4th KY Cav (US) soldier writes May 19th, 1862, from Wartrace, TN

Wartrace Tenn
May 19, 1862

Dear Wife,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am tolerable well at present and hope these few lines may find you and the children and all the rest well. I have not heard from you since I wrote my last letter although I have been anxiously watching the mail. It appears to be a month between times that I hear from you. I try to write once a week but sometimes I do not get time to write when I am in the notion. We are still at this place yet and doing nothing except scouting once every day or two. Everything appears to be at a standstill waiting for the fight at Corinth which will take place in a few days I think. And everybody thinks that will be the winding up of the war and I hope it may for I would feel proud to be at home once more with you and the children. I don’t know whether I will get home any more until it is over without it lasts until next winter. Our boys that were wounded in that are doing very well except Wm. Smith, he is right sick yet. One of them, Henry Rose, has come back to the regiment today. He was shot in the arm as he was carry the colors and another shot struck the staff of the flag just above his head. Wm. Atcher and two others that were wounded have got a discharge and will go home in a few days. There has been some of the hottest weather that ever I saw in May. I don’t know whether it has been so everywhere or not but it has been scorching down here until yesterday it turned a little cooler. I don’t know when we will leave this place. Some say we will leave in a few days and others think we will stay until the war is over or until fall. I want you to write as often as possible and manage the best you can. Take good care of them sweet little children & especially the baby and if I never get back there is One who is able to protect you and I pray to Him to do it. Tell Mother and Father and the children that I would be glad to see them and that they must write to me and tell John & Kitty they might drop a few lines to Jo & me. Jo has been complaining for two or three days but he is getting better all the rest of the Hardin boys. Well, there is not much sickness in the Regiment and all that is just diarrhea. That is about all the sickness that the soldiers have had down this way yet. We hear that Col. Boyles takes command of this reg. again and it causes a great confusion in the regiment. All the captains & lieutenants talk of resigning. The officers & men all thought there was nobody like Col. Smith. He is a nephew of old Henry Clay. I expect father has met him. He is from Bourbon County, Ky. I must bring my letter to close. 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.

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