Joseph McHenry Adkinson Letters


The following letters are available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.). A finding aid is available.

Hanover students from the following classes transcribed the letters: His234 "Studies in American Cultural History: The Middle Class" (Fall 2006), GW143 "Autobiography: History" (Fall 2009), GW144 "Autobiography: History" (Winter 2010), and GW144 "Autobiography: History" (Winter 2013), all taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier.

Thanks to Patricia Schuring and to Ruth Adkinson, Adkinson family genealogist, for transcription assistance.

Joseph Adkinson, letter to Irvin, 10 Feb. 1863, folder 11, box 1, Adkinson Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Erin Torline, HC 2013

Camp 3rd Indiana
Culpeper Co Va

Brother Irvin

Yours of the 23 of last month came to hand in good time[.] was glad to see it and more so to get the Photo, I think it the most natural I ever saw[.] it did me all most as much good as to see you[.] was sorry to hear that you had bin so unfortunate in your sleighride[.] I was all ways very fond of that [bur's?] but dont think that very pleasant paying to dearly for it[.] dont you[?] But on that day I was allmost as badly fixed[.] we was on the march from Culpeper to Washington a distance of 35 miles[.] it was as cold in the afternoon as I ever felt[.] we mad afire and lay ourselves down to sleep on a pile of pine brush and slept sweetly[.] you would hardly think man could become so hardy he can stand cold allmost as well as the horse[.] so you see if you had bin with me you would have to no very pleasant time of it[.]

Well Irvin we have no niews to write[.] the boys are all well[.] Sam is in fine spirits Now[.] Fogelman I know but little of. Nor do I wish to he is the same pintle[.] you need not tell this though[.] Levi is all right The shorter the letter the better unless one has something to write so I close write soon your


Joseph Mc Adkinson

Joseph Adkinson, letter to family, 5 March 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 12:2, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Emily Fehr, HC 2013.

3rd Indiana Caverly
York Town, Va
March 5th / '63

To all at Home,

Father Mother & Sisters & Friends We are here[.] arrived here last evening late[.] have bin on arrade the particulars of which you will get in my next[.] the old third is all right[.] co A lost not man or horse[.] I havent saw Sam or Fogleman since we started[.] Levi is well[.] We expect to take transports to return part of the way in a fiew days[.] now you must excuse me for the present as we have bin in the sadle for 7 days allmost all the time both day & night[.] write often[.]

Your Son & Brother,


Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to Irvin Adkinson, 16 March 1863 Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Fd. 12:3, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.)
Transcription and notes by Rob Lafary, HC 2013.

Camp 3rd Indiana
Culpepper Co. VA
March 16th, '63

Bro Irvin,

Yours was here & waiting to be read when I returned from the raid[.] You have doubtless heard that KillPatric has made an extensive raid to Richmond or at least to their 2 line of works within 1 1/2 miles of their capitol[.] I had the honor of being a member of that band of thieves, as the Richmond papers are pleased to call it & [George?] times are bad eating hams and other good things of the land through which we journeyed[.] Had the pleasure of seeing more of this state which is the best thing we soldiers get[,] but enough of the raid now[.] I will try to give you a discripsion of the raid & country & towns through which we travled but for the present be content to know that Levi & my self was all you kin that was in the raid[.] I am at the old camp as you will see by the commensment of this letter[.] Levi hasent returned yet he went with another squad[.] Look for [?] today[,] have no fears, but he is alright [I am?] as well now[.] Now I want those photos if they cost $2.00 I shall send the 50 cents in this I close by bidding gooby.


Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to family, 3 April 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Library, Hanover College ( Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Clint Horine, HC 2013.

Camp near Brooks Station
Wednesday April 3rd / 1863

To all at home

I find myself to write home once more[.] we are all right sid up and enjoying ourselves hugely[.] we are now with the company and I like it much better than I thought I should here[.] there is always something to keep one from thinking of one thing long at a time[.] we came to the company last Monday was payed of yester day[.] I received sixty eight dollars and thirty cents which is one month and twenty two days[,] and twenty five dollars bounty[.] sent sixty dollars home[.] Fogleman and I sent ours together one hundred and thirty dollars in all it is expressed to Pleasant in Veavy and I will send you another in this[.] Foge says for you to pay John Crandle twenty dollars and use the rest as you think best[.] now as to mine take it and make the best use of it you can, and if you don't need it let the boys have it to keep them at school but if you need it be sure to use it and let the younger hands be a little discommoded now[.] what I mean for you to use it to help you for I feer you in trying to help us will put to much on yourselves and if Leigh Manford hasent paid his yet[,] I wish you to give him a punch under the short ribs and keep at him until he does pay and use it as you think best and when you write next from home tell me how Hugh is getting along for I haven't herd but once since I left home[.] have written to him twice but receive no answers[.] now I have sayed all I have to say on thiss subject with the exception that I have money enough coming to me to keep me aflote untill next payday[.] have fifteen dollars[.]

N.B. Sam wants you to draw his for Rinda[.] shall send the [marked out?] order in this

We were out on a grand inspection today and I tell you it is intolerable to nice show to a hole brigad of calvalry all well dressed with Boots blacked so nice but isent very pleasent to us set primp up on a horse for three or four hours in the sun and this evening I went out and picked as many bueries as I want to eat[.] here they grow in abundance but are not very large[.] now I am thrue for this time But remain yours as ever[.]

Jo Mc Adkinson

Joseph Adkinson, letter to family, 11 April 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 12:5, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.)
Transcription and notes by Jason Doehrman, HC 2013 (transcription also by Michela Jones, HC 2007).

Soldiers Rest Washington

April 11, '63

To all at home,

You see I am in the Capitol and feel as large as anyone that is no better fed then I[.] We have bred and coffee for breakfast[,] Bred and soop at dinner[,] and bred and spoilt beefe for supper[.] So you see it is bread all the time and we are all getting fat on it in the bargain was wayed last night[.] My wait is one hundred and forty two pounds[.] this is more than I have wayed for one year[.] So you see soldiering goes well with me and the rest with the exception of Levi[,] he seems to be under the weather[,] though not very serious I hope[.] the change of grub make on feel alittle doncy until one gets use to it[.] War nuse are is plenty here now everyone thinks the war is all most over me excepted[.] I cant see the end yet[,] wish it was and everythings all right side up once more[.] The nues today is that they have taken Charleston[,] which I dont believe[,] and the other day it was that there had bin mischief in Richmond[.] The women having broke into there stores and helping themselves in general[.] Mr Jefferson Daniel ordered his Troops to stop it[.] They refused to have anything to do with it in any shape and before that the word was that Buragard hat huddle himself up in Mexico fore safety[.] all untrue I suppose[.] What will come next I do not know shall be prepared[.] We have one of the best Captains in the world never putting duty on one when he can help it[.] Our regiment is in Virginia now but are ordered to Meriland as ordily to carry messages as they say the third will go to hell with a message and bring it back and never get scorched[.] This is gass I supose but it is certain that they have more then a fair proportion of this kind of duty[.]

Shal send Minnie a photograph of me since I became a soldier and want you write ofte[,] all of you and dont wate for me to write as I don't have the chance that one has at home[.] Here we have the noys of camp and in fact not much disposition to write[.]

Yours as ever
Jo Mc Adkinson


Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to sister, 25 April 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 12:6, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind).
Transcription and notes by Morgan Rumple, HC 2013.

April 25, [1863?]

Dear Sister,

for the first time in my life I find myself seatted in Bed with pen in hand to write to you[.] not in here because I am unwell far from that I never felt better but here we have a habit of getting any place where we can write[.] shal try to give you some of our life[.] the first thing is to get up[.] this is the hardest[.] the next to fry some meet[,] make coffee[.] for here every one drinks it[.] but one thing we don't have to do that is wash the dishes for we dont have any[.] then feed cattle[.] nothing more til dinner[.] we have meet coffee hard tack[.] this is cakes mixed with warter and some of the as old as this war[.] then supper and feed then to bed[.] our bed is made of pine Brush and hay[.] the roof is a small canvas some of thre pieces[.] those pieces are about four feet swrare[.] we drive two forks on the ground put a pole on these then draw one of those peces on each sid buttoned on top of this pole the other edge peged to the ground then the therd pece is drawn over the end[.] then we have the house up and we crall in at the others end[.] it is one of those that I am writing and it is very pleasant place all ways dry if rightly built[.] now you see how we live

I must close for I have entirely dreaned my stock of news[.] write often[.] direct your letters to Washington in care of Captain Patton, Co A. 31nd Cavalry.

Yours Truly

Joseph Adkinson

Joseph Adkinson, letter to brother, 25 April 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 1:12, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Sara Shake, HC 2007.

J. McHenry Apr 63
Pleasantons headquarters
Potomac Creek Bridge

April 25, / 63

Dear Brother,

I find myself seatted [sic] this pleasant morning to answer your letter which was received in good time it baring [sic] date of the fiftheenth [sic] and came to hand on the 20 and I was one of the happyest [sic] boys in Camp never in my life did I appreciat [sic] what a good thing it is to get a letter before we are now sepperated [sic] Sam Henry Rogers and myself are hear at headquarters in the cattle traid [sic] we have nothing to do but feed 20 cattle and our horses plenty of food all the time for the horses and now and then drive in some more our horses are getting wary how long this will last is very uncertain the souldier [sic] never knows one day what he will be engaged in the next [I rain?] this is the life of the souldier [sic] if it was one thing all the time we would all die with the blew but as it is the time passes very swiftly the boys are all in the very best of spirits think that Richmond will soon be ours and are eager for the fite [sic] the roads are not in very good trim for marching at this time as it has bin [sic] raining for the last [Tovo?] days but this morning it looks like fair wether [sic] for a while every thing is backward in fact this part of Virginia is all most played out if it ever was any accordant [sic] this looks very [doubtful?] ther [sic] is nothing here now but Camps and they are scattered on every hill and in every hollow We are within fifty milds [sic] of Richmond and three of the river which sepperats [sic] the army and feel more secure than if I was fifty milds [sic] farther back for here we are surround on all sides by troops and the very best of troops and in the very best of helth [sic]as for myself I feel just the very best kind fat and contented and my bowels are as [regnal?] as the sun moveing [sic] at sunrise but the horse inent [sic] very fat yet but bids fare to get that way Sam is as harty [sic] as a buck and has one of the best mares in the service so you see we are all rite [sic] would like to meet you at home at vacation were it possible but it riend [sic] am glad that you are going they must be lonesome all of us gone give them all the incouragement [sic] you can write of ten

yours truly,

Joseph M. Adkinson, letter to father, 27 April 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Fd. 12:8, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Andrea Deutch, HC 2013.

Potomac Creek Station

Near General Pleasanton s Headquarters

The April 27 / 63

Dear Father,

As an opportunity offers I shall write home once more. I have written almost a dozen letter and haven't received but one that was from Irvin and it was one of the best things I have seen since I left home. I dont dout but you at home have written but it is very uncertain whether we get letters or not. Irvins was but a short time incoming to me[.] Here to day and somewhere else to morrow[.] Letters have a wild goose chase to get to us[.] The rest of the boys have got some letters and there is one for me somewhere if I could get to it[,] can hear of it but cant get hold of it.

Now I shall endever to tell you how we all endever to get along[.] We have all had good helth. But Wm. Hrilly he has rather a rough time of it. I stayed with him all the time until Sam got uneasy lest I should get sick and he succeeded in getting Cappain Patton to send for me with the word that wantted me come to camp[.] So he saddle up his horse and mine and came post haste and since that I havent had the privilege of staying with him much but he is well taken care of[.] He is now in a fair way to get well. Sam and I are now in the cattle buisines[.] Have nothing to but feel them and our horses. I have traded horses twice since I left[.] Once with Foge for the John Crandle filley and then with Sam. I now have one of the best little horses[,] he is fifteen hands high and very heavy and one of the best travelers in the service[.] He is dark Bay[,] have him even up for the little mare. Every thing is in an uprore here to day[.] A battle is at hand[.] The crises will be pased before this reaches you.

Well Mary and Jane[,] I often wonder what you are doing[.] Whether you are going to school or planting corn and who makes the furrows and gereat many other things[.] Want you to write to me[,] all of you[,] and when ever chance offers I shall write shall endever to write home once a week[.] Must close as all most time to feed the cattle this just suits me[.] When you write[,] write all about what is going on at the old neighborhood[,] how Uncle Abe gets along, and Jim and who he lays upto now[,] how often Sara Smith comes to see you and whether Allen had got well or not[.] Now you have a text[.]

Yours truly,

Jo. M. Adkinson

Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to brother, 12 July 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Brian Gunter, HC 2013.

The Old Battle Field of Antatom
July 12, '63

Dear Brother,

After so long I find myself seated to penn you fiew lines and but fiew for we expect every moment an engagement. Allready this morning we have saddle twice [.] We expect a hard fight here soon[.] The troops are eager for it, they seem very sertain of what the issue will be[.] I have no time to write, haven't had for the last two weeks as we have marched every day[.] I first herd that you ws at aunt Nancies and a good time you must have[.] Would like to be there to but cant be there and here to[.] Want you to write[.]

Jo Mc Adkinson

P.S. the boys are all right and in good spirits considering the hard duty. Jo

Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to sister, 18 July 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 1:12:10, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcribed by Jessica Davidson, HC 2013

Camp Near Burlin
Saturday July 18th , '63

Dear Sister

Yours bareing date of the first came to hand last night[.] I felt very old before receiving it but after reading it I felt much better[.] We have marched continually for the last six weeks not stoping to rest more than one day in any one place and not often that long[.] We came here yesterday at noon[.] Hope we will stay a day or two at least that the horses may rest alittle which they need very much as they have had but very little to eat and the roads are muddy as it has rained all most evry night for the last week[.] Now Effie it would do you good to see how we live here it is so grand to live after our stile we have alittle tent some four feet square that is two pieces of this side drawn over a pole in the center and peged down at the corners to the ground[.] Some times we have some straw but more frequen two rails to lay on this two or three skins tumble and sleep ever so sweetly until morning then arise and shake themselves as a horse would do after taking anap on his bed of hay, then breakfast is to get[.] This is composed of salt pork rosted on a stick (which isent very bad after all) some hard tack and coffee and sugar[.] The coffee I don't use but suply its place with water sweetened and on this we live very well. It is very helthy die[.] Our horses have oats and corne and hay and grass some times and at others nothing at all and but very little of that[.] My rideing fat horses is played out for the present[.] Hope If I get home once more to be able to ride one once more[.] You and Nan musent let Father sell the little Black but coax Mother to let you ride her very often[.] Don't let her do any thing faster than in pace as that is the gate I wish her travel[.] Don't care how fast she does that and tell Oliver I want him to have her pace just as fast as he can and do it right for this is to be one sorce of happiness to me should I be so fortunate as to get home[.] I would like to be with you, you don't know how well to well to tell but as a year is soon gone I shall soon be there[.] But one year here is as long as two or three at home where one has evry thing that is necessary for his comfort and happiness[.] Dont think me sick of my contract for I feel that I did but my duty in comeing here and then there is the conscripsion. It makes one more content[.] Oh it would do me so much good to hear that six or a half dozen moore field rats had drawn the lucky ticket there[.] Oliver Smith first[,] Squire Hulley next[,] Fletcher Bellamy next and so on[.] It would be more than huge and I feel that I could indure every thing and fatten on it too[.] I can imagine I see them now the first with a sigar with his head swelled to an immoderate size and his fiddle in his arms propped back in his chair with his Mother boxing at his ears[.] Every thing plain before me and I feel as though the next word would be come to dinner[.] Oh I long to hear that word spoken by agood cook once more and that at home to joke you all and see you and Minnie and Nancy laugh first becose you could then[.] I have such a rich joke on Oliver and Will to see Will limping round with soar toes[.] Ann tramped his toes so that he could limp easy and by the means escape the draft[.] How I should like to have seen him grin and make long faces and herd her tell him it hurts but you must stand it or the draft which is worse[.] So Willy bare it patiently for my sake which he did no dout and then Rinda think it is so ridiculous that that Hillsdale rat should bring the contemped of the whole crowd upon her by sitting with her in church[.] As a just punishment she had forced him against his will to walk some four mildes and not on a pavement[.] She thinks she has lernt him a lesson which he never will forget though, he should live till he dies[.] You may think it strange how I become sourse to our happiness Rinda and useto keep up a correspondence of all importance[.] I must close yours as I want to write to Mary and Father and Mother[.]

Your Bro


Joseph Adkinson, letter, 24 July 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcribed by Leland Alyea, HC 2013.

Back in Virginia once more

Friday July 24the 163

To all at home

Tomorrow it will be one week since I wrote last I am still well have bin grunting for the last week have had the head ache but to day I feel allright Sam is a little under the wether tired I think is the matter Foge is better than he was when I last wrote the rest are all well that is the boys that you know we are stational at Chester Gap to watch the rebbs we had a little scratch day before yesterday in which we done some of the cleanest gitting out of the way the has bin done for some time they brought in strong force of Infantry we had but afiew Cavalry but it did good running when ordered to evry man save him selfe we lost two wounded, one killed one or two taken the killed was Peet Bright of Craig Township this is all at this time your Son and Brother

Jos, M. Adkinson

Joseph Adkinson, letter to Irvin Adkinson, 18 August 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 11:12, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Nate Weber, HC 2013

3rd Ind Camp VW
August 18, 1863

Dear Brother Irvin,

Yours of the 13 inst came to hand yesterday was glad to hear from you once more[.] It had bin so long since you wrote that I had concluded you had quit altogether & I dident know where to write that you would get my letter[.] Well Irvin I find myself well this morning but my strength is limited yet that is gaining fast[.] I am the litest I have bin for some time[.] My weight is 125 lbs but I can soon make that up[.] I have bin weighing 145 since I came out this little turn of fever is all the bad helth I have had since lieveing home[.] As to coldes I haven't bin bothered at all with them[.] Don't know how it will be this winter[,] feer it a little but I shall take just as good care of myself as posable and trust to Providence for the result[.] Now I hardly know what to write unless I tell you something of the other boys[.] Sam is well and fat and saucy[.] Fogleman is cloce to my side writing[.] Hes the cook for the Choronel[,] has the best kind of a place here, he gets plenty of nice things to eat, he seems very well satisfied[.] Levi is with the company[.] He isent very well to day, he had a turn of the collie yesterday which worked its self off with the dierrea[.] The doctor told him he had eaten to much corn[.] This is some thing we get plenty of here without price or money but take it for the carrying[.] We take sheep to when we are so lucky as to find one so you see we live tolerable well in some places[.] Old VA has almost played entirely out[,] it look like a God forsaken country and I realy believe that God has given it up entirely to its sins[.] I have heard that man could sin until he would cease to strive with his spiret[.] That is exactly the case with the country now[.] I have written about all for this time[.] Remember to write often for that is my greatest pleasure to read letters from my Bro & Sisters[.] My chance to answer is bad but I will send you some things[.]

Youre Brother
Jo Adkinson

Joseph Adkinson, letter to Effie Adkinson, 15 Oct. 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 12:13, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Katie Gahimer, HC 2013.

Douglas Hospital Washington
October 15th,1863

Sister Effie,

I find myself seated once more to write to you[.] My health is improving sloly all the time I manage to keep out of bead all the day now[.] Levi improves very sloly if he improves at all which I think he does[.] The two Henries are both better[.] Tell Mr. Rogerses folks that Henry is sick but getting better and is taken good care of[.] If they want to write to him they must direct to Washington D. C. in care of Douglas Hospital and you will do the same[.] For the present at least I am not takeing medicine[,] haven't taken any since I came here[.] It was a mericul that I came here at all but happened not to be able to ride on the day the army was ordered to move[.] Was sent to Culpeper there they were sending evry one here so I came right on[.] Am not sorry will get rested and well again and learn some thing to by the way I now now how our sick and wounded fair here and it is as good as could be expected. Infact it is good. I have but one objection to the grub[.] They put union in 1/2 of it at least all the gravies have their share[.] Now this suits most and they have to pleas the majority and the rest must eat it or nothing[.] I should like to be at home to eat 2 or 3 times at least I mean a day[.] I shouldn't care how many days but still I satisfied[.] I learned to take things as I find them nearly always contented with my lot[.] You must enjoy your selves[,] it does me good to hear that evry thing gay and happy at home.

Your brother


Joseph Adkinson, letter to Mary Adkinson, 22 October 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, 1:12:14, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Brandon Doub, HC 2013

Douglas Hospital Washington DC
October 22nd, '63

Dear Sister Mary,

I seat myself to write you a short letter[. ] I am still here all though almost as well as ever[.] I am detailed here as nurse. You may think it strange that I would undertake such a task[.] My reasons were that by doing so I would be out of the rain and not have to sleep on the damp ground nor be exposed to all kinds of wether gerneraly[.] Here I have my bed and groob regular with exercise enough to make me enjoy it and that Hugely to I tell you I haven't yet bin out in town[.] Want to go out next Sunday to Catholic church have some curiosity to see and hear them once at least[.] The sisters that nurse are all Catholicks[.] All ware the black vail[,] are very strict[,] insist on my going to mass which is held at six on the morning[.] Haven't bin yet perhaps shall soon[,] don't know[.] Have bin to meeting 2 since I came here herd 2 good sermons the first since I left home[.] Now some things over six month that seems to me like a long time to be from home but I must stay 9 more before I can come back to enjoy the blessings of a quiet and happy home[,] one of the best things that man was ever blessed with[.] One dosent know the blessing of home until he has bin deprived of them for in time[.] Then they begin to show in their proper light there is nothing so good as a home blessed with a Father & Mother and sisters who all lived in peas & love together[.] My though of home are my hapiest hope that at some time I shall again be a member of such a home is my most cherished hope[.] Evry other fades into oblivion at the approach of this[.] I then to once more used those old places where I have to church so often gone and mingle once more among those that I useto[.] All this is in the futur and then you will be allmost grown to a woman while the rest will be married and out of the way[.] How we will saddle up the horses and take pleasure rides where we wish to go, so don't get married and spoil all my fun[.] Now Mary I want you to write and tell me all the girls secrets[,] who is going with who and if they are getting to thick to stir with a stick[.] Now you [under stang] I want to know all about Home & how much Father & Mother stand the times [&] what Father thinks of the war.

Your brother

Mc to Molly

P.S. Direct your letters to Douglas Hospital Washington D.C., Ward 8[.] Write all of you[,] I have plenty of time to read them, Mc

Joseph McHenry Adkinson to Irvin Adkinson, 28 Oct. 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind).
Transcription and notes by Mona Dajani, HC 2013.

Jo M Adk - Oct. 63

Douglas Hospital Washington
October 28th / 63

Brother Irvin,

Your letter baring date of the 10 inst is now before me[.] I was very glad to get it[.] it had bin so long since I had received one from you and not knowing where to write to[.] was glad you had found something to do in this time of trouble[.] every one should be doing something of profit[.] hope you will find your school a pleasant one & have good times every way[.] I want you to tell me in your next how far you are from W.G.M Stones and how he prospers for I suppose you have bin there[.] you see from the commensment of this that I am at the seat of Government and in a hospital but I am not sick at least not dangerously so[.] was when I came here[.] had the inter myten Fever[.] was tolerable sick ten days[.] am hear now nursing those that are sick[.] Levi is here he has had the Tyfoid Fever[.] was very sick so sick that he talked every thing but good sense[.] he isent ration al all times yet but is much better[.] he can sit up some is out of danger unless he gets it back set[.] he is almost deaf. I missed all the last fitings[.] the Caverly has had some very hard times in the last 3 weeks[.] They started on a move the day I left[.] I received a letter from Sam yester day[.] he was so unlucky as to get his horse so badly wounded as to have to shoot him[.] this is all the casulties he spoke of[.] his letter was very short[.] my horse is well a gain[.] suppose Sam will ride him until he gets one of his own[.] expect to go to the regiment in a few days as Levi is out of danger now if he takes good care of him self[.] he is one of the queer kind of sick men just like uncle Nick always in trouble himself and making trouble for the others[.] I received a letter from [Jared] yester day he is in Arcansas, now and well[.] now I will close by asking you to write often[.]

Your Brother,


Joseph Adkinson, letter to his sister Mary, 6 November [1863?], Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College, (Hanover, Ind.)
Transcription and notes by Allyson Craig, HC 2013.

Douglas Hospital Washg DC
Fryday Morning November 6 [illeg.]

Dear Sister

Your most wellcom & interesting letter came to hand yester evining I was glad to hear such good news and so much of it there was the most news in it of any I have received in any place for some time it give me some light as to what was going on at home but enough of this I am still here [and?] well and fat as ever[.] in tend to get my picture taken and send it to Jane sometime if ever[.] I am very glad Mother has at last som picture[.] now she ought to Orinda's and have them in the same case[.] Rinda ought to be taken standing two[.] Oliver was very clever to send you his photograph[.] think he mite have rememberd his Brother Jo yet such things are trouble some out here[.] Tell Effie I would like to know whether she has [any Lady?] that I sent home cased up or not as I feel some lively interest in her well fair as our acquaintance was rather romantic and she may be a sister of yours yet[.] Levi & the rest of the boys are all getting almost well[.] Levi is well but he is such an old grany he dont know it[.] he lays on his back and calls for the pot night and in day light he is up all day running evry place[.] he sickens me[.] Well Mary I hope to be talking face to face with you in 9 months[.] now that time will soon pass away[.] I close by asking you to give my best respects to Grandpap Hart and Long Hall with pinkeyed Baby[.] write often[.]

your [Brother?]


Joseph M. Adkinson, letter to sister, 13 November 1863, Adkinson family Civil War Letters, fd 12:8, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and note by Clarence Cledanor, HC 2013.

Douglas Hospital Washington
Friday Evening November 13, /63

Dear Sister[,]

Your most kind and welcome letter came to hand two or three days ago[.] [I] was glad to get it[,] but it was a riddle to me in some respects[.] It had two envelopes[.] The inside one was white with no writings at all on it [and] the one outside was yellow directed in a strange hand [handwriting]. [It] was a half sheet of Fools Cap on which the letter was written the [writing?] was the strange hand [handwriting]. [I] Was glad to hear that Charly Dammer had got home[.] [I] hope he [will?] have a good time while he stays. Levi [Henry?] [Neavis?] Henry Rogers & myself are all doing fine at present having plenty to eat and drink. [lots?] of fun[.] this is huge soldiering indeed[.] far from standing picket in the the rain[.] I am [blocked] up until I look more like teaching school than [filing?]. You can't imagine how good I feel now that I am rested and feel up again. I was almost fat enough for beef and fattings every day. [I] Have [had] some as good times here as I ever had. [I] Expect it will go hard to eat hard tack if I should be sent to the regiment. [I] Hope that I won't until next spring[.] I dread the winter in the field, but if it be my lot I will try to bare it patiently[.] I have [learned] to make the best of bad matters as my wishes won't change [matters]. I must close as [supper] is now ready write often and keep that [Colt] of mine fat as I intend to ride her next fall. Your brother,

Mc To: [Sister] Jane J. Adkinson PS Tell the girls that I remember them all. Jo Jane I sent you that preasent in this

Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to “all at home,” 17 Nov. 1863,  folder 11, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and note by Alexander Wiseman, HC 2016.

Douglas Hospital Washington D.C.
November 17, / 63
To all at home,

I seat myself this afternoon to answer Effie’s letter and allso to chat the rest of you by the means of the pen.  Effie’s letter was gladly received, she complained that she had nothing to write but I found her letter full of what was of great interest to me.  You don’t know how it is when from home you could hardly write anything, but what would interest me evry circumstance has an interesting point to those that are away & what you think would be without interest often proves the most interesting to me.  I often wonder why it is that we find so little to write, it cant be that there is nothing to tell each other if we wer together we could talk allday and then have something to say at night when would we tire[.] if  I could be at home today think your one sheet would hold all I could say[?]  no a [torn: quarto?] would hold but the half. I was glad to hear that you were all [bursily?] engaged at school hope you will imp[rove] the time well while you have the opportunity for that may not allways last let your course be onward and upward not striving to gain large victo[ries] but satisfied with small ones I think if I was in a school this winter it would be more congenial to my nature than this kind of life.  I haven’t herd from Sam for 2 or 3 weeks  don’t know what the reason is expect he finds enough to do without then there is allways so many to write to and the souldier has so little inclination to write I can hardly think[.] hard he was allright when I last herd his horse was killed in the fight a week ago last saturday but he had another when last he wrote. Wm Sovien is [torn: keeping] my horse so he is allright for Billy is [torn] of the best hands with a [torn: horse in?] the company[.]  Sam said the horse was fat and slick that’s all that I require he is the gayest little bay in the army allways ready for evry thing. was disabled for a few days after the shot he received [torn: but?] never failed to eat his oats [torn] him. I sent one hundred dollars $100,00 home some time ago expressed it to Frank would like to know whether you ever received it or not it was my pay for the last four months but two I had managed to like by other means so I had the whole to send if it fails to go allright I shall think myself rather unfortunate I drew [$26,00?] here last week spent some in town had the rest stolen so I am entirly straped for the first time since I left home will have to Borrow some little untill I can make a turn for more  we have 8 or tenn Indiana boys there that are going home on a 30 days furlough it will be more lonesome then allthough strangers they seem like old friends I cant tell the reason but an Indianan seems nearer than any one else I like allmost all here but these especily.  We have  tenn Rebels in the 7 ward now that being the one in which I act as nurse we have lots of fun boys come here that are not sick at all the doctor perscribs something sometimes blisters to feet this is very funny for us to see them scream and twist in bead there feet being to sore to stand upon.

Well Father I hope you will keep those boys of yours at work and take the World easy yourself untill I return to bare my part once more which if I live I expect to do next July but not before that[.]  isent long now not near so long as 3 years I think if I was at home to ride Black a few times I could teach her to pase all togethe especily when I rode  her[.] do you ever work her any[?]  if you don’t she will get to large I fear[.] put her atit she must she be able to do something now if she is ever going to be any account want you to write to me yourself one more I like so well to see a letter from you it may be considerable of a task to you to write but it surly isent to me to read your letters.  Well Mother If you could only see me you would think my  helth was moderatly good at least for I am as fat as I ever was I gess more so I feel just as well as I can be only when I eat so much that my belly hurts me this is all the difficulty I have the quick consumption desperatly no sooner is anything placed before me when it is devoured.




Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to Molly Adkinson, 24 Nov. 1863, Adkinson collection, 19:3, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Morgan Nay, HC 2013.

Douglas Hospital

Tuesday morning 4 oclock Nov 24 1863

Sister Molly

Yours of the 15th came to hand yesterday[.] was as I allways am glad to get it , I am here yet[.] hope to remain during the winter[.] Levi is well only his ears he hears very badly[.] I herd yesterday from Sam he was well , and driving team but dident like the bur's. Saw Tom Leamp Allen Burton and 4 or five more[.] they are going home recruiting, you will see some of them soon[.] Hope All & Mery Ellen will close the bargain soon[.] Mery tell uncle for me to give his school the interest and principle this winter for they havent had either there for sometime[.] I never believed much in whipping but think I should have to do some in that fix were I so situated. Tell Jim & Will to spair not the rod but apply it on all good ocations[.] would like to step in to Minnie s school some day when she dident know I was a bout to surprise her[.] I close, hoping this may find you all enjoying the [best] of health the greatest Blessing of life[.] write often your Brother Mc

Joseph McHenry Atkinson, letter to Irvin, 27 Nov. 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Matt Murphy, HC 2013

Douglas Hospital, Washington

Nov 27th / 63

Brother Irvin,

Your bearing date of the ninth came to hand yesterday I was very glad to hear from you once more I hasten to answer best my letter should be as long as yours My health is a gain restored also my flesh but here I am still nursing at Douglass Leevi is also well The army is in motion something may be expected of it very soon not only of the Potomic but of every department I think this rebellion is almost played out it will soon be cut in twain then fall it must You need [to] give yourself no trouble about my spirets failing from slite sickness[.] at least when I enlisted it was with my eyes open fully aware of the trials that would necessarily have to be borne & with a firm determination to endure them patiently[.] it is in the power of man to make himself miserable or happy as he pleases[.] the most important point is contentment[.] I herd from the regiment last Monday[.] Sam was then well and doing as well as I could be expected[.] I received a letter from home some days ago[.] all is well there[.] Well Irvin as i have nothing to write I will close by wishing you good luck with your school and every other respect[.] write often[.] your Brother, Jo.

Joseph McHenry Adkinson, letter to brother Irvin, 30 December 1863, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, folder 11, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Chris Blankman HC 2013

Camp 3rd Indiana

Dec. 30th /63

Bro, Irvin

You very kind & wellcome letter came to hand a fiew days ago[.] was some what astonished to le[a]rn that I had sent Oliver[ ]s letter to you in stead of yours[.] you was right [that] I had written a fiew lines to you both & sent two photograph[s,] one as good as the other so that it is allright as it is[.] would like very much to have yours in return if it is convenient for you to send it[.] was glad to hear you was getting a long so well with your school[.] hope you may continue to to have a good time[.] I am having as good [of a] time[.] I am haveing a soldiers time[,] & that is a hard time[,] for soldiering is hard in winter[.] we have a house here or something that we call someone[.] here it is[:] 13 feet by 7 covered with shelter tents with a hole in one end for a chimney[,] the consequence of which is that we are tolerable well smoked[.] we live in hopes that we will have a chimney some day if ever[.] Well Irvin there oure some pleasuers in this world but they are but fiew here[.] yet it isent for the pleasure that we are here[,] but for the country[.] Now Irvin[,] you must write and tell me what kind of ckristmas you passed[.] it was[,] to me[,] quit[e] different from any I ever passed before[;] it being the first I ever passed from home[.] I passed it with Sam in cullpeper[.] the boys are all well & if any one askes you any thing of the veteran couse[,] tell them it is played with the 3rd[.] now I close[.] write soon[.] your Brothe[,] Mc

Joseph McHenry Atkinson, letter to Irvin, 22 Jan. 1864, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by David Brownell (HC 2009) and Matt McCarthy (HC 2013); notes by Matt McCarthy.

Camp, 3rd Indiana
Culpepper Co Va.

Jan 22 / 64

Brother Irvin as the day is pleasant and nothing to prevent[,] I will write you a few lines.

We are here encamped and have tolerable good quarters[,] and more we are in camp [8?] days then out on picket 4 so we have 2/3 of the time in here[.] when out on picket the duty is not very heavy[.] the litest we ever had since I came to the regiment[.] Sam, Levi and Fogleman are all in good health. Sam is driving mules. Fogleman is cooking for the Shoulder Straps [officers] we are enjoying our selves as best we can[.] we have 2 or 3 letters to read which passes the evenings some what pleasantly.

The veteran couse is creating some excitement here but this regiment will barely go now they useto be in but having bin fooled so often they [at?] conclude to dry the thing up by letting them know that they only want to see the present 3 years[.] this is almost all the excitement there is now with the exception of the talk that the President is going to call 800,000 thousand more men.

There has bin hardly any snow yet this winter but some very cold weather[.] at least I thought so some nights when I had to crall out of my bunk to stand picket 2 hours on horseback[.] now I have written all that is of any interest to you perhaps more[.] write soon and don t forget to send your Photograph to me

your Brother




Joseph Adkinson, letter to Home, 22 Apr. 1864, folder 8, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Gaia Zol, HC 2016.


Camp 3rd Indiana
Stevens Burg Va
April 22nd 64
To all at Home

I find myself In a niew Camp this morning. We left our old one last Tuesday went on picket 2 days came in here last evening this comes of a change we are now in the 3 Div, 2 Brig, Command by General Wilson as Div Com, Chor, Chapman Brig. Don’t like the change, now may think better of it. After while we have nice houses. Here the Camp is much better than the one we left. Good water handy have inspection today. Those are a great boar to the soldier. The weather is very fine here now, dont think at passable for the army to lay still lone. Now we must move. I hope to victory & richmond. The Paper of yesterday & the days before gives us views of great inter[est]. There is arumor that the mail will be stoped for sometime. This may be but Camp rumo[r]. I think this will be the case soon if not now so you must rest easy if you dont get your letter evry weak. Now I must close we are all well. So good by untill next week.


Joseph M. Adkinson, letter to Francis Adkinson, 27 May 1864, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and notes by Audrey Hanner, HC 2013.

Point Lookout, M--d
May 27, 1864
My Dear Father,

I have not yet heard from you since I have been here. & I write again.

My wound which is in the right leg above the knee is doing tolerably well now --- a few days ago it commenced bleeding. The artery being cut by the wound, the doctors took up the artery & tied it. & they now say it is doing well I am quite weak from the lack of blood. The bone is not broken & I hope to get along without much difficulty.

I have the best of nurses & physicians. & I want you to make yourselves easy on that score.

Direct to Hammond Hospital
Point Lookout
Bed no 8 Maryland

I have been transferred from Ward 7 to Ward 8

Write as soon as you get this

your affectionate

J M Adkinson

Francis Adkinson
Switzerland Co

J. M. Adkinson to father, 31 May 1864, Adkinson family Civil War letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Dylan Roush, HC 2013.

Point Lookout M---d

May 31. 1864

My Dear Father.

I had a letter written to you a few days ago. I had written soon after I arrived here on the 16. but have heard no answer & I write again. My wound is doing firsrate & I am doing very well & altho I may be confined for sometime yet I hope to come out all right. I cannot account for the fact of getting no letters. I do hope you will write at once -- & let me hear from you. Direct to Hammond Hospital, Point Lookout, Maryland. Love to all. Your affectionate son. J M Adkinson

Fogleman Shaddy, letter [to Joseph Adkinson?], undated, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College, (Hanover, Ind.) ( note).

Dear Brother,

I set myself to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am alright and don't have much to do. I am cooking for the headquarters of the regiment, 3 in number and I don't do anything else. I have plenty of nice things to eat and not much to do. You see I have a good time. I wish the rest of the boys had as good a place as I have and they would have a good time right soon.

Fogleman Shaddy

Joseph Adkinson, letter to Sister, January [no year], Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana).
Transcription and notes by Paige Petty, HC 2013.

Camp 3rd Ind [Cavalry]

Jan [...]

Dear Sister,

Your most well[come ]
bearing, date of decembe[r ]
received on the 7 of Jan[uary ]
glad to hear that all [ ]
sorry, to hear that you [ ]
having the sore throat [ ]
will have agood time [t ]
this winter you will see [ ]
have bin are at Culpepper[ ]
there again we returned [ ]
have bin on picket [h ]
that time the weather [ ]
cold and has been since [ ]
some snow on the ground [ ]
either the winter has [b ]
far the roads very [ ]
is tolerable good now have [ ]
bad cold for 2 or 3 weeks [n ]
[ w] here as yesterday evening
[ su]ffering some from Rheumatism
[ ] legs think it may be
[ ts] of cold hope he may
[ ] all right he hasen t received
[ f]rom home since the
[ ] he thinks it time he would
[ ] at least he has written
[ ] a week, Levi is as fat as
[ ] Fogleman is well fake
[ ] here but brough[t] no
[ ] lost evry thing on the
[ ] pleas send me some by
[ ] send one pair at a time
[ ] sure to send twice tell
[ ] send me those mittens
[ ] would like a pair or two
[ ] be convenient to send
[ ] Now Mary give Sinderriler
[ com]pliments and wish
[ much] joy and many
[ ] for me

And now I wish Minnie the same as the report is that she is soon to do the same[.] perhaps before this reaches home the thing will be done[.] Kerns boys received a letter from some one that stated the Jo, or Grandpap Hart was soon to be a brother of mine & I supose I must submit to the powers that be. I should like to be at home to eat the turkey for I feel like it would tak[e] a turkey to satisfy me[.]

in this I send Malinda a photograph to place with the rest,

write soon your brother



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