much as you can. Take the advice of our parents in particular about our stock.

After one has been from home a good while he cannot tell so well how to advise. Do the best you can and if you had rather stay where you are next year, do so, unless Mr. Fitzpatric lets the houses out to someone to tend his land. Ma wrote something about your Pa writing to Mr. Fitzpatric to rent the houses for you to live in next year. If you think you can stand it to live by your self I would be glad for your Pa to do so. I think it is the best you can do if you can be satisfied, that is if you are not too lonesome, but just use your own pleasure about that. I want you to live where you will be the best satisfied. One thing I advise and that is for you not to work so hard as you do. It seems that you re trying to make all the clothes, I would not make anymore clothes to sell. I think you can live without it. Maybe I will get to go home some day and work a little too. As for my health, it is some better, believe it is as good as common at this time. I have suffered a great deal with my teeth and headache, but I am well of that except some of my teeth are a little sore yet.

Jane I tell you last Sunday was a week (Oct 26) the biggest snow fell I ever saw. I tell you it made me think of your fireplace at home and featherbed, but I did not quite freeze, but it is a hard matter to keep warm these nights; when we get too cold we get up and warm and then lie down again. Jane I believe I have got as many clothes as I can carry except what I wrote you to send me by Chris. Give my best love and respects to Ma and Pa, D.A. and family and all inquiring friends.

 

T. W. Hendricks.

 

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