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Hill/Morgan Family Papers - MS 190: Transcripts
Feb the 18th 1863
Dear friend Henry
It is with the greatest of pleasure that I seat myself this afternoon to write you a few lines to inform you how I am doing. I am enjoying pretty good health at present time. The wound on the side of my head is not healed up yet. It is ver slow healing. The company H boys the most of them are enjoying good health, them that are in camp. There is few of the boys that is about down sick with bad colds. The 2lst boys has had a good deal of duty to do since they have been encamped at Murfreesboro. They are on duty about every third or fourth day out on a forridge [forage] trip and on picket guard and we have had so much stormy and wet weather since we have been in camp here that it has made it pretty hard on the boys them having so much marching around to do and have mud and water to tramp through and some days when they are out with forage trains it rains nearly all day long.
Henry I would of written to you before this but the reason I did not write sooner is that I have been waiting to receive a letter from you before writing. I have not received no letter from you for over two months Charles Gano received a letter from you a few days ago he told me that you stated in this letter that you had written two letters to me and have not received any answers from them I have answered every letter that I have received from you. If you have written any lately they must have been lost on the way. Henry you must excuse me for not writing sooner. There was a while when I was at Nashville that I did not feel much like writing anything else. I had the headache a good share of the time and could not rest much nights. I have not done any duty since I was wounded and I expect it will be a couple of weeks yet before I will be put on duty.
Our men is fortifying Murfreesboro pretty strong. They have been at work on the fortifications since the 1st of January at building forts and digging rifle pits. General Rosecrans calculates to be ready for the butternuts [rebels] if they make an attack on us at Mufreesboro. Our men has been in possession of Murfreesboro the rebel soldiers had been deserting their army pretty fast and coming over to our army and giving themselves up. The country around Murfreesboro looks rather lonesome and desolate. Pretty near all of the citizens left their houses and went with the confederate army when they evacuated Murfreesboro and pretty near all the fences on the farms around here are burnt. The boys uses fence rails for fire wood when they can get them. When we are on a march and go in camp at night fences has to suffer if there are any around. I judge these old secesh [?]have made up there minds that the Yankee boys understands burning rails as well as splitting them.
Henry, we do not get much news here now that [illegible] too much I presume What we do get you get it as quick as we do. The best news we have on hand at present is that we are going to draw four months pay soon. There was six companies of the 2lst paid off this afternoon and the rest will be paid tomorrow. Co I is out on picket today.
Henry we have had very changeable weather here this winter. We have had some snow [illegible] here this winter but it did not lay long. It went off about as fast as it fell. We have had a couple of pretty cold snaps this winter for this part of the country but they do not last long at a time. For the last week it has been quite warm here. It put me in the mind of spring weather in the last of March and first of April. Henry everything is very high in this part of the country. When I was at Nashville butter was sixty cents a pound and coffee 45 and sugar 35 cents a pound and eggs 50 a dozen and every thing else at about the same rate.
I send my best respects to your folks. This [is] all at present from the hand of your friend
to Henry Hill.
Feb the 26th 1863
I received your kind letter last night which was dated the 29th of Jan. I was glad to hear from you to hear that you and your folks were enjoying good health. I am enjoying pretty good health at the present time and I am able to eat my share of the hard tack as it is dealt out to me. The most of the men in the company are enjoying pretty good health. There is a few that is about down sick. Charles Gano has not been very well for some time.
Henry, we do not get much news here now of any importance and you need not expect to hear much from me. We have plenty of mud and water and I will have to speak of the rain storms as the man did of his walnut timber that bought a farm in the swamp many years ago. Henry, I presume you have often heard the story about the man that bought a farm in the swamp when the country was new not far from where we live. I have forgotten what his name was but I guess he was not more of less than a man, so I will let this stop here. He bought himself a farm the most of his farm cottonwood timber stood very thick on and he thought it was walnut and there was a man speaking to him a few days after about his farm and how it was timbered. He spoke and told him that it had walnut trees without count and this is the way we get rain storms here. They come without count. The Nashville Union of the 25th says that Floid [Floyd?] and Longstreet is going into Kentucky with fifteen thousand men. If it is so I am afraid they will be hustled out faster than old Bragg was. I expect we will have to try the butternut jackets [Confederate troops] another [w]hack at Tulahoma some time this spring. All reports that we hear from the rebels states that they are in force at Tulahoma and are fortifying that place to stand us another fight. There is some deserters comes into to our lines about every day from the rebel army and gives themselves up.
The 2lst started out yesterday at six o'clock in the morning on a three days trip with a forage train. In the morning when they started from camp there was a good appearance of its being a fine day and there was a good many of the boys that did not take any blankets with them and between nine and ten o'clock in the forenoon it commenced clouding up and it was but ten o'clock in the forenoon it commenced raining and it rained steady from that time till evening. It slacked up raining a short spell in the evening and in the forepart of the night it commenced again and rained all night and is raining yet and now it is the middle of the afternoon and there is a fair prospect of its holding out till night and I expect the boys has been out in all of this storm and had to march through mud and water all as well as having the rain falling on them all the time yesterday and when night come I presume they had to lay out without shelter and march in the storm today again. This is the way soldiers goes. There is no stopping for storm or a little mud and water on getting under shelter till the storm is over, but we have to go when the order is to go let come what will, Henry, and we that are left in camp that have went through such hardships know how to feel for those that are out in this storm on this tramp. Henry, when we are in camp and have nice and fine weather and not much to do, soldierin' goes fine, but when we have such weather as we have had here in the last month or two and men on duty pretty near all the time, it goes against the grain. But let it go as it will, we are here and will have to stand it and when we can't stand it we will have to lay down.
Henry you was speaking in your letter about breaking mewls [mules]. I presume you have had some glorious old times with your mules, breaking them if they know as much as the mules do that we have down here in the army. There is nothing the boys hates worse than driving a mule team, but the most of the teamsters have drove team all day long say that they will drive a team of dogs before they will go to their companies and do duty. The 2lst had horse teams for their regimental teams till after the fight at Stone River and since the fight we had to turn over our horse teams to fill up battery teams and had to take six mule teams for our regimental teams. This was rather a downcast on our teamsters. They did not like the movement at tall [at all] but it was a general order and they had to put up with it. We had a great many horses killed at Stone River in the time of the fight our division with [illegible] six mule teams in [illegible] up horses as will men. Four horses or six mules is used for a team in the army here. Our regiment trained 72 mules for twelve teams they got, rather a convalescent-looking set of mules, but there is some of them that is very good pullers. All the difficulty is with them. They do their good pulling by the neck. Very few mornings there is one to be pulled off. I have seen some nice mules teams in the army look hard at this time of the year. A mule team and a nergo driver makes [illegible].
Henry what does the people around home think of this conscription that is passed in the north[?] I am afraid Ike [?] will have to move [come?] down in Dixie or lose that farm of his. Henry, I expect you swampers are beginning to think about commencing to fix up your fences and start spring work. When you write, tell me how the wheat looks in the swamp this spring.
I believe is all at present. I send my best respects to your folks and you can keep a few for yourself.
Write Soon. From your friend
Guy Morgan to Henry Hill
April 20th 1863
I seat myself this afternoon to answer the kind and much welcome letters I received from you sometime ago. I received two letters from you. I was sick at the time I received them. I was very glad to hear from you to hear that you and your folks were in good health. Henry, I have had a pretty hard time with sickness for the past three or four weeks. I am gaining pretty fast now. I am pretty weak yet. Henry, I commenced a letter in answer to your letters last Wednesday and before I had one side of the sheet written I was taken with the chill and I was sick the best part of that day and nearly all night with the chill fever [malaria?]. I took five doses of quinine the next day and it broke the chills on me. Henry, we have very fine weather here now. We had a shower of rain here night before.
The most of the men in the company are enjoying good health at this present time. There is 14 [?] men on picket out of our company K every other day. There was some pretty sharp skirmishing in front night before last. Our men were fighting at Bradyville yesterday. We have not heard anything about the fight today yet but I expect the rebs had to gig [jig?] back.
We are in a very nice camp now. We have got the camp fixed up pretty nice now. There is only one fault I have against this camp, that is we have poor drinking water here. This army at and about Murfreesboro the men are in good health. There is but few sick in this army. The men of this army are ready for the butternuts [Confederate troops] in front when ever they wish to try us on and the Copperheads at our backs if they wish to help the rebs. If I was at home I would advise those blooded copperheads and friends of the rebs if there is any spunk or blood about them to come down and help their friends at Murfreesboro for the help of them is needed very much. I do not think that the most of those men that has so much to say and blow so much to home could do much hurt after their spouting is over. All the hurt I think they would do would be kicking sand in the man's eyes that is after him. That would not be long if one of the 21sters were after him with an Enfield rifle.
Henry, I guess I have said enough for the present. I am weak and so mean that I can't think any to write. The trees are all coming out in leaves. The apple trees are all out in blow [bloom] and coming out leaves. Crops is starting. Crops will be small in this section of the country this year.
Henry, we was paid off a few days ago for two months. Henry, I presume Charley has written to you before this and told you about the 2lsters going to be mounted so I will not say much about it but expect there will be big times done when the 2lsters gets straddle of horses.
I will have to close. I am weak and I get tired very quick. You will have to excuse for this time and I and better the next time. This is from the hand of your friend
H. W. Hill
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