1863 Apr 5
W. H. Harden
Guard House at Fort Mercer
April 5, 1863
Mrs. Nancy J. Harden
My dear companion,
I seat myself this beautiful morning to drop you a few lines which will inform you that I am well at this time, hoping these lines may find you all well and doing well.
I am doing guard duty this morning, and tomorrow I will go to town and get a ticket and send to you in this letter.
If you get it, you can come from Macon to Savannah on half price, that is, I will get a certificate and send so that you can buy the ticket in Macon for half price. And I hope you will get it before you start, if you come at all, and I think if you will get on the car at Barnesville you can get a ticket for half price if you will have someone to vouch for you, that is, to certify that you are a soldier’s wife. The certificate which I send will not cost me anything so if you do not come there will be nothing lost.
Dear Jane, I do not want you to come if you do not feel like it. There is a great deal of sickness here now. One of my tentmates died last night at half after nine o’clock of the fever. He died at the hospital where he has been for the last two weeks. If you feel disposed to risk sickness, there is nothing that would give me more pleasure than for you to come here. And you could see a heap that you never thought of in your life.
If you come, you can bring Mollie or leave her just as you please. I would be glad to see her. I do not think it would cost any thing to bring her with you, but you can do as you please about it. I know you could not take care of her here in camps well.
I have seen a heap of them animals called body lice and I have had some of them on me and they are bad company. They don’t care where they get to bite, and when they bite it will itch half a day just like he was biting all the time. I have seen some four times larger than any head louse you ever saw.
I will stop for a while as I have to go and post another relief soon.
I think maybe I will get a letter from home today when the mail comes. I have not had one since the twenty-fourth of March. I will finish this after dinner whether I get a letter or not.
I have just returned from the camps where I have been to get dinner and to see if there was a letter for me, but I haven’t
got it, so I will finish writing now.
We had a white frost this morning which killed nearly all the vegetation - that is the tender part of it. It is said the like never was known before in and about Savannah.
It has been a cold spring all the way through. I have not went without my coat but very few days since I have been here.
I do not believe there will be any fighting about Savannah this spring. I think the Yankees have found out that there is a Jass-Ack here and they do not know what to do with him.
I do not hear of any furloughs - only for sick men and men who have sick families. We have two men gone home now to see sick families and one on urgent business as guardian for his little brother.
I am studying Military Tactics and on the fifteenth of this month I will have to be examined to see if I am calculated to fill a Corporal’s place. I got through the book yesterday and turned back today to review. Lieutenant Patrick says I will do well, that no man learns faster than I do.
Dear Jane, if you do not come down here I want you to send me five dollars. I have bought a watch and I got it broke this morning and if the man don’t pay for it, I will have it to do and I have not got the money.
So, I will close. Write me soon.
Farewell, Jane and Mollie.
W. H. Harden
I am still well this morning.
Since writing the last, I saw Joshua Martin. He said John Pat is well.
We are expecting a fight here or at Charleston, South Carolina.
I am in Savannah now. Since I came here, I learn that three artillery companies left here last night for Charleston and four or five regiments of infantry. Report says they are fighting there today.
You will find the ticket here. I will mail this in one minute.
W. H. Harden
We are under marching orders now.