Wife of Indiana 58th soldiers writes to her husband

Andrew Gudgel enlisted 11/12/61 as a Sergeant, into Company A, 58th Indiana. Mustered out 11/11/1864.

Letter written August 20, 1863

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Andrew married Elvira Wallace.

Here is a transcription of the letter. Some minor editing has improved the spelling and grammar somewhat.


August 20, 1863

Letter to Sgt. Andrew Gudgel
58th Indiana Volunteers

My dear and beloved Andrew,

I take my pen in hand this Thursday morning to finish answering them two kind letters that I received from you last Saturday. Your letters was dated July the 30th and August the 5th. Andrew your letters both stated that you are well and hearty and in tolerable good spirits. Well, Andrew, it did do me so much to get them and to hear that you was well for some how all last week I was very uneasy about you & did not get no letter week before last and them last Saturday when I got them two interesting ones. You had better believe I was proud after I read them I could step around as light as a feather and I do hope this evening while I am trying to write to gain that you are still enjoying good health. Andrew I am truly thankful to the good Lord to tell you that we are all well and hearty and in good spirits about the war, but Andrew, somehow I am very uneasy about you this hoy weather it is very warm weather here now and you so much further south than we are I know it must be warmer there than it is here and if you are on a march I know you will suffer well. I do hope you won’t have to march such hot weather. Well Andrew I got that letter that sent the twenty stamps in and I wrote you a few lines and put in with that letter and two stamps though Ii don’t expect the old letter will interest you much but the last piece I wrote will tell you that we are all well. Andrew I am very anxious to hear from Abe and from all accounts I am afraid we will hear bad news him when we do hear but I hope for the letter nick came from your fathers last Monday and they had got a letter _____ Richard’s and he said he was very bad and wanted father to go and see him. I am in hopes he has got letter. Andrew, I will [end page one]

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finish this letter in the morning. I will have to go and do up the night work. Oh Andrew if you could come home before the sun goes down again. Goodbye night. Well Andrew this is now Friday morning and I have just heard good news. Nick came from your father last night and he heard that Abe is a heap better now. Andrew I am truly glad to hear that I _____ ain’t do hope and pray to the good Lord that you four brothers my be spared to get home your mother and father is so uneasy about all the time. Well Andrew if ever I tried to pray in earnest for anything I am asking the Lord to spare your life so that you can come home and help me to raise the children. I’d not want you to work but we need you here to manage. Well Andrew, Elenora has just now spilt the ink all over on my paper but maybe you can read it. Andrew, Elenora says she would _____ if she could see you. The children all want to see you that I want to see you soon. I know that you know I do and I do hope that day will soon come that we can live together again. Well Andrew, I have no doubt but this very day one year ago was sittgin side and side riding in the buggy. Well I just believe Andrew if we are faithful we will see pleasure yet together on earth and I am determined to live for it ad then if we should never meet again on earth that before we will meet where parting will be no more. Andrew I always tell the class to pray for the beloved companion of mine that has gone out to fight for our liberties. I always attend class when ever I am well and we are getting along as well I reckon as could be expected in your absence, though sometimes I think we are getting along very poorly but the night hours tells us they think we are getting along ______. Well the thrashing machine is at Sa[muel] Williams

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hardly tell how it passed off. I am in so much trouble about you having to go back. Well Andrew I want you to come home this fall if you can if there is no prospects of you coming to stay? Well Andrew you said that I did not say anything making me any clothes out of the wool. Well I thought I had well I am going to have two good flannel dresses and Elenora two steares [sic]. _______ wife is going wear them and all the balance of the wool that I kept I will ______ you. I don’t _____ my self but I must not get very more costly dresses if you get me the silk dress. Well the children was all very proud of their present you sent them. They are very good about not wanting to spend it. Well Andrew I do feel thankful for the priviledge I have of talking to you by way of letter but oh how much more satisfaction would it be to me to talk with my loving Andrew ____________________ and I love to write it too. Andrew you said for me to not suffer no uneasiness about you enlisting for three years longer. I do not want you to be _____________of them. Oh I do not want you to have _____ the hardships of a camp life long enough and I do hope and pray that you will soon be released. Well Andrew you said you had sent your money to father. That was alright. I will soon get some of it when _____ I _____ share no particular need of many now only to get some chance for the jeans and shirts a coloring stuff. Well Andrew I believe I will have nothing more that is interesting. This letter now bears us all well and hearty and I do hope it will find you enjoying the same. God bless. I do hope I will get a letter tomorrow. Goodbye this week.

Elvira Gudge to Andrew Gudgel
Her loving husband


Four brothers served with their father Andrew. Andrew enlisted as a Sergeant on 11/12/61 into Company A, 58th Indiana. He mustered out 11/11/64, fifteen months after the above letter was written.
They were:

Abraham Gudgel, mentioned above, mustered into Company A, 58th Indiana; 9/12/1862. He was discharged 10/15/63 for disability, just five days after this letter.

Edward Gudgel mustered in as a private, 11/12/61, into Company A, 58th Indiana. He mustered out 11/11/64, the same day as his father.

Jacob Gudgel enlisted 11/12/61 (with Edward and Andrew) and was mustered in to Company A, 58th Indiana. He re-enlisted 1/24/64 and mustered out 7/25/65 in Louisville. He saw one promotion to 1st Sgt.

Thomas Gudgel enlisted 1/8/64 into Company B, Indiana 10th Cavalry (125th Indiana Infantry). He mustered out 7/13/65.

A fifth brother enlisted late in the war:

William H. Gudgel, enlisting 2/10/65 into Company H., 143 Indiana Infantry. He mustered out 10/17/65 in Nashville.

All of the Gudgels survived the war. Andrew Gudgel, the father, served in the Civil War with five sons altogether. Andrew was married to Elvira Wallace, who was the daughter to John Wallace and Francis Jane Taylor. John and Francis had over 100 grandchildren, with over forty of them serving in the American Civil War.

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