Wartrace, Bedford County, Tenn.
I take my pen in hand to write to you once more to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. I read your letter today and was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was doing so well. I wanted to be at home with you but I could not and so I had to try to be content. But I have watched every day for a letter for about —– and was afraid to —–. I feel greatly relieved knowing you are now safe. I want you kiss the baby for me. Bless its little soul. I would give anything to see it. We are at this place yet. I believe I told you in my last letter where this place is situated. It is 55 miles from Nashville on the Nash & Chattanooga railroad. You can find it on the map. It is a rich country but not a very healthy one. We have had several alarms since we have been here. Sometimes we hear that the enemy are coming toward us with a large force and in a few minutes the regiment is formed in line of battle but so are getting used to it so it is no —– more than setting down to —– so often they get very —– because they cannot get into a fight with the rebels. I expect we will leave this place in a few days for some place further south but I don’t know exactly where. You had better direct your letters to Nashville until I write again. We will get our letters just as soon that way as if they were directed to the very place where we are at. One of our men, a German, was poisoned and died in about 15 minutes after he was taken sick the other day. Several others have been poisoned but got well again. We have to be very careful where we eat or drink in this country. Some of the Secesh around boast that if they cannot kill us one way they will another. Jo has been complaining but he is about well again. The rest of the Hardin boys are all well. Eliza wrote for me to find the baby a name. I don’t know what you will call it without it is Susan Alice. However I leave it you to name it whatever you please so it is some pretty name. You must take good care of it until I can get home which I hope may not be very long. Tell Eliza & Melissa., Mother & Father & Bruce & Bet I would like to see them all and that they must write to us. Tell Aunt Sissy I would like to see her too and John & Kitty too. You must write as often as you can and take good care of yourself. 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.