1863 June 30


Thunderbolt Battery

June 30, 1863

Mrs. Nancy J. Harden

My dear companion,

It is with pleasure that I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am.  I am well as common at this time, hoping these lines may reach and find you and Mollie both well, also all the rest of the connection and friends.

This regiment was mustered today for pay.  We will draw our money now when the Quartermaster gets it, let that be long or short.  We muster for pay regular every two months on the last day of the month, and then we get our pay, sometimes in five or six days and maybe in twenty-five days or thirty-five.

I have no news to write today.  We have drawn more clothing.  I drew a coat, pants, shirt, drawers, and shoes.  We are entitled to four suits a year, and if we get them, I shall get more than I need.  I have got some clothes here now that I would send home if I had a chance.  But if we do not move from here, I can take care of them here until I can send them home.

Some say that we will be moved from here and that the raw recruits who have been called out will take our place.  I hope that won’t be so, but I fear it will because we are well drilled and there is no prospect of a fight here, and they can guard this place.

And they can put us where we will have to fight or run.  If the Yanks were to come and they were to tell me to run, I think I could beat the Colonel from here to Savannah.  I would just fairly fly.

I do not fear the Yankees like I do sickness.  Sickness is prostrating our men every day.  We have two sick in hospital and five or six in camps.  Mr. Benson is at the hospital and is very bad off.  He has the fever but I do not know what sort of fever it is.

The Doctor says he is not dangerous, but he is scared.  He sent down here today for the Captain to go and write his Will.  I do not know whether he did it.  We have another man in the hospital with the typhoid fever.  His name is Harris.

We hear that they are still fighting at Vicksburg but we do not know the result.  You hear as much or more about that as we do.  I must quit writing now until after dress parade, then I will finish.

July 1

I am still well this morning.  I hear no news of importance here yet.

I am glad to hear that Granny Cook has got so she can walk without her crutches.

I am sorry to hear that they have not caught Joe yet.  I think he has got his everlasting discharge.

I am sorry to learn that Frank and Elie are not to be heard of, but I hope they will turn up some where soon, though they may not.

Our drilling has got to be some lighter now than it has been.  We drill about two hours a day now, that is, soon in the morning and late of evening.

We have a heap of rain falling now.  It rains every day and has been for a week past.  There was two men struck by lightning the other day.  They are mending now.  They belong to Company A.

The crops look fine here.  There has been some fodder pulled here, and there is plenty of roasting ears here now.  But they sell for thirty cents apiece, making the corn worth about thirty dollars per bushel in the ear.  Vegetables of every kind are plenty, but they are demanding about ten prices.   The soldiers buy some and press some.

I think I will get home yet soon enough to save hay.  I understand that you have got it in Pike plentifully.

Mr. Benson is some better they say.

I forgot to mention that I drew a cap also.

I am exceedingly sorry that my babe is sick.  I hope she will be well soon.

I will tell you of my dream last night.  I thought I was at home and saw you and Mollie.  I thought she was very saucy and when we went to bed, she got mad and wanted me to get away.  She did not want me to sleep with you and her, but she soon got so that she would not stay with no one but me, etc.

We heard down here that John Sikes and his wife parted while he was at home, and she went to her Mother’s and he went to his, but I do not know it to be so.  I cannot imagine what made them part.  If they loved one another well enough to run away to marry, it looks like they might live well together.

Mr. Spencer is quite sick and his wife also had the toothache ever since she has been here.

I think this is a bad place for women.  Some few respectable women come, but there is so many lewd women here that a virtuous woman becomes disgusted at their conduct.

I cannot think of any more to write, so I will close.

Write to me soon.

Your devoted husband,

William H. Harden

John Pat is well, or was yesterday.  I saw Joshua Martin.


One of the Nurses said they are going to send Mr. Benson

to the General Hospital in Savannah.  You must tell Mrs. Benson of it.