4th Kentucky U.S. Cav soldier writes of Rebel guerrilla activity around middle Tennessee

Wartrace, Tenn.
July 9th, 1862

Dear Wife,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessings. The boys from Hardin are all well except Jo & Hugh Patterson. They are both right puny and have been for some time. They have got a discharge and will be at home in two or three weeks. There is a new doctor now and he says they are disabled and that they shall both be discharged and the Colonel and Captain are both willing. The men here are very healthy as yet but it is getting awful hot down here. I lost my office sure enough but I have got an easier one although there is not so much pay in it. I have got the office of Colonel’s Orderly and mail carrier to Nashville. I go to Nashville every other day and come back the next day. The cars leave here at 11 o’clock and get to Nashville at 3. Then they leave Nashville at 10 a.m. and get back here at 2 p.m. There was 4 soldiers killed near Murfreesboro day before yesterday by guerrillas. Two of them belonged to the regiment. We have been expecting to be attacked for some time. But no rebels —– as yet. The Col. and Captain —– but very little about —– me staying away so long. And the Capt. A —– been better than com —– since I come back. I don’t know when I will get home again. I don’t expect there will be any more furloughs given to anybody. There is a general order from the Secretary of War to grant no more furloughs. We learn from the papers there has been some hard fighting at Richmond and I am afraid our men got the worst of it and I expect the war will last two years yet or longer. You must get along the best you can and try and be contented until I can get home again. You must write as often as you can. I would like to hear from home every day if I could. Jo has not got a letter for 3 or 4 weeks and he don’t like it a bit. We are expecting the paymaster every day and as soon as we are paid I will send you some more money. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.

A. A. Harrison


Absolom A. Harrison
Company D, 4th Regiment, Kentucky Calvary Volunteers (Union)

A. A. Harrison sent the following letters to his wife Susan Allstun Harrison. Susan’s grandmother was Nancy Lincoln Brumfield, Thomas Lincoln’s sister and President Abraham Lincoln’s aunt.

These letters were transcribed by A. A.’s great-grandson Ronald A. Harrison who introduces the letters with the following background:

“A. A. Harrison and his brother Jo (Joel) apparently got caught up in a recruiting drive and enlisted in the Fourth Kentucky Calvary, U.S.A., without even going home to tell their wives, Susan and Martha. The first letter appears to be letting Susan know what has become of her husband. The two brothers served honorably for roughly a year. At the end of that time A. A. was medically discharged. At roughly the same time Jo died in a military hospital in Nashville. Only recently has anyone in the family known Jo’s fate.”

Letters found on this web page January 2008.

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