December 11, 1864 letter by 63rd Indiana officer still reflecting on Battle of Franklin

My Dear Wife,

Day before yesterday I commenced a letter to you but it was so cold yesterday and this morning that I didn’t get it finished for this morning’s mail.  But I have just got yours of Dec 4th and glad to hear from you as I always am, but when the interval between letters gets long as was the case this time I get anxious. You had evidently not got the two or three letters I have written since the Franklin battle. Yes I was there in command of our Brigade skirmish line when the battle commenced.  But our Heavenly Father has spared me through another fierce conflict where many fell, more worthy than I. It is impossible for me to give you any real idea of the fierceness of the charge of the Rebbles. Or the gallantry with which it was met by the boys in blue. You will find by perusing my journals many little insights of a soldier’s life which I do not give in letters.  I hope you will not give it to others to read and criticize nor criticize it too closely yourself, for I know you will make many allowances when I come to tell you the circumstances under which it was written during a ceaseless nine month’s campaign.

I am glad that the poor of Evansville are so well remembered by the farmers of Vanderburgh. I shall always be a friend to the poor. Got the coat and it is generally admired by the Officers for its beauty and fineness, though it doesn’t fit as well as military rules would prescribe. However you can judge some by the enclosed photos how it makes me look. The package sent by Tom I haven’t yet received, but I will get it I suppose. Don’t bother about the gold pen.

Mrs Harris must have a very interesting time. Well don’t let her get mad at you. She spoke very highly of you and Mother Eaton in her letter. I wish you had some pleasant companion until I get home, but then you have peaceable neighbors who will I hope afford you protection. As to my coming home Christmas don’t you flatter yourself up so much a belief and then suffer a terrible disappointment, for there is no certainty at what time I can get to come home but I hope to see you sometime this winter. But it will depend a great deal on what the Rebs will do and how the weather is for campaigning. This has been a terrible cold day and I have lain under my blankets all day. But I hope you will plenty of wood and coal to keep you and Baby comfortable all the winter long. Write soon to your affectionate one,  Lee

Source: The Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection, Copyright 2012

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