Wednesday, December 10, 2014


My cousin wrote a letter home from Chattanooga on the eve of the battle to open a supply line to the Army of The Cumberland which was then besieged in Chattanooga.  General Grant kicked off the Cracker Line Operation on 26 October which led two days later to the Battle of Wauhatchie.

Medical Purveyors Office      Chattanooga, Tennessee                      Oct 26th , 1863
                                    Dear Mother
                                                      I received your letter of the 8th ult, this morning and now as my days work is over I will take a few moments time to write to you. Lieutenant A. F Davis started home with a letter for you yesterday. I hope he may arrive safely and be able to commence his new labours with a new and willing heart for I wish him to gain reputation and become as good a civil officer as he has been a military officer. General Grant is doing something now that I think will cause the enemy to leave our front very soon. I cannot t ell you at the present what it is but if things end I can write more with safety and I will tell you.
Luther Sheets was down here this afternoon and I went with him to the 11th Ohio to see Jno  and I saw him but did not get to talk to long with him as he was fixing to go out with the  Regiment, where to I do not know but I think I can tell you in my next. I have to borrow a postage stamp to send this letter will you please send me some in your next. I hope I will not be an expense to you much longer in the Army but I do hope to be able to come home and do for myself and you.
Newton Conklin is the 1st Sergeant in the Battery again so I understood today. I wish all the soldiers well and hope he may do well.
Lieutenant Davis will explain the reason why I left the hospital and came here for I explained it to him and if you ask him he will tell you and it will save me the trouble of writing it.
I still like my new place here and I think I can keep it as long as I am in the Service which I understand is not to be very long.
I seen General Grant out walking with his crutch and cane this morning before I was hardly up. He is not a lazy General nor is he afraid to talk to the men. But still the men want General Rosecrans back again.
The 15th will not be in the coming fight but I think most of the Brigade it belongs to will as they have gone to the front this evening.
You must excuse my bad writing for I cm in a hurry and when I write fast I write poor but I can write very well when I  take my time to it.
Well good night. Expect more in the next.

                  P.S. Write soon.


  1. Thanks again for these letters, Curt. I love 'em.

    1. I'm slowly transcribing them. It takes far longer to do that then it ever took for Luther to write them since the script, while close to the font I use sometimes throws me a loop that takes a while to suss out. And then, he wrote some of them in pencil which has not fared well over the years.

  2. From each letter you have posted to date, each one is written in the most reverent way, which truly belies the horror's of the battles fought and lost, as well as the conditions often endured. I enjoy reading the same as it allows me to peruse the 'net' for any dates or history linked to the correspondent. The map attached to this post showing the defensive lines and positions could have been drawn up yesterday. Great stuff, and greatly appreciated.

    Yours Aye.

    1. Thanks. Anne suggested adding the maps and a bit of what was going on in the 15th Indiana Volunteers area of operations at the time each letter was written. The people of that time endured enormous pain and suffering and I have rarely read an account or seen anything that suggested that they found it unendurable. They maintained and carried on until one or the other was crushed militarily in the field.