Alvah H. Daniels Letters


These letters were written by Alvah H. Daniels (1810-1864) who served in Co. H, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. His son, William F. Daniels (b. 1843) served as a bugler in Co. F, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. William enlisted 1 December 1861 but was discharged 18 November 1862 for disability, having been sick most of the time. I believe another son, Henry Daniels (b. 1842) was drafted in the fall of 1864 but I can’t find a military service record for him. Alvah died in the service in 1864.

Organized at Rippon and Kenosha, Wis., September 1, 1861, to February 2, 1862. Mustered in March 10, 1862. Left State for St. Louis, Mo., March 17, 1862, and duty at Benton Barracks, Mo., till April 28. Moved to Camp Girardeau, Mo., April 28. Scout and patrol duty in Southeast Missouri till October, 1862. Expedition to Bloomfield, Mo., May 10-11. Action at Bloomfield May 10. Chalk Bluffs May 15. Operations in Dunklin County May 16-20. Expedition to Madison, Ark., July 9-22. Scatterville July 10. Guerrilla Campaign against Porter’s and Poindexter’s forces July 20-September 10. West Prairie July 23. Bloomfleld July 29. Jonesboro, Ark., August 2-3 (2nd Battalion). Jackson, Languelle’s Ferry and Scatterville August 3. At Cape Girardeau till October 3. Scout to Wayne, Stoddard and Dunklin Counties August 20-27 (Detachment). Bloomfield August 29 and September 11. Moved to Greenville October 3, thence to Patterson October 19. Expedition after Greene s guerrillas October 20-November 3. Duty at Patterson till January, 1863.

Moved to Alton and West Plains January. At West plains, Pilot Knob and St. Genevieve till March. Batesville February 4. Moved to Cape Girardeau March 10, 1863. Scout from Bloomfield to Scatterville March 24-April 1. Operations against Marmaduke April 17-May 2. Whitewater River April 24 (Co. “E”). Cape Girardeau April 26. Near Whitewater Bridge April 27. Castor River, near Bloomfield, April 29. Bloomfield April 29-30. Chalk Bluff, St. Francis River, April 30-May 1. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., May 31-June 13. Triune June 19. Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Eaglesville and Rover June 23. Middleton June 24. Fosterville, Guy’s Gap and Shelbyville June 27. Bethpage Bridge, Elk River, July 2. Expedition to Huntsville July 13-22. At Huntsville and Fayetteville, Ala., till August 15. At Larkinsville till August 31. Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign. Reconnoissance toward Rome, Ga., September 11. Apine and Dirt Town September 12. Near Stevens’ Gap September 18. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20. Boy Valley and Lookout Church September 22. Missionary Ridge and Shallow Ford Gap September 22. Operations against Wheeler and Roddy September 30-October 17. Anderson’s Cross Roads October 2. Maysville, Ala., October 13. Camp at Winchester till November 20. Movement to Murfreesboro, thence into East Tennessee November 20-December 14. Operations about Dandridge and Mossy Creek November 24-28. Mossy Creek Station December 24. Pack’s House, near New Market, December 24. Mossy Creek December 26. Talbot Station December 28. Mossy Creek, Talbot Station, December 29.

Near Mossy Creek January 11-12, 1864. Operations about Dandridge January 16-17. Bend of Chucky Road, near Dandridge, January 16. Dandridge January 17. Operations about Dandridge January 26-28. Fair Garden January 27. Swann’s Island January 28.

Regiment lost during service 6 Officers and 67 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 7 Officers and 321 Enlisted men by disease. Total 401.

During the Civil War, Bloomfield was a geographically commanding point in southeastern Missouri by virtue of its location atop Crowley’s Ridge, the only high ground separating two nearly impenetrable swamps. Whichever force held Bloomfield controlled movements on the ridge in and out of Arkansas, and to a lesser degree blocked passage of the swamps on an east-west axis. Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant first noted the town’s regional importance early in the Civil War and recommended that Union troops occupy the town.

In May, the 1st Wisconsin Calvary rode into town once more and surprised Col. William G. Phelan’s recruitment camp south of town. The Wisconsin troopers captured Phelan and several others and scattered the recruits. Detachments of the 1st Wisconsin retained possession of the town through the summer.

On Sept. 11, 1862 Capt. William L. Jeffers’ Confederate command attacked Bloomfield, which was lightly defended by only a company of the 1st Wisconsin and a few Enrolled Missouri Militia. Jeffers drove the Union troops from the town and captured a large cache of weapons and ammunition including two pieces of artillery. The next day, Union reinforcements shelled the town and sent Jeffers retreating into Dunklin County. The town changed hands again later in 1862, but, by spring of 1863, Gen. John McNeil’s Union troops occupied Bloomfield.


Camp Bloomfield
Monday, July 1st 1862

Wm. sir,

I went and saw Capt. [John] Hyde [of Co. F] about getting your money. He said he could not get it for me and Halleck’s order is that any man that is away from his company over 60 days loses his pay, bounty money, and land. You go and find out more about it. I expected to have been at home the 4th [of July] but I have got to stay here in this damned hole and I shall make the best of it I can. I wish that I could [have] sent mother 50 dollars. That would [have] helped her right smart.

I shan’t pretend to tell what is going on for there is so many old lies that I can’t keep up with the times. We may learn more what will be done after the 4th [of July] and then I will let you know more of the thing. I hope to God that this damned living thing will go up but I can’t tell anything about it.

Our Company has all gone south but 3 of us is here and we would not go down there in that damned swamp and lie in the mud for my health is poor enough now. Billy, you would not hardly know me now. I am so poor, I have to poke around on a stick and I shan’t go there for no old tarry [?]. I look sharp for myself and health and I am a going to.

I want to hear from home as soon as you can write and you write ever few days and don’t fail of doing so because I want to hear how my little baby boy gets along. I am very anxious to hear. I am alone and lonesome. I have got to take the horses back and draw my 80 cents a day and I have the promise of getting paid off and then be discharged but I don’t know anything about it until it comes.

Billy, I had to stop writing a few moments to eat an oyster supper and it went very well considering what the boys had to cook them with.

I am living with Co. A and we think some of going to keep house again before long. I got a letter from a boy from someplace but the Devil can’t read it nor tell who it was from. It is not anything anyhow.

[there is no signature on this letter and I presume the letter that follows, also dated 1 July 1862, was sent home in the same  envelope]

Cape Girardeau
July 1, 1862

My dear girl,

I received your good letter and was glad to hear from you all and was very sorry to hear that my little boy was so very sick. I do hope that he is getting better. I want you to write to me every few days and let me know how he is because I am anxious to hear.

You may look for me when I come. I shan’t set any more time when I shall. I shall bring home something when I come if I sell the horses.

My health is poor and has been for a good while. Write to me soon and don’t fail. I think from what I learn from that last paper that Mr. Dermant says that Uncle Hiram is dead. I think he will be one as soon as any other one. The Boys have not heard a word from any one of them. If it is so, say it is. I think of nothing more at this time.

My love to all — great and small. So I remain your father, — A. H. Daniel

to Helen


[Cape Girardeau, Missouri, mid-July 1862]


You stay where you are. God damn them. Let them sweat. You keep still and try to get well. I could tell you a long story. I went out scouting. We have got the worst cuss in this state. He is the one that killed Dr. Gregory. He is now in the guard house. Chained hands and feet with ball and chain and he will come to time before long. They will surely kill him. His name is [William] McGuire from Jackson. You will hear ____ ___. I will write more soon.

You wanted to know what I paid for stamps. I pay 3 cents and got a plenty.

They have had a time at Bloomfield. Our boys have killed some 15 or 20 and they killed 2 and wounded 1 [of ours]. They are looking every hour for another attack. They have got more troops on their [side] at this time. I can’t tell half the news. I am very tired of visiting. Goodbye all. Do as well as you can.

I am well. It is hot as hell. — A. H. Daniels


[partial letter]

[Cape Girardeau, Missouri, mid-July 1862]

….one more of our boys came here today and his name is George Patton [of Co. I] and he says that our regiment is awfully used up. Co. I are all gone but 10. Co. B are badly used up and the rest are sick — all of them — and bad off with these diseases.

Tell George that the Rebels have got [my horse,] old Jake. Cuf is here. I tell you that our regiment are all gone up. Lots and lots had to run for life. Boys run and I have just heard from Bloomfield. I and they are looking for a fight every moment. 75 of our boys went from here out there night before last. [They] took plenty of ammunition and a brass cannon. Last night 75 of the boys went to Jackson again and they caught a hard cuss out there and brought him in and it was hard work to keep the people of the town from hanging him. His name is William McGuire and in all probability he will leave for a world unknown before tomorrow morning. He says that he has killed, he thinks, over 100 and now they have got him. O my God, you don’t know what a state of things are in this state. I don’t know but what the rest of the First Wisconsin Cavalry will be attached to some other company and then I shall have to go South somewhere. If that take place, you may never expect to see me again.

I think that my horses are gone anyway. I have not got any horse now. Capt. [Lewis M. B.] Smith [of Co. H] took Jake with him and now the Devil has got him, I expect. I think of it and it is hard. James is party [ ] about 25 miles from here at Jonesboro, Illinois.

Give my love to all my children — wife not excepted — and yourself. I may go where I can’t write as well as I can now. Goodbye all. Give my love to all and Joseph’s family. From your father. I am well and feel well.

— A. H. Daniels

Helen and Esther Daniels


Cape Girardeau
July 29th 1862

My Dear Girl,

I received your kind letter and papers and was very glad indeed to hear from you and to hear that you were all well. I am very well myself and doing well. I am to work in the hospital and a getting my 85 cts. extra per day and that brings me 21 dollars and 50 cents per month, aside from the horses. I think it very strange as many times as I have written to you that I have sent home that you have not said a word about it to me and here I have been very anxious to know something about it. I have sent you over 100 dollars and you have not said one damned word about the money and here I have been looking for an answer or word concerning that money. Now the next time you write, you say that you have received the money or don’t you write until you can say something about it. If you have had any money from me by Pettit, I want to know it and if you have not, then I want to know it. It is no fool of a job to look for an answer and then not get any. I feel most hellish mad to think that you have not said a word about it.

You tell William to come here. I can’t do no more than I have done. Daniel is way down to Memphis and the whole or most of the regiment is down there with him and tell William he can live here as well as he can there and he had better come as he will get himself into trouble if he don’t come. I have had trouble enough now about his matters and I don’t want anymore. I have as much as I can attend to for myself. You start his boots for the Cape.

I don’t think that I shall come back there very soon. I can’t get no furlough nor anyone else can’t here.  I am doing better than I could do there and what is the use of going there? I could not stay but a short time anyhow. I should like to see my family as well as anybody.

I think this damned [war] will break up next spring and if I have my health, I will come out alright. I went in for money and I go for money. Damn the war. Let it go. I mean to make something if it goes on until spring.

The last order that we had here than every man over 18 and under 45 must report himself here at headquarters inside of 10 days. They are coming in by droves and joining the home militia. The thing is going to play out here before long. They are getting very tight on them here in this state. They have got another helm at the Bellows.

I don’t wan to come home and spend 15 or 20 dollars and can’t stay not over 20 days. I want you to do the best you can, If you don’t want to stay there, why get some other body that has got a barn. Do the best you can and I am doing all I can so when I come back I want a little to help ourselves with and I think it won’t be long before that times comes.

No more this evening. — A. H. Daniels

to Helen Daniels


Cape Girardeau
August 1st 1862

I shall start this box soon as I have made up my mind that I can’t get any way of getting home.

I am getting fat once more and feel well. If I had come home one month ago, you would not [have] known me — I was so poor. Write often. Give my love to all and do the best you can. When I get something interesting, I am going to write to Sarah Wilder.

Hattie the needle box and Emma the handkerchief this time.

— A. H. Daniels


Cape Girardeau [Missouri]
August 1st 1862

To my dear daughter,

I once more take pen in hand to inform you that I am yet in the land of the living and enjoy very good health and hope that you and your mother and the rest of the children do the same — as time rolls on and that winter is coming on and times slips away very fast and I want you to make your calculations for your provisions and your clothing for the coming winter as I don’t expect to be home this next fall nor winter as I hardly think that the war will be at a close — anyhow not before next spring. And if I should live, I am in hopes to have something to help ourselves with. I am pretty close with all of my money. If you and mother thinks best, you had better buy up some clothes for yourselves and children before it gets ant dearer. Do as you think best. And you better buy Anna’s dishes if you can get them cheap enough.

We have so many shifts and turns here so that I may get home this fall but I don’t expect to know a little about the war here. They have been enlisting infantry here for a number of days back and some of those new soldiers came in tonight with 8 prisoners, some thirty horses, and the Capt. told me that they had 10 more horses that they could not bring in with them for the want of more men. They had a brush with the devils. There was 125 of the Rebels and only 30 of our boys and our boys killed 13 of the Rebels and not a scratch on our boys and the state militia had a brush and they killed 16 and not one of them hurt, all about the same time — only in different places.

[No signature]


[partial letter from 17 August 1862 describing the Skirmish at L’Anguille Ferry on 3 August 1862]

Co. F. they killed.

…has used them. They feel bad. The talk hard about the man in that fight that they had two weeks ago today. There was 15 killed, 30 wounded, 30 taken prisoners. That Indian boy killed 8. Took one by the hair of the head and cut his throat with his saber and nude the other 7 before they could take him a prisoner. Our Chaplain Mr. [George W.] Dunmore was shot through the head before he got dressed. The fight was just at daylight. They pounced onto our boys before they got up. Mr. Dunmore was a good man. I shook hands with him hard when we parted. Little did I think that was the last time I should shake hands with him.  My health was poor at that time and he looked well and he said to me he was well. The good man thought he should out line me. I could see it in his countenance but I am yet spared.

Mother, so the best you can and get along. Tell Henry if he is drafted to do the best he can. Tell him to volunteer, come up like a man, and do the best he can. Tell Henry to get near office if he can. My paper is short.


Rolla [Missouri]
[No date] — 10 P.M.

My dear boy George,

I was glad to hear from you with Helen. I am glad that you are at home and studying this winter. I want you to improve all your time in trying to learn to read and write all you can this winter. If I have good luck in getting home in the spring, we will go at something that we can do well at if we can find what it is. Take good care of the mare and I will see if I can find a mate to her in the spring. Be a good boy and help your mother along with her troubles. Keep all you have and get all you can.

My love to all. So goodbye. From your father, — A. H. Daniels

The weather is fine today.

[Helen –]

I don’t know what more to say to you on the subject. You tell mother and the boys that if they think it best, they may sell the horse that I sent to you but don’t let her go without prompt pay and that [at] a good price. The men say that the mare is worth from one hundred and 25 to 150 dollars. They don’t know anything about her. She is worth more than anyone there knows of. I think that you can sell her here for $125. They men tell me that horses are very high up North. Don’t fool here away. Keep her to remember me.

I don’t think of any more at this time. Give my love to all my family and friends if I have any there.

N. B. [Nota Bene means “Note well”] Direct to Pilot Knob [Missouri].

This is from your father, — A. H. Daniels

To his family & daughter Helen E. Daniels

Hatty, when I think Emma and see the Eddy children and mother, it makes me think of home and how I want to see you all. So goodbye.

When between Wittsburg and Madison, on the 29th of July, Captain Porter, of Company I, was ordered to detach twenty-two men and gather the sick who had been left on the march, and return with them to Bloomfield. When near Jonesboro, Captain Porter reports that he attacked a rebel camp drove the enemy and took several prisoners, and other spoils. Proceeding to Jonesboro on the 2d of August, he took possession of the Court House, which in the night was surrounded by about two hundred who, after a sharp fight, compelled him to surrender. They were soon paroled, and with those able to move forward, pushed through the woods to the Mississippi River at Osceola. The casualties in this affair as reported by Captain Porter, were 7 killed and 2 wounded. Eight of the detachment were missing, and eight were taken prisoners and paroled.


[probably early August 1862]

….these 2 boys say that Capt. Porter [of Co. I] was sent back to Bloomfield to take care of the sick and on their way back to Bloomfield they stopped at a place [Jonesboro Court House] and put up one night and Porter put out his pickets and just before morning they were all surrounded and 6 pickets were killed and 9 got out of the house — that left 8 (there was 23 in all). These 9, they don’t know where they are. Well the 8 that were left, they shot and fought out of the windows. They killed 17 of the Rebels and then went down to the door and gave themselves up. The devils stripped them of all their clothes and money and let them go, took their horses, and the boys took through and then put for the swamp and they sent 4 after the boys to kill them. This is what these 2 boys say. The Secesh were surprised when they found they were fighting against 8 of our men and that was all they could or did see.

You don’t know how hard the boys feel towards Col. [Edward] Daniels. ¹ I tell you that they blame him hard and they have a good reason. One of the Generals at Memphis stamped his foot and said that …. little cus went through with a few men where Curtis had hard work with his [whole] Brigade. Daniels has not one half the friends that he had 6 weeks ago. They cuss him on every side and we can’t find where the little cuss is. I hope to God he has gone to hell and won’t get back. Our boys have got so cut to pieces that there is only 1 Battalion and Curtis is coming through to Missouri with 7,000 troops and our little club with them — so I heard this evening — and I think it is some [pain?] so May God help us to put this war through and stick to it until it comes to an end. I don’t want to die yet but I want to live and see the thing out right.

¹ Edward Daniels never returned to the regiment and resigned his commission as colonel of the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry on 5 February 1863. His place was taken by Oscar H. La Grange of Green Lake, Wisconsin.


[Fall of 1862]

[partial letter?]

This afternoon, all is well as usual — the weather fine and clear. God knows that I wish I could get to my blessed family and remain with them the rest of my days.

I heard that the people have found out how the Indians got their arms to do the murders that they committed in Minnesota. They got then by the way of Canada. If it is so, we may look out.

I must bring my letter to a close. No more this [time]. Give me all the news. Give my love to all of the children and a part to yourself.

Goodbye, — A. H. Daniels to Esther Daniels

Lewis M. Daniels
Newbern, North Carolina
Care of Capt. A. Ransom
B[attery] A Rocket Battalion


February 23rd 1863

My dear family,

I received yours of February 3rd and was very glad to hear from home. I was then at Rolla. We stayed there a very short time. Then we left for Pilot Knob. We were over 100 and 10 miles southwest of St. Louis and when we were at West Plain, we were 100 miles southwest of Rolla and now we are 8 miles from Pilot Knob.

After we left Rolla, we passed through to where we are now a number of quite little places for this country [has] a number of handsome streams of water and a better country than what we have been through. But I assure you that it is a very hard country and the poorest that I ever was in and O, the people another such a poor, ragged, starved looking set you never saw nor heard of. We traveled sometimes of from 4 to 15 miles and never saw a house nor anything but hills and rocky hills and pine trees and no kind of wild game but Secesh and we boys are taking the time quite easy here this afternoon.

I have not much to write to you but I suppose that it is with you as it is with me. I am glad to hear only a word if it only comes from home. I have not got any pay as yet but I am looking for some any day and we are going to leave here perhaps tomorrow for some place and I expect to the Knob. The talk is very strong that we are going to Vicksburg. If we go there, you may make up your minds that you will never see me anymore. I do think that I shall never see you again. I hope that I shall be able to get my discharge but I can’t say how the thing will work.

The news has just come that we are going down the river. If I get my pay, I shall send you the money and you must do the best that you can with the money. I wish that I was at home with you. I am well except I have a very lame back. I think that it came by riding on horseback such long rides. If we go down the river, we will go by water. We will have a big battle there and I think that if we gain the battle there that this devilish war will come to a close.

When you write to me again, you tell me where all the children are and what they are doing. You spoke of William leaving Chicago. Tell me where he is, if you know. I wish I could get all my pay that I have due me and I could get my discharge. I could do well, I think, this summer. If I have to go south, I will send you another letter before I leave.

Ma, I have some blankets that I wish you had because they may do you some good and I may lose them. It costs so much to send things to you that I guess it won’t pay to do so anymore but you think so. I want the boys to help their Mother to get along this summer, If you can do any better any other place, I just wish you would move away from that place if [you] think that the boys can get employment other places better than they can there. I want you to do the best that you can. Do the same as though I was never coming back.

[Unsigned — A. H. Daniels]


Cape Girardeau
March 11, 1863

Dear Family,

With pleasure I once more have an opportunity of sending you a few lines to let you know how I am and how I feel. I received all your letters before I left the Iron Mountains. We left there on Sunday and went to St. Genevieve and stayed one night and then took a boat and went to the Cape. How long we shall stay there, I don’t know.

I have got almost discouraged about this war. I hope that the boys won’t get into this cursed war. I don’t think that you need not make any calculations on my coming home this spring so I want you to do the best you can. I don’t want you to sell off your cows nor the mare if you can help it. I think that you can make money by keeping it this summer. If think we can make money by keeping the property. I shall probably have some more money ______. I want you to send me 10 dollars as I have none because I sent all to you but a few dollars. I want to get me a few things to make me comfortable.

I think that we have not seen the worst of the war yet from what little news that I can gather. One of our boys — Mr. Philips — is here and is going back to Kenosha an he will call on you. I have been talking with him to have him take the mare and keep her until grass grows. if you think it best, you may do so. I kind [of] want to keep her if I can.

I want to hear from Henry and George and Nate. You may send me 15 dollars. I may buy those feathers. I will see what I can do the first time I go to town.

I wrote a letter to Hiram last week. It will be quite awhile before I get an answer. I want to hear from you as often as I can. Direct to Cape Girardeau. Give my love to all the children. Put the money in a thick envelope.

From your dear father, — A. H. Daniels

to Helen

This letter was written approximately two weeks after the “Battle of Cape Girardeau” which took place on 26 April 1863. The conflict was part of the pursuit of US Brigadier General John McNeil through Southeast Missouri by Confederate Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke. Though the conflict to this day is known as a battle, it was a relatively small engagement whose primary importance was as the turning point that brought General Marmaduke’s second Missouri raid to an end.


Cape Girardeau [Missouri]
May 13th 1863

Dear son [Henry]

So time rolls on and [waits] not for no man — so must we be active and diligent, active and keep moving, in order to accomplish the ends for which we aim at. By so doing, we must keep on the move and take the hours as they fly. I am waiting patiently for the time to come when I shall be liberated from this bondage to which I am under. I look forward with a thankful heart that the time ere long will come when I can sit and talk with my family at home and feel that the burden is removed that I have long wished for. The prospect is now flattering, I think, at present.

The last battles that was fought are victories on our side and we feel as though there must be a close of this rebellion before long and may God help to bring the thing about and cause peace, joy, and happiness once more to rest on our land. The time will come before long that we will be at peace and happiness restored.

I am sorry that times are so dull at Kenosha that you can’t get nothing to do. I know of no other way but take the thing cool and wait with patience for the time to come and then go into the business. For my part, I think I shall be very apt to look for some other place besides that if I am so lucky as to reach home once more. I am well at present and enjoying myself as well as I can and take the world as she may. Everything looks flourishing here — wheat is all headed out 2 weeks ago and looks well. Corn is big enough too. No potatoes I have seen in the bloom.

We are resting from our long jaunt after the battle of the 26th of April. We pursued the Rebels 100 miles and they got up and darted as fast as possible and we took to them. They had about 10,000 and we had 6,000 or 7. I saw the most horses at that time that [I] ever saw at once — some 6,000. It was a heap. I saw the most cannon then [too]. We had 13. Oh God, I saw dead men laying in the road as we road along past them as though they were dead horses. We only lost dead and wounded 15 and they lost as near as I can learn some 200 dead and wounded. There is 75 at our hospital at this place. We took some prisoners and goodly number of horses. They got enough of us before we left them.

I want that mare to be kept and I want you to have her have another colt next spring. Find some good horse and have her well cared for this summer and see what they will. Do not have them sold. I think I shall get home after awhile. I will give you 2 dollars for pocket change if you need some.

From your father — A. H. Daniels

to his son, Henry A. Daniels

Give my love to all. Tell George I will write to him before long.

This letter was written approximately three weeks after the “Battle of Cape Girardeau” which took place on 26 April 1863. The conflict was part of the pursuit of US Brigadier General John McNeil through Southeast Missouri by Confederate Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke. Though the conflict to this day is known as a battle, it was a relatively small engagement whose primary importance was as the turning point that brought General Marmaduke’s second Missouri raid to an end.


Cape Girardeau [Missouri]
May 20th 1863

My Dear Daughter [Helen],

I just received your welcome letter of the 12th and was very glad to hear from my family and hear that you are enjoying usual health and I wish one thing more — not to borrow any trouble about me — because trouble comes fast enough of itself. I wrote you as soon as I could after the Battle at the Cape [Battle of Cape Girardeau]. We pursued the enemy 100 miles and then we had to return back before I could write. I have written to Nathan and one to Henry and if he has gone, you have him if he comes back. I sent him 2 dollars thinking he was out of money and wanted a little as I have a plenty and you wrote that Henry nor George were not earning anything.

I was paid off [the] 18th of this month and I have near or over seventy dollars by me at this time. I think I shall get along and i am as saving with my money as any other body and I want you to buy feed for your pig and make it good and kill it when you get ready and do as you think best.

I wrote to Henry to write to me. I hardly think that there will not be another battle here again very soon. I want to hear from Henry as soon as you do. I wrote I seen John Wilder. He told me that he had written 3 since the battle. I have not much to write at this time — only don’t you [go] hungry nor ragged as long as you have anything to do with.

I am glad to hear from Pretty and Eliza. Give my love to them both and say that I am well. I will send you another soon and I want to hear from Nate and you. give my love to all my children and Mother and yourself.

From your old father, — A. H. Daniels

to his daughter Helen

Give my respects to Uncle Joseph’s family. I should send you some money but I may buy me another horse. Give me all the news. Capt. [John] Hyde is going home soon or has gone.

This letter was written by Alvah H. Daniels to his wife from Triune, Tennessee. After Bragg’s defeat at the Battle of Stones River in December 1862,, Union Army forces occupied Triune and erected fortifications at the crossroads. Between April and June 1863 there were several cavalry skirmishes in Triune, including one in June in which Confederate forces led by Nathan Bedford Forrest succeeded in penetrating Union lines.


Triune, Tennessee
June 20th 1863

My dear Wife,

Saturday morning. We are this morning on the south border of the lines betwixt the 2 parties and we are among our enemies and they are watching us and we are watching them. Here at his place is nearly 26,000 troops and we are looking for a heavy battle here every day. But don’t worry about me, wife. If I never see you any more here in this life we shall wee each other in another. Perhaps that may not be the case. At all events, I hope and pray that I may see you all once more here if it is God’s will. I shall write again before long and I want to hear from my family as often as I can.

I will say a little about the country and fruit. The crops — what they are here — look very well. Fruit a plenty. I had a very good raspberry pie yesterday buy paying 25 cts. for it and I was glad to get it for that. I was looking over my clothing bill last evening and I shall have coming to me — after paying for all my clothes that I have drawn the government since I have been in service — 30 dollars, besides my 2 months pay due me the last day of this month, which comes to to me about $80 more that I shall have to send to you. I have not heard a word from that $60 I sent by Mr. Pettit when I left the Cape [Girardeau].

You see, mother, by my clothing bill that I I have been very saving and the most of that was what I drew last year. I have not had over $7 worth of clothes this year so you see I shall get my pay for the clothes that I did not draw $30, and I wear as good as any other soldier. Do all my own washing.

I would like to hear from all of the boys. [Brother] Hiram is at Vicksburg with Gen. Grant’s army — all sound as far as I know.

Mother, keep up good spirits and that is half of the battle. I had my fortune told last spring and the old man said I would be in 2 battles and would come out all right. I think of no more at this time.

In your nest [letter], speak of Maj. Davis’s family. Give my respects to them all — Mrs. Brown not excepted. Don’t forget Joseph’s family. Do you hear anything from Chloe? Write a good long letter. The next [time] when I send you some more money, go give George $5 as I did not send him some when I sent a little to the other boys. I was going to send him my watch but I sold it and made $7 on it and I let it slide. I want to hear from George. I am well.

Blackberries will soon be ripe here. I suppose you will have a 4th of July at home. Enjoy yourselves as well as you can. We expect to stay here for the present.

[unsigned — A. H. Daniels]

Alvah H. Daniels wrote this letter to his brother Horace B. Daniels upon hearing of the news of their brother Hiram Daniels’ death on 4 June 1863 before Vicksburg. Hiram Daniels (1818-1863) served in Co. B, 17th Wisconsin Infantry.


[July 8, 1863]
In the woods near the Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee

Horace I want you to make yourself at home as long as you stay and be careful of your health. I hope to see you once more this side of the other world as one of our own family has gone and left us so the bond is broken [and] it won’t be long before others will follow.

We are all well advanced in life and our time is not long at the longest, but it is hard to be cut down in the strength and vigor of life as Hiram was. Be of good comfort to yourself and those around you from your brother, — A. H. Daniels

to Horace B. Daniels, July 8th 1863

Direct as before vis Nashville


Evansville, [Tennessee]
July 24, 1863

My dear girl H[elen],

I this day [at 3:00 P.M. try and send you a few lines to let you know that I am yet living and enjoy tolerable good health. I heard by the mail that Curtis brought a letter from home to me sent by my family. But he was so, I heard by the way. in our camp here in town not over twenty-five feet from where I was but did not take the trouble to come and see me but takes the letter one mile out of town to where he own company is camped and then attempts to send the letter to me by somebody — and Mr. Somebody lost the letter and that is the last of the letter. So much for trusting old Curtis and that isn’t all. The box he left at Murfreesboro and I have not seen the old cuss nor I don’t want to . But don’t never trouble yourself to trouble him anymore hereafter. He will want favors of me sometime after this and he will get them over the left and a damned ways over too. I don’t expect to get anything that you sent to me by his hand. You will please write to me again soon and then you can tell me what the box contained.

We may stay here some time but no certainty of it. But bless God, [there is] good news from all parts. Fort Donaldson [possibly referring to Second Battle of Donaldsonville?] is taken. Charleston too. Mobile taken, Chattanooga evacuated, and Jeff Davis is dead. Glory to God. I hope to get home by and bye.

Sis, the prospect looks fair for the war to come to a wind up after a few months and [John Hunt] Morgan is caught and all his men in Pennsylvania. We gave a round of cannon last night on the strength of the news that came in to camp here last evening. I am a good ways from home. I have been way down in Alabama but now we are in Tennessee again.

I went out this forenoon to get myself some blackberries as they are very plenty here and I waited under the shade of a peach tree to get out of the sun a little and beheld the ripe peaches that hung on the limbs. I then filled my shirt with a few and thought of my [loved] ones at home and that was all I could do. How glad a father would of said, “Come Mother & children, come and eat.” But the distance was too long to hear his voice. But he is in hopes that some future day he can say, “Come,” and they will hear and I hope before long too.

Alabama is a handsomer country than Wisconsin is or ever can be. They have been very rich here and such handsome places before the soldiers was in. But now they are poor where such building, fields of corn, grain, cotton, Mend__s, and fruit of all kinds I have not seen in quite a long time and such destruction and desolation of farms I never seen before in all my life. I saw a tree called the hollow trunk tree — a small tree all in bloom the hollow trunk blow.

Helen, I shant probably get that photograph if you send it. You may keep it until I come home. You spoke in your letter about Ma going to Michigan. I think it would be a good thing for her health and if mother wants to go, why go.

I don’t hear anything about paying off the soldiers these days. I heard from Cash__ the other day. I saw his brother. Thousands of blackberries here ripe. I have not heard from him since he sent me his little picture the time he sent to Hiram.

I think of no more. Give my love to all of my family and friends.

From your father. I should have written before but could not send as we have not had any mail to go out but one to come in.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels


Fayetteville [Alabama]
July 25, 1863

Dear wife,

I received your letter this morning by the hand of Mr. Custis. The letter was found by one of our regiment. I wrote a letter the 24th to Helen. I think that you had better send to Chicago and buy you some flour as you can buy the best kind of winter wheat from there for six dollars and you have to pay six and a half for 2 sacks and return the sacks for spring flour and not as good. You try it and see if it won’t be the cheapest in the end. I don’t want to pay out your money there in that damned hole. I am going to leave that devilish hole as soon as I get home. Give my love to all.

From A. H. Daniels

to Esther Daniels

Mother, don’t forget to send me 8 or 10 stamps so that I can send you some more letters. Don’t forget.


Fayetteville [Alabama]
July 25th 1863

My dear little daughter Hatty,

I was happy to hear from you this day and [to] hear that you was enjoying yourself as well as [you are]. Try and be ready to pop to school as soon as the door opens and keep it up everyday all winter if we stay there so long.

I have not much to write at this time — only I think the war will close this fall so that I can get home. Give my love to Emma and Eddy and Sam.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

to Hatty Daniels

I am tired of writing or I would write. Fruit of all kinds here. Green corn aplenty.


[Murfreesboro, Tennessee]
[August 1863]

…I can’t think of half that I have seen. I will tell you when I come home if I ever do. I am glad that I have such a nice mare and colt at home. I have me a nice riding horse now. I traded a short time ago and got me an easy rocker so I can now ride as easy as anybody. My horse is young and smart. What a nice one it would be for the girls and boys to learn to ride on — not very large but neat. I made a good trade when I got him so all the boys say. Billy is a tough one and never sick nor lame.

Alvah’s brother, Hiram Daniels was killed in action before Vicksburg on 4 June 1863

I suppose you have written to all the boys and girls of [my brother] Hiram’s death before this. ¹

Don’t send me anymore things from home as I have no way to carry them but on horse back. My 2 army blankets are gone, my overcoat is gone, and I have more _____ than I want to carry on my pony. It is very hot weather here. It is getting dry here now. It has rained almost everyday for the last six weeks past. I have laid in the water all night and not a dry ray on all the next day more than once and but devilish little to eat for more than one day and horse the same just because the good old officers did not care a curse for the boys. Some of them will catch hell if we ever get out of this and some will whether we get out or not and before we get out. That damned old scoundrel of a Smith ² for one. He is the meanest old son of a bitch that I ever knew. I will tell you when I see you. I want you to keep all the secrets in the house and nowhere else. Let no one know but our own folks.

I think of no more at this time as I can think of. Give my love to all the children. Give my respects to Uncle Horace and other friends. Write me all the news you have in your next.

Direct to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, this regiment. Write to me about all our family, John Lewis, and the girls.

From your father to his daughter Helen, — A. H. Daniels

¹ Hiram Daniels (1818-1863) served in Co. B, 17th Wisconsin Infantry. He was killed in action before Vicksburg on 4 June 1863.

² This was probably Capt. Lewis M. B. Smith of Co. H, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. He was from Summit, Wisconsin.


Nashville, Tennessee
September 25, 1863

To you all,

With glory and gratitude, I this afternoon can take my pen in hand to write you they why and wherefores that I haven’t written before and my reasons are of the most surest kind and that is I have [been] so sick that I could not sit up long enough nor had strength to hold a pen and it was all done through the means of this devilish old fool of a doctor. But I am getting better again, I hope. I have been very careful with myself. I have suffered awfully the last 2 weeks.

I received a letter from Nate the 13th and answered it right off and have not heard from [him]. I have not heard from any of you since. Why don’t you write? You must know that I want to hear from you. I have looked for a letter and have seen none as yet. Don’t wait so long again.

I want you to send me some money as I am about out and shan’t draw any until I get my Descriptive Roll and I can’t live here without some. Send me ten dollars right away. I am going to try and get home if I can as soon as I get well enough but how I shall make out, I don’t know.

What awful fights they have had at Chattanooga and [you should] see the wounded that has come in this town. Heads, arms, legs and bodily holes through. I am glad I wasn’t down there. This house is filled up today with them.

I get the news every morning and evening. It was very cold here a short time ago and I think it is going to be again. It is very dry here. Down where the army is [is also] very hot and dry. The dust flies dreadfully. They almost perish in dust.

Don’t forget to send some money. Give me all the news you can gather. Give my love to all the children. Write too, mother, [and] tell me whether you are going to stay in that old house this winter. You may know how warm it is by this time.

Nothing further at this time. So goodbye. Write how Hed [?] is.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

to his family Helen E. Daniels


Nashville [Tennessee]
September 29th 1863

Dear Son,

I received your letter last night and was happy to hear from you. I have been very sick for the last 2 weeks is the reason that I have not written before and was not able to write. You spoke you did not know what to do with the mare. Will it pay to get one to work with her this winter? If it won’t, try and get her kept by some good farmer that will feed her a plenty. I shall have 100 dollars due me the first of December and if I get my discharge before that time, i shall lose my bounty money and after that I shall try hard for my discharge and sell the horse I have here. I shall have a little money to help us with.

I want to keep that mare because she is a good one and I want to hire a good farm and I guess that we can do the same thing together. You get along as well as you can till then and we will see what what can be done by that time. I will know more about this war and buy that time I don’t see what they are finding so much fault with you for what do you do or don’t ____. As soon as I get able, I will attend to having those papers of [my brother] Hiram’s made out if I can find any men in town that knows me well enough to swear to it. I have been so unwell that I could not get it done.

You tell Dresser what I say about it and I don’t know as I can find any here now. I want to have some money sent to me right off — 15 dollars ain’t any more than I want to get the papers made out and other little expenses and I want some now. The First Wisconsin Infantry boys or company are here. They are badly cut up. The 10th and 21st all part here. They are also badly cut to pieces. Don’t delay in sending some money to me.

Write again soon and don’t delay in sending some money to me. Write again soon and don’t wait so long. Nothing further at this time.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

To Henry A. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
October 1, 1863

Dear Family,

This morning I do not feel as usual but I’m [in] hopes nothing very serious [is] going to take place. But I can’t tell how that will be. I am very anxious to get well but that I hardly think will be this winter without a change of climate. Helen, what is the reason you don’t send me some money? I have written 4 or 5 times for some. I think if you have there amongst you have run through all the money I sent home, you have done well. Have you done all your traveling with on money that you have done this summer. You have been smart, I think.

You wrote to me that mother had laid up 100 dollars of my use and I have had to buy a good many things while sick and it costs everything to get a little butter 30 to 40 cents a quart and so it goes all through and a little money goes but a little ways. I want you to send me 15 dollars right off. I am anxious to hear from you all the time. [It] seems long from one letter to another. I got a letter from Nate. I answered it right off and that is the last of that. I think it will be well to send me that amount of money and very soon.

The rain has commenced here and we expect that the war has [   ] Battles at Chattanooga. I suppose that for the last 2 days that some 40 thousand troops have [passed] through here to the front. Gen. Siegel, Hooker, and others have gone. The cars are running night and day all the while and Tuesday over in the barracks where there is some 14 Reb prisoners are  in they made a rush for breakfast and that morning got on a long flight of stairs 3 or 4 rows one behind another and the stairs broke and fell. Killed 6 or 8 and wounded 46 with broken heads, arms, legs, backs — an awful crush.

Has mother got home or when do you look for her? Write to me as soon as you get this. Tell me how Horace is. Give my love to all. Nothing further this morning as [this is all] I can think of at this time. Are you going to stay where you are? tell me about the family in your next.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

to Helen E. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
November 4th 1863

Dear family and friends, Helen,

I received your last the 3rd and was very happy to hear from you. I have been looking for a letter for quite awhile and I delayed writing until I heard from you. I expected Mother would be at home before this time. I am very glad that the boys are doing well this winter. I hope that they will help you and the family along this winter and I shall be able to get home in the spring if we are allowed our furlough time. Our time will be out the 17th day of April so it won’t be a great while before I will get free anyhow. I wish I was home now. I will go and see the Dr. again and see what he says about me. My health is not good yet. I am weak and feeble and have nothing to do.

We are about to draw our money for the first two months and if I draw, I will send you some to help keep the stock this winter. That mare and colt will be worth the gold next spring if they are well kept. Horses are very high in the army and so is everything else. I wish it was so that I could see your Aunt before she goes away. If I get home, I will go to Niles and see her as soon as I get back if she is not gone from there. I will write to [my sister] Adeline [Bullymore] if I know where to direct a letter. I hope I can get home early enough to get a farm in the spring. I don’t want to stay at Kenosha either. I can’t tell how I shall make out but I am looking well for myself, I assure you. I am anxious to hear from Lewis and his family. I wrote to your Mother not long ago and she was then at ____. I received a letter from her that time.

Helen, if you are fatting your pork, I think you had better not keep the hogs too long if corn is too high because they will eat a good deal and not fat as much as they will in warm weather. So don’t keep them too long. It won’t pay.

My back is very weak and lame. You tell Elisa to write to me as soon as they get to Niles and I will answer all her letters.

So you live in that same house that you did all summer. Don’t you think that we can do better somewhere else as we have had poor luck always while living at that place. I would like to go away from there. I think if I had my mare here, I could get $125 for her.

You tell me where to direct a letter to Adeline and I will write to her soon. You write to me as soon as Mother gets home and tell me all the news you have. I must bring [this] to a close. Give my love to all enquiring friends.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

to Helen


Nashville, Tennessee
November ? 1863

Dear Helen,

As I had an opportunity of sending you a few lines by R. York, I thought I would improve the opportunity. For all that, I have not anything of importance to write this evening — only I am on the gaining ground. I begin to feel as though I was on the hillside once more though I am quite weak in my back yet and my legs and tremble while I write. I am quite anxious to see home and the family. I wish I could hear if your Mother has returned home or not.

I am just now at work a little. I am making turnovers and selling them to the soldiers at five cents apiece. I made 34 this afternoon and I sold them all out in about one half hour. I can’t live unless I am at work at something and I am not able to go to the regiment. I don’t intend to go off if I can get along without it.

I received 4 letters from home the other day dated October 4, 3, 11, 17 with a nice lot of stamps in them. One from yourself, one from Mother, 1 from Henry, 1 from Nate. How glad I should have been to [have] got them at the time of their mail. I don’t get any letters from you of late. I am anxious to have the time come when I can start for home. I wish I could start in the morning. Others get their discharge and their furloughs but I can’t. I don’t think of anything more at this time.

Write to me as soon as you get the money I sent you. I want you to stay at home with your Mother this winter. I am quite anxious to hear from you and hear if Eliza and Horace have gone to Michigan. Do you want to live at that place any longer than I get home? If I can raise any way to leave there, I should like to and go to Michigan where I could have fruit.

Nothing more at this time as I can think of.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

to H. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
[November] 14, 1863

Dear girl,

With pleasure I this day send you a few lines and let you know that i am getting well once more and I hope you will rejoice with mer that the time is rolling on towards spring and I hope to be released from this devilish bondage. I have had to sign another affidavit from Mr. Dresser this morning and that cost $1.25 and I bought me a vest and cap that cost right smart. I will answer this soon.

I want to know if your mother has got home yet.

I am gaining quite fast. If I can keep warm nights, I shall get along first rate. No more. Give my love to all my children and brothers & sisters and a share to yourself from your father, — A. H. Daniel

Direct yours hereafter to Nashville, Tennessee as I have left the hospital.


Nashville, Tennessee
November 24th 1863

To my dear family,

I this day went to the 19 and received a letter from you and was very happy to hear from you and to hear that your Mother has got home again. I see you are also anxious to have me come home but you are not anymore anxious than I am. But I have tried hard to get a furlough and I can’t get the first sight of one. The reason is that I am getting well so fast that I can’t get a chance to come home. I am getting so fleshy and getting my health so good that it is hard to get away. There is a good many that has been discharged of late and they have been paid their bounty money when they settled with the government and I don’t know why they won’t do the same by me.

We are going to be allowed our furlough time and that will bring our time out the 17th day of next April — a little more than 4 months — and I am looking with anxiousness to see the time arrive. There has been a good man of our Boys sick and 2 have died out of our company this fall and others are poor, hard-looking Boys but I am fatting right up. I can eat anything and quite a quantity.

Have you received the 20 dollars I sent to you. I am anxious to know about the money. I sent you a line by Rol. Rork and I suppose you have got it ‘ere this. I am making my little pies daily. Is Nate going to stay where he is this winter? They can’t draft William because he has had his discharge so don’t have any trouble about him. He will do well enough.

You spoke that Uncle Horace and Eliza were in paradise. Were they dissatisfied with you or what did they have to say? Have you heard from them since they went away? I hope you did not have any words with them. I want to hear from your Mother and hear what she has to say. Did she go and see John?

Everything is very high here. Salt is 15 dollars a pound. Butter from 40 to 60 cents per pound. Eggs 35 to 40 cents per dozen. Flour $10 per barrel. Green apples $8 to 10 per barrel. Everything is very high this way. Don’t get disheartened. We will come out alright yet and I shall get home. My horse is worth $125 here and that mare is worth more than that. Keep up good courage family. I never had the blues since I left home — not a particle. I think I will come out alright. I have not seen nor heard from anything you sent to me last spring. Write to me soon again and give all the news. Give my [love] to all the family.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
December 7th 1863

My dear daughter,

With pleasure and gratitude I received your last dated 25 and was very glad to hear from you all and hear that you are all well and I can say for a certainty that I am well and as fat as pork with the exception of a weak back that bothers me very much. I was paid today. I made 1.60. I feel first rate and I heard good news last night and that is we are going to be allowed our furlough time and that will fetch our time out the first of April and I shall come home as soon as I can, I assure you, and bring all the money I can get hold of. If you and Mother want any money, tell her to get some money off the boys until I can get some home. I don’t like to send much money by mail [as there is] so much treachery done.

I have not much news today. The Rebs keep coming in to town every day. The other day there was 170 Reb officers came in day before yesterday. We are whipping the devil out of them this winter.

December 11, 1863

Received your letter dated 2nd and was very glad to hear from you and there all well. You are complaining of everything being so high there. If you knew what we have to pay for everything here, it would make your eye stick out. Everything is awful high. I am in hopes that I may yet get home in the spring.

I learned this morning that I could not draw anymore pay for [the use of] my horse but I don’t know it for a certainty yet. But I presume it is so.

Thomas Mars
Major Thomas H. Mars of Kenosha

I am bound to give that damned cuss of a Smith ¹ what he can’t buy anywhere for his message to me before I leave the regiment. I am very sorry that Major [Thomas H.] Mars has left. He is the best friend I had here. I could believe what he told me. I shall know more about my horse in a few days. I am very sorry that you have so much trouble with the horse and colt. I did want to have something when I got home but I see I can’t so you may sell the mare for the money if you can get the pay down. If William wants her, you write to him and see what he says. He may buy her if he will come and get her. I should think they might one of the boys stayed at home this winter and helped their Mother as long as they knew I could not get home. If the mare is going to have a colt in the spring, I should like to keep her. But if you sell her, don’t trust one cent of her out to any man. I want you to write me as soon as you possibly can and let me know what you have done. Be sure and sent word to William. Everything seems to work right against me in that place and I shall leave it soon as I get there.

My health is getting better all the time and I hope I may get home this spring. I don’t see as I can any sooner. I received a letter from Nate the same day I received yours. I am very glad the boys are doing so well. I hope they will be steady and attend to business. If I don’t get any more pay for the use of my horse, I shall sell him to the first man that will buy him & I will get home as soon as I can.

Give my love to my little girls and boys and friends. I will send you 3 rings in this letter.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels

I have money I might send but I won’t this time. These rings to the 3 girls.

¹ This was probably Capt. Lewis M. B. Smith of Co. H, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. He was from Summit, Wisconsin.


Nashville, Tennessee
December 26th 1863

My dear girl,

I just received your letter of the 16th and was very happy indeed to hear from you and to hear that you had not sold my mare as I do think everything of her. The reason that I spoke of letting William have her was that the other boys were on the railroad and could not take care of her and I did not want to sell her until I came home if I could help it and William wanted me to get him a horse and he would pay me for it. That is the reason. If I come home in the spring, I shall help Henry for all he helped me if I have luck and I get home.

I am looking very sharp for myself and the news is very favorable for getting our discharge in the spring. My health is quite good again. I have had the ague a few days and my back is quite weak all the time. That plaster, I think, helps me some. Matheny went out to the front that day that I saw him [and] I have not heard from him since.

The most of my study is to get home next spring. I will send Eddy a ring. I felt very sorry after I told Mother to sell my mare. I could not go to sleep for quite awhile after the letter was gone. I think everything of her. I have sent another letter to Mother with 20 dollars in it and you hadn’t got it when you wrote this.

I received a letter from Lewis at the same time I received yours and 2 papers from Buffalo. I received a letter from Adaline a few days ago and was glad to hear from her. I have not heard from Horace and Eliza since they left my house. I wrote to them I saw your Uncle Joseph.

Keep a high head and a clean nose and don’t care a damned for any of them and we will get along well enough.

Direct your letters to Camp Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, as we have got a new camp for all the cavalry. Give papa love to all my children. So goodbye from your father.

— A. H. Daniels

[to] Helen


Nashville, Tennessee
January 16, 1864

My dear girl,

With pleasure I this evening answer your gladly received letters and happy to hear you are all well and doing as well as you are. I am sick again and have been for the past 4 weeks. I am in the Hospital No. 19 and was brought here the 4th day of this month and have not been able to sit up but very little since I came here. My doctor says that my liver is very much affected. But time will bring me all any bit right again. I am better than I was a considerable. I shall not be able for service anymore. I was very sorry that Henry had to enlist. I was in hopes to had him to help me next summer but my hopes on that are all blasted and I must stem the tide alone.

I think I have a good doctor this time. He says he will do all he can for me this time. I have wrote to Eliza or had some time ago and have not heard a word from them. Give my love to Hiram and hurry to get back home. Tell her not to give up in despair. Her troubles and afflictions will work out for her good in the end.

January 17, 1864

I wish I knew when Henry was going away. I feel very sorry that Henry had to go but I hope in all God’s mercy that I may live to see him once more here on earth. Tell Henry not to forget Father. If I don’t see him again, tell him to write to me often. Be a good boy and steady and be careful of his health and look out for himself.

If William enlists again, he loses his pension for his past service. They tell me here that they can’t draft him anyway and if he re-enlists, he loses his pension. I hope he will look to that before he does re-enlist. I wish I knew where he is. He don’t write to me anymore so I don’t know where to direct a letter.

I don’t feel as well today as I did yesterday. I am not as poor as I was last fall. I was taken with the chronic again. We have stopped it again by my moving around so much lately from one camp to another. I was not mustered in for pay. Consequently I shan’t draw any pay this time so I can’t send you any money until after next pay day. That will be the first of March. You must do the best you can until I can help you.

Helen, give my best respects to May, Mary, and say that I was very sorry when I heard he had left and gone home. I think of no more at this time, my dear girl. Give my love to all enquiring friends. Keep up good courage. Time will bring all things around.

N. B. Direct to Nashville, Tennessee, General Hospital No. 19. all letters hereafter. Goodbye all.

From your father, — A. H. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
January 27, 1864

My dear girl,

I this morning received your welcome letter and was happy to hear from you all again. I am so pleased that Henry has got clear of this cursed war. I don’t know how to be thankful enough. I was talking with the doctor this morning. He told me he was going to do all he could for me as soon as I get able to come home. He said I am not fit to go home now and it would be of no use to say much about it now [but[ as soon as I get around, then he will put in for me as hard as he can. He said keep still a little while longer until I get up around.

If I come home this spring time enough to hire a farm for Henry and myself, I will do so because farming is going to be the best business out. Europe is all in motion and war and that will bring produce high. I think I shall have 2 or 300 dollars to bring home with me if I come this spring and that will give quite a help towards making a start.

Everything is high and will be for some time yet and that is why I think it is the best that we can do. If Henry can do anything there with a team, let him get a horse. if he can and put Miss Kit to work as she is no better to work than I am. Keep the colt. I should not be surprised if I should drop down there sometime in March. God help it. May be my happy lot. I should be too happy to have such good luck. It may be.

It is beautiful weather here. I have not seen Joseph nor heard from him since I first saw him here last fall. He is near Murfreesboro somewhere. He said he would write but I have received no letter from him. I think I am getting better slowly. If you should start to come here, you could not get here. You could not get a pass from Louisville here and you could not help me any as I know of.

Nothing of importance this morning but feel mighty nice to hear from you this morning. Give my love to all the children, Mother, and friends.

So goodbye from your father, — A. H. Daniels

to Helen E. Daniels


Nashville, Tennessee
February 11, 1864

My dear girl,

I received your kind letter but I was not able to answer it until the present time. I was getting along first rate until the 5th [when] I was taken with the putrid sore throat and have not left my bed since. But I am getting better. I, my child, how I have suffered. I could not swallow anything for 4 days and nights. I am very weak again and poor again but if nothing takes hold of me again, I shall start for home as soon as I get able to ride. My discharge is made out so the doctor told me yesterday. Glory to God. Won’t I be happy when I can see your faces once more.

I received a letter from [my sister] Adeline [Bullymore] a number of days ago and have not been able to read it until now. I wish you would answer it to her for me. I have not much to write this morning and don’t feel as if I could sit up anymore.

My love to all. So goodbye. — A. H. Daniels

[to] H. E. Daniels


2 thoughts on “Alvah H. Daniels Letters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s