1863 May 28


Thunderbolt Battery

May 28, 1863

Mrs. Nancy J. Harden

My dear wife,

It is with pleasure that I seat myself to drop you a few lines which will inform you that I am well at this time, hoping these lines may reach and find you and Mollie both well, also all the rest of the family.

As Lieutenant Patrick is going home tomorrow, I though I would try to send this by him, if I don’t make such a mistake as I did when Lieutenant Johnson went home.  I will try and not do that.

I have not received any letter from you since (let me get the letter and see) the seventh of May, and I have got most well of the fidgets.  I shant look for a letter now until I see it coming.  I am lost to know the reason why I do not get any letters from you.  I believe you wrote them, but I don’t read ‘em.  So, I think I will have to give the Post Office department a blessing.

If I don’t get a letter before long I shall shit all over Thunderbolt and then you will have some washing to do that will count.  I hope I’ll get one this evening.  I don’t want to do bad tricks.  The guard comes around sometimes and he might want to know who done it and I know the boys would tell on me.  Well, I have written enough foolishness for the present.  You must not let the girls see this bad talk.

The mail has come.  I still get no letter from the object of my heart’s joy, but I still hope to get one soon.

Several of the boys has got furloughs and are going to start home tomorrow.  I would be very glad to start, too, but alas! I can not.

There is some cases of the smallpox here at the pest house, but I do not know how much.  I cannot tell whether it will spread or not.  The pest house belongs to the government, but no one who goes there with the smallpox has no communication with their friends.  No one is allowed to pass the lines under penalty of death.

I expect to be on guard tomorrow so I must write tonight.

Tell old man Seaborn to send me some thing to revive my feelings, as I am getting to be a narcissus kind of a fellow.  I have undergone more danger with less fear than I ever thought I could.

I with four men have been placed in command of an important post at a place called Wilmington’s Narrows in full view of Fort Pulaski, but I never saw any Yankees.  There is some danger there.  The Yankees could run up there with their boats and take the last one a prisoner if we did not hide in the marsh among the tall thick grass.

We have just had a fine game of Town Ball and I was on the beating side.  Nothing can beat me and Sergeant Jones.  He is a first rate man.

I am almost out of soap or salt one - I do not know which.

I cannot think of anything to say.  I will go and eat my supper and then I will write more.

We get some of the worst beef now you ever saw.  It is almost better than none.  We get plenty of bread and some bacon about once a week.

The weather is bad and rainy now.  We have not drilled any in two days because of the rain.  Some of the boys are scary when they have to go on picket duty.

I have never been in favor of the war.  Yet I am in it and I cannot get out honorably now.  The first chance I get I will show my place as a peace man.

Oh! how I long for peace

That peace we once enjoyed

Turned into a hellish curse

And all the host employed

Hear them in their devilish oath

Swear they’ll kill or die

Such they are in countries both

On whom we do rely

Horrid to know

The blood will flow.

From many a noble heart.

        Dick Danker

The Major is going to know tomorrow if we will come home to cut wheat.

Mr. Benson has some cold.  Mr. Orear is well.

So, farewell Jane.

Yours, etc.

William H. Harden

To his wife, Nancy J. Harden

Mrs. Nancy J. Harden

Milner, Georgia

through the kindness of Lieutenant Patrick

 I think someone takes the stamps off your letters and throws them away or else they do not leave the office at Milner.  I think the fault is somewhere there, though it may not be.

If you will back your letters to Mr. Benson and make a cross mark in them and be careful who you send them by to the office, I will get them.  Write me who you send them by.  I don’t like for you to pay for so many and I not get them.

Give my respects to all the family connection and inquiring friends and receive the same for yourself.

So, I will close.


Write soon.  Give me all the news from home.  I will be there sometime, if ever.

W. H. H.