|Park Barracks, sarg.
Jan. 1st 1863
I expected letter form you today and got it . We were glad to hear form the folks at home but had not heard all well next time if you can manage to give us that information. I wrote you only a day or two since and will not try to give all our movements since. Capt. is not well yet, has not at up today. But we now hope he will mend as he has given up labor for the present. Will has been standing hard rides and exposure well. I wrote to Sallie just now and I do not like to repeat it in this as you can see it sometime without. I sent a letter to Melissa that I received from D. He was sick in hospital and not in the battle and Davie came out unharmed although exposed to artillery practice for three days. We have many rumors of danger here but some of us are not much scared. We think if they are not men enough about (L.? ) to defend it against Morgan, it might to be hid, till it could be burned. Our men who went scouting last night have returned. G Pool was one of them and when he came in he received a letter informing him of the birth of a son. He's weary countenance brightened. He is now asleep beside the Capt. and I hope he may visit home in happy dreams. Well the horses are watered and fed and supper over. The "candle is lit in the parlor" and I am writing to my dearly beloved Nellie. I fear Cornelia! that you have in your admiration of my gratuities, raised Lizzie's expectations to a night that will never be realized.
Brother Tie stepped out and left his writing and I concluded to slip in a line or two I do not know what he had been writing and will have to write at a venture I do not expect to be able to carry out the same story he likely has been writing as I have forgotten how to write love letters------- but here comes tie. Good by Nelly
Will It seems that someone has been writing while I was gone. I have not read it and do not know what it conforms. You was mistaken just a little in your guess of what we were doing on Sunday night. But if you got my letter of Monday you know now what we were doing. When Will read your letter today I heard him say to Capt.-----------------------------------------Well it made me proud anyhow. We are having a good time tonight, the boys who are were out last night are reconstructing the bloodless adventure, Capt. sitting up laughing, talking and seeming much better generally. Your Sunday letters reach here on Thursday. Guess I will close or rather quit and let Will finish. Friday morning fine weather and all right. I dreamed last night that I saw you and Mother together and then (?) me. The was way by (?) my affection for you.
Nolin Station Ky.
jan. 9th 1863
I and exceedingly glad to have an opportunity to write you this morning for I know you will want to hear from us long before this will reach you. We received a letter from you on the 1st and answered it. Since then we have been most of the time on the move.
Our whole detachment came at an escort to a train of wagons, as far as Elezabethtown when all but Lieut. Cornwell and 20 men stopped. I being one of the 20 came on to this point which is ten miles farther out. The wagons will be unloaded today perhaps on time to start back. We are likely to be quartered at Elizabethtown for some time, but letters should be addressed
2nd Ind Cav.
Care of Capt. E. &c.
Cornelia I should feel happy this morning
if I knew all was well at home; but mother was sick [?] you wrote and
we have not heard since. I arose about midnight to relieve the guard and
the men seemed to sleep so sweetly that I preferred to watch myself, rather
than wake them. So from that till daylight you might have seen me walking
around here among the horses and looking out occasionally for _________________________
well we are in the enemy's country where our soldiers are caught by hundreds
just for want of propper precaintion
Wales, Cornwell and I, are all of our
mess who are here. Night before last we slept in the tent. I returned
with the expectation of being aroused by the crack of Morgan's rifles,
but, O! how sweet the disappointment to which I was doomed. For instead
of the flash of burning powder sulpher scorching my eyes, and smoke filling
my nostrils and bursting bombs disturbing my ears, I was awakened by a
blissfull dream of love; and a sweet kiss the explosion of which took
place upon the lips of my own dear Cornelia. I arose in a good humor and
have not been seriously angry since. I [?] that rare! Well Cornelia I
hardly know what to write next, but I dreamed a few nights since of seeing
you and mother B. together and she took a seat beside you and went to
hugging and caressing you.(just as I used to do) looking at me all the
while, with a mischievous [?] in her eyes. She did it to plaque me, and
I was pleased.
10th Back again safe and sound. Found the by , all right.
Oh! Cornelia! I did have such a sweet
time last evening.
It is raining this morning and we have
not been called except for a few pickets. The 12th, Ohio Bergt. arrived
here yesterday; so we will have some help now if we should be attacked.
I caught some cold last night and feel
a little stupid in consequence but it will please you to know that I enjoy
active service hugely. Am happy and at home wherever my horse and saddle
are, for with the saddle will be found my blanket and other earthly goods.
Capt, is tolerably well again, Will
is hearty and as for myself, I am so fat that it is with difficulty that
I can put my hands to my face to work. I am afraid of writing too long
as it is such a pleasure to me.
Not afraid of writing more than you
will like to read but there are other letters that must be written.
For love to be a merit it must extend to the poor; the helpless; the wretched. __________________
Well we have just been drilling and
I then went to a house to grind some coffee. Found a pretty little girl
there and brought her to camp. Sam. is amusing her whilst Will, & I write.
Speaking of children, I remember your asking what I thought the prettiest
name for a female. I think that, except your own, Luella (Pronounced Lu-el'la)
is the prettiest name that I ever heard.
We have now no hope of getting any
mail till some time next week. It seems a long time to wait but we will
have to stand it. And now dear one if you do not hear from me and your
brothers often do not give yourself any trouble about it for mails will
be slow and uncertain besides our time is frequently monopolized for days
together so that we cannot write. I carry a picture near my heart, and
the image of a loved and idolized "Angel of Earth" is smilingly clinging
around me. Why should I not be happy! But our sins are never more visible
than when places in contrast with riteousness and peace. I wish I had
never done wrong for it is only good that can be productive of true happiness.
I know you will be good Nellie! and I will try to be so. Give my love
to all our folks and your school children.
It has cleared off now and is light
and beautiful. We have just eaten dinner, had bacon, beans, crackers and
coffee. I hope you all enjoyed dinner today as we did.
Good bye dear Cornelia! sweet be your thoughts and sweeter your dreams while life shall last; and after death may you rise even more beautiful than now to dwell with God and the Angels throughout a blissful Eternity. Fear not for me dearest one! for God will prosper a riteous course and protect what seemeth best to him. I may not be permitted to see you again it is true; but how: Oh! how could I have done without you? You have proven your devotion to your country, and your love for me, in a way that cannot be misunderstood. I will endeavor to be worthy of my country and of you, by being true to both.
Quietly, softly and sweetly now, with
your hands in mine and a nectarred kiss trembling upon our lips, God witnessing
our [?] vows of love, let us say, Good bye!
I will write you again soon if I have
an opportunity Good bye!
envelope: Mrs. Cornelia E Bond, New Britton, Hamilton Co. Ind.
Elizabeth town Ky.
(a better [?] if you please)
jan. 25th, .63
My Dearest Cornelia,
My heart is full; I am overjoyed! On
friday I received a letter from Melissa and Capt. got one from Sallie.
These were the first since Dec 28th .62.
Yesterday morning I went to relieve
Will. on picket and when I came in this morning I got yours of monday
last. Well may be I was not happy; may be the boys did not look envious
mischief at me as I read with an unconscious smiling grin upon my countenance.
I would not write you this soon had I not written several times lately
telling you that we got no mail. Yet this make and for all their past
You say you intend to write twice a
week. Once a week will do quite well except on occasions of importance,
such as an intense desire to tell me something, or while away a lonely
hour in a pleasant way. And you know whatever may be the occasion of its
production it will be read with an intense [?]
You speak of the time being long before
our return. Now Nellie if we should return at the expiration of the time
it will be soon
I am not now gaining flesh so fast
as formerly. I had to take to doing more duty and less eating. The remedy
seems about to be effected.
But hold on till I catch a l___ l___
little black bug off Wills neck for it is___ was about to throw him into
histerrias. It is now dead and we both proceed to our writing again. Jehosephat!
I thought it was a southern confederacy. Will.
Oh! heavens! Cornelia, how I should
have loved to be within hearing when you were singing "Hazel Dell"
Tell our friends that if it is certain
that you are too mischievous and quarrelsome for anyone to live with in
peace, I beg they will inform me that I may remain in the army; as I prefer
a fight to a perpetual quarrel.
Give the Dr. my thanks for preventing
that hair [?].
And tell Charley No, when he gets a
wife if I have an opportunity to do so I will make a fire for her. I thank
him in for firing up for you on that snowy morning for I had been wondering
how you got it done.
I am glad that you are resigned to
trust to a "higher power."
And we know at the same time the prize
that Providence [?] award to indolence is, poverty, ignorance, defeat
Upon my word Cornelia, there is nothing
else astonishes me half so much now-adays as to hear persons expressing
s confusion of ideas and reasons why this just cause of our government
has not been more successful. I know nothing of Edward except what you
and Melissa tell me, although I have inquired by writing to Uncles folks
and the folks at home. When you hear from him tell me.
Cornelia: I would not surprize you
as I did last fall, again if I could. I would endeavor to make it more
But allow me to speak of a matter as
a possibility. It now appears quite possible that we may be ordered back
as far as Louisville when the other boys come on. If we are would you
not like to visit us their, provided you can get to come with Sebe or
some other trusting friend?
Do not hope or fear anything about
it, but think about it and let us know what you think. You see if this
movement is made it will be with a view to reganize the Regt; at [?].
which work will require some days when
commenced and will not be commenced for some weeks to come. Perhaps it
may be about the time your school will close. I think you would see enough
to pay you for the trouble and the expenses would not be more than two
or three ball-fees. We could find a white manšs house for you to board
at during your stay.
And then, I should like to see you
Nellie I should like to see you,
But do not come on that account nor
otherwise with out you feel that you should do so.
But we may write about that several
times before the men will be likely to leave Indianapolis. Will received
a letter last night from Elizabeth and is answering it now.
Capt. thinks he will write to Sallie
tomorrow. He has walked out to see us twice today. I took dinner with
him at Dr. Baldwin's today.
I guess I have nothing more to write
except that we still send to Park Barracks for letters
George Pool is gone there now to carry
a dispatch. If we get the letters you speak of we will mention it next
Give my love to all the friend. It is dark and supper is ready. So good night my dear one Good night.
February 7th 1863
My dear kind husband,
Saturday night finds me seat by the
stand writing to the one I dearly love and respect. I am not alone. Melissa
and Carrie are at work, Ma is reading the journal. We have been begging
her to write you all tomorrow. She has promised to if she feels well,
last evening when the girls returned from school, they brought a letter
for me and one for Ma from you and Simpson. oh glad I was, for I was afraid
I would have to wait a long time before getting another, it was very thoughtful
and kind of you to direst one to McCordsville, and such a good sweet one
just as you always write to your Nellie. Your last letter affected me
in a different way from what your previous did. I laughed instead of cryed
and we had a merry time all the evening. We talked of you and your brothers,
so much, in fact we do every night until we get out of things to say,we
talked of everything, we ever knew you to say and do. Ma told us a great
many thing about brothers what interesting little fellows they were when
they were young and I believe we finished off on that interesting visit
you and I took to sugar creek. I never enjoyed myself better since
you left me. We are not so lively to night, some of us are not so well.
Kate has retired, her and I think we are taking the mumps. My neck and
jaws are very sore and a little swollen and I should not wonder at all,
if that is what's the matter. Ada has them now and Charlie he is taking
them to day. I feel very dull tonight and you will excuse my dear if my
letter is not so good as it might be, if I were well.
I think this is rather a bad state
of affairs, Sebe's going back on monday and thinks they start soon to
Louisville to meet the reg' I have not received the letters you sent to
Britton, the last one I mean,I got none the last week I was there, the
last one I failed to respond to in my last , I will write some tomorrow
and mention some things that you wrote for I remember they were very sweet
and made a deep impression In your last you said something about a visit
to Louisville, I would be delighted with the idea of a visit to see you
if such a thing were possible, but I do not think it is as Sebe will,(he
says) have to go on a freight train, or some other rough way that I would
not like to go. I wrote to you in my last - something about going to Nashville
with a company of nurses, I want so bad to know what you think of it and
will expect a letter soon on that subject there was a company left Indianapolis;
this week for that place and Mr. Hamanon said if they needed any more
he wanted me to go. several of my lady friends are going. most of them
that goes are married ladies I do not want to go with out first
hearing from you for I know you will know wither it will be best for me
to go. Melissa's school will close next week, then her and I are going
to Pendleton, should nothing prevent us. oh how I wish you could be with
us for then the visit would be so much pleasanter and then our cousins
there would love so much to see you, but I don't feel like sitting up
any later my head aches my throat is very sore and I feel bad but not
very,much so and then I will be well in the morning oh how I would
love to say good night with my tongue lips and eyes
April 12th 1863
I have written you twice since we started from Louisville, once from Lebanon & once from Glasbow. I hoped to hear from you on arriving here but as yet I have not although we get a small mail last night. We saw the Capt at Gallitan as we came through. He wished to visit Mrs. Goosetree before coming away. His head was much in proved by Dr. Baldwin's operations on his teeth. We arrived here last evening and encamped on a beautiful spot of ground south of the city, in full view of the state house. H. Fort paid us a short visit soon after we arrived. He and his comrades have had many hair breadth escapes. Our march hither was very quiet and uninterrupted except by the accidental shooting of one man in Co.H. He was badly wounded near the hear but it is hoped that he will recover. Many of our horses were foundered one day by riding them into deep water and allowing them to drink heartily while warm. Among these unfortunate creatures was Tom. I was much afraid that he would fail entirely but he is getting better and I hope will recover entirely. We learn that we are to turn over the old long guns with which we started and get carbine in their stead. With this it is useless to say the boys are much pleased. There I am ready for inspection and feel decidedly nice, having changed all my underclothes. I should like to make you a birthday present in the shape of a hearty kiss this morning but as that is impossible please accept this letter as the best that I can present. Oh! how delightful it would be to take a walk with you this morning over these hills. The sunshine and the air are just like the morning we were at Will's last spring. In my minds eye I behold you now as then in your pink dress walking, talking and sweetly smiling. The violets and other wild flowers are springing around us but those sweet children and you are not here. It is rumored know that we will go to Murfeesboro this afternoon. If so,so be it. Our Colonel has fallen much in the favor of the officers and men. There is the general We must go. Well we have marched and are now in camp on a beautiful spot near a fine brook. Locality about five miles east of N. The mail came in just before we marched brining a letter for Sebe. dated 7th. He told me you had got home but said nothing more about you. I have no doubt you have written me a time or two at least but perhaps much of our mail has been sent to places between here and Louisville and this delayed. After this, perhaps our mails will be more regular. The Rebs. burned a train between here and Murfeesboro bay before yesterday. They are thick around us now, but we have not seen them in force yet. The people here seem t o think they are about gone up as both soldiers and citizens keep coming in by [ ?? ]and reporting great distress in Diy[?]. But let us not flatter our selves with such news but be prepared for the worst at all times. I should indeed be glad to have the privilege of coming home and living a life of peace and love with you but if the stern fate of the soldier forbids me that pleasure, the next best. and sweetest consolation is resignation. Let us bow to fate. There will at least be an end of this uncertainty and suspense. And time will solve the great problem of life and liberty for this generation and this people as it has done in ages past. On looking over my letter just now I see that I promised you something about Will. but failed to tell it. Last night after he lay down and before Lieut. came in (for they stay together in Caps. absence) there came a large frog hopping up towards his face with his great eyes wide open and looking much astonished. Will arose and drove him out and lay down again. The candle was still burning. [?] presently a large lizard came up as though he wished to make friends and share the bed with its single occupant. However Will. had made other arrangements & Mr lizard looked too shiny anyhow to suit him for a bed fellow, so he turned him out. This concluded the adventures for the evening and he slept unmolested. Sam & I got a letter from H. Judkings. He paid you a compliment by modestly remarking that I had a "bird" worth fighting for. Well my dear one; I think she is worth fighting for or living and laboring for either. I love her with all my heart (but don't tell mother) and with out her I should be a "menace to society." Please write frequently and tell the others to do the same without always expecting an answer, for I am almost out of materials and do not know when I can get any more and besides that, it is impossible to get time to write a letter when we are marching or scouting. Even this has been written at seven intervals. This goes the time and we are floating in his car Love by love unturned and some mid [?] of war. But I cannot tell you all this time, so farewell Though I loved thee a thousand times more each day yet farewell (This is blunder and was not intended for rhyme. will write again when the time comes. My love to all
Camp [east?] of Nashville
April 15th 1863
I had intended to write a while longer and see if some of your letters would not come; but I am on horse guard to night and must talk a little with you just to pass time and because I love you and can't help it. We have to supply our own pickets now and it requires good many of them. With the picket, Camp D horse guard the boys have too much to do, so Will, George Leg & I all volunteered this morning to stand guard although it is required of none of us.
The monotony of camp life is occasionally broken here now as the rebels in small parties venture near enough to interest us occasionally. A [?] party under Maj. Walker brought in last evening a Leiut. and six men together with two horses and saddles. We get but little of the news here as I have not yet had the pleasure of reading a newspaper since we entered the state. We are terribly threatened by the paymaster. But whether there is really any danger of an attack or not I cannot say. The mail brought Ellie's picture today. I told Sebe to write to Kate that the only way in which he would get to carry it would be for her to send me one. I think if you had accompanied us on the march from Louisville to this place, you would have seen a few negro babies. Think we must have seen a [?] and or two who were not five years old. Oh! Cornelia! I am love hungry tonight. I want to just clasp you closely to my heart and kiss you and talk love talk to you till I go to sleep. It is almost [?] me to think about you, but I have no other resort than humble resignation. I am fully conscious of your affectionate remembrance of me too Nellie, and am by no means fearful of being neglected or forgotten by you. I wish I were [?] of the love with which you have blessed me. And if I ever said or did aught that was against your real will or wishes I know you have not laid it up against me, for you know too well that to make you happy has ever been my "[?]" joy, and delight. "They say" that "Absence makes the heart grow warmer." But I think it is only when the heart is cool that it can grow warmer, I love you no better now than when I left you, unless it be because my capacity to love has improved, which is hardly the case now, for it requires your presence and kindness to expand and fill the soul. Oh! what an Eternity of happy days have been crowded into the few short months of our married life. All the memories of a melancholy childhood have been washed almost from the page of memory by the angelic purity of a woman I love. And she loves me still, I am persuaded, and will ever love while I strive to be worthy of her regard. My dear one! much as I love you now I had much rather never behold your sweet face again, than live to ever become cold and indifferent towards you. Let death come when it may, I would have my last earthly thought to be of you, and that thought prompted only pure devoted love. But it is now eleven oclock; one hour later than I was to watch. I must put by my writing and retire. It is not worth while to attempt to picture the bull of the camp at this hour of a dark damp night the solitary sentinels on their lonely beats, the relief grouped around a fire at the guard house, some sleepless would be slumbers talking in a low tone upon their couches; an &c. cusional one coughing [?] you have been in camp and can call it all to mind in the twinkling of an eye. But Dear Nellie, although I anticipate a good sweet sleep to night, yet I fain would sleep with you upon my arm. Not that I would leave the army to stay with you, but I love you and have only been writing to remind you of the fact, and give you one more assurance of my regard. It is quite possible that this will not be mailed for a day or two and I may get to add something to it yet. My heart rises in my throat and the tears have actually started at the thought of saying Good night! But my love such things must be; so with all my heart, and soul, and with a prayer for our country and for you, I must say Good night!
Thursday night, 16th Oh! how happy I have been today
Although I have been busy as a mailer ever since reveille. The mail was faithful to its trust, and brought me your gladdening letter of the 9th and 10th. I must say gladdence though all the contents were not cheering. I was so glad to hear from you Nellie! and to know you were happy that I could scarcely realize anything else. Your letter was handed to me when I was alone in my tent and I must say that I never felt such strange emotions on the reception of a letter before. I actually pressed it to my lips before I was conscious of what I was about. I read it Nellie! Was sorry to learn of so many being sick, sorry that you feel so much pain; but hope you will not long suffer so much and that the cause is just what you attribute it to. I know if it is, you will bear it bravely, and I only fear too bravely. That is I fear that you will be too proud to rest even when you really ought to do so. My Dear one, do be careful to do nothing now, that would cause we to call you a "thoughtless girl" if I should see you do it. I do hope you may never have cause to regret that sweet visit and life in camp. I was much pleased to have you stay as long with me, and especially so, on account of your condition,([?] of course), But let us not be too much elated with the hope of a "[?]" Maybe it will be blasted yet. And if it be really true that we are to become parents, it must cost you much pain, and me, many weeks of anxious hope and fear. But we can afford it all for the hope of a babe. Just let the jokes fly as they will, but take care of your yourself god _____ you know the rest. But, the bugle has sounded lights out and I must leave this [?] subject for the present. We had a washing of clothes this afternoon. Will, Sam, Newberry, George Leg & I. Dress parade at 5 oclock at which the death of Maj. Hill was announced. We have been supplied with nice carbines. The boys are much pleased, for they are very tired of carrying those long guns. We had a beautiful day and the stars shine beautifully tonight. I wrote last night just to vent my feelings I know it is a strange collection of sentences but I know not how to correct them. This is the fourth letter I have written to you since we started from Louisville. I have not learned where Melissa is teaching. Having had no letter from there except the one I now answer. I have a letter from Hezekiah that makes me feel sad and sorry. Will send it to you. I advised him to apply for a discharge from the service. Give my love to all the family, and tell mother I intend to write her when I get time. Capt. is with us bright and cheerful, seemingly much improved by his visit to Dr. B's. Sebe is still fuming & thinks we made a very gallant charge on a dutch brewery the other night. This [?] go in to the box at reveille so Good night! I will kiss you at the earliest opportunity. Pelatiah.
Camp 4 miles east of Nashville Tenn
. April 19th 1863
Your sweet letter of Apr.2nd. was received yesterday and that of 11th 12th today. I have just written two long letters and am not in very good [?] for continuing. But we never know in the army what next, so I will just write an a while longer at least. I did tell the Sergeant and Dr. at the Barracks that I did not wish you to go on the night train. It was all right under the circumstances not to stop at Uncle's That was a capital joke our Nellie ( calling her Mrs. Bond.) Allow me to congratulate you on escaping punishment when you arrived home. Give my love to Mother Edwards and be a " good girl" for her while I am gone. And who was it that knew and gave you precisely such a ring as I wanted to buy for you but had not money to pay for it? I hope the mumps may settle just as you propose. But what a vain charge you gave, when you say - "now don't laugh." Nellie! I couldn't help it "no way." But you may rest assure that I shouldn't care if we are "blessed with another some time soon." Yes I can imagine most of the Dr's speech. I know it was good. I am glad you could answer from your heart with such patriotism, friend Eh'ya's questions. Your interview with friends from Carolina was of course interesting. Aunt Lize is a good hearted woman if she is very fiery and deluged to say a great deal that she don't mean. Please visit her and my other friends in that vicinity giving them my love. No cause for alarm whatever, Nellie! The Captain's health is much better so that he is as omnipresent as ever. When ever he is not able to be with us I think we will succeed in getting him to stop and put up awhile. I will show him what you say about Laura and then he can tell Mother what he thinks best. Ah! well do I know how hard you have to struggle to be cheerful when we all passed from you sight on that memorable morning. I came well nigh not-getting- to see you at the window, for I rode with my eyes fixed upon a window at the north side of the building until we passed the gate when I accidentally saw you at the west window. But that picture had no business to go to telling of tales. Was I excited when it was taken? And does Mother really know that I love you? I Know that it is a difficult thing to conceal, but I am very haughty. There is a secret something in my composition which is perhaps, peculiar to myself. I have several times endeavored to give you some idea of it but expect I never did. I told Mother once that I was proud of you, but that was as far as I could go. You know more about me and my peculiarities than any other, and yet you love and are at home and happy with me while others call me odd & strange. I think we are to each other, what we are not, and can never be to others. That is all right is it not? But Oh! how I should like to take your hand in one of mine, and with the other gently raise your chin and look into your beaming eyes and glowing countenance while you say, "yes." But Dear Cornelia, I remember one evening in [?] when I tried to look pretty at you? Next morning I found a note in my glove. I will place this in one of those mittens that Mother sent me. I will send my over coat and one blanket. Please take care of them and if you should have an opportunity to do so, give the coat to father as it was Ben's coat and I intended to send it to father last fall but had no opportunity. I have just been to water Tom. Poor fellow looks bad has had no hay lately. Bert Mill and I took Tom and Charley over into a secesh clover field today and let them graze long enough. We were greatly enlightened by "massa's favorite servant." (The rest having fled to Nashville to look out for themselves) His teachings are much the same as we have previously had from negros. Lieut. McCey came up today. I have just had a good talk with him. He says if the people in the north would drop partys and strike hard the war would very soon end. Amen! Say we all. But I must close down. I wrote to Melissa today, and to Mother B. I never weary with reading your letters but some how I can get weary with writing. Suppose the poor little babe is gone to long rest before this. And this reference to death reminds me of a thing of which I frequently think. Dear Cornelia, do not you be a less devoted Christian because I am not a church member. I was brought up differently from what you were and early life may engender carelessness. I know I am not as good as men should be, but "I love the virtues which I can not claim." I should like to attend church with you if I had an opportunity .
Yours as ever Good Night!
Will. and Rutherford are going to send some things with "ours" you can forward theirs to their folks.
| faded & some water damage
Camp near Nashville
April 25th 1863
My Dear wife;
I hardly know how to write you today. I am very, very, happy today Nellie although you would discover even if I should attempt to conceal it that I am not well. I sent you a bundle by express on monday last. It contained my overcoat and one of "our" blankets, a blanket of Mr. Rutherford's and Will's overcoat. If you have received the bundle you no doubt found in my mitten a couple of letters; one for you and one for Mother Edwards. Well Cornelia I have not been well this week and for three days have not been able to sit up or I should have written earlier. The pay master is here supplying us with green backs. They gave us an opportunity to send money home this. We sign an allotment roll on which is stated the amount to be sent. The rolls are then transmitted to Rev. Mr. Goodwin at Indianapolis. Mr. Goodwin then draws the money there, and sends it by express, to the person and place directed on the roll. I sent $55. to you at McCordsville which I hope you will receive in du time. It may be somewhat slower in getting through than if we had drawn the money here and sent it by express, but we thought it would be safer & perhaps cheaper. We drew what we wished for spending money here. Are paid up to March 1st. You need not have been troubled about my writing material for there has always been plenty in the company, and I have not wanted for any such thing But I must rest now Dear one and then I will try to tell you how happy I am and why I am so. Well now for a few lines more. On yesterday as I lay in my tent thinking of a thousand sweet things I heard "Orderly call." Did not dare to hope for a letter least I should be disappointed. But presently in came the Capt. with a smiling face (he always wears one) and handed me______your fourth letter. (I have received the four) I asked him if he got one. He said no! Then I will divide with you said I, and we went out to attend to other matters while I should read. I opened the letter and the first I showed Capt. this line only, Go off alone before reading [ ]. Now I was not well and I thought you would pardon the disobedience if I should read where I was. I did so.
Cornelia, I have had many very many sweet letters from you, but none as "doubly" dear as this. I cannot reply to it for want of physical strength and mental ability to do it justice. I know Dear one, that you are aware of the great responsibility resting upon you, and I have every reason to hope that you will be equal to the great task before you. It does, and indeed should, inspire us with renewed energy and zeal, and strengthen, as well as increase the number of the hands Bonds of love, to know that we are to be the parents of the next generation as we were the children of the last. I know that you will bear your part as faithfully and as cheerfully as it could be borne. Tell Melissa that [babies] are about played out in the army, and may [a] woman who expects a good healthy one from that source should always prepare for disappointment. Alas! many of them will be more than disappointed. I think they will (I mean now the folks at home) be "played off on" as you say when they know there has been a new soldier enlisted. But I rather fear that I am getting to mirthful. And now if I were well enough I could tell you some such swell things that I have been thinking. If I am ever so lucky as to return home we will of course be much happier than we should be alone. And if it should so happen that the stern fate of war should forbid us the unspeakable pleasure of a life of love together, I presume that there could be nothing else left you that you would consider so great a boon, as "the babe." If I should find my destiny sealed and my brief and unprofitable earthly career, fast winding to a close on some bloody field, or in some noisy camp or in a distant hospital there could be no other thought half so sweet, no other hope half so dear (save that of eternity itself) as the thought that there will be still a drop of my blood to run in living veins and mingling with yours, that there is a spark of life left that may yet warm my cold heart. I have such faith in you Dear Cornelia, that I think the babe will be something more than common. But I must rest again. Cornelia, try to do this, love without fear, and remember without sorrow, even should the war rage ten times as high as heretofore. Mail communication is now liable to be cut at any time, but do not allow any such thing to distress you. I shall be happy and prove plenty & hope and spirit to bear me through, I think. We hear of young battles up in Ind. and also that northern papers talk of prospect of an early peace. We get but little of the news here but are expecting to stay in the south and fight for [ ] yet. We have enough solders here with the help ready at hand to deluge the south in tyrants blood if they push us to it. Should those false friends at home make war upon that sweet land of liberty, we will surely fire the "black [mahogany]" here,and swear eternal vengeance, death and annihilation to American slavery. Without doubt the south is now nearly [expanse?] and could soon be brought to terms if some of our "friends" were not ten times meaner than our enemies. But why write all this stuff to you? I will drop it here and tell you that when we were on a scout in the early part of the week we passed where the rebels had torn up our mail captured from a train a day or two before we came here. We picked up several of the letters but did not succeed very well in finding addresses &c. as all were more or less torn and mutilated. They were all soldier letters "homeward bound" But night approaches and I must again postpone Good night! my love and may your dreams be sweat as are my [ ].
I love but you Nellie, just you.
envelope:Mrs. Cornelia Bond, McCordsville, Hancock Co. IN
Camp near Nashville
May 18th 1863
My Dearest and most beloved wife;
Superlative and come parative are alike inexpressive and unmeaning when we address each other. Therefore there can be no danger of any jealousies about "two others" &c. Of course you will infer from this outset that I have received your very sweet and confiding letter of 8th 18th &c.
Yes Cornelia, you may continue to love [?], and write affectionate and loving letters. Joyfully indeed is that love reciprocated, and the letters, Dear Cornelia I will respond to them as best I can at all times. You speak of my [?] letter, I did feel like [?] everything but you, when I wrote it. Am ridiculously laughing this morning considering all things. Your next letter did not make me very sad for I was fully prepared for it. My doubts, of which you have several times twitted me, have always been more pretend than reality, and if they ever had any real existence your letter that brought the first assurance of a "prospect," destroyed them entirely. Do not fail to tell me something about it every time you write for it sounds almost like news from another world. Think I can fully appreciate your wish that I could be with you "during the next 7 months, and then all the time after that." Think I should enjoy it decidedly.
Now Dear Nellie as to reducing my ideas of the number of ____"babies" &c. you know [?] you and your happiness even more than I do "babies." We can have a quarrel in that way. I see no veil of obscurity about your "stuff" as you call it, that need cause you any fear that I could not understand it. Can fully comprehend your [?] cheerfulness and gayety when you are well, for I have the same [?] hopes and pleasant memories to cheer me, and I am happy and cheerful sick or well. Tell mother I will write to her soon if circumstances will permit. Am glad if it affords her any pleasure to write to whenever I can. We hear with regret of Eva's severe illness, but are indeed glad to hear that she was better. Sorry Charley is so hard run with his work. Tell him I should like to help him up a little but can see no way to do so at present. We heard through letter to some one here, that Carrie was sick. Believe the last you have told me concerning her was that she was at Bob's. But I must say a few words upon the important subject of " victories and rumors of victories." "Richmond "captured Lee to be taken" and all that gave us here nothing to exceed a timid hope that it might be so. As to the 2nd [?]. performing such feats as have been [?] times reported in the paper here, and for aught we know in the papers at home else, it is all too little and contemptible to be mention if we could avoid it. From the best information I can get (and my opportunities have been good) I think these glorious lies emanate from about head quarters. Are gotten up by certain hollow eyed, pale mouthed, sore ____ ___foot officers, whose adventures have been countless indeed, but very amorous; who have been and are yet in great danger _____ of decay; whose chance for honor are desperate and who would be ashoured of nothing that they could do which they could hope would inflict a return of the belief that they were patriots and soldiers instead of (I will say it) lust pimps of perdition. We know of but two guns having been fired by our men yet, even at a supposed enemy; one of these was fired by Sebe night before last on picket. The object escaped without being identified. We are no doubt doing good service here as we are so situated as to prevent raids upon the R. Road and upon supply trains. The largest numbers of prisoners brought in on any one occasion I think, [?] seven. This number has been taken twice [?] We do not think that peace will be declared &c. very soon, but the soldiers seem [?] more and more of a "oneness" if [ ? ] allow that word) All seem to rejoice at the arrest and court martial of [?] We think that the war will end and that it will end slavery with it. But as I am not very stout I guess this will do for a while. Perhaps I will write more this afternoon.
2 Oclock P. M. I had a good dinner today. Sam. prepared a nice toast for me and some good wild strawberries with sugar. Will. procured a pound of fresh butter for me yesterday, so I am living well now and if there is no change for the worse I shall most likely be able for duty in a short time. I finished s letter and mailed to you a day or two since. Since that time the Dr. ha advised me to remain quiet so that I had not been up an hour at a time untill today. Have been very [?] and had quite a attack of diarrhea with a tendency to flux, some fever, a severe shake and was sick in the [?]. At this time my mouth is very sore [?] and out, (which you know is a good omen) and I feel a decided improvement [?] way. You need have no apprehensions about me for I will be careful and the Dr,s officers, and my comrades are all more kind careful and attentive towards me than I could ask. Sam is now able to do light duty about camp but has not yet reported for duty. Our brothers are all three well. Will is [?] Sergeant and Sebe a Corporal. Presdee is Major, and Col. McCook has been assigned a command as Brigadier. Has six regiments including the 2nd. They are stationed at various points and most likely the duties of all will be similar to our own. The commander will make his headquarters with this Regt. for the most part. Now I do not think of anything more of general interest, so guess I must return to you Individually and see if I can think of some sweet thing to say to you. But now before I forget it let me [?] had a letter from Mother dated 8th.all [?] The band is playing "Hail [?]" just out of camp. Drill call and recall were sounded at headquarters half an hour ago, so the boys are spending the beautiful but warm afternoon variously. Four of my mess mates are asleep upon their blankets here in the tent which is raised so that it is quite cool and airy. Some are out busily engaged in making rings from usual shells. But more far more take the Regiment through spend all their idle time in gambling. They win and lose hundreds of dollars every day but for some cause there is little if any quarreling about it. Well well I was going to try to say some sweet things to you but I am tired and very slapy. Just one sweet kiss love from your [?] lips and then let me take a sleep then I will look [?] the deep love in your eyes and gather a new inspiration. Good bye for an hour. There I have left you for nearly three hours instead of one. Hope you have not been lonesome darling for I slept so soundly that I forgot but that you were with me still. It is now nearly sun down. The boys have had supper but must finish my letter before eating. Several of the boys have heard from the money they sent [?] allotment. Sebe & I hope to hear from yours and Kate by next letter. But now a few words about "sweet prospects" sweet babes &c. Cornelia do the folks all know vot the matter ish? What does Mother say about it? Would you have me make it known to Dr. Duncan? or in short is there anything that you would have me do that it is possible for me to do. To tell you that my heart is full of love for you this evening would be a very poor expression of the [?] glow that is to night my only fire. It is just as when you write to me you know words do not tell the half that you wish me to read. Cornelia I do from my heart hope to clasp in my arms at some future time my beloved wife and child. But should the future or the fate of war deny me that happy privilege, you know my cherished hopes and wishes concerning them. Do you wish me to speak to Mother about it? I remember of telling you I would do so and you seemed then to desire that I should. But it growing dark and I must close my letter. I forgot to tell you that I made the propper reserves when handing your letter to the boys to read. have no reason to think they know anything of your condition as yet. I cannot see when I write but wish to say, I love you Cornelia! As God knows my heart I love you. tonight may we meet in dreaming
Please give my love to all and write often
Oh! would I could be with you
May God still be above them.
Shall I see our babe Nellie?
And shall I know such pleasure
Shall I know its lisping tongue
Shall we dear wife together
I intended to add another stanza or two but least I be too late for the mail I hasten to close.
| [contains two sheets of letter.]
envelope: Mrs. Cornelia E Bond, McCordsville,Hancock Co. Ind.
On the banks of Stone River one mile above Murfiesburough Tenn.
May 27th 1863
My Dear, loving and much loved wife
I am weary but glad. When I last wrote you Will was sick. Had a very severe brash, with diarrhea. Did not taste food for two days and what after such a siege what do you suppose he proposed as an [?] mite to his palate. He had seen Capt. Starr pass the door with a large frog and he said it looked like it would be good. I accordingly sought Lieunt. Hentson (who had been out with the Capt. frogging.) for the purpose of becoming initiated in to the art. While making inquiries about the manner of taking them I chanced to mention Will's case and the Lieut said take this one, and insisted upon my doing so. Under the circumstances, I could not well refuse and in a few minutes I had half of the amphibious [?] "done" "brown" in meal and [?]. Will ate and recovered and has been jumping around ever since. He's all right but says he has a great desire to visit the creek and plunge in head foremost occasionally ever since. But we pulled up stakes at Mill creek last evening at 4 oclock and today about ten oclock we dismounted here. We are very near the front now with no force but the picket, intervening and they in plain view of the rebel picket. We are all apparently very happy and cheerful. Untill the army begins to move we will be likely to have a much easier time than we have had for several weeks past. We had the extreme pleasure of greeting our friends in the 4th Cav. today. Also our excellent and [?] friend F. Heath; with whom I had the sweetest confidential talk of about an hour. He asked me much about the [?] entertained by his brothers in-law. Said he had learned from sources not to be doubted that Kimble was a rank butternut. I felt sorry that I could not refute the statement or offer any consolation. Fletch said he was sorry but he could offer no apology nor present a shield to save one because of relationship. He inquired about the social intercourse of "our" family and his. Wished to know if any better feeling prevailed than formerly, and was sorry that any such had ever existed. Said Eliza, you and he never had trouble. He thinks that Marion B. is sound on politics. L. McCay has been very sick though not worse perhaps than several of the rest of us, but he had not sufficiently recovered to be able for duty and I expect he remained in Nashville. Well it is about night and I am tired, so Cornelia, although it is almost three or four days since I wrote you will you not allow me to procrastinate a little? May be, and I hope, that my dear wife has been blessed with health sufficient to permit her to write to me in time that I may get it tomorrow in time for mail this afterwards. II love you Cornelia, tonight as well as ever. Would that I could embrace and kiss you. But be happy dear one, for sunny days will come for others if not for us. I hope dear Cornelia to meet you bright days when we can talk of love and live it over with all its joyous blessings;(babes included of course). I sent you in my last letter a prescription from Dr. Smith. I do hope you will soon be well again. But Good night love! I do love you so very much. Nothing preventing I will write more tomorrow. Good Night!
Thursday evening. And we got no letters from home today but perhaps tomorrow we shall. It would please me so much to have a letter from you stating that you were well once more. I have not felt very well today, Being wearied and my nerves having let down so much as to make me "feel tho mitherable." We have orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. Of course we know nothing about when we are to march and I suppose Old Rosy himself only knows that we are to march when it is deemed necessary. I have told you in a former letter that I was not called to act in the band and that I was glad I had not been. Well I do feel to rejoice that I by some means excaped [?], for had I been requested to enter the band I should not have hesitated for a moment. But perhaps you will wonder why I do not desire to be there. I will try to tell you. In the first place I think the "band boys" spend more for extras than I could afford for I have something at home, even sweeter than music, that I wish to devote my money to. Again, I should be separated from our brothers here to some extent. Next, I do not desire nor require as much stimulating as does the band. And last but not least, it is bad enough to have to dismount and be out in the road while the band plays a serenade for every M___e along the line of north without being obligated to participate in "doing the honors." One stopping as I do about once a week at head quarters, for 24 hours at a time, has an opportunity to learn the bent of mind in that vicinity. And let me asure you dearest one that did he not know to the contrary he would not for a moment suspect that there existed on all the earth any such [?] as virtue. I learn something more every time I stand orderly. I cannot tell you much now but I must relate what I heard a certain Capt. say the last time I was on duty there, Said he, "my wife was born in Tenn. and I had thought of paying her a complement by writing to her that I liked her now better than ever for the reason that I have never found a Tennessee woman that was able to say no!" Wouldn't that be a complement? But just here the "Assembly of buglers sounded and in my hurry to get my bugle and get out I overturned my ink stand. I shall be obliged to send this blotted as it is or make you wait another day. I prefer the former but will endeavor not to allow this blotted sheet to be a type of the heart I bring to you when I return. For in truth I love you Cornelia, and for your sake can "do right," when I know what it is getting dark now and if I could only express to you the glad feelings of love that purvable my being tonight, I could then bid you Good night! with a happy heart. But you must just remember and imagine for words that I can use are a feeble medium of communication. Our hopes and our hearts are one and the same. I do feel that I cannot be good and true enough to merit such truth and devotion as yours, but I will try Cornelia, I will try. And should it ever be our happy lot (as I trust in God it may) to meet again, when peace shall shroud the land in its quit folds we will love anew and we hope to unite that love in a third person (Lulu, Luella [?] or some such personage thus sweetly named) But my dear you have to suffer so and I away ___________ I will be cheerful though and hope for the best. I know you will write often and I need not ask you to do so. Your letters are indispensable when they can be An old friend has called and it will be time for tattoo in a few minutes. So I must close my hurried and blotted letter. But I know you will not forget that I love you. Daniel wrote me a happy letter since the great battle. I wrote to Irene to visit you as she was teaching near Fortville.
Good Night my dear and only loved one! (My love to the rest of the folks, not withstanding) Good Night with a sweet embrace, your head reposed upon my shoulder and your lips pressed close to mine all as they were meant to be. Good Night Cornelia! Good Night!
Index to Letters *** Indiana
in the Civil War *** email me at: genealogy105 at comcast.net