|[two sheets of letter]
envelope: Mrs Cornelia E. Bond, McCordsville, Hancock Co. Ind.
june 17th .63
If you have an opportunity please send me a dollars worth of postage stamps. They are hard to get here. Just enclose them in letter.
Your sweet and cheering - because cheerful - letter, of the 8th was received on sunday. You know and well can judge how glad I was to hear of your health still improving. Allow me to congratulate you on the pleasant visit you had among our cousins and friends (for I must claim all as mine whom you can accept as such to yourself. We were pained to learn that Charley's folks had not been blessed with continued good health. I received your letter mailed at Britton in due time as you have learned if mine have reached you. I cannot remember what could have been it the letter you spoke of mother reading, that should especially please either you or her. If you think it "sweet" however I have no objection as our mutual happiness depends entirely upon the [?] we feel in each other. I also, had a letter from mother B. a few days since, and responded to it filling three such sheets as this. Oh! just this moment some back mail reached us, and it contained an envelop addressed to me. Said envelope contained a letter from Melissa together with some of the sweetest little missives from the school children that can be imagined. They were so flattering and confiding! Oh! I would always have children to love and trust me as these would seem to do. Tell cousin Jim that the "bachelor" is quite as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Tell the cousins who wish for a copy of the miniature, that it is not worthy of as great circulation and they will most likely hold a better opinion of me, without having the likeness to look at, As to Will writing to "you all" ([?]) he thinks he does well to write to his family (and Jim Patterson.) Since our last scout he thinks goat meat almost equal to frog. Capt. too complains that he has since been affected with goat on the stomach, but thinks he will survive. Will says that he will write to you but Sebe and I are writing often and of course you get most of the important items. He of coarse lacks no love. But now to those unanswerable sweet things contained in your letter.
I would submit to you throwing your arms about my neck and would listen you know how attentively to the sweet things you would recite. And for every item of it, you should have a fervent kiss, fresh-baked and warm from the oven of my heart. Ah! I would enfold you in my arms with your head reposing upon my breast whilst my heart should talk to you in its own polpilating language, and tell to you a tale of love not told by few or tongue. You should hear again from the very life seat of my being, how much, above all other earthly things, yourself is prised, and trace in the quivering thrills of joy, the thousand thoughts and yearnings of the soldiers heart. But you know, and only you can know my love for a woman. Then why should I assert it. I must take Tom out to graze. Poor fellow! he is almost used up; will not stand much more as hard service as we have had lately. Good Bye Nellie!
Thursday morning 18th
It rained last evening making the air so cool and sweet. As we after retreat seemed all to be seeking some social comrade with whom to spend the [?] hour (when tattoo would sound) I could but notice that Capt. and Will were apart from the others whilst Sebe and I were enjoying a social____ private and confidential conversation in his and Will's. doghouse (as out small tents are called.) Our principle topic of course was of "the loved ones at home." It was a sweet talk and I trust we both enjoyed it. We are most pleasantly situated here with clean streets in this magnificent forest. Our tents are by far the most pleasant we have ever had, as only two go together now. We have constructed couches to sleep on which are also just high enough for seats. Wales made a temporary stand to write upon. it is covered with a beautiful piece of red muslin and placed just under the edge of our tent in front. Some of the boys accuse us of putting on too much style but some of them like to write a letter here occasionally. I see one sheet is full and but little told. I will be orderly after "guard mount" and perhaps may receive your next letter when the mail arrives. Think I had better not mail this till after that time anyhow. But "I must go and water Tom" you know he was always claiming from you a portion of my time and attention. I love you though, and will return to talk to you again soon. Good bye for a while; tuould be sweet to see you. After noon; no letter today and most discouraging news from all our armies. I have just spent a hour in reading the news and reflecting upon the causes of disaster. This day our own officers have nearly all been out to witness and bet on a horse race. No field officer is in camp and Capt. E. is in command. The great question still is, has this people virtue enough to insure its own perpetuity? Time will tell. Meanwhile Let no one fear for the judgment of God is just, and even tyrants cannot avert it. These scenes of blood like the perpetual roar of hostile guns, must sooner or later give place to sweet, heavenly peace and quietude. I am now as I have long been in momentary expection of hearing that "communication is cut between here and Louisville"
That we are to pass a long and isolated campaign here not knowing whether the loved ones at home are living in peace or struggling in the fierce tide of war. Be this as it may we would have our friends trust us without regret or fear to fate fortune and Providence. The war now seems active all around and of course is spending its strength the faster. I could but think last night as I sank into a sweet sound sleep (while listening to the picket guns and expecting each moment to bring the sound "To arms") how strange that one should so rest when a few hours hence he may be numbered with the things that were but have passed away. And right here Dearest one, let me say that no danger appears, that does not speak of you. I was indeed quite fearful the other day when skirmishing with the enemy, and could but wish to trade our position in the field for in the woods. Once I involuntarily checked my horse a little when a minnie ball passed just a few inches in advance of my head. I was quite glad my horses pace had been slackened for otherwise___________________ Cornelia and the baby were what I thought of, even as the hissing missile passed; but I did not tell my comrades. I only said hastily that those were enemies and raising my carbine aimed and fired. (But I fell back a little out of sight before loading.) The others followed my example and we soon drove them from their covert. But it is commencing to rain and I must go into the [?] tent soon. A soldier past now asked if I were "writing to the Chicago Times?" What would he say were I to show him some of the letter in my pocket? Day after tomorrow will be our day for picket duty. I am happy to inform you that the horse racers have returned badly beaten having lost all the money they staked on it. And now "Dear one though far from thee," I am happy in the hope of a blissful reunion with you and another dear object yet unseen. The time is sure to pass and if ______ oh if we are so happy as to survive the shock of war and you that [?] of keener suffering, and we meet again to love each other and cherish the precious object of our hopes, why then _____ well we will talk about the sweet things then. It is so difficult to write them. We have had plenty to eat of late - hard bread and strong bacon with occasional rations of fresh meat. But perhaps we could take supper at table with the folks at home with some degree of relish. We are still able to cherish the memory of mashed potatoes, peas, fruits, preserves &c. and although much out of practice I think we could do a full share in disposing of them. But how awkward and how odd it would seem to sit down to a table with sweet clean women and children. I have not had such a treat since eating with you and Tommy in the tent.
We are happy though; and with all the love my heart can hold I am yours
| very faded
July 3rd 1863
One year ago at this hour you & Carrie & I were having a pleasant walk to Fortville. This evening - quite as warm but somewhat cloudy - finds me seated on a cot in Captain's old tent among the forts and big guns, surrounded by many thousands of soldiers. I am thus situated and trying to write to you. Think I never applied a pen to paper when it seemed so feeble. It has been near two weeks since I wrote to you with my immediate purpose of it being mailed.
We left Tenn on the 3rd since which time men and horses had but little rest or sleep. Sam's horse became lame and he was sent back with him. I requested him to write to you which he tells me he did. I kept on with the company until yesterday morning and as the weather was cold most of the time I did well but when the sun would shine pain would invariably serge upon my brain. Yesterday morning long before the first hour of the twelve had expired the camp was all astir, feeding their horses, cooking breakfast and stowing away their "eight days rations." Capt. Came to me and ordered that I report to the surgeons and be sent back here. I [?], but Sebe & Will besides several friends less dear and devoted approved the Captains order and I [?] the consented [?] [?] that they were men of judgment, and that my health was of very uncertain character. I could not leave them without weeping but when the Capt told me that they were going on a [desperde?] scout that he knew I could not stand the riding; if I started they would be compelled to [?] me [1st?], the [?] of the enemy and said "only think of the cause [?] them." I felt the force of these remarks and tried to be reconciled. The Cavalry under General Mitchel moved out long before daylight and soon after a train of wagons moved in this direction and we effeminate soldiers so moved with it. A hot day followed and long before the sun had reached the meridian I had cause to rejoice that I had been sent back. I was compelled to dismount several times during the day and seek the shade for a short time [?] [?] [?]had I gone with the company I should have failed the first day. Sebe, Will & Capt all wished me to report to them well and cheerful feeling perfectly ill for what ever may come.
But it is too dark to write more. I love you dearly and will try to finish in the morning.
Afternoon of the 4th
I resume but not so early as I intended.
This Morning early I went over to the field hospital for the purpose of purchasing some blackberries. Thought to return before the sun would get up but had to wait till near ten oclock for the berries to come in so you see I lost much valued time from your sweet [?] Then when I returned we, a comrade and myself "built" ten blackberry pies. He doing the out door part of the work as making fire and baking. Eight of us ate five for dinner and agreed that they were preferable to the leather covered ones we purchase at from 20 to 25 cts. apiece. My health I am happy to report much better today. I failed to tell you where I left the Regt. It was a few miles outside of Tullahoma; and we see by the papers today that the enemy has given war there and Gen. Stanly with the cavalry is pressing him hard. Our division commander is Gen. Mitchel. I don't know whether they are with Stanly now or not. I wrote to you a short letter a few evenings since and gave it to George Legg to mail when he should return here with his team. Guess I will get this mailed before he will that as his team has not yet returned. Since I wrote you from Triune (which is the last you have received) I have had three full sweet letters from you. They are unanswerable though I think I appreciate them. Oh! That sweet cheering talk about the responsibilities of a mother; although I knew you will understood it, I had never heard you talk do eloquently on it before. I do hope you will never become care worn and gloomy under these responsibilities. I would always have you cheerful, and hope you can be so.
You still speak of Nov. as the time "delivery." Will it not rather be Dec? I am glad you are reconciled to my absence but should be happy, oh how happy to be with you then.
Glad you enjoyed so much your visit to Fortville. And now dearest, although I have often told you that I thought your bearing toward our erring sister R. very noble in treating her so kindly, yet I cannot wish you to condescend to follow her with a sisters love and forgiveness through all her unrepentant flights of folly.
If her conduct has become intolerable as it would seem you must use your own good judgement and discretion about how far you associate with her. I have no "strange thoughts" about your not visiting her. Think it very natural.
You say do not tell Simpson what you wrote &c. I did not tell him, but it is rather difficult sometimes to avoid answering the question written in his countenance deep as the love that warms his broken, bleeding heart. "Did our letter say anything about your folks?" He rarely utters it to the ear, but oh! that look! Words never shake as plainly. He seems anxious to hear from home, yet is to those who know not his history and are unacquainted with his sensibilities of soul, a happy, cheerful man. But I am quite weary and it is raining so [?] and such a good time to sleep and refresh that I think you will pardon me if I should soon lay aside this paper and changing to you with all the love my heart can know lay myself on the cot to rest. Please direct as heretofore and I will get your letters though irregularly.
I may yet find it necessary to have field service and be detailed as nurse in some of the hospitals. If it becomes necessary I will accept the detail much as I should regret to abandon my brothers and comrades. I will try to not expose myself by trying to go with them when it is [?] [?] I could not ride [?].
Do not understand that I am sick it is only the intense heat that I cannot endure. I am sorry I did not get my letter to you and [?] mailed today.
Good Evening Nellie!
Our love is known only by us. It is sincere and [unaboting?].
Oh that I could clasp you to my heart and kiss you!
Then would I sleep sweetly indeed.
Feeling totally well and even very, very, happy.
Love you dearly indeed & hope you are happy.
I must now take my letters to the office.
your brief sweet letter of the 16th was received at ten last night. We were glad to learn that the people were alive with demonstrations for the Union. I have heard both the gentlemen whom you mention as having spoken at the meeting and fully con cur in your opinion of both.
Sorry Roana is disposed to make such a display, but still think there will be an end. We have not been as healthy here as in former camps but efforts are now being made to cleanse the camp. The weather has been the warmest we ever saw until yesterday when it became comfortably cool. George H. Pool is quite sick with fever: Lieut.Cornwell & I were both attacked with something like cholera morbus night before last and have neither of us been on regular duty since but are doing well; several others are slightly sick but the worst case is Sargent Hort who on saturday last cut his foot with an ax, severing the large bone about halfway between the ankle and toe, and the bone next to it, lower down. The ax passed nearly through the foot. Dr.s Rutlledge & Smith brought it well together and some one has remained by him ever since pouring cold water on the wound which keeps down the fever. Dr.s think it is doing well. I just now heard that Hort and Pool will be sent to Stevenson tomorrow. It is thought that Hort will be allowed to go home as soon as supertation shall have taken place. But I feel stupid and so much more like falling asleep in your loved embrace thou I do like writing.
Cornelia; please permit me to go and spread my blanket down and fall into forgetfulness of this dreadful absence. It oppresses me more at sometimes than others. I will try to finish writing when I have sleptonce or twice. Good bye Dearest!
I have slept a dozen sleeps, and yet had rather take you in my arms and talk myself into sleep again, than to sit here and try with pen and ink to tell you how I love; and how much dearer you are to me than all else. But you see Nellie: I am just near enough to you to write you and not near enough to speak in any other way. Dr. Smith last evening obtained a leave of absence for 15 days to visit his family which is sick. He will pass on the Bellfontane R. R. and said if the cars should break down at McCordsville, he would surely go to your house. Could he have got 20 days leave, he would have had time to call without the cars breaking. We all love him as much as ever, hardly know how to get along without him especially his socialbillity, smile and pleasantries. Dr. Rutledge however has not suffered any depreciation by our attachment to Dr. S. "I know the limits of my sex." as ______ says, But may say what if head quarters gets drunk, why its drunk. We find it does. ________If somebody reports to Gen ________it will be reported. We find they will. Perhaps a few court martial will renovate the concern. I will report to you as the matter progresses. We sincerely hope now, that some things may find their way to Gen. Roseys., in which case three Majors at the 2nd Ind. will________________ " I know the limits of my sex, and this is the limits of my sex." We were visited today by Mr. [?] who ordered a removal of camp to a higher spot of ground. Our sick list contains about 80 more, while that of the 4th Ind. (not a days march from us) contains but 6. The sick of Co. B are about the same as yesterday with the addition of R. Hunter. I hope when we get a little higher up we shall get well again. All are able to wait upon themselves except Pool, Hort & Hunter. Hunter's case was similar to Lieutenants & mine so will probably be of short duration. I wrote to Dr. Duncan day before yesterday. It is only a little more than three months now till December. I have not forgotten Nellie! And it is with feelings of mingled hope and fear softened by love and devotion that I contemplate this short period to intervene this and your anticipated delivery. I trust that all will be well with you, and at present this is all I can do. You asked me to write you a long letter; but under present circumstances & considering the blank condition of my mind, perhaps I would be excusable if I should in part fail. Now Cornelia I wish I could hand you such a peach as Lient. divided with me just now; as large as your tiny fist and _____ not as sweet; but good as peaches should be. Have you Apples and peaches in Ind. this year? I will send you some peas which I expect are of the same kind that the people of [ ?]burgh depended upon for subsistence during the siege. There are fields of them here. I roasted some in the pod yesterday and found them excellent. Give my love to the folks and tell them that Simpson, Will. & Sebe. appear as well as usual and I hope to be so very soon as I am only weak now from exhaustion. Wish you could have seen Will just now. He was prompting me to write that mother Bond was a little under the weather too. Then he went to finish a pan of gruel which his kind smothering heart had suggested for some of the sick ones.
envelope: Mrs. Cornelia E Bond, McCordsville, Hancock In.
Sept 23 63
Dear wife I embrace with joy an
opportunity to send you a note, for that is all I shall have time to write. The last I received from you was dated 27th. We have hardly had our horses [?] [?] this month. Capt has not yet joined us and we do not know where he is but the last we heard from him he was doing well. Our army has fallen beck to this place and the [?] is mostly on the north side of the river. The [?] may have a very heavy force but our boys are very cheerful and meet him with a [?] welcome. We are neither scared or disheveled because we had to fall back. While I write the artillery is bombing away around the front. We have been engaged twice and yesterday P. B. was so [?] [?] by Bragg's artillery. Four or five shells exploded in our midst half of one passing under Sebe's arm and another directly over my head which I had [?] a powerful since of danger just [?]. None of the company were hurt however and for some cause best known to the enemy the shelling soon ceased. It may have been because of [?] little oblong [?] that passed as hurried messengers from our carlines [?] with [?] against their proceedings. I am well sometimes Nellie and sometimes not as well but am as happy as could possibly be expected. To know that you were well and happy would full my measure. I hope soon to be able to write you a letter and O how happy I shall be to receive one from you. Tell Kate that Sebe is out after forage and it may be some time before we have another opportunity to mail letters. He had the head ache yesterday caused by getting no breakfast, but today he appears as well as usual. Will is writing to his folks. Rutherford was left with the [?] having the [?] too had to be able for duty. We shall most likely be kept riding most of the time for an infinite period yet. It is thought that the enemy will attempt to cut off our supplies and reinforcements and we will have the task of preventing this.
Forgot to tell you that the second Ind Cav. was [?] for its successful [?] of a train the other day. And now dearest one with all the furor of my whole heart [?] [?] to assure you that you and yours and the [?] happiness of the [?] are the dearest objects of my thoughts. love is the [?] word ever coined from the human voice and is in itself the [?] of the soul.
Good bye Nellie!
time will not wait and the mail is now [?] [?]
My love to the folks. I love you
| [letter faded]
Bridgeport Near Stevenson [?]
Sept. 29th 1863
My Dear "Neal Ederds"
It is with mingled feelings of regret and delight that I [?] [?] you [?][?] I regret that I cannot instead of writing to you just put my arm about you and talk to you. I could tell you so much; so many little incidents of peculiar interest and hear you relate such sweet and amusing stories.
But I must not mask time in [?] [?] [?] for [?] letter from H. yesterday stating that he had heard from me but once since he went to Newark and was anxious to hear from me. He still remains there and says the Dr. will hardly permit him to do any duty whatever. I have had two very sweet and interesting letters from you since I penciled the last note to you, which was about a week since. Pardon me loved one, I cannot think of answering those beautiful letters but I can only wish that you may still continue to inflict such, as often as you feel so disposed. Capt. says he will write to Carrie at the earliest opportunity. But we rarely have time to write now; He wrote to you all directing to Charley while he was at Nashville. Will. has a great deal of writing to do and the ordnance deportment besides much labor to perform and many perplexing questions to answer so that he would hardly be blamable for any amount of seeming negligence in writing letters. Who is the young Lieut. that has under taken the conquest of Carrie's [?] ? And how does he succeed?
Dr. Smith is with us again and It is well for Rutledge had been too sick for duty a long time before he was relieved by Smith's arrival. When Smith came Rutledge went pale and haggard to the hospital. I wish I could just just talk to you a little while about that man. I think he is truly an object of pity. A slave to that passion which was intended above all others to bless mankind. He is sensible of his captivity and yet has not the power to free himself. He once spoke to me of his remarks in your presence concerning his wife. Said he was very sorry he had talked so but said he, "I was so wretched that night!" We were talking about women and I chanced to remark that I was glad that I had known but one. His eye [?] with delight as he replied "You will be a happier man if you never do." So I thought and by the grace of God ____ I'll try to be happy and love but you. (But here's the [?] and two letters for me; just lay your head on my shoulder while while I read. Well Cornelia the letters were as on last mail, from you & H. respectively. He is quite weary about me since that great battle. Wish I could just tell him how safe and happy I am. In yours you want more particulars concerning that novel and before [?] heard charge. I did not sound retreat but on the contrary we posted there a reserve and held the ground for many hours not withstanding the great perils to which we were exposed. My embarrassment was in deed great, especially when the Maj. sent me to ask the Dr. if he had a pass & where he got his saddle &c. I learned from that dignitary that the babe was not yet born, and of course I did not linger to learn the yet uncertain sex of the youngster, nor yet whether it was born in blue; mounted our horse bade with a bugle to his lips, or saber in its hand. But I confess that on reflecting I could but think that had our demonstration been at an earlier period there might have been some [?]. I think it would be in keeping with the notable [?] of our worried life to capture such a little one and bring it home ; don't you? I wrote to Melissa a few days since giving on account of how we had been employed lately and told her to let you read that as our mail facilities were very uncertain and irregular [?] since then we have (with most of the [?]) been sent down the river to this place, and other points, siege guns are being sent up to Chat. so you see Rosey is still all right. We know nothing except what we see, but I for one am not whit discouraged at being driven back when it [?] the best blood of Young Streets [?] to do it. We are drawing clothing and preparing for another campaign. I intended drawing a new overcoat and wish father to have that one as soon as any one passes by who you can send it to him. It is truly mother like and just as we might have expected for Mother to be preparing socks for us. No wonder the girls of such mothers should feel an interest in the comfort of their husbands and brothers.
Give my love to mother and tell her that at this time Daniel, Hez, Father & the folks in Minn. are all anxious to know whether I have survived the battle and consequently I must ask leave to neglect her a while longer that I may relieves them. I have a letter from dear cousin Sarah; which I will send you. She speaks so sweetly of you that she seems even dearer to me than before. I also cut a sentence or two from a paper that appears to me very "approbious" and as though the "Cornelia spoken of was no other than my beloved Neal Ederds. But Good bye now I love you with an undivided love.
| damaged, two sheets
envelope: Mrs. Cornelia E. Bond, McCordsville, Hancock Co. Ind. post mark Oct 13 or 16 or 18
Camp Near Bridgepo[rt ]
Oct. [8 18]63
Dear dear Cornelia
The last sweet letter from you was dated 25th[ ]
I wrote to Charley since and discussed the baby subject. There was another point in your letter that struck me very forcibly. It was your wakefulness. I cannot think you as calm and composed as I could wish when you cannot sleep soundly, contentedly and abundantly. I know that wakeful persons wear fast and become old while young in years. When you retire to rest let nothing interpose. Do not engage in anything in[ th]e evening that will excite the blood or elate the spirits to an undue degre[e] retire with a calm easy mind, not burthened with thoughts of the marrow. Avoid if possible any conversations [? ] you retire but "with an unfaltering trust.... wrap the drapery of your couch bout you and be down to pleasant dreams." Try this presirition for a [?] tonight and see if you do not sleep more. I shall be very sorry if I am able to sleep soundly while you are compelled to rise and walk the house for amusement. But I think you will learn to sleep better by and by. But enough. I volunteered this morning to guard a pile of corn have a good fire and a chair but I have just written a long letter to Uncle [?]'s folks and am somewhat tired, this being the first duty I have done since the Regt. left on the 1st. [? ] Judkins returned a few days since. Left his sister Luriana dangerously [i]ll. He sends his respect to you. We have heard nothing definite from the Regt. for some days but are expecting them in soon. They had another successful skirmish soo[? ]te they went out taking about 70 of Wheelers cavalry and some 90 hor[? ]
Had I been stout enough to ride so much I should have gone out with a foraging expedition today. Could I get a little milder die[? ] than ours for a few days I think I should be well. My stomach seems a great enemy to my comfort. Despepria grows without cessation. But things will change, and as Biron says. "When things are at their worst they sometimes mend." I have been sitting here now for several hours and will soon be relieved when I shall cease writing and ride to the river to water. Guess I will get to write more some time soon. I love you so, and should like so much to see you. Good bye!
Monday morning the 12th
How appropriate that I should [wr]ite you on the 12th I know you will think you wait a long time for a letter but I hope not longer than it now seems to me since I had one from you. And in either case we had no election for communication has been cut off and letters could not go out more than the could come in. On night before last the mail came through to this point and the P. Master, true to the character of those holding the soldiers comforts at will, sent ours on to Chattanooga, while Division head quarters are here. So dear Cornelia you see we are doomed to a most needles and provoking suspende, while our mail is subject to some days of needless hazard on a dreadful gauntlet. But perhaps I can get a letter to you now if I cannot get one from you yet. Am sorry we cannot give you any account of the other boys yet. We have heard many rumors but in all probability you know more about them than we do as they have been nearer home and where communication was not cut. This is such a beautiful morning! Cool and smokey Indian summer just like some of those sweet mornings [? ] we walked together from [?] [?] [ sc]hool, and I am about as weak as I was then so I can but be thinking of you and those dear children that I lived to hear you instruct. The leaves are not falling yet but everything bears the [?] of that sweet melancholy season which ever reminds one of life[? ] and sure decline
Oh! if I could only see you this morning and place my arms about you and tell to you how happy I am. I cannot tell you why Nellie, for surely I never passed a fortnight in so cheerless a place before, but somehow through all my fears and anxieties about those dear brothers who went out to face dangers that I was not permitted to share, all hopes and fears for you in your____blessed affliction, (I can call it nothing else) there has been a calm feeling of faithful trust that all would yet be well. Do you ask why the place has seemed so cheerless? It is because of the [?] most absolute absence of all that could interest or amuse. I was not able to ride or walk about camp or conn[?] in search of entertainment and nothing [co]uld be had to read, not even a [?] novel. But at last (I am ashamed to[ ?]it but must tell all to you.) I remembered the teachings and crucification of Chryst. I took out the [?] and found something to interest me. I think I had remembered God daily, but why should I so neglect or forget the Testament of the Savior? I know that "procrastination is the thief of time," and yet can but believe and even console myself with the hope that when I am with you again it will not be so difficult to be good as it now is. We should be able to know when sabbath comes and perhaps should spend it more in accordance with the teaching of the Bible. Let me be more humble and my heart abound with gratitude for surely no one has greater cause. I have not heard a sermon since that, to us memorable 12th of August, and during thede severe campaignes and far more severe halts with the worn down men, we have not heard singing out on the night air those sweet hymns of praise that used to fall so harmoniously upon ou[r ] at Park Barracks. Oh! how dear the memory of the old smokey tent and of her who presided there like an angel amid a multitude of crude spirits! That is ever the bles'test period that memory can bring from among her treasures of the past, and to realize it anew, I would even endure the wretchedness and sorrows of childhood again. And yet, while I cherish so[?] hopes of greater happiness than the [?] I have no fear of anything so miserable as the latter. May our child know but the balm, and tarte but the honey of infancy and of innocence! And now dear Cornelia I suppose you are beginning to think a husbands letter rather a bore. But if your patients get brickle you must warm it up a little for I am not yet through. And now if you have concluded from the tone or language of the proceeding [? ]ges that there is anything wrong in my [?]ition or circumstances beyond a temp[? ]inability to perform duty you have gotten a wrong impression. I am happy, and not sicker than I have been many a time when duty was unavoidable, while now I do nothing but feed and water one horse.
Guess I must write to Lizzie to tell her that Will is on a campaign although most likely He has written since he left here. As I have had no letters from you for some time of course I have had none at all and consequently have no report to make concerning friend at a distance. But I am tired now and there is a rumour that today mail has stopped as it should do. I will wait a little_________ Light mail today a letter for Will. however; Wish he could have it. [?] the R. R. was cut we had received letters for Sebe, Capt, & Will which I placed in the trunk for safe keeping till they should return. Some of them must be getting old now but of course they will be prised none the less for that. You can read this to mother if you like as I have written everything in it that I could think of. [?] more too. Give my love to her and the rest and remember me as Ty.___ only Ty.
But I love you though and should like so much to be with you there Be happy Nellie and [?] [?] Ty.
My mittens and [?] [?] of good knit suspenders[?], wrapped in paper and sent prepaid by [?]; I drew an [?] and will not need that one. A kiss to you Good bye!
|[letter is faded]
envelope: Mrs. Cornelia E. Bond, McCordsville, Hancock Co. Ind, pm, Oct 24,
TENN Bridgeport [?]
Oct. 17th 1863
My own dear Cornelia;
I wish you could see me now as I sit upon my couch with a board on my lap, my countena[?] rorought into a full smile just thinking of you. Have not heard from you since your letter of the 25th but I did not, could not forget. And will I know you have not failed to write, but I have failed to receive. I wrote you on the 12th. Have written several letters in which I was obliged to report impaired health. But you know I must be sick frequently while in the army. Fear nothing for me dear Cornelia for I and sure all will soon be better. But I cannot tell you how anxiously I count each day that [?] hurrying you to a bed of confinement. I think I shall certainly hear from you soon and that will be some consolation, for I know if you are well enough to write you will [?] [?] of [?] loved prospect and say "fear not for me dear Ty." But I must tell you about a ride I took since I last wrote to. (A pencil will do better than such ink) There was a train going for forage and I thought I must try to [?] and get something fresh to eat. So I mounted and rode out with greater ease than I had expected. Bought a couple of chickens, three little dwarfs of cabbage (such as I never saw cooked in the North confiscated a pig and got all into a wagon. We were at the time 12 miles from camp it had rain incessantly all day, the creek was swimming full and night nearly upon us. We succeeded in getting the wagons across the creek before dark however, and with no other loss or damage than an additional leg both. Night came and with it pitchey darkness. The road was narrow and winding and the drivers were obligated to trust their mules to keep the rode which they did with astonishing precision untill at last on nearing a picket post they came to a large chestnut tree the boys had felled across the road for its fruit. Here navigation ended for the night and after tying mules and horses the boys crouched into the wagons to sleep if perchance they could sleep in such a place and in such a plight. I sought a fire at the picket post and warmed up well sleeping two or three hours in my gun blanket (I had not carried my overcoat because of weight) We arrived in camp next day about ten oclock. But it was hardly strange that I did not relish the refreshments very much. The pig all agreed was decidedly the nicest morsel of the kind that had been served in camp. I barely tasted it. Bill (who was along) made a rouse of some potatoes of which I ate more. I fried the cabbage well, and ate a little for dinner, paying for my gluttony in a hard siege of cholera morbus the following night. I am better now Cornelia, and If you can persuade mother to exchange letters with you perhaps you will find out what a fine dinner we are going to have directly also some other things that I have not room to tell here. In yesterdays mail there was a letter for Sebe postmarked 10th I got a letter from Lizzie and Josey a day or two since which was written a month ago. Had just written them before receiving it. I will write to you again sometime Nellie!
P.S. I love you Nellie!
| [letter damaged & very faded]
Oct 25th 1863
I can stand it no longer without talking to [y]ou some. I thought to wait for another mail but cannot. I wrote you just before we started from [ Brid]geport, putting in a sheet for mother. We came through ahead of the tea[?]which have not yet arrived I f[oun]d her only one letter from you It was mailed on the 10th It was sweet and confiding just as might have been expected but I was [ ?]eed sorry to hear of so much suffering. Hope you will [no]t have to endure a long siege of[? ]curalgia. Fletcher Heath has joined us since the removal of his favorite Gen. He and I are bunking together now. We found the boys all hale and hearty after their desperate campaign in which they rode more than 400 miles in 15 days with 71/2 days rations. We had orders this morning [to] draw five days rations and prep[are] to march immediately[ de]tails were sent for rations but soon returned reporting [? ] to be had; so we are still [ ?]d may remain some time yet. The horses are in very bad [ ?] and fresh ones have been sent for to supply their places. There will be no more from here if it can be avoided till all is refute for opperati[? ] My health is better and Dr. S. thinks if has requisitions are filled, when the medicines come he can soon set me up. The air is quite cool here today but it has not been raining any [f]or sometime and we can keep [ ?]afortable I had like to have forgotten to tell you that S---- and I had a note from Irene J----- announcing the death of her sister It was indeed sad news to one who new her well to hear of the death of that young devoted, Irene said she would write you soon. Fletcher is writing home just now; sends his compliments to [you] I tell you he and I have [? ] a good old times But it is too cold under a shelter tent to write much and [ ?] now. Capt. has not had time to write to anybody since he left Bridgeport. Is now c[oma]nding the 1st. Battalion; has [ ]quently had to command them[? ] Capt. He will write some[time] soon if we remain here Tell ----------- ---- that I have been all the time [? ] trying to co--t-ne so ------ nice to send them but hav[e ] this for failed. [? ]e of a brother is all I can ---- th-- as it.
I miss --------- my --ther. My love [? ] don't forget the baby[? ]
addressed to : Mrs Cornelia E. Bond, Hancock Co., Indiana
Hospital No. 19. Ward No. 1
Nashville Tenn. Such is my address Oct. 29--1863
You need not be alarmed because I write from a hospital for I am not only much better situated than I had been for many months but my health seems better also. I was not fit for service and the Capt. and others had long been urging me to go to the hospital and remain until I should get stout. On the 26th there were a number sent to the hospital and I joined them. We arrived day before yesterday and were lodged here in a large commodious ward which is kept very clean and nice. It contains several hundred neat iron cots containing good well filled straw ticks covered with good blankets and adorned with nice white spreads. We have no dearth of reading matter and can get a pass each afternoon to go out in town. The greatest trouble is we shall be obliged to wait so long for letters. I wrote you on the 25th. Think your letters will now reach me more punctually than they have for sometime. In addressing me here say nothing of the Regt. or Co. for some one will be sure to send such letters to the Regt. no matter what else may be in the address.
I mailed a long letter to Melissa yesterday which I had commenced at camp. I hardly know what to write this morning except it be that I love you very dearly and should feel so very happy did I know you were so. But I must bear with patience this unavoidable suspense. I know that you will write without delay. I shall be looking constantly now until I hear from you, and not the less anxiously from the fact that you were ill when writing the last letter I received from you. I hope that Will. may receive and forward one or two letters soon. Shall go to the P. Office this afternoon in the hope of getting something. I told him that if any arrived before he learned where I was just to send it to Nashville as citizen mail. I do not feel much like writing this morning and it is rather cool here at the stand; I will therefore take leave of you for a while and try reading near the stove.
Twelve O'clock. Have just been down to dinner but had more of rations than of appetite. Shall go out after a while and get something that suits my taste better. If you have not already sent your miniature, my mittens suspenders & etc., you need not send them till further orders; as I can get a new picture case together with such other articles as I may need here. It is almost pay day but we arrived too late to be mustered consequently we shall get no pay this time although there are four months pay due. If you have it at hand and to spare please enclose a five dollar bill in your next letter allowing the whole to be rather thin than otherwise that it may not be suspected of wealth. I am not needy just yet but in all probability shall need after a few days some extras as seem necessary.
You need not send postage stamps now as I am again in a civilized land. But by the way, I have no doubt you have tried to inform me whether you got $40. When we were last paid; but the strongest evidence that has ever reached me was a statement that Kate had got hers. If you did not get it there must be something done about it.
And now if I could see my sweet loving "Neal Ederds" place my arms about her and forget all else in her charmed presence it seems to me my bliss would for the time be complete. But dear Cornelia be of good cheer and as happy as your own physical sufferings will permit. Fear nothing for me for my situation is comfortable. Do nerve yourself for the great struggle that awaits you and may the victory be yours and the baby--ours. Excuse this bad letter I could not write today.
| some damage
Ward No. 1 Hospital 19
Nov.[ ]th 1863
I have had seven letters since I wrote you last, three of which were from you. The last was mailed on the 19th___ almost a month ago. [?]nd oh: how I do long for a letter one now that you may be already confined or if not you must soon be. I am feeling pretty well today and if I could have the sweet assurance that you were doing well I should be entirely happy. I have met a near neighbor of my old friend and teacher Luther Melletle. He is an excellent fellow and we have become very intimate. He is very anxious to have us settle in their neighborhood and the induce[? ] to in the way of an opening [? ] husine[? ] and an opportunity to obtain a cheap and [? ][?] so great that I have promised to look to them before purchasing elsewhere. The situation has at least thee advantages over the place that will offers us in Green County, namely good market, good neighborhood and good health. I know you would like the place and the people and as your happiness is the greatest object of my life I had no hesitation in making the promise But [? ] letter; you speak of being sick of su[ffe]ring a gr[eat] deal of pain [?] and of feeling lonely and think you could bear it better if I were with you. My dear Wife; you will know that it would be the sweetest cup of pleasure that could be offered to me could I be permitted to be with you through this blessed tryal, but the [?] of the times are a fate to us, and life or death we can but submit. Let us hope that your suffering will be as light as the nature of the case will admit of, and that you will soon be the mother of a sweet babe which will afford you relief when you would be sad. You speak of dreaming of me &c. I dreamed of you last night but as usual you were very kind and loving but did not speak to me. I am sure if I should see you you would speak. We do well to recall our hopes and bright anticipations occasionally and consider our present real situation but let us no[ ]es[?] a[ ]t being happy together. We have [ ] and ma[ ][?]. Among my letters were one from Daniel dated sept. 27th since which time his corps has had several sharp engagements. I shall like to hear again soon. I had one letter from Edward; he was intending to go to school. Nothing from H. since I last write you I have no fear but that you were or will be able to give sister Lizzie a fitting response to her mischievous letter. Tell Sallie I am sorry she[ ]uch engrossed in family matters and [ ]sbandry [th]at she has not time to write. Expect if I were there the dog would refuse to go to bed till I should ___ I learned of her to take things as they come and will try to await her time. Do not know what to write next, having no news from the boys except that they have built shanties and are doing well. It is quite cool here now but I sleep very comfortably. Have not been put on any duty here yet and do not know what will be done. If I should get no back set I shall soon be able to do light duty. My appetite is not good, but is much better than the food we get. Afternoon; since writing the foregoing something has turned up; for the surgeon was round taking our numbers. Expect we [a]re to be sent to [?] [ ] camps. At any rate you need[ n]ot write[ ]till you hear further from me. I do not fe[ ] writing very much now and I know you will kindly excuse me. I love you though just as ever and think of you oh so much! Let us wait patiently the succession of events and perhaps in the course of time we may be permitted to come together to enjoy each others presence for life. I have a pass in my pocket but do not know whether we will be allowed to go out on it or not. Some of the boys say passes are not current at the door this afternoon. But [ ][?] I will close unless something should [oc]cur be[fore] night that would seem to wa[? ] a [?cord]. I am as I hope to be thought [ ? ] your affectionate husband. Ty.
[very faded ]
Thursday 12th (A date that I love to write.) I put off mailing my letter last night thinking something was going to be done but it was not, and we are all here yet just as we were; so you can continue to direct your letters to Ward No. 1 Hospital 19 Nashville
I will inform you [? [?] as any change occurs. But it is two weeks today since I first wrote you from here and yet I receive no reply. Hope soon to hear from you. Think I have felt the best this morning that I have since I came here. If I could hear from you Nellie now I should feel so glad but I will wait and see what the m[ ] will do[?] us. [?] [ ] this morning via of the [?] from cousin Lizzie Roberts dated Nov. 1st. It was sweet and cheering I need not ask you to write often; too well I know it is your greatest pleasure. My love to all the folks. Good bye And many kisses as ever with.