1863 Oct 2
October 2, 1863
City Hall Hospital
My dear companion,
I seat myself to drop you a few lines, which will inform you that I am not yet well, but up and about so as to nurse. I hope, however, that these lines may reach and find you well and hearty, also all the rest of the family.
I received your letter of the 27th and 28th yesterday morning and was glad to here from you and Molly.
I am going to stay here as long as I can, if I do not get well. I am swelled some in my stomach yet and I will not go to my company yet until I get well.
I do not think that there is any chance for me to come home soon. I saw the doctor this morning and he talked like there was no chance. So, I will stay here and wait on the sick and wounded. But I do not like to dress wounds because they are so easy hurt. We have a heap of sick and wounded here now.
We have had a good rain which fell last night and settled the dust which was very bad here in town.
Sarah Ann Bonhart has a daughter. It is the least child I ever saw. It was about as big as a rat.
I have seen Warren and Bud Reid. They are working the armory here. Warren is in a bad state of health at this time though he keeps at his work.
I am glad to get long letters like the last you sent. It pleases me very much.
I am sorry that I cannot come home tomorrow. I would be so glad if I could only be there a short time. I will come if I can before I go to my command.
I have been recommended for a furlough, but it was all stopped on account of the wounded who have to be attended to first.
I was so sure I would get home at that time that I bought a paper of pins and one of needles. I believe I will send the needles in this letter, if you have no objections. I hope you will be sure to get it. You said you wanted some needles before I left home. If I could, I would send the pins, too, but they are rather too heavy to send in a letter.
I have tried to buy some cloth but I cannot get any because I am in Pike County. If I lived in Monroe or Bibb I could have got eighteen yards at 50 cents per yard.
I want you to write me whether you have drawn any salt or not. I have not bought any yet. There is so much government hauling that I could not send it home if I had. There seems to be no chance to have private property on the railroad at this time.
They have got a machine here to make factory cards and will make cotton cards in a short time - they have not got the machine for making them done yet. They can put in teeth faster than you can knit stitches.
We have plenty to eat now, but I do not know how long it will last if the soldiers keep coming in. They will have to do without.
I hear no talk of peace at this time. The people seem to be down in the mouth. They don’t talk much about the war - but money, money! They are all speculators and they care not how long the war lasts. So they get rich.
I am sorry to hear of so much sickness and deaths up there. I am afraid it will spread and be a general thing. If you get sick, I want you to write to me, or if any of the family gets sick write for me to come. The doctor will let a man go home to see a sick family quicker than anything else.
It seems like there is very little religion in the hospitals. Some of the men are very wicked and seem to bid God defiance, as well as man. I hate to see so much profanity. It makes me feel uneasy, although I am very imperfect myself. Yet, I have some hope of a blissful immortality.
I have written more than I thought I would, so I will close.
Good-bye, my dear.
William H. Harden
But look for me until you see me coming.
W. H. H.