Tuesday, July 30, 2013


                                                                   Camp near Tuscumbia Alabama
                                                                                            June 14th 1863
                                                           Dear sister
                                                                         I received a letter from you dated the 1st of this month but have had no chance to answer it until the present time and as I have told most of the knews in my letters to Ma I do not suppose this letter will be very long. I am out on a little island writing where no one can disturb me. I have a friend with me who engaged in the business and after we get threw we will have some lemonade and eat dinner, which is composed of hard crackers and pork.
  I have seen a great deal of cotton planted since I have been here and the first cotton field I come to again I will pull up a plant send it to you pressed in a letter so that may see what it looks like.
   Deserters from the rebel army are being picked up and brought into camp. There time is out and they officers are trying to keep them and they are deserting and trying to get home through our lines. By looking on the map you will see that the Charleston to Memphis R. R. and the bridge over the river has been burned down and I suppose we will stay here until we get it rebuilt and then we will go on to Decatur where we can rest for a while. I shall now have to close this. Write soon. Give my love to all and reserve the same to yourself.  Your affectionate brother
                                          Luther M Beaver
                                         Dear Father
                                              In one of your letters you said that you thought that Dr Foster had something to do with getting me into the service but it is not so and no one had anything to do with it but myself.
This letter was written on the island close by our camp at Tuscumbia Alabama


Buck said...

Wonderful read, once again.

OldAFSarge said...

Love these letters. I feel a certain kinship with these men.

HMS Defiant said...

They are fascinating letters. They bring the war to life for me.

Anne Bonney said...

The family connection makes them particularly special. I love the observations - looking forward to cold lemonade - pressing a cotton plant into a letter so that his sister can see what it looks like - the tacit desperation of deserters trying to get home.

Anonymous said...

Luther Beaver was a member of Company I of the 15th Indiana Infantry. The Lieutenant of this outfit, Andrew F Davis, wrote 108 letters to his wife Sally, and these can be found on the University of Iowa website (iowaheritage.org). Luther is frequently mentioned because his father, David Beaver, tried repeatedly to force the army to discharge Luther because when he enlisted in April, 1861, he was underage. The letters have been transcribed and are a good read. - David Davenport, Fresno, CA.

HMS Defiant said...

Thank you very much. They are fascinating letters!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome. Always glad to help fellow Civil War affecianados learn more about the Great Rebellion.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi, this is David in Fresno. I decided thta the Davis letters were so good they deserved a bigger audience, so I've annotated them (about 1200 footnotes, text that links the letters, added letters written by his comrades that appeared in the Liberty Herald, and added illustrations (like the patriotic image on the letter about Luther dated April 17, 1862) ). This allowed me to generate enough of a history of the 15th Indiana that I can safely conclude that the letter from Tuscumbia is misdated as 1863. After Shiloh the 15th moved with Halleck's Grand Army against Corinth, and then marched eastward along the route of the Memphis and Charleston RR. They were camped at Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 14 of 1862, not 1863, so if you "HMS Defiant" place these in chronological order this letter should follow that of the one written at the Pittsburg battleground." Would you consider allowing me to incorporate them into the book based on the Davis letters? It will be a free eBook on the Univ of Iowa Press website in about four months. Title "My Beloved Wife." Write me at

HMS Defiant said...

David, I have replied to you via email. I think it sounds like an excellent idea.