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THE CHERISHED LETTERS 1864

THE CHERISHED LETTERS

Canteen

1864

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Camp near Dalton, Georgia

January the 4th, 1864

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks,

Dear Sister,

i write you a few lines to let you no how we are getting along heare. We are well & doing verry well. I have nothing new to write to you. Everything seams to be verry still here. The weather has been verry cold & disagreeable though we have all got good shanties with chimneys to them so we are fareing verry well. I got my winter clothes the other day. I was verry glad to get them, for I was in need of them verry much. Jane, I have had news to write to you if you have not heard it. Brother Jack was killed in the fight at Missionery Ridge. We thought he was taken prisoner for a long time. Lieut. REDDOC received a letter from Lieut. GREEN who was taken prisoner the same time that Brother Jack was killed. He stated in his letter that he was killed dead on the field.

Jane, I would like to see you and the children verry much. I would like to see all the folks at home, but I am affrade it will be a long time before I can come home, though I am going to try to get home some time before Spring. You must excuse me for not writing no more than I have. I have ben thinking I would write ever since I have been here. I will send this letter by hand to Summitt. I suppose you can get it from there some way. You must write to me. Give me all the news & write soon & often. Give all the girls my best respects, etc.

I hope this will find you all well & doing well.

Your Affectionage Brother,

Thos. B. Deaver.

To Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks.

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Jefferson County,

East Tennessee

January the 5th, 1864.

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks.

My dear and much esteemed Wife,

After a long time I with great pleasure and anxiety try to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive & in good health as common, & I do hope these few lines may find you all in good health and doing well. My health has been generally good, though we have been exposed a great deal & done more hard duty than ever before & some of the hardest fighting I ever was in. But, Providentially I am still spared for which I feel thankful.

Jane I have not any chance to get a letter threw to you since Capt. Ingram left us which has been nearly two months. I sent one by him to you. I have not heard from you since I left home. Oh, you cannot imagine how bad I want to heare from you all, & I want to see & be with you and little children a great deal worse than to heare. Yet if I could but heare that you were all well it would be a great satisfaction to me.

Never was a company imposed on more than we have been since Capt. Ingram left some times I am tempted to leave heare and never stop until I find Ingram. Our Company and the whole Battalion is very much dissatisfied heare. A great many of them are in rags and the weather is verry cold indeed. My clothes are all good yet though I am nearly barefooted and I donít know how I am to get any shoes or boots. There is no chance heare to get anything. My feet gets wet ever time it rains but I stand it like a pine knot as yet.

Jane I have not had an opportunity of having my clothes washed but one time since I left home and some of my mess has not had any washing done atal so you may guess wheather we have done much duty or not. It seames to me that if I could be at home where I could get some cleane clothes to put on and set down to your table and eat some of your victuals that I would be the happiest man in this world; yet as for rashions we get anough to live on tolerable well by buying when we can get anything to buy.

As for tents we have none nor cannot get any this winter I reckon. We are picketing and have been for a few days on the East Tenn. & Virginia Railroad about 30 miles above Knoxville.

Wednesday the 6th. We made another move last knight. We are now camped on the French Broad river. I donít know wheather we will leave heare today or not; it is snowing. We are under General Longstreet now & have been ever since we beseaged Knoxville. His infantry is close by. His headquarters are at Morristown. I had much rather be with Bragís army. Jane if you can get leather I wish you would have me a pare of boots made so that if there ever is any chance for me to get them that they will be ready. It is snowing so hard I will have to stop writing. Give my best respects to all my friends, tell them I want to see them all verry bad indeed & reserve a full share to yourself & little children. Tell my little fellows I want to see them verry bad. Jane take good care of them & do the best you can is all that I can say to do. I send this by Isaac Murphree. I exspect he will start home in a day or two on a 40 days furlough.

I want you to be shore & send a letter to me by him if it has to ly in his house 2 weeks before he starts back. I want to heare from you at all events. Tell all to write to me by him if Capt. Ingram or Lt. White is about home tell them had better return if they want to keep a company long; I will close for this time, so fare well.

I remain your devoted Husband til death,

 

Thos. W. Hendricks

To Eliza J. Hendricks.

P.S. Kiss my little Babes for me & be shore & write by Murphree. Excuse bad writing & spelling.

The last fight we were in was the 28th of December. There was 10 wounded in our Regt. 2 in our company to wit: Moses Smith & J. Murphree. David Hanes was struck with a spent ball but did not enter the skin. Ephriam Hanes was shot when we were at Knoxville by one of our company. He lived a few days and died. The shot was accidental.

Jan the 9th: I am well this morning, Murphree is not gone yet, his furlough has not returned yet. Jane try to buy land if you possibly can for I feare our money will be no count before long. Get our Fathers to assist you. Land will be the shurest property that can be had & some land will be better than nothing. Benton Bowerman & J. D. Hendricks are well.

T. W. Hendricks.

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Camp near Dalton, Georgia Feb. the 8th, 1864.

Mrs. E. J. Hendricks,

Dear Sister,

I have just received your letter & after perusing it I seat myself to answer it , as I have the chance to send it by hand. I was glad to here from you and to here that you are all well. I love to read a letter from home or from any of you. This leaves me in good health & doing verry well. I way more now than I ever did in my life. I way 155 lbs.

Jane, I have no more news to write you. We are still here, though I think we will move some way in 2 or 3 weeks, but I have no idea where we will go to. I look for some hard fighting this Spring. I don't think I will stay with the company much longer. I expect to be sent off to the Hospital or somewhere else on duty. I am not fit for any duty here. I suppose I will be sent off before we leave here . I think that will be in 2 or 3 weeks. I don't much like the idea of going to the hospital though. I expect I would be better off there than I would be here, when we get on a march, for marching is not easy work. You said something about _______? I hope she will get her school. She is verry nice girl. I would like to see her verry much. I would like to see all of the pretty girls back there in old Blount, though I don't see much chance for me to go home soon.

I must close. I hope this will find you all well. Write soon & Often. give my best respects to all the girls. I remain your affectionate Brother.

Thomas

 

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Camp near Dalton, GA

March the 2nd, 1864

Dear Wife,

In haste I write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I do hope that you are well before this time. I have been very uneasy about you ever since I left home. We overtook Gen. Roddyís command at this place, we got here yesterday. My rations lasted me here, my horse did not stand the trip very well, he limped some all the way. I think if he can get rest he will get better. I donít know how long we will get to rest here though.

Capt. Musgrave is under arrest, but I think he will come out all right.

Col. Hannon, the man that we were ordered to report to, says he thinks we will come out all right, he wants us very bad to help form him a briggade, he is commanding Portizan Range, the worst is the men have nearly all stayed behind. Sergt. Camp is going back after them and I thought I would send you a few lines by him. Jane I want to hear from you very bad indeed.

I want you to write to me by Mr. Camp or some of the Company when they come, and if you donít get to send by them, send by mail. I want to hear from you some way. Everything is quiet in front so far as I know, they say the Yanks have gone back. Jane if you have to send by mail.

Direct to the 12th Ala. Battalion P. R.

Company (B) in care of Capt. Skurry

Col. Hannon Commanding

Jane excuse bad writing for it is done in a great hurry and nothing to write on. I will close so farewell.

Your devoted Husband,

Thos. W. Hendricks

to Eliza J. Hendricks.

P.S. Jane as Mr. Camp has not got off today and I have just been reading in the newspaper about funding confederate notes I thought I would break open the letter and add something about it, all Confederate money that we have on hand over five dollars not bearing interest has to be funded in Registered bonds by the first of April, 1864, or thirty three and 1/3 cents interest on each dollar will be taken when such notes are presented in payment of any debt. So I suggest that you get your pap or mine to tend to it for you, they will understand it for I suppose they have seen it in the papers before now, so I leave it to them hoping they will tend to it.

Thos. W. Hendricks.

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Camp near Marietta, GA.

June the 10th, 1864

Mrs. E. J. Hendricks, My Dear and much Esteemed Wife,

I avail myself of the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know where I have got to and how I am getting along.

I was very unwell yesterday but I feel a good deal better this morning, it was a colic that ailed me or a pain under my left ribs, but I think I will be well as ever by tomorrow, we will rest here today. We are camped in about two miles of Marietta, GA.

There is no heavy fighting a going on now as I can hear of. We did not get here until last evening.

Our Neighbor boys are well. John Hudson was complaining some a few days ago, but he is about as well as common now, our stock stood the trip very well. Jane I have nothing of interest to write you now. I received a letter from Ma the morning we left Hagood, we had mounted our horses to start when Thos. Sanders road up and handed me the letter, it stated that you was very unwell, but I hope you are well before now.

John D. Hendricks has been promoted to 2nd Lt. By appointment they would not suffer an election so Capt. Ingram had me and j. D. and I. S. Murphree to draw straws for it and John got the position. I suppose there will be one or two more Lieutenants appointed in our Company as soon as Capt. Ingram can be promoted.

We have a great deal of rain, it is raining today. Corn is very small in Ga. Wheat looks tolerable well but hardly so forward as in Blount.

Jane I want to hear from you very bad. I want to know how you are getting along with your crop and particularly about your wheat. I want to hear from you all very bad. When you write I want you to let me know just how your health and the childrenís health is. I want to see you and them very bad.

When you write direct to Marietta, Ga. 12th Batt. Ala.,

Co. B in care of Capt. Ingram, and etc.

You must all write soon and I will try and do the same.

Excuse bad writing and spelling for I am in bad place for writing this morning, so no more at present, only I remain as ever your affectionate Husband til death.

T. W. Hendricks.

To E. J. Hendricks.

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Camp near Marietta, GA

June 25, 1864

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks

Dear and affectionate Wife,

It is with pleasure that I even have the privilege to write you a few lines, and also with great anxiety to hear from you, as I have not heard a word from you since I left Hagood, therefore I think the time very long.

My general health is tolerable good, though I am very much afflicted with the itch, which is breaking out in boils so bad that I can scarcely ride, our surgon excused me from duty this evening so I am going to try and doctor some for it. We just came in off of Picket last evening, we had a little Brush with the yanks while out there. There was one of our Batt. got his arm torn off just below the elbow with a shell. I don't believe I was ever under a heavier connonading in my life but we escaped wonderfully.

There is skirmishing along the line all the time, with both cannon and small arms, our reduction in sick, wounded and killed is said to be about 500 a day and our reenforcements are said to be about 550, convalescent troops who have been sick and sightly wounded, so we are gaining some. I heard this 4 or 5 days ago, there has been some very heavy fighting since I heard that. The Yankey loss is said to be a great deal heavier than ours.

Our line of battle is about two miles in front of Marietta, we still hold the Kenesaw Mountain, it is said to be the highest point in GA., we have a battery on that mountain which pours the grape banister and shells into the yanks day and night at intervals., etc.

I think there will be a general engagement soon or we will fall back nearer Atlanta, it is hard to give much idea which it will be yet. We get plenty to eat, but our horse feed is light.

Jane I saw Wm and B. a few days ago, they were well. William had just returned from the hospital, he went there to get his eyes worked on, he says his eyes are as good now as common. He was at the hospital that John Cowden and Thos. are at, he said Thos was doing well and that John was able to stir about some, and that he was fairing very well. The neighbor boys in Co. B are all well, tell Mrs. Hudson that John is doing fine, he appers to be very well satisfied with the Co.

Jane I am anxiously looking for a letter from you every day, it would give me great satisfaction to hear from you and my little fellows. I saw a good many of our neighbor boys when I was at the 19th Ala Regt, they were all well as far as I recollect.

Jane I will need a pair of pants before very long, so you may have them ready for me so that I can get them whenever a chance occurs. i have been wearing a pair of pants that I drew nearly ever since I have been up here, but I don't like them, they don't fit well nor nothing else.

Give my best respects to all and receive a full share to yourself and sweet little children. I will close by hoping that this may soon come to hand and find you all well and doing well. I want you all to remember me when it goes well with you.

Your ever affectionate husband til death.

T. W. Hendricks.

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Camp near Marietta, Ga.

June 29th, 1864

Dear Father and Mother,

In haste I drop you a few lines to communicate to you the sad news that Brother W. J. Deaver is dead. He was shot by the enemy yesterday evening while out in front of our main line of breastworks; from the best information that I can get he was in a rifle pit with some sharp shooters.

He was shot in the forehead, the ball did not pass entirely thru his head but lodged, which resulted in his death in a few hours. He was perfectly senseless from the time the ball struck him until he died. He was taken to a hospital and Brother B. was with him some two hours before he died.

I never heard one word of it until about one hour before he was buried this morning. I got out to the graveyard in time to see him put away. The coffin was tightly nailed - this very blurred and hard to read - and we had nothing to ......He was buried in a large graveyard about ....S.W. from Marietta. We will put a board at his head with his name, Rank. Reg. And Company. Also the day he died. But alas he is gone. He is done with the ? and hardships of this awful war..can't read the rest.

B. is well as common. My own health is .....except risings I am past doing duty and have been but ....days from the severest risings I nearly ever saw. They are mostly on my right thigh, they have been running a good deal though and I think I will be able for duty in a day or two. Everything is unusually calm in front this morning.

You can send this down to Jane to read and it will supercede the necessity of me writing to her at present. I started a letter to her just a few days ago which makes two I have wrote to her and this is the second one to you and on to Pa and Ma since I have been up here, but I have not received a line from any of you since I left Ala.

I want you all to write soon and give me all the news as I am very anxious to know how you are getting along. I am trying to do the best I can for myself and I want you to remember me in your petitions to him who is able to ? to the utmost.

Your devoted son,

T. W. Hendricks

 

 

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Camp Marietta, Ga

July 2nd 1864

My Deare & affectionate Wife, In haste I write you a few lines by Mr. Amerson. This day leaves me well except risings. I have had some very big risings on my right thigh. They are all better and I think I will be able for duty in a short time.

Jane, I have bad news to write. Brother W. J. Deaver is no more. He was shot on the 20th of June while out in advance of our main line of battle. He was in a rifle pit though with some sharp shooters. The ball struck him in the forehead and it lodged in his head. He lived about four hours after he was shot but he was entirely senseless from the time he was shot until he died. B. was with him for about 2 hours before he died. I did not know anything about it until about one hour before he was burried. I was at the burying. He was burried in a Graveyard about 1/4 of a mile from Marietta, but I have wrote several days ago to your Pap about it and Jane, I have not receaved a word from you since I left home, so you may know that I have been very anxious indeed to heare from you. I want to know how you and the children be that is and all about everything generally. Jane, whenever you get a good chance you may send me a pare of pants and 2 shirts. Jane, be shore and send me a letter by Mr. Amerson when he comes back. I must close as he is now waiting, so fare well lovingwife.

Your devoted husband til death,

T. W. Hendricks

 

Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks

My Dear Companion,

I attempt to write a few lines this morning to let you know where I am and how I am getting along. My health is only tolerable good at this time. We are now stationed about 10 Miles from Ringold, Ga. Rather a south western direction from Ringgold. I do not know that we will stay heare long perhaps we may go farther south soon though that is uncertain now. It seams that the enemy are driving our armies where they please so there is no telling where we will be drifted. My Dear, if I thought we would stay heare long enough for you to come and see me. I would ask you to do so, but that is uncertain now.

I have made every effort for a furlough that I possibly could and they have all failed. I sent up two furloughs one of them I neaver heard from the other was disapproved. Oh, you don't know how I hated it. Jane, I have always been opposed to you comeing to the army to see me but my notions have changed. Jane, I would much rather see you at home, but if I cannot see you there, I would be glad to see you even in camps or there about, but then you cannot bring all of the children whom I want to see as bad, ever a father did, but do the best you can and if we get stationed where I think we will stay any length of time, I will write and then I want you to come if you can and if you cannot bring any but the sweet little Babe bring it and come any how. I cannot go to you without disgracing myself, you and the children, which I hope I neaver will do, although it looks like there is but little honor in this war anyway. But Jane if I ever get within a days ride of you and my children I am determined to see you.

I do crave to see you all one more time at least. I think I could give you some advice that would be profitableto you and our children both in this life and that to come, the way I want them raised and taught. I feel greatly interested in, but I feel confident that you will do all you can and I beleave you are well qualified to train them. But I hope we will live to enjoy each others presence for many day yet in this life, for this I pray. I want you all to pray for me that I may be prepared for Death at any time and that I may be spared to see and enjoy all of your company again.

I hope these few lines may find you all well. No more at present so fare well.

T. W. Hendricks

P.S. Write soon and I will do the same.

Direct to Ringgold, Ga.

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Wednesday night the 11th, 1864

Eliza, having an opportunity to send a letter by Capt. Shepard who lives in Huntsville, I will break open the one I have just written and write some more and put in it. I am well except the colic which it seems like I can never get shed of. I have taken medicine from our surgeon but it did me no good at all. He cannot as much as give me ease momentarily, but I hope it will wear out after awhile, but don't suffer any uneasiness about me, for I hope to live to see you again sometime.

Eliza my clothes are all good yet. I think they wll do me very well through the winter and spring, it is not so cold here as it is in our country, but the weather is very changeable here, with high and very cold winds from the coast, but I believe that cold weather hurts as bad here as it did in East Tennessee last winter or nearly so. There is but little hospitality here among the citizens, they won't ask a soldier to go into their houses if they can help it, that is a great many of them won't , and Gen Wheeler has issued an order prohibiting his men from going in side of their yard gates. It seems that they think South Carolina is better than the other states, but I tell you a great many of our soldiers are hard down on the state. As for myself I hope the army may stay in South Carolina until peace is made, I want her to feel the war to the extremes, although I was born and partly raised here, yet I have no affinity for her whatsoever. But after we get farther up the country the people may be more sociable, in fact I already hear they are above here. There are plenty of alligators in the coast and the Savannah River. I saw one that some of the boys killed. It was a small one but about four feet long, it resembled the pictures I have seen in books very much.

John D. Hendricks and Benton Bowerman are well. Eliza as I have to write by fine light and a sorry one at that, I will close so farewell.

Thos. W. Hendricks

(write soon and often)

 

 

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Dadeville, Ala

November 24th 1864

My Dear Eliza,

It is with pleasure that I still have the privilege of communicating to you by letter, which will inform you that I am still well and doing well as any common soldier and I hope this may find its way to you and find you all well and doing well.

Eliza I have but little of interest to write you more than we are all getting along very well. We are resting today shoeing horses. We stayed two nights and one day at Blue Mountain, we arrived here at Dadeville yesterday and I suppose we will leave here tomorrow. I reckon we will go on to Wheeler down somewhere in Georgia. I hear that Sherman is going towards Augusta, Ga., but as for war news I have none worth giving. I am still acting as V. M. Sergt. I like the position very well and perhaps I may act as such for sometime. I have but one objection to our Quartrmaster and that is he drinks too much, sometimes he is a very clever sociable and and treats me very gentlemanly.

Morgan is fatening every day. We get plenty to eat of pork and flour and sometimes we buy some potatoes which helps out very much. Eliza I want to see you and my little fellows very bad, it seems like I have been from home five times as long as what I really have, but I reckon it is partly because everything is so disheartening at present on our side. I think that another four years war is inevitable, the history of which will cause the most reckless heathen to blush and turn away in disgust. Eliza I want to hear from you all very bad, but I do not know where to tell you to direct your letters now, nor how to direct them for it may be sometime yet before we get to our Brigade, so you had better wait until I write again before you write.

Give my best respects to all and when you do write give me all the news, I am anxious to know how you and Pap are getting along gathering corn and sowing wheat and how your potatoes are keeping. Our Company is all well so far as I know, Jasper Mullins is still with the Company. I believe I have wrote all that would interest you at present, so I will close for this time.

Your affectionate husband til Death,

Thos. W. Hendricks

To Mrs. Eliza J. Hendricks

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Efingham County, Ga.

15 Dec 1864

Mrs. E. J. Hendricks,

My Dear and Affectionate Wife,

In haste I write you a few lines to let you know where I am and how I am getting along. I have not been very well for a few days, I am suffereing very much with the colic and toothache, but I hope I will be better soon. I have enjoyed good health nearly all the time since I left home last.

We have been on the march all the time except 4 or 5 days that we rested at Blue Mountain and Macon, Ga. We have just got to our Brigade this evening, near the Savannah River. I expect we will cross the river soon. We drew money while at Macon. I drew four hundred and eleven ($411) dollars. I wish I had some way to send you part of it, but I know of none now.

Eliza i want to see you and my little Babes almost beyond expression but we are a long ways apart now. I write this to send by a negro man who I have just learned is going to start for Gadsden (AL) tomorrow, knowing that you would be glad to hear from me, but it is getting dark and I must close. Give my best respects to parents and friends and receive a full share to yourself and kiss my little babes for me and tell them I want to see them very bad, etc. I want you all to write to me often for you don't know how bad I want to hear from you.

So farewell Dear Eliza, I remain your Affectionate Husband til Death.

Thos. J. Hendricks,

To Eliza J. Hendricks

 

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