1863 Aug 10


August 10, 1863

General Hospital

Macon, Georgia

Dear Jane,

I embrace the present opportunity of writing to you to let you know that I am still mending, I think, hoping these lines may reach you tomorrow and find you all well.

The chills have stopped on me.  I am taking some kind of acnd.  My back is very weak and hurts me some yet.

Every day that has passed since you left seems like a week and I have got no letter from you yet.  I think it is time for me to get one.

I don’t expect to get to come home at all now.

I want you to send me my old uniform and cap, blanket, and one pair drawers and my knapsack, if it is there, and that is all I want sent.

I expect we will go to marching and then I will lose all.

I want you to try to prepare me a yarn quilt for winter, if you can.

I have got two pair pants, three shirts, two pair socks, and one pair drawers here now, besides my uniform suit, and two pair of shoes.  And when you send that which I have sent for, I will have more than I can carry on my back.

I saw John McLain, Wilson Shivers, and Mr. Beckham today.  They came down on the car.  I don’t know where they are going.

Mr. Benson told me that Pa was going to come to see me.  If he does, you can send them things by him.  Some of you must come in the course of two weeks and bring them, for I expect to go to my company in that time, if I don’t get to come home.  It is very hard that I can’t come while I am sick or unable for duty.  If you will write to me what day Pa will come, I will meet him at the car shed.  Don’t forget my buttermilk when any of them comes.

I have written three letters already and this is the fourth one.  I don’t think I shall write any more until I get a letter from you.  If you will be sure to put the letters in the office, they will come to me.  I don’t want you to wait until Sunday to write a letter.  Send it on to me.  I want you to go to Milner.  Whip that postmaster.  If ever I get there I bet I give him a dressing.

I am very lonesome.  If only I could be with my company or at home, I would be better satisfied.  If I was out of this war, I would not go into it for all the money in Georgia.  I might complain if I was by myself, but there is 200,000 soldiers gone to their graves and all the rest ruined.  Our country will be overrun by Christmas and we will be subjugated.  Alas!  Alas!

I sometimes have a good notion to run away and come home anyhow, but they have got so many balls and chains about here that I am afraid to risk it.  If I can’t get to come home on no terms I will submit to my fate.  I think if I ever get home I will know better how to appreciate all the blessings of our Heavenly Father.

Tell the old man Seaborn to read the 13th Chapter and 24th verse of Proverbs:  it ain’t like neither of us said.

If one of my books are in my clothes, be certain to send it to me.

Learn Mollie to bridle her tongue, etc.

I will close.

Your devoted husband,

William H. Harden

General Hospital

Macon, Georgia

So direct your letters.