Alfred G. Runner

Letters, 1864

The originals of the following letters are part of the Adkinson Family Civil War Letters collection, available at the Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).

They were transcribed in Fall 2012 by the students of GW143 "Autobiography: History," taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier.

Alfred G. Runner, letter to mother, 18 Jan. 1864, folder 21, box 1,  Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind). [1]

Jan 18 1864
Todd Barries Columbus

Dear mother

It is with pleasure I sit down to write a few lines to let you know that I am well and in good health and enjoying my time very well considering the place I am in. we are purty close confined[.]  thare has not any of used [ie us had] been out of camp yet since we have been here[.]  they will not give a pass to no one. we have not got our Bounty yet and dont know when we will get it but we expect it evrey day they are paying them off as fast as they can and sending them to thier Rgts.  thare is at present hre about 1500 Recruits and they came in as fast as they go out.  By the looks of things thare will be no draft in Ohio.  thare is about 400 hundred in the buildings we are in, part upstars and part down[.] part of them have to sleep on the floor and part in the bunks and Castalia Rats have been luckey enough to git a bunk. we only slept on the floor one night they don’t all of them beat [ours.?] we get very good Rations d-d poorley cooked[.] they have got a lot of darkeys to do they Cooking and they are d-d nasty[.]  the other day we had soup for dinner and some of the went pore out some and a dead rat came out that made me quit on the soup yo know. the Boys are all very well fat and lazy as hell myself included[.]  I wrote to John when we first come here did he get it[?] I talde him he nead not answer it for I thought we would leave soon but the prospect looks poor at present[.]  I don’t know wethir you can read this scribbling or not with a led pencil. I have no ink and don’t want any more traps here with me than I can help when we git to the Fort I will try and do Better[.] no more at present from your son
Alfred G

P S direct to Todd Barries Co F
Columbus Ohio
P S write soon and oblige

Elizabeth Runner, letter to Susan Shawen, 13 Mar. 1864, folder 21, box 1,  Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind). [2]

March the 13th, 1864

Dear aunt I take up my pen to anser your welcome letter wich I recieved of some time ago we are all we at present and I hope when these few lines reaches you that they may fined  you all well. well mother and Sarah is here to day. they are all well mother lookes very well.  well I am sorry to hear that your son has enlisted but if he thinks it rite it is all right.  every one has a right to his one opinion, you want to know what my man would fight for never for a negro nor one either side for we are oposed to war.  I hope that you do not take it as an insult in what I say for I think that I have a right to my [of?] opinion.  well we are agoing to move on the seventeenth of this month.  we are a going to quit huxtern and a going to farming.  I think that we can do better farming.  well I hope wesley barnes will come see us for I would like to see him.  I recieved a letter from his mother stateing that he would come and we have been looking for him.  she said that he was so bashfull.  if he comes out here he soon will get acquainted tell him to come.  well I herd from uncles Phillips family a few weeks ago and it goes very hard with them. I will try and send you mothers picture in the next letter. I would of sent it in this one but the wetter has been so bad that I could not get her to town. I will send you my picture if you send me yours first. I would like to have it very much. [Shederick?] has got quite harty again and I am very glad of it you must excuse us for not writing much as we are all upside down on account of moveing. I hope you will anser that as soon as it comes to hand. I am a going to try and come down there next fall and when I come Sarah is coming a long. Mother and Sarah me and all the rest joins in sending our love to you all. I must close by biding you a good night rite soon,

Susan Shawen

To Elizabeth Runner



1. Runner (in his letter to mother, 18 Jan. 1864) mentions the draft in Ohio.  The draft, unlike in the Confederate states, was not greatly used for the Union. A main reason Ohio didn't need to use a draft was because they had a large enlistment without it. Transcription and annotation by Ben Franke (HC 2016).

2. Huckstering is to promote or sell something of questionable value. During this era, farming as a whole expanded. The number of farms tripled from two million in 1860 to six million in 1905. The farms' value expanded as well. In 1860, the total value of farms was eight billion, and it jumped to thirty billion by 1906. The Homestead Act of 1862 is a major reason for the increase in farming because it allowed settlers to acquire 160 acres of land for free assuming they moved westward. Source: "Historical Timeline -- 1860," "Growing A Nation," (accessed 26 Nov. 2012). Transcription and annotation by Madelaine Berry (HC 2016).

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