1863 May 3
I wrote this backward. You will see the number on the page.
May 3, 1863
Mrs. Nancy J. Harden
My dear wife,
I seat myself this morning to drop you a few lines, hoping these lines find you and Mollie and the family connection all well. I took some medicine yesterday and I think I am better today. I thought I was taking the fever, but think now it is diarrhea which I had. I was taken with sick at the stomach and headache and got a lot better Thursday.
Our Captain and First Lieutenant are both sick now, and several others complaining, but they seem to be on the mend now.
I have no news of importance.
We have sent a petition to General Beauregard by Colonel Gordon and General Mercer. If approved, we will come on home.
I wrote to you something about some rice which we bought to send home. As we could get it for ten cents per pound, so I put in for thirty pounds. If it does not get there, I shall not pay nothing for it. As soon as we get word from Griffin, then I will write to you, and you can go and get it. It will be in the care of old man Gray of Griffin. If the rice gets home, we are to pay for it. If not, we will not pay any money. We have not paid and the rice has been shipped. I have got some rice here that I have saved off over my rations which I will send home the first chance I get.
I often think that I write the worst composed letters in the world, whenever I sit down to write. I begin to think about home. I become confused so that I cannot write home to you like I want to. So, you must excuse my ill composed letter, for I can’t do any better here, dear.
Jane, I have been thinking about getting a house here at Thunderbolt for you, if you think you could stay here as long as I do. You could make a heap of money washing and cooking, and I think I can get a good little house here for almost nothing. There is a good many soldiers’ wives about here. They stay here, some of them, while others come and stay a while and go back. I want you to write me what you think about it.
You must write how crops look in Pike.
Tell the old man Seab that I am coming home to eat some of his harvest pig. I mean that little crooked-legged white boar that Dick used to call Guffy.
Well, that ain’t all. I will have to quit as I have to go to the bush.
You must write to me soon as you can. I will write another letter when Mrs. Spencer goes home. She is here now. She will get home next Sunday. If you will go over to Mrs. Orear’s, she will go with you over there.
So, I will close.
W. H. Harden