Letter from Orlando L. French to Lydia French

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Letter written by Orlando L. French to his wife, Lydia French, during his service in the Civil War.

This is a scanned version of the original image in Special Collections and Archives at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.



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[inverted text above]

yesterday & today I have been carving out some pipe bowls from the sweet brier root which is found here in abundance, for [Eppe?] & Emily and the first oppertunity I have I shall send them home

[beginning of letter]

In Camp near Murfreesboro Tenn Jan 25th 1863

My Dear, dear, wife

Once more I feel well enough to write you a few lines, - I am very weak yet, and tonight my supper distresses me, so you must not look for any thing very cheerful.

I wrote a few words to you three days ago stating how I had been, well I am by no means entirely recovered but am so that I can say that I am convalescent, - I have done no work of any kind for nearly three weeks, neither have I ate anything, and if I had been at home, I should no doubt have had a [run of fines?], but I was bound to keep it off if possible and have succeeded so but I tell you it takes an awful stiff upper lip, and the most determined resolution to wear off an attack of sickness here, but I just made up my mind that I would not get clear down, but I came awful near it though, I think, by the way I feel even now and by the appearance of my sunken countenance - but I expect to recover very quick, when I get at it, every one does here when they have had a time at it as I have

Last edit 9 months ago by SusanE
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everything looks very gloomy & dark about this war, don't it? and what looks the darkest about the whole to us is, that these mean cowardly traitors at the north, who would not only not raise their own arm to crush this war but are doing every thing they can to prevent others from doing it, are raising their voices to create dissensions at home, and by trying to refuse men and means, upon the Presidents basis of operations, - Indianna has to day received a just rebuke from one of her regiments that is in our Brigade the 22nd - they have been in service 18 months, and have seen hard active service and their ranks have been fearfully thinned and they voted to day that Indiana must sustain the Administration in his emancipation proclamation, and that she must furnish men and means for the war - every man voted that.

The truth is, we all want the war brought to an end, we are sick and tired of it, and often in a fit of despondency, or the blues, we may say settle ^it any way, but honestly, and sincerly we have no desire of the kind

I wish Ephraim would keep me posted up on the politocal matters, a little, also the expressions of opinion with regard to the new congress, whether it is thought they will try and force Lincoln to an extra session or not, - a congress elected

Last edit 9 months ago by SusanE
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amid so much excitement must surely mean something, and I expect it is no good, for we never knew any good the democratic party has done yet, - these are not only my feelings, but it is universal

Jan 26th

I awoke this morning feeling like a new man, for it was without a head ache, and an appetite for some breakfast, - a condition of things I have not known for three weeks before, and I felt so much better after dinner that I thought I would take a ride. I had my horse saddled, but when I tried to mount, I found out just how weak I was, it was no use trying, I could not do it alone, but when once mounted I rode off very comfortably & went down to the city of Murfreesboro, - on the road I passed a large pond and the frogs by the thousands were pouring out their music by the wholesale, which reminded me of early may in Illinois, in fact everything looks like Spring, the trees are full of birds and in the morning they are very musical

Murfreesboro is an old, dried up town of three or four thousand inhabitants, - The citizens nearly all left with the army, and the city is now one entire hospital, the most of our wounded are there, and there are between fifteen & twenty hundred [Secrph?]

Last edit 4 months ago by amyl13
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sick and wounded there which they could not take away with them, or rather they would rather leave them than not for us to furnish rations and medicine, - they are very sharp, they know we will not let them starve, although we ought to

I have news to night from Division head quarters by way of the private entrance, that the whole army force marches day after tomorrow on a short campaign for the south, without tents, other than their [given?] blankets, - a provision train is to follow them but everything else is to be left behind with the Q.M. with a small force,- or as it is said, a sufficient force to protect us but I prophesy that if our forces get thirty miles from us, that we are all gobbled up, but let her rip we can take anything as it comes and do it gracefuly too - Gen Rosey has got an idea into his head of some kind, and I hope it is a good bright one, and will lead him on to a victory- It is raining to night, good and strong, it rains about one third of the time now, but it is not cold at all and we have had no snow, but I hear that there is any amount of snow up north, - hope you are not buried up in it - for I have had no letter for nearly three weeks, - If the mail goes in the morning I shall send it as it is, if not will write more, but for the present a fond good night while I remain your loving husband Orlando

Last edit 9 months ago by SusanE
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