1863 Aug 12
 

General Hospital
Macon, Georgia
August 12, 1863

My dear Jane!

I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that I am about as I have been for several days.  I hope these lines may reach and find you all well.

I received your kind letter yesterday evening late, and I was glad to hear from you.  You never said a word about Mollie.

My bowels have got to swelling.  My back and hips are very weak and hurt me very much yet.  My chills and fever have stopped, but I am very weak yet.

Again, I have some faint hope of getting home.  I think if I could get home I would get sound and well soon, but if I stay at this hospital it will be a long time, if ever, I get well again.

I will finish my letter this evening.

Tell the old man to read Chapter 24, Verse 6, Deuteronomy, also Chapter 8, Verse 22, Genesis.  Some say that the time will come when Winter and Summer will be alike.

I have commenced at the first of Genesis and I am going to read the Bible through.  If I have good luck, I find out that it is a good schoolbook, full of good instruction.

Read also Chapter 3, Verses 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. of the General Epistle of James and learn a lesson therefrom.  Look around and see who has a fiery tongue and such as have produced Hell on earth when they start.  You must learn Mollie to be discreet and not to be a tattler.

I don’t do nothing but lay here and read, and walk about when I can get a pass.  This hospital has the tightest rules of any I have ever seen, and it is not the best.

I will now finish my letter.  Send my blanket and cap when any of you come.  If Pa don’t come, I want you to come.  You can come one day and go back the next.  Sometime next week I shall look for you.  Write me and I will meet you at the car shed.

I am glad you have drawn some money.

You must be sure to quit using tobacco and let us save all the money we can, for we will need it.  The Government is owing me nearly $50 now.

If you will send me a dollar or two, I will try to get you some paper.

Tell the old man to read Chapter 36, Verse 24, Genesis.

There is not much talk about peace but I believe we will have peace before long because I think it is a bad case.

I do not know what else to write.  You will have to pay for this letter for I have not got any stamps.

We have just had a shower of rain.

Tell your Pa I want his opinion about his neighbor that he was going to speak of this fodder pulling time.

Tell Betty, Minda, Susan, Margaret, and Carrie that they must write to me.

I am glad to hear that Emeline, Emely, and Ellen all joined the church.  I hope the good work will continue to go on that many may be added to the church and the name of the Lord be glorified, for there is something greatly needed or this people will perish by fire and sword.

I will close.

Your devoted husband,

W. H. Harden

I have got one more postage stamp.

Send me a pair of drawers, also.

When you get your letters written be sure to put them in the office and they will come to me without fail.

Don’t forget my buttermilk that I wrote for you to send - a big jug full.

I get plenty to eat, etc.

Next time, write a big letter and don’t stop before you get done.

W. H. H.