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The Civil - War Era Writing of
Edwin R. More, 1831 - 1864

Edwin R. MORE was born November 4, 1831 in Geauga County, Ohio. His father was Johnson MORE and his mother was Wealthy CROSS. Edwin married Maria Louisa SMITH on May 26, 1852, in Middlefield, Geauga County, Ohio. The transcription below is the extant portion of his notes, Civil War diary, and letters to his wife (Louisa), his eldest child (Adaline), his brother-in law (Enos Carolman SMITH), and his mother (Wealthy CROSS More) during the period February, 1861 to mid-December, 1863. The diary, the single surviving volume of an at least three-book record, is a brown, leather-bound notebook about 4" by 3" by 3/8", containing 52 sheets, or 104 sides, for writing.

The rear portion of the notebook comprises an expandable pocket that contains two photographs. The photographs are labeled, in long hand, "Otis NEWCOMB" and "Adaline NEWCOMB". The latter is Adaline WRIGHT Newcomb, spouse of Otis. The association of these photographs with the diary of Edwin R. MORE suggests a close relationship between the MORE family and the NEWCOMB family well before Adaline P. MORE married Wallace Edwin NEWCOMB on 22 February 1872. In fact, Adaline P. MORE may have been named after Adaline WRIGHT Newcomb, who evidently gave her son, Wallace Edwin, Edwin More's name.

Edwin R. MORE consistently spelled his family name as reproduced here. The gravestone of his grandfather, Thomas MORE, spells it the same way. Today's records uniformly spell it MOORE. I have rendered it as he wrote it. ................. Information in brackets [ } is added by the transcriber for completeness or clarity. Names and relationships are bold to make them easier to find.

Those having additional information about the persons mentioned herein, or who have factual corrections to the record presented here, please contact:

Walter E.NEWCOMB
wenewcomb@home.com or walt.newcomb@pobox.com


Transcription of Edwin R. MORE's
Civil War Diary and Extant Family Correspondence
February 9, 1861 - December 17, 1863

This [?] block was made by Edwin R. MORE, Feb. 9, A. D. 1861, six miles east of Manchester, Illinois.

At this date there are indications of a dissolution of the United States; South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have each passed Ordinances of Secession and declared themselves independent states...The future of our country is vailed [sic] in darkness.

Item No. 13

The opposite side of this paper is addressed: "E. R. More, Martins Prairie, Ill."

1. Front end paper: E. R. More, Parkman, Geauga County, Ohio; Co.[mpany] F, 105 O[hio] V[olunteer] I[nfantry]; In case of accident to me to be sent to my wife addressed as above.
2. Front inside paper: Books that I want. Life of Jacob Gruber; Ewbank's Hydraulics.
3. Front inside paper: Corpl. Geo.[rge] D.[uland] SMITH, Head Quarters 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, Natchez, Miss}


Item No. 14
April 21, '62

Brother Enos [Carolman SMITH]
I have just rec'd a letter from George [Duland SMITH]. He is safe. He was in the battle of Shiloh on Sunday and Monday and escaped unhurt. His Reg lost 40 killed and 220 wounded. He was well except fatigue and weakness. Marsh [Marsh H. SMITH, Jr.] is at Paducah, Ky. Geo's account of the battle same as that of the press.

Yours ever

E. R. MORE

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Item No. 15
Sunday, September 14, 1862
Camp near Louisville, Ky.

Mrs. E. R. More, [Maria Louisa SMITH]
Farmington, Ohio

Dear Louisa,

Yours, written one week ago today, was received last Friday afternoon. It is the first and only letter I have received since we came to Kentucky. Though you do not say you have moved I suppose you have as you speak of father's [Johnson MORE] kindness and that Cordelia staid [sic] with you the night before. I would like to know how you moved, when you moved and who moved you. Was anything lost or injured? What has been done with my things in the shop? Where are my tools? You will remember that I do not want a tool loaned to any person and no one is to use them but father. And I want them kept in the tool chest. I want six walnut table legs kept till I come home and the lumber I brought from Illinois. Have you had the Advocate changed from Middlefield? Does the Leader come to Farmington? Does CHANDLER's folks read it? I hope Henry [probably Henry MORE, a cousin,] will not read papers that a lazy man paid for.

Albert says I am just as well as any man does he? Well maybe he knows. Tell him there is one disease I have not had yet and that is a disease that causes such an itching of the tongue that someone must be talked about and abused to ease it. Now I have always stuck up for Albert when I heard others talking about him and he pays me in different coin. But I do not blame him as much as I might. As you know I have thought for a long time that someone had told him things that had poisoned his mind against me. I had hoped that time would open his eyes but it seems it has not done it yet. When I have seen him "thick" with those I have heard abuse him and call him everything but a good man I have ached to tell him what I knew but something restrained me. I still feel that I had better suffer wrongfully than do wrong myself. He is probably sincere in his thoughts about my health but that does not help me any. I wish he was right. But as long as I feel a pain in my side and shoulder and as long as I am compelled to lie upon my right side to sleep so long I shall believe that I am not well. You know more about these things than Albert. So does mother [Wealthy CROSS]. You both have seen the swelling at times on my side and felt the coldness of my stomache [sic]. I know I have felt many a pain that I have kept to myself because some said nothing ailed me. But their talk has not made it so. How I wish it had. Albert will find out one of these days who is his friends and who are not. You nor him need look for me home right away and I think you will see other of the Parkman boys before you see me. So no one at home need borrow any trouble about my pretending to be sick to get rid of service and return home. I enlisted without the expectation of being discharged before Uncle Sam got through with me and I remain of the same mind still. There is one thing however I have changed some in and that is my ideas of fighting. I may get a furlough for 4 or 5 days to come home and whip some of those miserable, slandering cowards who stay at home if I find out that the {sic}stand in need of a trimming . I don't know but God will require it at my hands yet. His ways are mysterious I know but He sometimes uses us to inflict punishment and I feel that He has the right and may use me.

How do the birds get along? Have you any time peace [sic]? Now just tell me all the little things - just as Deal does Ed and then I shall feel that I am not quite so far from home after all. I want to see things at home just as they are - why that would be being right at home you think. Well if you give me a nice little picture of home don't you see that I will feel almost at home. I cannot have my picture taken unless I can get out of camp and that is not an easy matter. God bless you all. Edwin

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Item No. 16
March 14, 1863

Miss Ada MORE

My dear Ada

I am glad you wrote me a letter or I might not have heard about the death of the little pigs at all. You have told me about the pigs and Willie but not a word about Topaz. Don't Top. feel bad to be thus slighted?

Tell your ma [Maria Louisa SMITH]when she goes a visiting and talks of leaving you and Carrie [MORE] somewhere that Evil communications corrupt good manners. Are you not large enough to stay at home with Carrie?

I have a headache this afternoon and my eyes feel sore or lame. All from a cold I expect. If the weather will continue dry and pleasant for a few days I expect to get over my cough and cold. I have not been excused from duty, nor asked to be since I came back but once. Then I had a spell of vomiting and headache but was over it in 6 or 8 hours.

I am writing in a wagon so as to be in the shade as the hot sunshine makes my head feel worse. The wagon has a cover on it. All ou r wagons are covered. Our tents are down so as to dry the ground where they stand when up. If we are in camp Saturday we do not have to drill in the afternoon but wash clothes and clean up. Tomorrow we will have inspection of arms, clothing and knapsac ks and dress parade at 4 o'clock but no drill. I hope I may be able to go to meeting somewhere. I have seen no religious services since I left Cincinnati. May God bless you is the prayer of your father E. R. MORE.

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Item No. 17
Wednesday, March 25, '63

Miss Ada MORE
Parkman, Ohio

My dear little girl -

I suppose you would like to see me today right well. But a great distance intervenes between us and you cannot see me. Two large rivers, besides the beautiful Ohio, are between us. Can you tell me the names of the rivers? Almost two whole states lie between you and me. Can you name them? Well being so far apart that we cannot see each other the only {sic}{ we have of talking together is by writing what we want to say on a piece of paper and put it in a post office and in a few days the other gets it. You know that in talking together we ought to talk plainly; so in writing to each other we ought to write our words plainly so as to enable the other to understand us. The first letter you wrote me was very neatly written but you seem to write carelessly since. I want you to do your best in writing your letters. Write just as plainly as you can. Take pains with every letter of every word and you will soon get so that you can get a letter written so well that you and I both will be proud of it. You compose a letter first rate for a little girl like you. Now take pains in writing them and let me see how well you can do. You and Frank try it and see which can do the best. Have your ma fold the sheet so that it will not be wider than this sheet for you to write on. I like your letters for you tell me all the little things and they are just what I love to hear.

Are you teaching little Carrie to read? How does she learn? Do you make letters for her on your slate?

We are having a grand review here today. Ma will tell you what that is. I was out this forenoon at brigade review and this afternoon we all have to pass before Maj. Gen. Reynolds. It is hard work for the soldier. May God bless you and Carrie is the prayer of your affectionate father E. R. More.

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Item No. 18
March 30, 1863

Miss Ada MORE

My dear girl I am glad you are able to write to me and I hope you will try to write plainly and spell your words correctly. These two things are t he most important in letter writing. I hope my little girl will take much care in writing. You do pretty well but if you will try you will do much better. Why don't you tell me what you read and how you like your Sunday School Advocate. Do you love to read Ada? If you do I think I shall have to bring you a book or two when I come home.

I suppose you are trying to be good and that you pray every day for your pa and ask God to help you to be good. I want you to tell grandma CROSS [Anna CROSS, mother of Wealthy CROSS] that I often think of her. Will you kiss her for me? If grandpa [Johnson MORE] sends me a box I want you to send me a nice sugar cake. Tell ma to send her picture with her hair combed to suit me. The picture that Adda HURD has of mine you may have if you will get it. Is Carrie a good girl? You must tell her that I want her to be a good little sister and you must show her how to be a good sister. Does she learn any?

It has been snowing here today. Does it snow any there. The woods here begin to look green and I could pick a handful of flowers in a little while by going about a mile from camp where they are not trampled down. The peach blossoms are beginning to fall off.

We have all been vaccinated and some of us have pretty sore arms. Mine is not going to be very sore I guess. If you were here I could show you a man with a chain on his ancle {sic}and a ball at the end of the chain. He has to wear it for 15 days and work all the time. My love to everybody. From your pa E.

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Item No. 19
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
May 26 , 1863.

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife

I am feeling rather sad and lonely so I an going to talk with you a little while and see if I shall not feel better. I was excused from duty yesterday and today on account of diarrhea. I have been troubled some with this complaint since Monday but did n ot think of being excused from duty until yesterday. Today is Thursday 28th instead of 26th as at the head of this sheet. I commenced to write to father on the 26th but had only got the date down when I had to quit for something--I have forgotten what.

The weather for several days has been very warm and dry; and here, inside the fortifications, where there is so much tramping the surface is just covered with a fine dust which the least wind takes up and throws into our faces and eyes and into our tents. We have to keep everything eatable wrapped up to keep it from the dust and flies. In the afternoon, from 1 to 4, there is not ten minutes in which you cannot see , here, -- that is if you were here -- a cloud of dust whirling high in the air. Many of these miniature whirlwinds strike a tent and if it not firmly staked down, it goes whirling up with newspapers letters and other light articles. One of the hospital tents in the convalescent camp went up last Saturday leaving the sick lying in the rays of the bright sun. It was soon stretched over them again.

The clouds threaten rain today. I hope we shall get it for we need it much to lay the dust. I am suffering some from the piles. I lifted too hard last Saturday. I think that lifting is the cause of the piles this time. I hope I shall be all right again in a few days. My bowels are in a pretty bad condition I should judge from what comes from them. Could I be at home for the next ten days I think I would be fit for duty again...Well Louisa I cannot write as I want today. Somehow I cannot think straight. But I will try and tell you how our Christian Association prospers. We had two prayer meetings Sunday, one Tuesday evening, and one to night. I shall go if well enough. Last night we held our official meeting.W.[ilford] A. BAGG was reelected Leader, and your husband reelected Clerk. Bro.[Wilford A.] BAGG is in the right place. He is a Congregationalist and lives in Hampden. We have 29 members and 13 of them are Methodists - the rest being divided among other churches. The Baptists stand next to the Methodists, they having 5. Our meetings begin to act, look and feel like Methodist meetings. The Lord deigns to meet with us. Thank God!

Have you got my overcoat yet? The charges on the box containing the overcoat were paid here. On the money - not}paid. You need not send me any more stamps unless I write for them as I can get them here. I have three dollars by me. I have bought more than 10 dozen eggs and have eat at least 6 dozen myself. Eggs are down to 30 cents now. I have paid 60 cents a dozen for them. I cannot eat them now. I have bought a ream and a half of paper and sold it 20 cents less on a [?] quire [?] than the sutlers and made 2 dollars and 50 cents. I got a box of envelopes and sold them at 20 cents a package and made (1.00) one dollar. The sutler sell them at 40 cents a package. Have I told you what I think of Sutlers ? Well Sutlers may have been honest men before the war but I do not believe there is an honest one now. They are a set of knaves who prey upon soldiers. Never was a greater imposition forced upon soldiers than this. If every one of them were sent to the penitentiaries of their states to be kept at hard labor until the close of the war they would only get their deserts and the army would be relieved of a set of scoundrels and there would not be so many drunken officers among our soldiers.

But I am so tired sitting that I must rest before I write more. --- Friday Morning [May 29, 1863]

I did not think when I stopped writing of our prayer meeting last night at 6 o'clock or I would have written more. We had an excellent meeting. I feel about the same as yesterday but have less pain. The weather this morning is cool. It rained last night quite hard. I did not rest good and was troubled with horrid dreams. In some I saw you; but you did not look natural, or else you were dressed in some outlandish way t hat gave me trouble. I hope there is nothing in dreams.

Excuse me Louisa for not writing more now. I ought to have written to father and mother but have not. You can let them see this. I will write again soon. Love to Grandma [Anna CROSS] and the children. May the Lord be near to you and bless and keep you is the daily prayer of your affectionate husband Edwin

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Item No. 20
Sunday, May 31, 1863

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio.

Dear Wife

Your letter written one week ago today, I received last night. I thank God that your life and health are still spared and hope and pray that God will be pleased to spare us all that we may be united again here upon earth. I am glad you told me of your trials for I do want to hear just how you get along in all things. I would like much to see you this morning to talk with you. But much as I would enjoy it I am compelled to fore go it and do not write all I would say were I there. Who can write all they would talk? Louisa you know that there is nothing I desire more than your happiness. Still I feel that I am so far from you that I cannot cheer you when sad or rejoice with you when glad. I love to have you pour out your whole feelings when you write me whether you feel in good spirits or not. To be sure I cannot condole or rejoice with you nor even write a letter that will find you indulging the same thoughts and feelings which filled your mind when last you wrote. But by knowing your feelings, your joys, your trials and sorrows -- the Lord grant the latter may be light -- I feel that I am in sympathy with you a nd I can pray for you. I trust you have learned to confide in Jesus and that you are not afraid to have him give you all you ask. When you pray for a pure heart -- for love and charity and meekness -- are you willing to receive such things from God? Are you willing to keep such blessings with you at all times and try to keep them bright and untarnished? Then you may be happy at all times, even when those who ought to be your friends use you despitefully or treat you with neglect. Our trials here are on ly for a season and if we will love God they will all work to our advantage. Oh let us be faithful whatever others may do. When we get up yonder no one can mar our joys -- no one separate us, but if faithful we may there taste of joys and love, we are now strangers to, without alloy. Then let not the trials of this life discourage us, bu t with our trust in Jesus let us let bad feelings go and bad thoughts -- do our duty and God will sustain us.

I would like to hear from Ada[line P. MORE]. Ada wont {sic} you write to your dear pa and tell him how you get along, and little Carrie? Do you love Jesus? Are you learning any this summer? Do you think you will earn some good books by study this summer? I hope so.

I will attend to your suggestions Louisa. Have you got my overcoat yet? I don't want you to be to any expense in sending a box to me. You need the money more than I do the box. Soldiers do not need such things in the summer as much as in the winter so do not send me another box now. I want you to buy a clock if you have any money to spare. I cannot understand why flour should be so high there and so low here and ours has to be carried hundreds of miles and we can get it for six dollars a barrel or $1.50 for 49 lbs. I wonder if those who remain at home think soldier's{sic}wives are to be preyed upon just because their husbands are offering their service and lives for the public good at 13 dollars per month. May be that because the husband belongs to the country that his wife belongs to the public, but I think the soldiers will hardly be made to believe this. Just keep a stiff upper lip and when I come home I will kiss all the stiffness from your face and we will go where we think we can live in peace and comfort. The war news is cheering at present. Oh that God would bless us with speedy success that we may return to our loved ones and to the pursuits and labors of peace. The Lord bless and keep you my dear, dear wife and help you to trust in him and confide in your own husband, Edwin.

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Item No. 21
Sunday, June 7
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

My Dear Louisa

Your letter, written one week ago today, was received yesterday noon and if you knew how much good it did me you would be well paid your trouble in penning it. You speak of your delight in my letter when written expressly for you. I think I understand your feelings well. When I get your letters I think I have the same feelings, and, like you, I hardly know how to describe them. But the same emotions of gratitude and love fill my mind as they do yours. Sometimes I thank God that He has blessed me with so good a wife, one so pure, so affectionate and lovely I feel unworthy of such a gift. Had I always been virtuous and pure I might feel differently; but when I think of my own youthful pecadillos [sic], to call sin a mild name - I feel that I am truly blessed in my marriage. Whatever my life was before our marriage, I feel that since, I have been true to you as the wife of my youthful choice and love, and now, when years of married life have made me better acquainted with you I feel that I should be grateful for being so highly favored by kind Providence in the possession of so noble and good a woman for a wife and com pa nion. Oh may God still be gracious to me and permit me again to see your face and clasp you to my heart, and mingle our prayers and praise with our children, around our family alter. I feel that God will restore us to each other and we have many, many happy days together on earth.

I cannot believe our separation is intended as any punishment inflicted on you by our Heavenly Father. No, Louisa, do not let any such idea find place in your mind. I expect our separation will prove mutually beneficial if we only trust in God, who has promised that all things shall work together for good to those that trust in Him. Oh let us trust Him still. I feel that we have suffered heavier afflictions and I feel like thanking God for all. Our treasures have been taken from us here, but if we are faithful will they not be restored to us in heaven? Do you not feel that the loss of our dear children has been a blessing to us? I know our hearts are still tender and the tears still flow when we think of dear Alden [MORE] and precious Ida [MORE]. But are they not in heaven? Shall we not find them there? Oh! God, bring us all to heaven! But I cannot write more of them. You think my heart is hard or tough, that I do not show as much feelings as others do, as RAGAN for instance. But Louisa it is easier for me to shed tears than it is to keep them back. I may not show as much feeling as others yet I believe that pain at the heart and in the throat is just as severe in me as in others. You have felt this pain since you commenced reading this and I have since I commenced writing, and now my eyes are almost running over with tears but I have not shed one. There are times when my heart aches almost to bursting but tears do not tell it to others. Yet I shed tears. When God comes close to me and fill me with grateful love and joy then tears flow - and oh, such happy tears. How I love to shed such.

You wish I could see the piony [sic] I planted six years ago. Ah, don't I wish so too. Would I not love to see a great many things there? Father's [Johnson MORE] few lines took me nearer home than anything I have read in a long time - I can see the dear old home, the fields with their growing crops and father and Frank superintending all. May God bless father and all my friends with life and health.

It is almost dinnertime and I will stop writing for the present. I have several letters to write but fear I shall not get all written today. I shall try to write again during the week - to our folks if I don't write them today. My love to Grandma and tell her I ask an interest in her prayers. You are ever loved and remembered by your husband Edwin.


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Item No. 36
[Date Uncertain]
Sunday Afternoon 3 o'clock

Again Dear Wife

Do I take the pen to converse with you the darling of my heart. And, as is the case all around us, I expect to mingle the sublime and heavenly with the rediculous {sic} and earthy. It is pleasant to dwell upon the thoughts that give us joy and to indulge the imagination by bright picturings of the future, and cherishing hopes of happiness and social as well connubial pleasures, though all may prove mere phantasms. And often, when indulging in these bright imaginings and filling ourselves with agreeable anticipations that solace our spirits, are all our delightful though ts extinguished and we returned to the stern realities of earth by the scream of a child that reminds us that we must wake from our sweet cogitations to administer punishment to an erring one who stands in need of being reminded of their obligations by a fe w vigorous spanks. But I commenced with the intention of telling you what I thought of your hog trade. Taking all the circumstances into consideration (of which you know I know but little) I am of the opinion that the ten dollars will give you less trou ble, be of more service, and eat less than the sow. Therefore be it known to you that I think Ransom did well and you -- better. Can't you get the clock now? I think Topaz is having a pretty hard time of it at Albert's. If you like the looks of the dog pup you had better get it -- that is if you want it. The bargain was between Albert and me that I should have my choice of the litter if I would let him have Top[az]. I hope his success in dog training will at least be equal to his success in child training. Has he anything to say about volunteers or the war? I wonder if $300 would bu y his rupture? Do you hear from Freedom?

You ask how I came by so many buttons. Why I cut them from old pants and coats that were thrown away when soldiers drew new clothing. Did you think I stole them? I could get a half a bushel in one day I verily believe if I chose. The pipe bowl is one I whittled out of a briar root that I dug near camp. Quarter Master SMITH offered me 1/2 dollar for it. I have whittled out one for Lieutenant BARNARD -- of laurel root -- which I presented him and he declares that ten dollars cannot buy it of him. He says he shall get it lined with silver the first chance he has.

I had sent one dollar to the Leader for you before I got your last letter. This reminds me that I have not paid Bro. KELLOGG for the Advocate. I get it about 1/2 the time. I got one day before yesterday. I have not had a Leader in a long time. I expect the papers will commence coming this week to me here. I think a great deal of the Advocate. If I was able I would have it sent to you. I wish I had a patriotic relative rich enough to send me a paper without feeling the loss of the money it would cost.

I got a Senate Document from some one post-marked Garrettsville. I do not know who sent it. I have written to Enos [Carolman SMITH] but he does not consider me a worthy correspondent, I think as he does not reply. I think it was in February I wrote him. Mary MORE too thinks my letters not worth an answer. Well I think a great deal of her and she can't help it if she can keep me from reading her letters. Did she let you read my last to her? Why is it that no one but you mention Ada? All the rest are remembered.

I am getting "all right" again. Though I am not entirely rid of the piles still I am better than I have been for 12 days. I think that another week will make me all sound. My duty here is to take charge of working squads. Yesterday I had six men loading plank. Only sixteen wagon loads were handled. Our work is generally not very hard. The fortifications here are beginning to look pretty savage. I would like to be an artist just long enough to sketch them for you. But they must be seen to really know how difficult it would be for an army to take them. You can thrust your head into some of the cannon...On last Thursday afternoon heavy cannonading was heard to the southwest and south indicating a warm action. We were expecting to be called out but was not. The firing was from 7 to 8 miles distant. It was a reconnaissance of the rebels to learn what we are at or else to cover a march of their own troops to reinforce Vicksburg. I fear Rosecrans will allow them to do it. But he is posted and I am not. The firing on Thursday was kept up at intervals until midnight. Our wounded were brought in Friday -- perhaps 30 or 40 and 3 or 4 killed.

We had a prayer meeting this morning at 8 and preaching at 2. A prayer meeting will be held at six this afternoon. Bro. Wilford A. BAGG and I tent together. He is a single man 25 years old and I believe a good Christian. He is our leader. He is well educated and I thank God that we have been thrown together here. He is a great help to me spiritually. He corresponds with Miss Sarah PALMER of Farmington. She writes to him that I am "a gentleman worthy of the esteem and respect of all" and congratulates him on having made my acquaintance. I fear she has recommended me too highly. However I thank her for her kind words and will strive to be worthy of them. She tells him she don't know Frank [FALES] -- never heard of him. Yet F[rank FALES] tells BAGG that he is well acquainted with her. Frank [FALES] don't know anything about the letter. My love to all who enquire after yours affectionately Edwin

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Item No. 22
Thursday, July 16th, 1863

Mrs. E. R. More,
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife again am I seated to write to the dearest and best of women. We are now encamped near the railroad beyond Tullahoma and near a rebel camp from which our forces drove them a few days ago. The fortifications here consist of three lunettes or earthworks surrounded with a ditch 6 feet deep and about 8 feet across. In each corner is an embankment for a single cannon. Besides these redoubts - I called them lunettes but they are more properly redoubts - there are three stockade forts several rifle pits or trenches, and one or two breast works. The rebels did not make a very desperate resistance, though the cannon had to roar pretty loudly at them before they skedaddled. They burned the railroad bridge across Elk River before leaving. We are now guarding the workmen who are rebuilding the bridge, so that the rebs cannot make a dash upon them while at their work. One half of the Pioneers are cutting wood for the railroad.

Our Squadron came up with the battalion yesterday and got our mail. I got two from you - dated June 28 and July 5th - and one Advocate. You say you have not heard from me since the 2st of June. I had not heard from you since the same date until yesterday which brought your letters up to the 5th inst. I suppose you have heard from me several times since for I have written 4 or 5 times since we left Murfreesboro. There was two weeks and one day that we had no mail though I got a chance to send 3 letters to you and one to Addie HURD in that time. I hope you have got my letters and that you will get a chance to read Addie's letter. Have you seen Addie or Phebe [sic] since I left home? Have you seen the last letter I wrote to Mary MORE? She has not answered it yet. I have thought of writing to Celia\b0 and \b Litt but have not done so as I feared my letter would not be welcome. Frank F[ALES] has a great deal to say about them and Addie HURD. He shows Addie's letters to different ones in the company but not to me. He tells the boys "She is Corp. MORE's cousin", or that "Widow MORE's [probably the spouse of Nathaniel MORE, brother of Johnson MORE] girls are Corp. MORE's cousins" and he has talked so much about them that the boys are running Frank about them nearly every day. They ask him if he has another letter from that HURD girl - if intends to marry her or one of the widow's girls. If Addie only knew what a fool he is making of himself she would let him alone with all her might. He commenced telling one day what he had done with the MORE girls before [in front of] me. I am of the opinion he got shut up pretty quick. Since then he has said nothing before me against them still he talks. I am so provoked at times that I wish him somewhere else. He does not go for much here - Jim BENSON would stand 3 or 4 notches higher.

You ask me to tell you what I was doing the 4th. I will give you the entry of my diary for that day though I think I wrote you the 5th and told you what I was doing the 4th.

[The diary entry for July 4, 1863 is repeated verbatim.]

So you see I listened to no stirring speeches nor grasped the hand of a dear friend nor chatted with agreeable acquaintances, nor ate palatable food or delicious condiments. Joe MORE0 gave me two sticks of candy and played a dozen tunes on the violin for me. He gave me two crackers for dinner when he learned that I had none. Joseph is very friendly and I love to call upon him occasionally.

This country beats everything I ever saw for flys [sic], blackberries, bugs and rain. I have seen the grass and weeds for rods black with flies, and larger, sweeter black and dew berries I never saw out of Tennessee. At night bugs crawl all over you buzz about you and wood ticks stick their heads into you. Ants seem to cover the ground in every direction and since the 23rd of June there has been scarcely a day and night without rain. Since that date I have not slept 4 nights in dry clothes + blankets and for 4 nights I slept without blankets or blouse or tent upon the wet ground under a tree or some brush just to keep me out of the water. I have marched day after day in mud and water wading the streams, some more than knee deep. Five days we had one ration of whiskey - about 1/3 of a teacupful to a man. I drank mine, of course I did!!!!!

I have not had a chew of tobacco for a long time. What I could get was so poor that I preferred smoking it to chewing. I do not mean to smoke when I get home if you do not want me to. Will that do? I wish the first line and a half of this page is all I could say about the dirty weed. A paper of smoking tobacco that I could get in Parkman for 25 cents I have to give 10 for here. Now put the 10 where the 25 is - then it will be the truth: as it now stands it is a lie.

You express hopes that I may be true to God, my Country, my wife and myself. If I was as true to God as I have been to my dear, my precious wife I feel that He would be much better pleased with me. I believe that of the 4 I have been truer to the wife than either of the others. I mean to ever be true to you and hope I may be more faithful in the service of my Heavenly Father who has been so kind and merciful towards me.

I love to have you tell me how anxious you are to see me. It gives me pleasure to feel that you love me and desire to see and be with me. Did I not believe the war would soon be closed I should try to get a furlough. We all expect to be home before Christmas. God seems to smile upon our armies and if our people will only recognize Him in all our success and gratefully prey [sic] that He will continue to be with us I have no fears of the result. If the rebs are as badly whipped in the Potomac army as represented the war is near its close. The rebels here are discouraged and are coming in by hundreds every day from the rebel army. So cheer up, love God praying to Him in faith believing, and soon you shall be enfolded in the arms of your affectionate and faithful husband Edwin.

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Item No. 23
Sunday, July 26th, 1863

Camp Charles Stewart

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife
Your letter of the 19th inst was received yesterday just after dinner. It is the only one I have rec'd from you since the 5th of July. I had worried much for 4 or 5 days thinking you must be too ill to write for I did not believe you would neglect for two weeks to write me. Your letter written on the 12th of the month has not reached me. I took it rather hard and had the blue badly but your good letter of the 19th drove away all my bad feelings and after reading it I went inside the redoubt here and thanked God that I was again permitted to read words penned by your hand. I sometimes think I am more grateful for being blessed with a good wife than I am for the gift of the precious Savior. I know I am grateful for both but feel that I cannot be too grateful for either. Nothing of earth is so precious to me as my dear wife, my loved Louisa the mother of our dear children. Oh may the blessings of earth and heaven be yours is the prayer of one who would not surrender you for all the wealth of this world. This is the 4th letter I have written to you since the 4th. The fewest in the same length of time since I left home. Why you did not get my letters I cannot tell. I know that I thought it rather hard to write as often as I did and not be able to get a letter in return. I have sent you two rings and some clippings of poetry for you and two or three little books for Ada and as many stories as I clipped from the Advocate. As you have said nothing about them I do not know whether they came to you or not. Did you get them? I have two rings now that I want to send home but fear they might not get through. Always give me the dates of the letters you get from me, please. Then I shall know whether you get all I send you.

You must not let thoughts of the food that I eat trouble you so as to hinder your eating yours. You don't know all I have suffered and if you did it would do me no good or make you any happier. One thing let me tell you by way of comfort. All that I have got to eat since we left Murfreesboro I ate with a relish. Hunger is not half as bad to endure as thirst. To be sure it is not agreeable to suffer either but I would rather go without food for four days that without water 24 hours. I did not know the value of water one year ago today. Now I can thank God for it and really be in earnest. I have drank stinking, muddy water that was green and fairly thick with filth and it tasted good. This was in Kentucky. In Tennessee the water is generally pure and good. But I have dug meat out of the ground that had been condemned and buried to get rid of the stench, and cooked and ate it and it tasted just as good as any I ever ate at home. It was covered with maggots but I washed them off - part of them - in the river and cooked the rest. It was fat meat too. I can eat fat meat now just as easy. I hope you won't think that I have got over my niceties of taste and flatter yourself that after the war you can be as careless and nasty as the dirtiest cook in the army. No, no, not a bit of it. I shall eat dirt enough for a family of 19 persons before I get home and shall insist on being allowed respite for life from dirty victuals. You must not let this trouble you in the least for I tell you that I eat such things with a relish. I would not eat it if I did not like it. Hunger enables a man to eat almost anything and relish it too.

In five days more there will be 5 month's pay due me ($ 65). When I shall get it I don't know. I get along first rate without money. The quarter you sent me is the first I have had for five weeks. If you can spare it just as well as not I wish you would get some money from father and sent it to me. 3 dollars will last me until payday...I will try to write to mother about the middle of this week and to Frank.

Hoping you will excuse the shortness of this, as I have two others to write, besides attending meeting and dress parades, I remain faithfully and affectionately your husband Edwin.

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Item No. 24
[Date uncertain]
Alabama, 1863

.....Though I am in the State of Alabama you will direct my letters to Murfreesboro or Nashville, Tenn. They will be sent on to me wherever I may happen to be. I will give you my address right here that you may make no mistake

E. R. More
Co. K 3rd Battalion,
Pioneer Brigade,
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

You can put Nashville instead of Murfreesboro if you choose. One is just as good as the other.

I hope you will write me just as soon as you get this and tell me all about yourself, how you get along, what trials and joys you have, about the children, if Ada learns any, if Carrie loves her pa yet, and whether she knows who Ichabod [MORE] is. Who are drafted in Parkman and who will go and who will pay the $300.00. When do the people think the war will end -- if Morgan alarmed the people much in old Geauga -- Who is your preacher -- and do you enjoy much religion. I could fill this slip of paper with things I want to know but you can guess at them.

My health is much better than when I wrote you last. I am most well of the piles. Last Sunday I lost my cartridge box and bayonet. It will cost me about five dollars to replace them.

The people here as a general thing live in the most wretched hovels I ever saw. Only the slave holders live in decent houses and they are few and far between. If the people of the South -- I mean the mass of them -- could see the difference there is between a free and a Slave State I cannot see how they could help being abolitionists. But they are ignorant and led by the nose at the will of the wealthy slave holder. Verily slavery is a curse to any people. God is indeed merciful and forebearing to have suffered slavery to exist so long. It will take several generations to bring the people of the south up in point of intelligence to where the North now is if slavery should be destroyed by the war and the war end soon in a restoration of the Union. How many battles are to be fought yet God only knows nor how long the war is to continue. If the North will only support the Administration, as it should, the war might be closed within six months. But if the people hang back now the war may continue for years yet. How are the copperheads getting along?

How does your garden look and what have you in it? Are you still treated kindly by the neighbors? Do you ever hear from Freedom? Where is Albert?

I would ask you questions about our folks but suppose mother will write for them. Who owns the little orchard? Do you thinkEdd and Deal will come back? They have stopped writing to me. I have not heard from them in a long time.

Just then there was one of the sharpest claps of thunder I ever heard, but it does not rain though the thunder was directly over head.

BURGETT has gone outside the pickets to see if he can find some ripe peaches. I have had two ripe ones, and might have had more if I had been able to run after them.

I shall try to come and see you this fall if possible if only for a few days. I think there may be a chance for a furlough then. Continue to pray for God's Spirit and grace to be with me. May the Lord bless and preserve you is ever the prayer of your own Edwin

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Item No. 25
Nelson, Portage Co. Ohio

Dear Cousin Edwin:

I was agreeably surprised some few days ago with a good kind letter from your own dear self. Did I say surprised? Well I meant it for I was just thinking my letter had just about got to you, when lo! here comes the answer. And it received such a - (shall I say hearty - welcome) if I do you will laugh at the ludicrous idea. It found us all well and enjoying the best of all blessings good health. How well I would like to see you and have a good Cousinly visit, instead of having to communicate a few words in this dull slow way of writing. Still I think we all ought to return our sincere thanks to Old Cadmus [?] for the invention of letters. He must have been a genius "sure as faith" as the Paddy says, don't you think so? To get up a plan by which absent friends although thousands of miles apart may tell each other their thoughts and wishes, it was truly a great invention although to us it seems so simple and commonplace.

Louisa + the children are with us and we are having just what I call a good visit. I don't know what she thinks about the matter, but you know I have a right to express my opinion, if you were only here with them we would all just "fill the contract" as Lev tells of occasionally.

Wednesday afternoon

I will now try and finish this letter although I had not ought to spend my time. I am all alone this afternoon and I thought I would probably have an opportunity of sending mail this evening, thought it my duty to finish this sheet. The first part was written on Sunday and Edwin this is the first opportunity I have had of writing since, and I expect I ought to be at work now. Just let me tell you what I have had to do today. Made a cheese, churned, swept, washed dishes, made beds, mopped, got dinner, washed dishes again, and have just finished sacking my cheese, and it is now nearly supper time. Father + Mary have gone to Warren, Ed + Levi are at work for a neighbor who has not finished haying yet.. Cy + Phebe{sic}at school in Farmington. Louisa and the children have gone home. Edwin what pretty children you have got - I do think a great deal of them, Carrie, that sweet little chub, we all loved her from the moment she came to us. She is so smart and cunning, she would keep us all laughing most of the time and then to hear her sing "rally round the flag boys", you know she don't speak plain and she does sing so cutely. I went and took them over to Uncle Johnson's [MORE] on Monday and had a real good visit. We went through the village and got a letter for Uncle from Hattie. They read the letter it was a very good one. They were all well. Also read that letter written to Louisa from you. And Edwi I still must think just as I always have done that you do write Tip Top good letters without any joking. You may call it flattery if you like, but I never said anything that I was more in earnest about. This is so Cousin Edwin. And if I could only have the time I would answer them the same day they were received. But you know we have a dairy of twenty cows and I make all the cheese + it keeps me pretty busy. Still I will do my best and answer as soon as possible. But Edwin you know as well as I that I cannot compare with you in writing letters. Issac's people are all well + he has gone to Warren today with a load of flax seed.

Hoping to hear from you soon I will now close by tendering you my kindest regards - best wishes for your happiness.

Yours Truly
Addie [HURD]
August 19th 1863

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Item No. 26
Thursday, Aug. 20th, 1863
Stevenson, Alabama

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife -

Again am I seated for the purpose of a little pen talk with you. You would hardly guess that I am now seated upon a rock in a cool ravine upon one side of the mountain with our camp far below me. But such is the case. I can hear the noise and bustle of the troops below me but cannot see them. Gen. Rosecrans has made his head quarters here at the "Alabama House". He and staff came in day before yesterday. Troops begin to pour in from the rear and everything indicates that a forward movement will be made soon. Immense quantities of hard bread, bacon, sugar, flour, &c. are already here and still the provisions are coming.

Thirty-two rebels came in yesterday. They represent the rebel soldiery as despondent and sick of war and say that, as soon as we cross the Tennessee River, thousands of rebs will desert and come into our lines. On Tuesday a rebel soldier was shot and killed while swimming the river, by rebels on the other side. The poor fellow was trying to get into our lines. Not a day passes but deserters come in and give themselves up. Some days only four or five and others as high as forty and fifty. We are all hopeful for we believe if Rosecrans will only move us forward as fast as possible the rebel army here will soon be destroyed. We all want to go home to our loved ones, but want the Union restored first. We are ready for battle or hardships and fatigues - anything that will help put down the rebellion. May God still be with us and bless us with success.

Last night two Negro companies came up from Elk river. I hear no complaints now about "nigger soldiers" and "nigger equality". Whenever our men see Negroes [sic] doing the rough, hard work that we would have to do were there no "niggers" then their mouths are stopped. Those that a few weeks ago were loudest in their denunciations of the policy of the administration in employing Negroes as soldiers and laborers are now found to be the warmest friends and advocates of the measure. So it is that the despised radicalism of the abolitionists gains ground.

We do not expect to have to work today. What the Pioneers will be set at next I cannot guess. It will not hurt us to rest for two or three days. The weather is very warm and the sun seems to shine much brighter than it does in Ohio. It is almost overhead at noon and its rays are so hot. The water in small streams gets so hot as to feel warm to the hands. It is not often that we have a cool refreshing breeze - such as I have enjoyed at the North, and such perhaps as you are enjoying while I write these lines. (I am now in camp - 2 o'clock p.m. - and have written this paragraph here. I sapped [sic] writing this forenoon at the close of the paragraph before this.)

Perhaps you would like to know how we fix our camps for this hot weather. First we (BURGETT + I) drive four forks into the ground for bedstead posts. On these we place two poles for side rails; then place barrel staves, boards or clapboards across for a bottom - barrel staves are the best. On these we spread our blankets and put our pants and blouse under our heads for pillows. Sometimes we cut small brush and put over the staves - this makes the bed softer. Our bunks are 2 1/2feet across and six feet long with a space of 2 1/2 feet between them. This done then we put up a center pole so high that I can stand up straight under it. Over this we throw our [dorg] tent and fasten the four corners to as many st akes. The lower edge of the tent coming down as low as the top of our bunks and about six inches outside of them. This all done we drive six posts into the ground (sometimes four posts). On these we place poles and cover the whole - on top with brush. This makes them much cooler. The tents are open at both ends and only large enough for two persons, but are so made that several may be buttoned together and make a large tent. Each company has its ground and its tents are placed along each side making a street between them about 30 feet wide. About six feet are left between the different companies. A camp looks very pretty at first but when the leaves on the bushes get dry and brown it does not look quite so nice. The ground is swept off (policed) ev ery morning. The grass or weeds are always taken off with spades and shovels if we think of remaining in a place as long as one week. But on a march we do not set out tents at night unless it looks like rain and sometimes not then if we are tired. I ha ve slept on a little brush - just enough to keep me out of the water - when the rain was falling nicely. I slept sweetly, too, though my clothes were wringing wet.

The health of the troops here is generally good, there being but few cases of fever and no bad cases of diarrhea, which is the most common disease in the army. My health is not as good as it was in July, still I am not sick. The piles seem disposed to stick to me - sometimes troubling me considerably and then for a few days letting me alone almost entirely. My legs are weak and a dull pain nearly all the time in my knees and ancles [sic]. They feel as if I had been carrying sacks of wheat upstairs. My appetite is not so good as it was two weeks ago. Then I could eat almost anything eatable but now I want something good to tempt me to eat much. I could not eat meat now that was half rotten. The doctor says the piles cause the pain and weakness in my legs and when I get entirely rid of the piles my legs will be all right.

We have prayer meetings in the church here every night. I have been twice this week and intend going tonight.

I have always been careful since I entered the army not to encourage any hopes of a speedy termination of the war without good reason for so doing. At the present time everything seems to indicate that the end is near and soldiers are congratulating them selves and each other at the prospect of being at home by Christmas. While it would be pleasant for me to indulge in such hopes still I do no feel warranted in doing so at present. Though the rebellion is virtually crushed here and on the Missippi [sic] still it is strong in the east. The South is already despondent but still indulge the hope that Lee may whip Meade in Virginia. If Meade had the power to force a battle and a victory in the east, and Gilmore wins a victory at Charleston, the hope that now sustains the South would be destroyed. When you hear that Meade has won a great battle and that the Federal flag floats over Richmond and Charleston then you can believe the end of the war is near. I hope these things may not be delayed long. But whether such victories occur or not I shall try to come home by late in the fall or fore part of the winter to see you. If there is not a good prospect of the war being ended before May next, I shall make every effort to come and see you within the next four months. I hope you will conclude to write me one of your good long letters when you get this for I feel that I deserve one. Don't I?

Kiss Ada and Ichabod [MORE] for me. How I would like to see Ada and hear her read and ask her questions to see how much she has learned this summer. Has she forgotten me? I see she don't write me any more. Still indulging the hope that I may press you to my heart ere many months I am still truly and faithfully your affectionate husband and Edwin.

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Item No. 27
Sept 17th
Chattanooga, Tenn.

Dear Wife

I shall not write you many words this time for I am very tired and do not feel like writing much.

Last Monday we were called up at 2 o'clock in the morning to get ready to march to this place. as I did not get much sleep I of course did not feel much like taking a tramp over the mountains. Sunday night I attended prayer meeting and had just got into a good sleep when I was awakened to draw rations. This kept me up till twelve and it was an hour before I could get to sleep again. Then being called up again in a short time you can see I did not sleep much.

Our being called up thus early was all bosh for we did not start until 9 o'clock. The road was a rough one and as our wagons were loaded heavier than usual there was several accidents on the road. Our company wagon broke one hind wheel and one of the fore wheels. As we marched until ten at night we had great times after dark overturning wagons, breaking wheels, scattering rations &c. Our wagons did not get nearer than three miles of camp. Tuesday morning the train was scattered along the road for six miles wagons were being righted up and wheels being sent here and there to replace broken ones. Our road was a winding one now away up the mountain, then down in the valley, twisting and turning among the rocks and then across a valley of dense wood.

Most of the train and men got into Chattanooga Tuesday night at 10 o'clock. I had 12 men with me and we took the railroad saving three miles travel and the climbing of Lookout Mountain, the noblest and highest mountain I ever saw. I wish I could send you a drawing of it. I and the 12 men did not come farther than the picket line Tuesday night. We slept in an empty house upon the floor. Yesterday morning we came on through the town and found the rest of the Battalion lolling in the sun. The Lieut. did not have as many men with him as I had with me. He thought I had done well in get [sic] 12 men in when he had failed.

Chattanooga is not the great place that we had been led to believe. I do not wonder t the rebels leaving when they did. It is reported that we have them fast about 20 miles from here; but it will probably turn out like the other "tight places" in which we have had the rebel armies before now --- and they escaped.

The mail came up today but brought nothing for me.

The weather is very hot and everything but the river dry. We have to drink river water as there are no wells here and but few springs.

You need not feel any alarmed [sic] about my health. A little rest - if I can only get it - will make me all right. I am taking strengthening bitters four times a day.

I send you in this the seeds of a vine that has a very peculiar and beautiful flower on it and that I have seen in bloom since the forepart of June. I think you had better plant these in a box and leave out doors until the snow flies. Be careful and not get the dirt too wet.

My love to our folks and the children. Believe me still your affectionate and faithful Edwin

God bless you.

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Item No. 28
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Oct. 25th, 1863
1/2 past 4 o'clock, morning

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife

You see that I have got an early start this morning whether there be anything to interest you or not. Frank FALES and I slept together last night and it is the first time for months that he and I have occupied the same blankets. I was very accommodating and let him do all the sleeping while I laid awake and watched over him. I did not do this purposely for I would like to have lain in the embrace of Morpheus but the old god would not take me in his arms at all, at all. So have not had one moment's sleep since yesterday morning. Day before yesterday was a cold, wet day and I worked in the rain in the afternoon fixing up my tent. I have a bedstead something like a very rough truckle bedstead. At each end I put on a head and foot board 6 1/2 feet long, 1 1/2 inches and ten inches wide. The bunk is 6 1/2 feet long and 3 feet 8 inches wide with a bottom of three boards covered with small branches of the pine a little more than 2 inches deep. These branches bring out the soft spots in the bottom boards so that they can be easily found by my weary bones. The back side of the bunk has a board nailed on the rail six inches wide and on the outer edge of it is nailed another board of the same width only this last b oard sits up like this [__|]. To the top edge of this last board I tacked the lower edge of the piece of rebel tent that forms the east gable end of my house tent. On the first of these boards is the standard that supports the east end of the ridge stic k or pole. Then on the west end of the head and foot board I nailed two other boards that answer the purpose of rafters and support the west end of the ridge stick. A brace runs from the ridge stick to the standard that the roof of my house may be firm. I then drove two stakes in the ground immediately under the rafters and nailed a narrow strip for a sill. Then to this I nailed the bottom of my boards and the tops to the rafters which with the chimney forms the [drawing of tent structure] west gable. Though I boarded this end up at first only leaving the door for which I made a frame and then stretched a piece of cotton cloth across for a panel and hung it on leather hinges. Under the head and foot boards I nailed two pieces of siding 6 inches wide. This done I ditched and banked it up. The water was running over the ground on the inside at this time though I had my dorg [?] tent stretched over the ridge and tacked to the upper edges of the head and foot boards. I had got pretty wet, was cold and did not get warm though I tried hard to do so all night. Chills were chasing each other down my spinal column all night and before morning they had the way worn so smooth that they would go clear to my toes. I could not sleep much I was so busy shivering wh ile the rain kept coming down out of doors nearly all night. By morning I concluded that wet boards tent and floor did not make a house as warm as I would like it. I turned out in the morning with aching head, back and bones and concluded if there was any way of warming my water palace it should be did. A little while after I came across Frank [FALES], who proposed to go into partnership if we could strike a bargain. (I owned the whole of this 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 feet house, having dissolved partnership with BURGETT as he had almost kicked me to death nights and had found three body lice on his clothes which I set him looking for as he scratched for them nights. I had been alone one week or nearly that time.) I asked Frank [FALES] if he was coming back to the company? "Yes." Have you any body lice? "Yes but I will change clothes and get rid of them at once." How many blankets have you? "One oil cloth and three woolen." Well I thought the blankets an inducement so I closed the bargain at once. Frank [FALES] got 106 brick hauled. I tore out one half of the gable and Frank [FALES] hauled mud from the road and I built the chimney. Just dark we got a fire started and our palace was soon comfortably warm. At ten I went on duty till 12 and from 4 to six this morning. I had two or three sick spells about midnight during which I purged and vomited pretty freely. This morning I feel pretty smart and am not sleepy at all. Frank [FALES] is out at work with the company. Sunday is not regarded here. He wanted to write home but had to put it off till tonight. -- AFTERNOON -- I have not slept yet but think I shall be able to do so tonight. My stomache is still weak and will not bear much and aside from a lameness all over and a feeling of fatigue I feel first rate. Frank [FALES] and I can keep warm now if the weather should get as cold as it does in Parkman in February. If I do not have to work in the rain for three or four days I shall come out clear as a whistle I think. The piles are thinking of leaving me I guess.

Gen. Grant commands here now. There is a report flying about that Hooker's army now occupy Atlanta. If so it is a good thing for us. I have no idea whether Grant's army is coming here or not. If it does I shall try to see George and Dwight.

Benj. LAMPORT is dead. He died the next day after I visited him. Had our granny of a surgeon done as he ought to have done by him he might now be alive. The surgeon laughed at him and told him he needed no medicine not more than 10 days before his death. LAMPORT's Capt. in the 105th took him away from the battalion and sent him to the hospital where he ought to have been three weeks before. Laying out these cold nights in his dog tent was to [sic] severe upon him.

Ralph RAGAN has just left. He has been with me about 1/2 hour. He is hearty and tough. He tells me the regiment are living on less than 1/2 rations. We live and work on half rations every day of the week "rain or shine". We are called up at 1/2 past 4 every morning and turn in at 7 1/2 at night. We are now at work on water works to supply the forts with the water that are located on the tops of hills. Chattanooga is naturally a strong position and our army is making it impregnable. We have no fears growing out of Lookout Mountain being in the rebels. Yet we must have possession of it within the next 30 days. We are not going to live on half rations all winter and we must have the mountain before we can have full rations.

Notwithstanding my poor health and the thoughts of dear ones and home which will prey upon the mind under such circumstances I am willing still to put my trust in the Lord who sustains and preserves me. I take more delight in reading his word and feel that He is near unto me. Oh, I bless God for the consolations of religion which are sweet to those who put their trust in Him. May He help me to be more faithful that I may grow in grace and in the knowledge of His will. I mean to endure unto the end.

We have had no meetings since last Tuesday night in the battalion. A protracted meeting is being held in one of the churches uptown by the ministers of the U.S. Christian Commission. Several have been converted and from 15 to 25 are forward for prayers every night. The Christian Commission is doing more for the real good of the soldier , both physically and spiritually than all the Soldier's Aid Societies and Sanitary Commissions combined. They do not trust their stores and dellicacies [sic] in the hands of any surgeon or hospital steward, but give them directly to the ones that need them. Dishonesty and meanness have concentrated in the army and the agents of the Chris. Com. know better than to trust their things in the hands of go betweens.

My love to my darling Ada and Carrie. Tell them how happy it makes me to hear that they are such good children. May the Lord bless them, and grant that ere many weeks I may be with you all and see you in the flesh. I am still your affectionate and faithful husband, Edwin.

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Item No. 29
Monday evening, Oct. 26th

Dear Louisa

I have carelessly neglected to put the letter I wrote yesterday into the letterbox so thought I would scratch you a few words upon a half sheet of miserable paper. I have almost been free from pain today and think I am getting along finely. My strength and appetite are returning though I can eat but little. I am careful about what I do eat and think with God's blessing I shall soon be clear of diarrhea and pi les. I make tea twice a day. (Black) I cannot drink coffee yet. Oh how I do long for some of your good victualsand hope ere many weeks to have the joy of sitting down with you at the same table. I see no prospect of this at present but hope God will grant this favor to us.

Frank [FALES] is lying on the backside of the bunk and is feeling first rate. He sleeps there. We have a fire in our palace and are as warm and comfortable as any in camp. Our palace is so small that it requires but a little fire to keep it warm.

Our army has been in line of battle for the past 24 hours -- night and day. I do not believe the rebs intend an attack at present.

I heard from the Parkman boys today. They are all well. We are only 3/4 of a mile apart.

This is the meanest paper I ever saw to write on. It seems to be greasy and does not take ink readily. I think I shall not write on any more of it. I have a few sheets left.

Give my love to our folks and all who may inquire about me.

Good night my dear Ada.
Good night my dear Carrie.
Good night my dear Louisa.
God bless you all.

Edwin

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Item No. 30
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 1863

Mrs. E. R. More,
Parkman, Ohio,

My Dear Wife

But a few moments have elapsed since your letter of the 1st inst. was placed in my hands with one from Addie HURD written the same day but dated 2nd.

Most truly do you say that I am your "dearest and best earthly friend" for I do not believe there is another person, male or female, that loves you with the deep ardent love that I do. And I am confident that to no one are you so precious as to me. If there is a man that loves his wife more than I do mine then there is a woman that ought to be satisfied with the love of her husband for she is peculiarly blessed in the wealth of love she possesses. No one can value a pure and virtuous wife more than I do; and such a wife I believe God has given to me and I thank Him from my heart of hearts for the precious gift -- the best of all the blessings of Earth. I know that I am unworthy of the gift - and so I am of all His blessing and favors. But I try to be grateful and hope He will be pleased to let us spend many happy days in each other's society here on Earth ere either of us or our dear children are called hence to be no more the dwellers on earth. In my estimation there is nothing of earth that a man should love more or esteem so highly as a virtuous wife. And the Word of God sustains me in this. Solomon puts her price above that of the most precious stones or brilliants and so do I. I do have confidence in your virtue and constancy. Did I not believe you virtuous, pure, constant, and loyal I should never desire to see you again either in this world or the next. But because I believe you are all of these I give you all the love, esteem and respect that it is possible for me to give to a being that I deem to be one of the best, if not the best, women and wife, living. I say I give you the love and esteem of my heart but it would be nearer the truth to say that you took it without effort on my part. I could not withhold the love I say I give, it came into my heart spontaneously.
When first I clasped you to my heart as a wife I felt never was a woman more truly loved, or more worthy of love than you were then. Since then I have learned to love you with a deeper, fonder love and to prize and esteem you more and more as I knew you better; and I know that our years of happy wedded life has but bound you closer to me and more firmly fixed my affections, and centered them in you. What more can a good wife ask so far as love and esteem are concerned? I know you ask no more. So far as my own constancy is concerned I feel that I am safe, safe, safe.} If nothing but religious principle were mine to act as a check I feel I should be safe. But to this add my love and confidence, for and in you and see what a safeguard I have. I feel that I am constant and that I shall remain so. Give me but your love and your confidence and let me believe you true and I am safe. With these let me have favor and communion with God and I shall be invulnerable to all the shafts of temptation let them come from what source they will. Am I not right? Can you make these same words and sentiments yours? If you really and truly feel such sentiments then I believe you too are safe.

How much I would enjoy the walk you mention. Not because of the pleasant day but the being near you and having all our surroundings so agreeable and pl easant because so dear. How I long for a glimpse of my dear ones and of the home of my childhood. May God bless you all. I am glad father has such a large yield of potatoes. He deserves it. Oh may God bless him and mother for all their kindness to you. I believe God has blessed them already for it and that he will continue to bless them, not only in "basket and in store" but in their hearts and lives not only in this world but in heaven: for God has promised it -- "Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these ye have did it to me." I wish they knew how grateful I feel to them and how confident I am that God will hear my prayers and bless them. You must not let father's gruff ways hurt your feelings for he has a kinder heart than many suppose from his gruff manners. I know I never heard you mention this but I have seen your countenance fall at some of his expressions. I am happy to hear that you all strive to make each other happy. So long as all do this you will be happy in each other. I sometimes fear that jealousy may rankle where it will cause unhappiness to you and to father and mother. And this troubles me more when I think you would keep all to yourself and not breathe a word of it to me. May God protect you from the effects of jealous hearts and the lying tongue. If you do not understand me all the better. I hope you may never have reason to understand me in this.

I hope you have not concealed any of Ada's illness but that nothing but cold and a simple sore throat ails her. I approve of keeping her at home this winter. I really believe it better for her and you. I hope she will try to learn at home and that you will feel a deep interest in hearing her recite. Patience will be needed and it will give you opportunities to exercise yours. Impatience in a teacher is sure to discourage the pupil. It will be strictly necessary for you to remember this.

You say that you "have not got the pump fixed yet." It is funny there is not accommodation enough in some one to fix it for you. If I lived within one-half mile of a soldier's wife I think she would not have to carry water as far as you do if it required half a day to fix a pump for her if I had gumption enough to fix it. This makes me think soldiers are not thought much of in your neighborhood. If I was in your place I would send for one of Tracy's boys to fix it. You have been to some trouble for them.

I cannot understand why you are looking for me "all the time". I do not see any prospect of getting home at present or within the next three months only as I wrote to you and father. If you fail in that I see no chance of coming...Did you get the dime I sent to Ada?

My health continues in such a way that I hardly know how to report it. For a day or two I think I am gaining and then one day will put me back so that it will require three or four days to come up again. I am not able to do full duty nor have I been for several weeks. My legs are very weak and not able to do what I think they ought to do. I am troubled with pain just below the small of my back every night - sometimes so as to keep sleep away from me. Last night I was thus troubled and I got up built a fire and read five chapters in the Testament by its light. After sitting some time pondering on what I had read (1st + 2nd Books of John), I laid down again but it was near two o'clock before I went to sleep. I slept till most 4 and then woke up again, built another fire and have not laid down since. I do not feel sleepy but fatigued. I have eaten two small crackers today and may eat another before I go to bed. I do not eat because I am hungry but because I feel that I ought to. It is only when I think of victuals that I feel hungry. I do not call army rations victuals.

We drew full rations yesterday of Hardtack, Bacon, Coffee, and sugar for the first time in seven weeks. - (49 days). The men have eaten the tails, feet, shins, ears, lungs, melts, heads, and stomaches of cattle and everything else that could be made eatable by boiling, roasting, or frying. If some at home who have sll and just what they want to eat could try some of our army fare for a few weeks they might be able to sympathize with the soldier in his sufferings and exposures. The weather has been clear and pleasant for 5 days with cold frosty nights. Three of them I slept upon the ground without shelter of our tent. We have a very comfortable tent now, with fireplace and chimney. I was the mason. How I would like to have you see our present palace and the mountains and camps around us.

Thank you for the 8 cts. You need not add anything to the address on the envelops {sic}I return to you. Still praying that the blessings of heaven may rest upon you and our dear children I am as ever your devoted and faithful husband Edwin.

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Item No. 31
Camp near Chattanooga,
Thursday, November 19th, 1863

Miss Ada More,
Parkman, Ohio.

My Dear Child:

I thought I would spend a few moments in writing you a letter. I am not very well today, but hope that you are, and that when this letter reaches you it may find you all well and enjoying yourselves. I want you always to remember that God is your best friend and that he wants you to be good and love Him. When His son Jesus was here on the earth he took little children in his arms and blessed them, and he loves children now just as he did then. He hears you when you pray to him and watches over yo u every night. If you do wrong and feel sorry for it and tell God you are sorry and ask him to forgive you and you will try to do right, He will forgive you and love you for Jesus' sake.

Jesus said we must forgive those who wrong us just as we want God to forgive us when we do wrong. I want you to remember this and if you do, and love God, then you will grow up a good girl, be a good woman, be loved by all who know you and God will love and bless you on earth and take you home to heaven when you die, whe re there is nothing but love, and joy, and beauty forever.

I send you a piece cut from a newspaper which I think you will like to read. Your ma will explain it to you so you can understand it. Ask her all the questions you can think of till you do understand it.

I want you to write me a letter and tell me if you love Jesus, and if you mean to love him always. I hope you will tell Carrie about Jesus and teach her to love him and how to be good. It makes me very happy to hear that my dear Ada is so good to her ma and behaves so prettily at home, and when away from home, and I thank God every day for such a good little daughter and ask him to bless and keep you. I love God and your ma does, and everybody ought to for he is so good and kind.

Does your S.S. paper have any good stories in it? Do you learn anything by reading it? Won't you tell me of one thing you have learned from it that you did not know till it told you? I hope the good Lord will take care of both of us and let us see each other again here upon the earth. Tell Carrie that I love her and want her to be good and love her ma and you. Pray every day for your loving pa, Edwin R. MORE

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Item No. 32
Thursday, Nov. 19th 1863.

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

My Dear Wife

I have been writing a little letter to Ada and I hope you will do what you can to impress what I desire to teach her. Remember that we should not try to impress too many ideas at one time upon the mind of a child. The best way is to lead their minds into proper channels, and when we get their minds so interested as to lead them to ask questions to confine our answers to the answer of that one question, though we should watch for opportunities to give instruction on other subjects, but at another time, perhaps. We should be careful that the mind of the child should not become confused. Why Ada, and children of her age, are not really Christians is because they have not been properly lead to Jesus. It seems to me that a child may just as easily grow up a Christian as to be permitted to come up and then require conversion before they are Christians. I feel that parents do not realize as they ought the great responsibilities resting upon them. Should I ever be restored to my dear family I believe I should take more pains than ever to discharge the duties of a Christian parent, and so strive to present Christ and his requirements to our children that, with his blessing, they cannot refrain giving Him their hearts even when children. Oh may the Lord make you more than a helpmate in this good work, and lead us both to see our whole duty in this matter. Of course we should have difficulties to overcome, even in our own hearts, as well as in the circumstances surrounding us, but God's grace would sustain and cheer us. And if we should succeed. Ah, if we should! Would not the prize more than repay us? Yes a thousand fold. We are to expect trials and difficulties in all the duties of earth; but if we come off conquerer {sic, we shall hear these precious words of Jesus \"Well done, enter into the joys of thy Lord !"

Jesus had temptations, trials, enemies, false friends, and anguish of spirit but He endured all --and for whom? Was that he might save himself? No for he needed no Savior: he had never sinned. He endured all for me and you and any who would accept of the sacrifice he so willingly and freely made. But we are to endure trials and temptations for our own good. The sinfulness of man brought these trials upon the world and God in love and mercy has blessed them for our good. And how else could he have done? Ought he to have taken them all out of the world? You can easily see the absurdity of such a proposition. No these trials are the necessary consequent {sic}of our sins, and we should bless God that they are not thicker and heavier for most assuredly we deserve them. Will not heaven be happier, its joys more joyous, its beauties more perfect from the strong contrast between it and earth. The trials of earth are light compared with the true deserts of our sins. Th is fact is written upon the minds of the different peoples of the earth be they enlightened or savage, Christian or pagan -- no matter what their country or religious belief. Everywhere we find the idea prevalent that there is a future punishment. Why is t his so if our trials here are all our sins deserve. No, let us rejoice in trials knowing that they work patience, and are blessed to us for our own good and for our own happiness if we trust in God through Christ. They enlarge the heart, ennoble the mind, elevate the soul, and have a tendency to perfect the whole being and qualify us for higher degrees of joy and bliss than we could have otherwise enjoyed. Then with our trust in God let us renew our dilligence {sic}in his service and strive as Parents, as children, and as Christians to do our whole duty cheerfully, and as surely as God lives we shall have our reward.. May the Lord strengthen and bless us and our children.

Sunday I wrote you hopefully when speaking of my health. Monday I did not feel so well. Yesterday I was doing well I thought, but last night diarrhoea {sic}set in pretty strong. I had one spell of vomiting about midnight. Today I feel weak but have a pretty good appetite. If my appetite will not forsake me again I think I shall soon come up. There is nothing dangerous about the disease -- common camp diarrhea with a touch of piles -- unless subject to exposure to wet and cold. The weather for most two weeks has been pleasant. It is generally so warm in the afternoon that coats and blouses come off. It is so this afternoon.

I do not see any prospect of being able to come home before New Years much as I would love to do so. I do not want you to send me a box until I find out how it should be sent. No need of being in a hurry. Better wait until there is a prospect of its getting through than to send it and never hear from it again. I wish you would send me a box of those large pencil points. I think I have two boxes of them in the secretary in one of the small drawers. Send in a letter -- box and points.

I got an Advocate this week (Nov. 11th. I cannot imagine why I do not hear from mother. I hope I have done nothing to offend her. Give my love to father, mother, Grandma, and all. Tell them the armies still face each other here and watch each other very closely. We are not idle. If the weather continues good a few days longer you will read of us in the papers. Bro. E. P. Smith, of the Christian Commission sent word to me that he saw my name in the Cincinnati Gazette in connection with my hydraulic engine. I saw the correspondent of that paper and let him see my plan for the engine. I wish I could read what he has to say about it. May the blessing of God rest upon you is the prayer of your affectionate husband, Edwin.

Marginal inscriptions:
Bro. [E. P.] Smith gave me some ginger wine and plum jam. Someone was kind enough to eat them for me when I was out of my tent. I have some dried fruit that he sent me but I do not relish it much. The two who ate the jam and drank the wine will probably eat the fruit. I know them Y____ and F____. Frank [FALES] is the most profane and vulgar person in the company. Keep this to yourself.

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Item No. 33
Chattanooga
Nov. 30th1863

Mrs. E. R. More,
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife

As yesterday was a cold, windy day, and I was not feeling very well I did not write you. But feeling better today I thought I would write though only the 4th day since I wrote you. This you will see is No. 3 of the numbered letters, and with this I have sent you $15.00. I hope you will get all you can from the county so as to save as much as you can for us to start with when I get home. Keep me posted in your money affairs and above all things keep out of debt. Has Aunt Dimmis ever said anything about your $100.00 and whether you were to have interest or not on it while it remained in her hands.

How do you manage to get your wood? Can you not make a wood-bee [?] and thus relieve father of some work. You had better speak to him about it. I hear that in many sections of the North the school boys 14 to 17 are forming clubs to get wood and saw it up for soldier's [sic] wives. They are the right kind of patriots. There is hope for our country while such boys live.

I wish you would tell all about Edd and Deal -- whether they made anything by going west -- what they are now doing -- and what they intend to do this winter. If I was in Edd's place with his trade I should go to work at it. He and Deal would enjoy themselves much better and it would not only be better for them but for father and mother. What is his trade good for unless he makes use of it? In five years at the most, he might be owner of a flourishing shop and business.

Is Albert prospering in any way. I fear that he made a move when he quit preaching that will prove a curse to him. God was with him while he preached and if he had been faithful as a minister God would have blessed him pecuniarly [sic] as well as spiritually.

I do not like Sallie's sending you a dollar. I have told her so. Should she try it on again just keep the dollar and thank her for it as a present. Then let her tell where the joke is.

I think I am getting better slowly.-- I am almost entirely rid of every symptom of piles and the diarrhea seems to be letting go its hold upon me. If the weather continues cool and clear for a couple of weeks and I do not have to expose myself I think I shall be rid of disease and begin to flesh up again. I feel the want of an appetite most of anything now. Could I only have some home victuals for the next two weeks I would not begrudge $50.00. I would gladly give $1.00 a plateful for mashed potatoes or buttered toast. But neither can be had here.

I cannot tell you anything about the movements of the army now as the war seems to have passed away from here. To be sure there is an army here and large camps meet the eye in every direction but the rebels are gone. At Ringold on Friday we captured 7,000 rebels and 27 cannon. If Burnside, and the men sent from here to his assistance, give Longstreet and his rebs. As good a drubbing as the rebels got here, and Meade does the same for Lee in Virginia where is the next fight to be? Wont rebellion be about used up? Should all these happen the new 300,000 men will never be called into the field. Oh, may the Lord grant that peace may soon come.

I am again anxious for a letter from you and mother. Does Albert}read my letters to father and mother? I notice that you nor mother seldom mention him. Is he not on good terms with our folks?

Give my love to father, mother, and Grandma and tell them how happy I should be could I see them once more. My respects to any who enquire. Tell Ada I often think of her and Carrie and ask God to take care of them. You know how much I love you and pray for you, and how happy I should be could you be folded to the heart of your own true husband Edwin

Marginal Notes:
Ask father to send me the Tribune that tells about our victories here last week. I would like an occasional Tribune after he has read it. He will give them to you for me. Send envelopes for two or three letters if you please.

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Item No. 34
Christian Commission Rooms
Chattanooga, Sunday, Dec. 6th, '63

Mrs. E. R. More
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Wife

Though I am feeling weak and tired still I am anxious to hold a few moments pentalk with you, the one dearest of all the earth to me. I long to be with you and the children and where I might see the faces and hear the voices of loved ones. I should feel so happy could I lie upon the lounge and see you and the children moving about the house and kneel with you at the family altar to thank and praise God for all his goodness amd mercies t owards us. I do bless God for his kindness in taking me from the camp and giving me a place here at the Christian Commission, so comfortable and where I am surrounded by Christian friends whose kind and sympathetic hearts have brought them from the comfor ts of their own firesides to minister to the wants of the suffering soldier in camp and hospital. Mrs. Dickerson prescribes what I shall eat, drink, and take as medicine. As medicine I am taking 3 times a day a tablespoonful of Blackberry Syrup which Chaplain Thomas and Mrs. D. Made here. With this I take as a tonic blackberry wine made pretty warm with cayenne pepper. I take this just when I please. I eat toast, rice, sweetened Johnny cake, codfish soup and soda crackers and drink tea. I am going to steep that {sic}that you sent me and drink it pretty soon. Mrs. Dickinson's son, a sergeant in the 24th Wis., just came in and Mrs. D. gave me an introduction to him. He seems like an intelligent young man.

My duties here will be those of clerk when Bro. [E. P.] Smith may think me able to perform such dutied. I am treated exactly as if I were a member of the Commission and not as a soldier.

Mrs. Dickinson says that I am really a member of the Commission and not a soldier now. I am invited to take part in the worship morning and evening and treated, with the exception of being asked to preach, the same as the other members of the Commission family. This family consists now of two women Mrs. D. And Mrs. Harris, one Negro woman and 6 or 8 ministers of different denominations.

I have slept upon the floor every night but one. Yesterday Bro. [E. P.] Smith got me some lumber and I made a bunk for myself on which I slept last night much better than for two or three weeks past. I did not have to get up during the night. I was pretty sick all day yesterday and suffered considerable pain. Today I am almost free from pain but I am cold. My feet and hands are hardly ever warm.

I attended preaching at 10 1/2 this forenoon down stairs. There is a Bible Class there now .(1 1/2)

As soon as I finish this sheet I am going to assist Mrs. D. In picking codfish to pieces for soup for the sick and wounded in hospital.

There may be such a thing as Bro. [E. P.] Smith sending me to Cincinnati on business for the Commission. If he does I shall try to come home for three or four days. The way will be opened for me to see you this winter if the Lord wills.

That I am here, is through the blessing of God, I truly believe. Tell father, mother, + Grandma to remember me in their prayers.

May God bless and keep you and give us the pleasure of meeting face to face ere many weeks is the prayer and desire of your true and affectionate huband Edwin

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Item No. 35
Chattanooga, Tenn.,
Sabbath Evening, Dec. 6th 1863

Mrs. Johnson More,
Parkman, Ohio

Dear Mother

Yours of the 15th of last month came to hand this evening and I reply immediately. I thank you for the good words your letter contains + even the 10 cts. You sent in it; not because of the value of the money but because it is an evidence, a tangible one, of your regard. How it cheers my heart to think the dear ones at home care for me and that they talk about me and above all that they pray for me. Oh I do bless God that I have a praying father, mother, and wife. Your prayers have strengthened me, and God has blessed me in answer to your prayers. Within a few days I have received evidence of the care of God over them that put their trust in him. You know that for near three months I have been unable to do duty on account of piles and chronic diarrhea. I had become quite weak, had lost over thirty pounds of flesh, and every day was suffering pain and slowly failing. Our excuse for a surgeon was giving me a medicine the principel {sic}ingredient of which was Nitrate of Silver (lunar caustic). My bowels were completely cauterized and I felt satisfied that I must die of I remained in the hands of the surgeon. He would not send me to hospital, neither would he mark me quarters but Duty or Light Duty when I was not able for even the latter. I asked God to take me away, to give me some place where I might not be exposed to cold and frost, where I might be properly cared for. How this was to be effected I could not imagine. My only hope was in the providence of God. Now I see God's hand manifested, and that, too, in a way that had not entered my mind. We were ordered to move camp. In doing this we had to pass the Christian Commission Rooms. It was just sundown -- we had over two miles yet to camp, I stopped to rest a few moments. Bro. [E. P.] Smith urged me to stay all night --- said I ought not go any farther in my weak condition -- that I must not lie upon the ground without shelter, as I would have to do if I went on. I staid {sic} all night; the next day and night; and the next day Bro. [E. P.] Smith sent in a written to the Gen. Asking that I might be detailed to assist the C.C. at their rooms here as a clerk. His request was granted and I am now "part and parcel" of the U.S.C.C. and sleep beneath a roof nights and have kind hearts + hands around me. Should I not feel grateful to God for such a manifestation of his goodness and care? Oh pray for me that I may be more grateful and more faithful. Verily God is good unto me -- better, much better than I deserve. I am almost encouraged to believe that He will so order events that before New Years I shall be permitted to worship with you and father and the dear ones at home, around the dear old family alter which you and father erected years ago, and where you have so many times prayed for your children.

I think that I have the diarrhea checked and with the blessing of God upon the means used I hope ere many weeks to be restored to health. I ask you to remember me in your prayers that I may be faithful to God under all circumstances. I want to be a pure Christian, filled with the spirit of Christ.

I have attended preaching today and led a prayer meeting at 3 o'clock in our rooms below. My love to father, grandma, Frank, and all. May God bless and keep you is the prayer of Your Affectionate Child E. R . More

 


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