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Civil War Letters
The "Blountsville Boys"
Henry County

Proud members of Co. "K"
19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

View a picture of some of the soldiers of the 19th, including Allen Wesley Galyean, author of some of the following letters,  by clicking HERE
(Large picture, may be slow loading)

Many thanks to Gene and Lea Wagner who did such an
outstanding job of  transcribing all of these letters and
generously donated them to the Henry County  Gen Web Page.
The letters have been left in their original format. Spelling and wording have not been changed.

The letters were, for the most part written by Allen Wesley Galyean and his good friend, John Hawk. There are also some writen by others, also from Blountsville, Henry County, Indiana.
They span the  period from  April 28, 1861 to Sept. 5, 1864.

Please Note:  The letters do contain some language which may be offensive, such as  racial slang. Please keep in mind as you read this collection of letters, that during the time period in which they were written, many people freely used these words. The text has been left as written, not to promote or condone such language, but only to maintain the authenticity of the letters.  In no way do these letters reflect the opinions or beliefs of myself,
the U.S. Gen Web Project, the Indiana Gen Web Project  or Rootsweb.

Linda Aker
Henry County Indiana GenWeb Coordinator

Civil War Letters

 Camp Morton
 April the 28/61

Dear Father,
It is with pleasure that I have this oportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and if ever those lines reaches you, they may find you the same.

I have enlisted and it may be painful news to you but I am for my country and I thought it would be my duty so to do and I have good times now here
in Camp.

Their is a good many here that I am aquainted with and it is not like being amongst strangers and aquainted with no person and it make me perfectly satisfied and have very pleasant times but how long I am not prepared to say but I expect to see hard times and some that will not be agreeable to me but still I expect to go through if I live.

If we have to whip every Southern State in the Union and now, father, miles doth separate us from each other, you must not think that I have forgotten you for I have not and I do not want you to worry your self about me for I am in good cause.

I must bring this to a close. Write soon as you get this letter and let me know how you are. So no more at present but ever remain your affectionate son.

WA Hawk

When you write, direct your letter to Camp Morton, Ind. in the care of
Capt. Tikle.

Camp Morton
May the 8/61

Dear Father,

It is with pleasure that I have this, another opportunity to let you know that I still am enjoying good health at this time and if those lines reaches you, they may find you the same.

I received yours of the sixth, came to hand and I was glad to hear from you and the advice you gave me done me good and if I take your advice I have nothing to fear for the Creater of the World will do all things well and i will try and take the advice you gave me for as a Child. I think it is my Duty to take the advice of a Parent.

You stated that you wanted to know when my time was out, it will be out the first of August, as for my business, I left it in the care of Noah and he will see to it, for me. We are here yet and I dont know when we will get away
whether we will ever get away or not. I have nothing more at present
to write of importance.

I will bring this to a close. Write as soon
as you get this letter and direct as you did the other, so no more at
present, but ever remains your son

Wm Hawk
to my father

Camp Morton Ind.
July 12th/61

Dear Father, Sir,
I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present but I have  not been well for a couple of days but am now. I have had a bad cold and I hope these few lines may find you in goog health to.

We expect  to get our uniforms next week, either Monday or Tuesday or as soon as the regiment is organised and I am well satisfied here at present. Tell the boys up there if they want to see fun,  gist come down here and tell them if they want to come, to gist let Capt. Williams know and they can git in our
Company, as it is not quite full. well, I will tell a little how we have to live here.

We have plenty to eat, we have beef, pork, potatoes, beans, hommony, rice, sugar, coffee and other things to season it with. When we got down to Indianapolis the same day that we started down here. When we got out of the cars in the Union Depo, we formed ranks and marched up to the State House and was sworn in to the State Service.

Then we marched up to the Macy house and put up for the night and next morning we marched down to Camp Morton. Then we had orders to march to the city on the 4th of July to a free dinner, so we marched up there and broke ranks and then the Col. Meridith told us that our dinners would be sent down to Camp, by the time we could get back, our dinner had come and the State troops that was in Camp had stolen it from us so we had to get our
own dinner and a good many of us went back to town that night.

We saw the fireworks. There is some seven or eight Companyes here and there is Companyes coming every day. I expect to come home before we leave here but I dont know how soon.

I want you to write to me and let me know how Dan Ross is giting along with Wade. Tell Uncle Wash, him and your self should come down here the 18th of this month and tell Phillip to, if you see him.

There is  to be a balloon ascension here and I want you to write and tell me
how Grandfather and Grandmother is giting along. Well, I must bring
my letter to a close pretty soon as it is about time to drill. We drill 4 times a day here. So no more at present. Write as soon as you receive this

                                                    Yours truly,
                                                    John  Hawk
P. S. Direct your letters to Camp Morton, Ind, in care of Captain


 Head Quarters 19th Reg. Ind. Vol.
 Washington D. C.
 Aug 19th 1861

Dear Father,
I embrace this present oportunity to write you a few lines. I am enjoying good health and perfectly well satisfied. We are encamped about two miles north of the City and about 1 1/2 miles from the Virginia line. Therefore you can see that we are getting into pretty close quarters with the enemy.

Our camp is in sight of the Potomac river, we can see the ships passing almost any time that we look. There is about 150,000 troops in and about this city and from three to five regiments coming in daily. I think that by the middle of September, there will be 300,000 men here. Then we will be able
to knock the dog water out of Jeff Davis and not half try.

We had a very pleasant trip coming through. We left Indianapolis on Monday, the sixth, and arrived here on Thursday the 8th. We left on the
Belle Fountain R. R. to Crestline, there we took the FT Wayne and
Pittsburg. We then took the Pennsylvania, road and went to Harrisburg.
The Capital of Pennsylvania. there we took the Baltimore to this city.

We passed through Baltimore without molestation and had a pretty good
reception at the Camden Depot. but the best times we had were in Ohio. for there every time the train would stop, The cizens would flock out with these baskets of well filled goodies and they stuffed us Hoosiers until we were as stiff as gut sausage.

If Will is at home, or if he is not and you can send word to him, please do so and tell him to write immediately. When you write, tell me how Wade Hampton is, and if he is still with Dan Ross.

The regiments are all divided off into messes of six men each. In our mess, we have Wm. B. Lacy, (Capt. Jones), Wes Galyean, Sile Stonebraker, Jo Bales, A. Wasson and Myself.

When you write, tell me how all the folks are getting along. Tell Bill Lacys Wife that he is well, also tell Murrays folks that Bill Murray is all right and glad that he is here. Wes and the rest of the boys are all well and send
their best respects. Write immediatley and direct your letter to
the 19th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, Co, K. in care of Capt. Williams.
Washington, D. C.
                                            Yours truly
                                            John Hawk

Sep. 8th 1861

Mutch respected Father,
It is with pleasure that I have the oportunity of writing a few lines to let you no that I am well. i received your letter and was glad to hear from you. That you are well.

We have left Calarana Hights. We left there on Tuesday night last, about 11 a.m. and came to the chain bridge where we stop for the night and in the
morning we cam to the place were we are now.

We have erected bateries. We have 23 canonnors here. there are a bout 110 on the Virginia side. That is over the Potomac river. We are going to
advance to night to Fair Fax court house.

There is Boueguard thair, with 1100 men strong. They are leaving Bulls Run and going to Richmond for they cant stay at Bulls Run fir it is so sickly. we are in a bout 12 miles of the court house. We are going to attact it in a
few days and we want to be sucesful in our attempt.

There are enemy of soldiers on the side of this side of the Potomac to do at, some say there are one hundred and 40 thousand on this side of the Potomac.
We have took posesion of a Secesh farm, we are clearing it up for him and digin him a selar on the south side of his house, about one hundred yards, it is a large one, there are a bout three acres in it.

We have got big drills on it, to shoot grape and bomms. we have 7 on
it and good ones too. we have been here 4 nights and have formed in time of battle every night. we formed one the first night in the rain. It has rained
days since we have been here. It is nice here this morning.

All the soldiers in good spitits. We are glad that the boys were so spunky, lock thair well, Tell old House that I am going to have them scalps for him when i come back and I want him to have me a good snort when I come back, so no more at present but remain your son till I come home.
                                                        John Hawk

Well Jonathan Bales,
I received your letter and was glad to hear from you. We are well.
Joel is getting well. He is in Washington. Tell Nate that received
his leter with the greatest pleasure. The living are all with us
yet. tell Miss Lacy that Bill has not received any leter from her
yet and he would like to hare from her. I want you to write me.
Tell Kimble to write every day, so no more
                                                    Elijah Bales
Direct to me at Washington City.

*It would seem this letter was  sent in the same envelope with the first
one and probably written by the same person per spelling. This was done a
lot during the war, as only a few could read and write.*

Camp Advance
Fairfax CO., VA.
September the 24th 1861

Dear Sister,
I received your letter of the 19th, stating you were well, which gave me much pleasure and in complience with your request, I hasten to reply. I am at present well and well satisfied.

The health of the Regiment is very bad and there are many of our
Company sick, among whom are Wes Galyean, W. Lacy, Al Crayner, and
Joel Bales, but they are all on the meand and are soon expected back to the camp except AL Crayner.

Tell Mrs Lacy that William has been sick and in the hospital nearly two weeks which accounts for his not writing but he is now well and we are looking for him at camp every day. Our sick are at the patent office at Washington, where they are well cared for by both the nurses imployed for that purpose and volunteers of our own beloved State.

Our fair has been better for some time past than heretofore and nearly all of our sick are geting well and none are geting sick. Since you last heard from me, we  were in a skirmish at Lewingsville, of which I supposeyou have already heard enough.

Everything is quite here at preasant but it is said that the enemy are advancing on us and an attact is daly expected. Last Saturday afternoon, one of the Captains of the California Reg. was shot while out scouting in company of twelve others. They were attacted 40 rebbles. It is suposed the six rebbles were killed but there is no certenty about it. there were five
persons taken prisioner on Sunday, two of whom were women.

I believe I have written all importance about the war and will now turn to a subject next to importance. Tell the girls that the home made happy by our absence will soon be cursed with our preasence. Tell them that the boys are all in good spirits and the only thing that makes them uneasy is that they are afraid the girls will so fare forget themselves as to marry some of the cowardly dogs who are left behind.

Catherine, I want you to write as soon as you receive this letter and let me know how Father is getting along. Herein inclosed is a gold dollar which I send you as a present. i must now close by sending my best respects to all inquiring friends. So no more at preasant but remain you affectionate Brother.
John Hawk
To Catherine Hawk
P. S. Direct as before

Camp Craig
Oct. 25 1861

dear Sister,
I received your kind  and satisfactory letter on the 14th, which has found me well and in good spirits, the balance of the Blountsville are well or on the mend and are well satisfied as far as I can learn.

William Lacy was out here last Sunday but whet back to the Hospital, where he is detailed by General McCallan to act as cook. You requested me to send the ages of the three children but I left them with you last spring and I think you can find them but if not I will send them in my next letter.

I was astonished and gratified at the glad tiding of having a new niece to write to me and still more delighted at hearing of the great sucess, forsight and industry of my brother. Tell Dan to be sure and write me and a letter from his daughter would be gladly received. respect and gratitude for my father induces me to discountinue adressing you buy requesting you to write
to me as soon as you receive this letter.

Dear Father,
In complience with your request, I shall answer your inquiries in there order. We are at present camped three miles west and on the Virginia side of Washington City and there are indicate that we are soon to march for we are drawing the nessessary clothing to render us comfortable and we are under marching orders nearly all the time and besides these signs, we drill once per day with our napsacks on which is designed to harden us and inable us to cary them with ease.

As to our food, we have plenty of substantial victuals. Although it is cook a little rough. Time and space forces me to close by requesting you to write and let me know how yourself, grandfather and grandmother are  getting along.
Direct your letters as before, give my respects to one and all.
From your obedient Son.

                                          J. Hawk

Fort Craig
Nov 17th 1861

Dear Brother,

Being a little anxious to hear from you again and fearing that you did not receive my last letter which contained a breast pin. I take this oportunity to make some inquiring about it and further to let you know that I am well in good spirits. The health here is on the mend but there are many of our boys sick with the measles yet.

I was at the city last week and saw all of our boys who were at the Patent office and they were all on the mend. Everything has been quiet here for the last four weeks but we are now daly expecting  to move but where we do not know for there are many different opinions about our destination as there are different wishes among us but the prevalent report is that we will go around the coast which I think is very uncertain but certain it is that we will soon go some where for the wether is cold for us to remain in our tents and there are other men here to garison the forts.

Today we drewed our new guns which are the finest quality of Springfield rifled Muskets and last week we received our overcoats and a full fit out of cloths and accoutenments for the winter. It is reported that there is a lack of confidence in our Colonels Millitary qualifications by the Officers in command of this divishion of the army and (I am sorry to confess) it is to well founded and it is said that McDowell has admonished him to resine his office and if he complys, it is certain that Lieutenant Colonel Carnover will take his place and then we shall have a well qualified officer.

While I was in town last week, I got three minitures taken which I shall send and I want you to distribute as follows, send one to Catherine, one to Wade and John and the other to
Perry and Malin and I want you to see that they got them and have them cased up.

Catherine, in her letter requested me to send the age of the Boys, which is as follows, Mahlon was born June 16, 1847. Perry in Nov the 15th, 1849. Wade in January, the 12th, 1851 and John Henry, June 17th 1854. I want you to send this list to Catherine with instructions to set then down in Fathers Bible. I must close, so good by.
                                                  John Hawk to George.

Fort Craig
Nov. 25, 1861

Dear Father,
I received you letter some time ago and defered answering until now partly through neglect and partly because i had nothing new and interesting to write. I am preasant well growing fat and harty. I weight 150 lbs which is the most I have ever weighed before.

The health of the Regiment is mending very fast since the measles has got around and the Blountsville Boys are eather well or on the mend. Al Craynor has got a discharge and it is reported that Wes Galyean will get one but I think it doubtful for he is mending and will soon be able to come to Camp and would have come some time ago if W. Lacy would have let him.

We are still located at Fort Craig and we are beginning to dispere of getting away this winter for today we had orders to clean up, ditch our Camp and build fire places to our tents which tells me we are to remain here some time. Last Wednesday, we were part of 70,000 soldiers who were reviewed by the President, General McClellan and many other distinguished officers and our Brigade was complemented as having done the best marching and making the best apearance of any other soldiers present.

Last Sunday, we received new guns and we intend to send our old ones to the home guards if they need any. I will now close writing to you and adress myself to Catharine

I sent three pictures to George and i want you to see that they are distributed as follows, one to wade and John, one to Perry and Maylon and the other to yourself. In my letter to George I sent the ages of the boys and I want you to set them down in Father's Book.

Tell Uncle Wash and Aunt Margret that I would like to hear from them. I wrote a letter
to them since I have been in Camp but received no answer, You said something about sending cloth, to which answer, that we have more than we can take care of until we go into winter quarters and I think we will be furnished with everything nessessary by the Government.
I believe I have nothing more to write and will close by requesting you to write soon, so  good by for the preasant
                                        John Hawk
to the folks at home

Fort Craig, Va.
Dec. 27

Mutch Respected Father
I received your very welcome letter of the 9th and hasten to reply. I am at present well and getting fat and saucy. The health of the Regt is good considering the exposure to which we are subject to.

The Blountsville Boys except J. and E. Bales and W. lacy, who has the reheumatizm, are well. Wes Galyean is getting fat and funny as ever.

Our condition is the same as when you last heard from us and we know nothing of whether we are to move this winter or not. Last Saturday and Sunday we stood picket guard on the outposts of our Army and were much exposed to the Secessh. For it was there that many of our men were killed and taken priseners for the Secessh found out the 19th was there and so they cept shy and the weather was so pleasnt that we had a first rate time.

The weather has been very pleasant all fall and we have had no winter here yet. I want you to keep Wade and send him to school this winter and I will send money to buy his cloaths
and defray his expensed on next payday. which will be about New Years. Daniel never wrote but i want you to tell him to be sure and write.

In your letter you told me to send a picture, to which I answer that I cant get to town gust now and so I cant get it taken but you can get the one I sent to Wade until I can send you one. Tell Aunt Margret that I will fix that dollar all right when I see her. It has been
reported here and came in different letters that Suse Stanly and your self were about to get married and if you ever got such a silly idea in your head. I want you to git read of it as soon as possible.

I want you to write as soon as you receive this and let me know if my pictures arrived safe and how John Henry is getting along. Tell Ed House that we would like to have the whiskey very well but the Secessh wont stand up to the 19th Ind. and are so over match for the Yorkers, for they took 48 prisoners and killed eight Yorkers on the same post where we stood last week.

Tell him I will write to him when I have the time. Let me know how to direct a letter to William when you write again. tell Catharine and Danial to get there liknesses taken as soon as they can and sent them to me. Tell Philip that I would like to hear from him for he has wrote only once since I have been here. tell the girls, Wes Galyean and I want them to write  to us and send there minitures and a lock of there hair. Spase forses
me to close in hast, so good night.
                                            John Hawk
to his father

Fort Craig, Va.
December the 24th 1861

Miss Hawk
I got John's letter Saturday noght  about 8 o clock and glad to hear from you. It found me in good health all except a sore hand. It is very cold this morning. The wind blows hard to it nearlys raises our tent of, if it wasnt for guns, it would go, I spect and our fine cloths. The band is playing now and it makes nice music. there is another review a going off to day.  I will have to go to it.

We had a perty good breakfast this morning. John fryed us some fresh beef.
Tomorrow is chrismas, they say, but I never had thought of it untill a while ago. It dont seem to me so but I guess it is so but dont expect to have any this year. the boys are all well but the Bales.

Tell Washington that I am Obliged to him for the answers that he has wrote me. tell the old man that I would like to have a new axe handle, mine is not much count. You must git all of the Chrismas kisses that you can get. It keeps me busy to keep wood for the fire to
day for it is so damed cold.

I think I have rote as much as you did. I suppose that Gackson is hunting something to laugh at yet. Well, I will have to quit and go up to the doctors and get some medicine for my hand, so I will close my letter by saying, good by. Write soon, if you please.
                                                A W Galyean
 To Catharine Hawk

1862 Letters