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PVT. GEORGE W. GOODGE, CO. A 
LETTERS, 1863-1865

 

Special thanks to Warren Archer, a descendant of George Goodge, for
transcribing the letters and for his permission to post these.

Note: A few name spelling corrections, contained mostly in parentheses, were added by the 42nd web author  for clarity.


14 January 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear friends at home,

            I wrote to you from the regiment which is at this place.  I am well and hearty once more.  I left the city of Nashville last Thursday and came to the regiment.  I nursed Col Jones just one week when his wife got there and relieved me.  That week I lived on the best eatables that Nashville afforded and (recuperated) up right fast.  I wrote to you a week ago last Sunday from Nashville and when I got to the regiment I got a letter from you that was written on the 28th of December, I have not received Cornelia’s likeness yet.  I want you to tell me the next time that you write whether you sent it or not.  I never applied for a discharge, but I have got in the hospital with the regiment and have very good times if I only can stay here, which I think I can.  Our brigade has gone out on a reconnoitering expedition and I think that they will be back tomorrow.  Col Jones, I think, will go home before he comes back here and if he does I wish that you would see if he would not fetch me a small bundle.  I want that black hat of mine and 2 pair of socks and a neck handkerchief.  I do not want a black one.  I would sooner a yellow (spotted?) one.  If he cannot fetch them I wish that you would send them by somebody else as soon as you can.  Will Carter is well and hearty.  He never got a scratch in the fight.  William Lant is well, he was like me, not in the fight.  Oh yes, must tell you that I sold my boots before I went to nurse Col. Jones.  I was in the barracks and I did not get anything that was fit to eat and so I sold my boots.  It is very fine weather here and I believe that I will do without a pair of boots this winter.  I will get 25 cents a day extra here and I have very good time.  I do not have any trouble with my rations and I get more than if I was with the company, that is more of a variety and they are cooked right.  I was put on guard the day after I got here and I was on about an hour when the doctor came and took me off and the captain was mad about it.  He does not like me now, has not since that pistol scrape.  William Lant got me in here.  Cap Trimble is not liked by the boys at all but you must not tell anybody for it will get back here.  The number of our brigade has been changed and you must direct your letters now to the Second Brigade, Beauseaud Division.  I send my love to you all and remain a soldier.

G.W. Goodge

*******

30 January 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

        Dear friends at home, I received a letter from you this morning, which was written on the 23.  I was very glad to hear from you and know that you were all well.  Your letter found me well with the exception of my ears, which are not doing very well at present, but I hope that they will be better soon.  If father does not think that I write he is mistaken, for I write once every week and you do not get them and if you do not get the letters when I write one a week what is the use of me writing twice.  I am very sorry that you feel down hearted but I am sure that it is not my fault for I do write, it is true that I am out of writing material but I will manage to get along until we get paid off or until I get some from you.  I understand that Col. Jones is at home.  I do not know whether he would be bothered with a package for me or not, but I do not think that there would e any possible harm in trying him.  I told you in my last letter that I would like to have my black hat and two pair of socks and a yellow neck handkerchief that he might bring if he would.  I am a staying at the regimental hospital yet and have very good times, plenty to eat and it is cooked well.  We have 8 sick men in the hospital.
        I send my best to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends and I remain a nurse.

G W Goodge

*******

9 February 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear friends at home

            I received a letter from you yesterday about noon, telling me that Captain Cokram (Cockrum) was on the way with a letter and a handkerchief.  It is a little funny that I should send for a neck handkerchief and get a pocket handkerchief but never mind I will try and do without now.  That one was not a good collar for me.  If I have a pocket handkerchief I want a red silk.  I do not think that you will have a chance to send me anything by express to Murfreesboro at all.  If you send anything by express you will have to send it to Nashville and then I will have to get it from there the best way that I can.  Oh yes I have told you enough lies to know that I have got that handkerchief.  Cap Cochran arrived here last night.  You have seen him and you have seen the best Cap. in the 42nd.  You might wrap the likeness in a piece of writing paper and put 3 stamps on it and it will come safe, there is likeness’s come every day that way. I have let William Lant have that handkerchief at cost and please send word what it cost.  If I have done wrong you must forgive me but I did not like it.  Will Carter is not very well just now.  William Lant is well and so am I.  The regiment has gone to Nashville to guard a wagon train.  If Sam Vickery sends anything to James you might send me them things at the same time and the same way.  We heard of four of our company boys, they are at Annapolis, Maryland.  They will have to stay there until they are exchanged.  Their names are Dickson (Dixon?), Watson, Denison (Dennison?), Glickman (Gleichman?) and William McCutcheon.  They were all taken in this last fight.  I heard that William Swanson was a going to start back to the regiment, if so he might bring some little thing for me.  I do not suppose that you asked Col. Jones to fetch anything for me nor said anything to him about my discharge.  That is the best way to send Cornelia’s (George’s 8 year old sister) likeness.  I had to beg this sheet of writing paper and I will have to put the last stamp on it that I have got.  We have been expecting to get paid off for the last 2 weeks but we have not seen a cent yet.  I have not seen anything that pleased me so much for the last 2 months as them few lines that father wrote in that letter that Cap. Cokrum.  When you send me them envelopes and paper I wish that you would just put in 8 or 10 small white envelopes so that I can write to my girl.  It is so much trouble to send me things that I will not send for anything more as long as I am in the army if I can help it, for I know that it must be a great deal of trouble, but still I hate to give the old (sutler?) his price for writing paper and envelopes and as for stamps he does not keep them and it is impossible to get them in the army.  I expect that some of these old Ind. Regiments will be consolidated before long and then we will see some fun.  You might as well send Cornelia’s likeness as soon as you get this letter, it will come safe just the same as a letter.  Well I guess that I will close for this time.  There is no news her at all.  Write soon and tell me how the rebels is a getting along in Ind.
        I send my love to you all and my best respects to my inquiring friends

G.W. Goodge

*******

3 April 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Sister

        I received a letter from you yesterday, you seem to be satisfied with me staying in the army and I am very glad of it.  For my heart is here with the boys and I know that if I came home I could not content myself long.  I am proud of my parents for I know that father is a true and loyal man.  I have no doubt but that they would like to see me at home very much and yet they are willing for me to stay in the army.  I feel it my duty to stay as long as I can do duty or be any account at all.  But I would like very much to get a 20-day furlough so that I could spend a few days with you and see all my friends.  The soldiers here are of the same opinion that father is, that the war will be over before this year is out and then if it is and I get through safe I will feel as I had done my duty as a soldier and I will not be ashamed to speak my mind any place or at any time.  Your letter found me well with the exception of a sore mouth, which is not much better yet.  You say that you want me to write you a long letter.  I do not think that I can write you a very long one for I wrote you one the other day.

(continued at a later date)

        We have been at work 8 hours a day the past week and I expect that we will do the same this week.  Old Rosey is putting us through (it), but he had some regard for Sunday and lets us rest on that day.  The cars are just coming in and I hope that there is a letter on them for me.  You spoke of your melodeon.  I would like very much to hear you play some of them tunes on it and I hope that I will be able to before long.  I sent you some more songs in my last letter.  One of them is very nice, the title is “Brother When Will You Come Back?”  I think that it is very nice and I would like for you to learn it so that you can sing it to me when I come home.  I think that old Rosey is preparing to give us a furlough.  Has Cornelia got her little table yet, for I have not heard from it since I have been out.  And Molly (Dontnoke?), how is she getting along? And how is grandfather and the Glicks?  I haven’t heard from them for a long time.  I have a great notion to write to George Glick’s daughter, if I knew what her name was I believe that I would.  I have wrote my last letter to Hannah this morning and asked her to close correspondence.  I want to know how that beau of yours is getting along.  I haven’t heard from him yet.
        It is a beautiful day, the sun is warm and everything looks bright and cheerful.  I know that it must be pleasant on Oak Hill and I would like very much to be there as much as you would be to see  me.  The boys are getting dinner.  We have had some slapjacks to eat the last 3 days from flour Uncle Samuel gave us.  I am very thankful to uncle for all he gives me.  He is a good uncle and I think that he will let me go home some day to see you all.  Well I have eat my dinner which consisted of bacon, crackers and coffee and onions, so I will finish this letter.  Well I am a going to have my head shampooed in about a half an hour.  My mouth is a little better today and I think that it will get better now.  William Lant is well.  Will Carter is well also.  Well it is as I told you I cannot come home on a discharge for I would not feel right in doing it so.  I will stay if I do not get any worse and so when the Col. comes I will try and get him to get me a place in the regiment at some other job.
        Well I will have to quit for this time so good by.  Write me a long letter.  I send my love to you all and my best respects to my friends, and remain yours truly G. W. Goodge

*******

13 April 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Friends at Home

       I wrote a few lines to you day before yesterday with my likeness and Johney Messicks (Johnny Messick) which I hope you have received before this time.  I am well and hearty as all are that you are acquainted with.  There is no news of importance here.  We still work 8 hours a day on the fortifications, I think we are nearly done.  It has been raining here for two days past and is cloudy yet.  I received a letter from Lizzie (George’s half sister) today.  It was written on Sunday the 15th.  There was quite a hard little fight at Franklin the other day.  We have had maneuvers here of the … (page missing)

*******

29 May 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (This letter is mostly un-readable)

Dear Brother Charlie (George’s brother, 14 years old at this time)

        I am very glad to have a few lines from you.  I am sorry to hear that your nose took such a bleeding spell.  You must have that cured right up and not let it run on for it might do you a great injury.  We live very comfortably now, considering the warm weather.  The flies is the most troublesome things that we have.  Our unit is well shrouded with brush.   I had one of the best swims the other day that I have since I left the shore of old ____, it was in Stone River.

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29 May 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

       I have just received a few lines from you and Charlie the other day.  The letter has some very bad news in it.  I am very sorry that Col Shanklin is dead because I thought that I would have a useful present when he came back but I cannot help it.  It has been 2 weeks since I have received any letter from you but do not see the reason.  You surely ________________________ to send me a good toothpick but I have not received an answer to the letter so if you get this letter you can send it in you next letter if you please.  It is very hot here and the flies are the greatest pests that we have; they bother us through the day so we cannot get a wink of sleep and they are so thick around our _________ that we can see no pleasure in eating.  I am glad that Uncle George has had the privilege of coming home on a furlough just because he got a furlough is not reason why I should get one.  I have had very good health the last five weeks.  We have drill twice every day and it is brigade drill most of the time.  I have not received a letter from Lizzie for two weeks, I think that I will write to her tomorrow and see what is the matter.  I suppose that father has said ______________ that $5 be ____________ time.  I only wish that I could come home for a couple of weeks.  It would be worth two months of wages to me.  But we are in such a situation here that our ______ cannot spare us very well.  We do not know what hour we may be attacked but it is not probable that the rebs would do such a foolish thing but you know that if they are driven to desperation they might do anything.  But one thing is sure, if they go to sticking their necks in here they will have them in a trap that will be a great deal harder to get out of than they may imagine.  You must write to me on Sunday, as I am more apt to get a letter when it is written on Sunday or Thursday.  And do not forget to put that toothpick in you next letter.  Goodbye.

I remain yours truly
Geo. Goodge

*******

31 May 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Friends at Home

       As a few lines from me would be agreeable at any time I will write you a few this pleasant afternoon.  I am well at present and enjoy all the pleasures of a camp life.  I have not received a letter from you since last Thursday and that I have answered.  I have fell out with my tent mate and moved.  I live by myself, he is the hardest man to get along with that I ever seen.  I heard that our money has got home.  I hope that you have mine all safe by this time.  Major Shanklin’s death is grieved by a great many.  But there is a great many that are glad of it.  We have another Major already and he is a man that the majority of the Reg. does not like.  He is a brave man in a fight but he will get on a spree once and a while.  His name is Cap French.  Well I must tell you that there is a rumor in camp that the whole army is going to move forward in 2 or 3 days.  I only hope that the rumor will prove true for I am tired of this place and so are all the boys.  We have been under marching orders for over 2 weeks now.
        Well I must tell you that I am once more detailed out of the company.  There is 10 men detailed from each regiment to go with the regimental ambulances and when there is a fight we are to be along to take up the wounded and carry tem back to the rear.  And I expect that I will have to give up my gun.  And so I will have no gun to take care of.  I expect that we will have a very good time of it while we are in camp but when there is a fight we will be exposed as much as if we were in ranks.  We will be called the hospital attendants.  Well, I must close for this time.
        I send my love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends.

I am yours affectionately,
G.  W. Goodge

*******

7 June 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Sister

       I received your letter on the 4th, it found me in good health.  That piece about Col. Shanklin was very well as far as I am concerned, I know nothing to the contrary of what was in there.  I am in the hospital again, there is 10 of us and we wear a piece of red flannel 2 1/2 inch by 6 on each arm.  Our business is all done on the field when the regiment goes in to a fight we are right along with it and when a man is wounded we have to carry him back a hundred or so yards where the ambulance will be ready to receive him and take him to a place where the doctors can dress his wounds.  So you see that we will not be entirely out of danger in a fight.  We have been here 5 days and have not had any thing to do yet.  We fare a good deal better than when we were with the company.  The boys calls us the ‘hospital rangers’ or ‘hospital rats’.  The red flannel you know will take us on the battle field at any time the enemy will not shoot a man that has that mark on his arm if any of our wounded is over the line we can go and get them without fear of getting shot or taken prisoners.  We have given up our guns and are not allowed to carry any arms at all.
        Well now I must tell you something else the government has bought all articles that a soldier wants and they retail them at cost price so to bring down the price of sutlers (a sutler is a civilian provisioner to an army post).  We can get eggs at 20 cents a dozen and the sutler sells them at 60 c. oysters at 40 c. while the sutler sells them at one dollar and a quarter and there is about as much difference in everything.  We can buy (hens?) at 60 cents apiece.  They have these things to sell at Brigade headquarters.   
   
     We are under marching orders.  The boys have 8 days rations, 3 in their haversacks and 5 in their knapsacks and must be ready to march at a moments warning.  So I do not think that it will be long before there is a forward movement and I am glad of it for now.
        William Lant is well and all that you are acquainted with.
        The Chaplain of our Reg. is a doing good work.  We have a meeting every night and 3 times on Sunday.  There is one hundred and 25 joining the army church and the morals of the reg. is getting better every day I think and it is a very good thing I think.
        Captain Cochram (Cockrum) has not said any thing to me about that monument yet.  If he gets it, it will be put up in the public square at Princeton.  There is nothing of importance going on here.  Everything is prepared for a move.
        I hope you have not forgot to send me that tooth pick in your next letter
        I guess that I will close for this time so good-by.
        My love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends

Yours truly,
G. W. Goodge

*******

11 June 1863, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Brother James (George’s 17 year old brother)

       I was very glad to hear a few lines from you, I thought that you had forgotten all about me.  You must write to me oftener for it does me good to get a letter from you.  I am well and in good spirits.
        I am not going to drive an ambulance, my business is to go on the battle field with the Reg. and when a man is wounded I must help to carry him back to the ambulance and it will take him to the hospital.  I will not be off the battleground at all and will be in as much danger as if I was in the ranks.  I have had very good times since I have been detailed; plenty to eat and nothing to do and a good bed to sleep on.
        You must be a great deal of help to father now. There is one thing that I want to advise you about and that is never to enlist for you are not old enough yet and a soldier’s life is a hard one.
        All of our paroled prisoners has got back and they make our camp a great deal larger.
        We had a fine speech made to us last Saturday night by Governor Williams (Morton?) of Ind.  He spoke the sentiments of the soldiers and his speech done a great deal of good.  He said that Uncle Abe had commenced in the right way to put down this rebellion at last and that the rebels could not stand long the way that we are fighting now.  He said that old Ind. was full of butternuts (a partisan of the Confederacy during Civil War) but he said that they was being quieted down fast by soldiers that were discharged and them that had furloughs.  I do wish that I could get home on a furlough.  I would just like to kill a couple of them Evansville butternuts.  Jim if you ever hear anybody cheer for Jeff Davis, knock them down with a rock.  Oh yes I got a letter from Emily last Monday but as I had just written I thought that I would not answer it until I got another.  Tell her that I got my toothpick and I am very much obligated to her for it.
        We have got another regiment in our brigade now.  It is the 104 Ill.  We have one of the best brigade generals in the service, Brigadier General John Beaty.  He is good and kind to us in every respect and is as cool on the battlefield as he is in his tent.”
        Well I must close for this time, write to me more if you please, brother Jim.
        I send my love and respects to all and remain yours truly, from your brother, 

G.W. Goodge

*******

21 July 1863, Decherd, Tennessee

Dear Sister

       I have been waiting day after day for a letter from you but have not got any.  It has been 3 weeks since I got a letter from you.  I wrote to you about a week ago, everybody else from around Evansville has got letters but me.  You surely have not quit writing because you did not know where we was have you?  We have a very nice camp here and it is cloudy and cool all the time so we live very comfortable.  We will be paid off this afternoon or tomorrow.  For 4 months you may look for $35 from me.  It will come the same way that the last did, and Emily I wish that you would let me know how much mother has of mine when she gets this.  I know how much George Lant has.  I want to make up $200 in two years and I wish to know how much it takes after you get this $ 35.  the cars comes through now and they go 10 or 15 miles beyond this place.  The first train came through day before yesterday.  “We get light bread all the time now and I guess that is all through our Brigadier General, he is very good, well he can not be beat for a brigade commander.  In my last letter I told you to not loose any chance of send me a good stock of paper and envelopes.  Send me some small envelopes.  You need not send me anything else.  You have seen John Messick and I expect that he told you that I wanted a hat.  I do not want any now, nor anything else but writing material.  The war will be over soon enough for me to get a hat.  I have wrote to Elizabeth Glick (a 3rd cousin).  Ask father what he thinks about the war now.  I would like to hear his opinion on the subject.  We hear of a victory, before you do.  It comes from General Halleck to Rosey and from him to us in a little while.  That deserter has his head shaved smooth today and was drummed out of camp and he is to loose all the money that is coming to him and is to be kept in the military prison hard at work during the war.  That is the way to treat deserters is it not?  It seems as if I was disowned or not cared for not having a letter for 3 long weeks.  I told you in my last letter that I had lost all of my stamps, 16 in number.  We heard last night of the capture of most of Morgan’s men with all of his artillery and (Baryel Duke?)  I am well as is William Lant.  Will Carter got a letter the other day telling him that Bob Smith was wounded.
        Well I will close for this time so good by.
        I send my love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours truly,
George W. Goodge

       “Oh yes, I like forgot to tell you that I heard today that Bray captured Chattanooga without firing a gun.  Wasn’t that doing big business?”

*******

24 July, 1863, Decherd, Tennessee

Dear Sister

       I received your letter of the 19th yesterday, which was the first from home for over three weeks.  There was one thing in your letter that I wanted to hear and only one thing that was that you were all well.  I heard all the rest several days before I got your letter.  It came through a letter from Lizzie that father had a spell of bilious fever.  I never heard it from you.  I wrote to you day before yesterday and told you that we would be paid off that day or the day after and if I send $35 home you may look out for it.  Lieu. Messick got a letter from home today, it stating that there was a box on the way for him and in it there was one for me.  I did not expect one but still it will be very welcome.  I suppose that John Messick has told you what I wanted.
        I have not been very well for the past two days but I took a dose of physic this morning and I feel better this afternoon.
        William Lant is well.  Him and I almost built a bake oven yesterday and the day before for our brigade baker.  Yes, I think the war is progressing very well and if Charleston is taken in the next two or three weeks we may get home in 6 months.  Well as I wrote day before yesterday I will not write any more today.  The next letter you write, write that sheet full about Bob Smith, do not even tell me how you all are.  I beg your pardon.  My love to all of the family including my new brother or sister (George's sister Ella was born 27 July 1863), whichever it may be with the hopes that it will _________ . Yours truly Goodge G. W.

*******

20 August 1863, in camp on Crow Creek near Stevenson, Alabama

Dear Sister

       We left Decherd last Sunday morning about 10 O’clock and marched to Cowan Station.  The distance about 10 miles.  Monday morning we started over the mountain and was all day getting over.  The road was very rough and very rocky.  Tuesday we marched all day in a valley, we could not see anything but great high mountains on each side of us.  Wednesday we marched in the valley most all day, the roads were better but it was very hot and dusty.  We arrived here about 9 O’clock and went in to camp.  We are within 4 miles of Stevenson, the nearest town.  We are within 20 yards of the railroad track.  We passed two more stations, (Tantalion?) Station and Anderson Station.  I do not know whether they are on the map or not.  I did not march with the regiment all the way.  I was with the wagons and had a very easy time of it, for which I am very thankful.  We will not stay here long for we have orders to have 15 days rations on hand all the time and some of the troops has orders to have an extra pair of shoes and that is a very good sign for marching.  The citizens along the way are very poorly clad, the children with nothing but a shirt on and the women old and young nothing but an old cotton dress that looks very much like sack stuff, not as fine as flour sack.  I do not see how they can get through the winter.  Uncle Sam must feed them, I am sure, or they will starve and they will say so too.  Well we are looking for Johney Messick now every day now.  I have not received any letter from you since we have been on the march.  There was a trainload of pontoons came up yesterday.  We will have to cross the Tennessee River on them and perhaps under fire.  We are within 12 to 14 miles of the river.  Some of the officers seems to think that there will be no fight at Chattanooga, that they are already retreating.  There is a rumor running to that effect.  We have a large spring on one side of us and Crow Creek on the other.  I guess that you might direct your letters to Stevenson now.  We are about 6 miles over the Tennessee and Alabama line in Alabama.
        I send my love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours truly G. W. Goodge

I will write again in a couple of days.

*******

12 September 1863, at the foot of Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Dear Friends at home,

The chance is slim for a letter to get home, but still I will write.  We have been on the march for 12 days.  We left Stevenson on the 1st and crossed the Tennessee River and marched by Sandy Mountain and over Raccoon Mountain and over Lookout Mountain.  We came on the rebs as soon as we got over this mountain and they gave us a hard little fight yesterday.  We have got a large army here today but I believe that the rebs has skedaddled again.  They’re in full retreat and we are trying to capture them.  None of our brigade was in the fight yesterday.  It is very dusty and we are as dirty as pigs.  I have not received a letter from you since I got one from Johney Messick.  We have only had one mail since we left Stevenson and there has been none gone out from here.  We are 20 miles below Chattanooga, it is ours and all east Tennessee.  So much for Rosey and his (brown?) boys and without much of a fight yet.  The mail goes in 15 minutes so I will have to.  We are all well and hearty as bucks.  I have been with the train all the time yet.
        The people all seems to be very glad to see us, they say that the rebs is about paid out.

My respects to you &c

*******

2 November 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

I received a letter from you late yesterday evening.  I was very glad to hear that you were all well.  I am tolerably well now and able to do what little duty I have to do.  William Lant is well.  We heard from one of our boys yesterday.  The rebs has got him in a hospital 2 miles from the battleground.  His thigh is broke in 2 places and the joint fractured but he says that he is doing well.  Perhaps you know him, it is Ruben McCutcheon.  He wrote a few lines to the Cap and it came through by a flag of truce.  The rebs have got a battery planted on the top of Lookout Mountain and give our boys a shelling every day now but I do not think that they can reach the 42nd .  They have not done it yet anyhow.  They can come so close that the pieces will come over us.  It is about 3 ½ or 4 miles from our camp and it is about 13 hundred feet higher than we are.  The two corps of Eastern troops had a sharp fight with the rebs at the foot of the mountain the other night.  They commenced fighting at 12 o’clock in the night and quit at 4 o’clock.  Our boys whipped them nicely and gained all the ground that they wanted to gain.  The rebs have just throwed 2 shells at us but they did not reach us within a quarter of a mile.  Another one has just come but with no better success.  You say that wrote as if I was discouraged, I am by no means discouraged if I can only keep my health but when I get sick I do get a little out of heart.  You say that you will make me some shirts.  I am glad of it.  You must get them done and you may possibly have some chance of sending them by hand.  But be sure to send them with some person that you can trust.  It will be 6 weeks or 2 months before they can come by express.  In the letter that I got last night was a letter Lizzie Glick wrote to you.  There is no doubt but old U.S. Grant is here and I think that he will suit the family just as well as old Rosey did.  I understand that Governor Morton is trying to get the furlough time allowed all the Ind. troops that came out in ’61.  If he succeeds we will be home 4 months before our time is out.  That will be a great item in him being elected to serve another term as gov.  Well my paper is getting scarce and there is no sutler up, so good by for this time.  If I was to get home on a furlough I would not come back to the reg. any more, Col Jones would give me a detail at Indianapolis.

Yours truly, G.W.Goodge

*******

13 November 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

I wrote a letter to you on the 7th and expected that Andrew McCutcheon would take it home but he did not go so I sent it by mail.  He is a going for sure tomorrow morning and I will send this by him.  He will drop it in the post office at Louisville and it will get home much sooner than if it was to go from here by mail.  I expect that you have got my shirts done by this time.  I wish that I had them here.  You must be sure not to loose any chance of sending them and I wish that you would send me a black silk neck handkerchief.  I do not want a fine one nor one of the largest size.  You can send it in a letter, the same as you sent the pocketbook.  It will come safe.  Perhaps you will not get the letter that I sent last so I will just tell you about the pocket book.  I want a leather book with a place for bills and 2 or 3 places for change and I want a good one.  I do not care about the price and a small sized one.  I shall send mother’s old one home.  I expect that Andrew will come to see you while he is at home.  He will have to go to Indianapolis first and will probably be there for a week or two before he gets to Evansville.  There is nothing of importance going on here that I know of.  The rebs keep shelling and so do our batteries but I cannot tell how much damage they do.  We are busy fortifying yet and I expect that there will be 30 or 40 big guns open on the reb’s camps before long.  I heard from good authority that General Halleck is here.  We are now the first brigade and the first division.  And the way to spell the name of this place is Chattanooga, so you will know how to direct your letters after this.  Oh yes, I almost forgot, we were paid off day before yesterday and I sent $35 home by the distribution (rule?), you may look for it.  We was paid for 4 months, that was $52 and I kept $17.  We have been on half rations for the last 4 weeks and there was two or 3 times that we did not get anything at all for 24 hours, but you know that was all for to keep Chattanooga.  And another thing it was all in the 3 years and the third year is passing away you know.  That is what is the matter with the pups, only eleven months to put in and then good by Uncle Sam, you may kiss my foot.  And then look out copperheads for I shall do the rest of my fighting at home.
        Oh yes, I must tell you that we get full rations again or so near it that it will do.  We get 3 quarter rations of bread, full rations of meat and 3 fourths rations of coffee and quarter rations of sugar.  No beans, no hominy, no rice, no molasses, no potatoes or anything else and the reason why I kept so much money was because I want to buy something to eat if we get on half rations again, which I do not think we will.  And I must tell you that I am all right with the exception of my ears.
        If Col Jones can not do anything more towards getting a fellow home than to write to the doctor here he might just as well keep his letters at home for it will do no good.  I have come to the conclusion to stay with the company and do the best that I can.
        Write soon and don’t forget the pocketbook and neck handkerchief.  Send them in separate letters.  My love to all and my best respects to all inquiring fiends

Yours truly, G. W. Goodge

*******

22 November 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Brother Charlie

I received a letter from you yesterday and one from Emily that had a list of names of the farmers that contributed to the relief of the soldier’s families in it.  I was very glad to hear from you.  We are getting along very well here now.  The reg. came in off picket this morning.  We was on two days, I was not out until night the first day and then I went out as hospital ranger for they was expecting a fight.  The first night it rained all night and I did not get a wink of sleep.  Last night I came to camp and slept and went out this morning at daylight but there was no fight and so we was relieved this morning.  You say the father wants to know how many men there is in the regiment now.  I think that the quartermaster draws for 270.  There is plenty of better men than me in the reg. that has got no office yet and it would not matter how good a soldier I am or what a great thing I would do, I would not even get a corporal’s office for I am not fit for it and it is because I am hard of hearing.  But if I could hear ever so good I would not care about an office.  A man can serve his country just as good without an office as he can with one.  But because I am deaf I am not a good soldier for I cannot stand picket nor do any guard duty with safety.  I wrote a letter to Emily day before yesterday and sent a ring in the letter.  I hope to hear of her getting it very soon.  It is not very cold here yet.  It is fine two or 3 days and then it rains for 2 or 3 days, so it goes.  We have the largest army here that ever was together at once and I think that old Brag will have to fall back before long.  Tell Jim (brother James L. Goodge, 18 years old at this time) that I think he might write to me once a month, any how I would like to hear from him and tell him that he must not come a soldiering yet a while.   (James later joined the 38th Indiana Volunteer Regiment and died at Bridgeport, Alabama 9 January 1865.)

Well I must close for this time, so goodbye

Yours truly, G.W. Goodge

*******

7 (Dec?) 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Friends at Home

        As there is a good chance of sending you a few lines quick I will do so, although I wrote to you on the 2nd.  Andrew McCutcheon of our com. is going home to recruit.  He is our orderly now, and he will see the letter safe to Louisville or Indianapolis.  I received a letter from Emily day before yesterday.  You saw a young man from here that told you about me having the chills.  I did when he started home but I have got about well again.  There is nothing wrong now except my ears and as I do not do any guard duty.  I am all right again.  You will please send them shirts as soon as possible.  You may have a _____ safe chance to send them by hand if you look out sharply.  There is nothing of importance going on here.  The rebs shells us from Lookout and we shell them so it is tit for tat, if we do them no more injury than they do us it is not worth speaking of.  But we will have some guns here in a few days that will make them tremble in their shoes.  It is a long time since I received a letter from Lizzie.  I must tell Jim that he must not come a soldiering yet for anything.  I would not see him out here for a hundred dollars in gold.  Tell him that it is no fun to march with a gun and knapsack and haversack and to live on two crackers a day with little meat.  I built a chimney the other day (his profession was bricklayer) and got a half dollar for it but it is no use to have money here for you cannot buy anything if you have a pocket full. 
   
     William is well.  We got a letter from Lieu. Messick the other day, he is well and all the boys that was taken with him, there is 13, in the Liby (Libby) prison.  There is a few of us that has not been to Richmond yet.  I think that we will have to go the next fight we have.  Well close I must.  My love and respects to you all

Truly, G.W. Goodge

*******

9 December 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        I received yours of the 30th day before yesterday.  It found me doing very well under the circumstances.  My partner and I went to work early yesterday morning and altered our tent.  We have got as nice and warm a house now as there is in the company.  Well business stopped me from writing this letter yesterday and so I will try and finish it today.  The weather here is very pleasant and fine.  We have 3 steamboats running form Bridgeport here and I think that we will soon have full rations.  Any how I hope so.  It has been 3 months since we had as much to eat as we wanted and I think that is long enough at once don’t you?  I guess that one of my letters will surprise you for sending for so large a treat but nevertheless I want you to send it on as soon as possible for I want a treat after doing so long on crackers and meat.    There has been several of our boys came up within the last few days.  Our comp. numbers 31 now all fit for duty except 2.  Well I received a letter from James and Charlie yesterday and I must answer them in this letter, so farewell for the present.

Yours truly, 
G.W. Goodge

*******

10 December 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Brothers,

        I received your letter of the 3rd yesterday, it found me well and in fine spirits.  I am still company cook but there is nothing much to do at that job now as there has (not) been much to do since I commenced cooking so I have quite an easy time of it.  I do not have to do any other duty.  We are very nicely fixed up now and I hope that we will stay here all winter.
        I think that Emily ought to be very thankful for you being so kind as to get her some furs so cheap.  I think that if she could see the women folks around here she would be very thankful for what she has and not wish for any more.  And you boys ought to have a peep at the young boys and girls in Tennessee and the northern part of Georgia, it would do you good.  You may tell father that I am much obligated to him for the offer of a year’s bed and board but I will be very thankful if he will board me through my loafing time which I expect will last 2 months after I get home.  I am very sorry indeed that poor old Towser is dead.  I would like to have seen him once more but you must recollect his grave so that I can see that when I get home.
        Well boys, write soon again as I am always glad to hear from you.

I remain yours truly,
G. W. Goodge

*******

14 December 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister (Emily)

        I received your letter of the 8th yesterday and was very glad to hear that you were all well and was very glad to see 4 postage stamps in the letter for I am out.  You say that when I get home we shall go over to Mt. Carmel and stay two weeks.  Tell mother that two weeks will hardly get us acquainted, but maybe that will be long enough.  We will wait until I get home before we talk about it and then we will see how the weather looks.  Perhaps it will pay me the best to go out in the frontier and settle down on a land warrant if I can get your little German girl to go along as my wife.  What do you think of it Emily?  You can speak to her for me and see how she will like it.  But hold on, I may not like her yet, I forgot that.  I received my pocket book and neck handkerchief long ago and am very much obliged to father for them although I would be better satisfied if he would take the pay for them.
        I am very glad to hear that the people are making such good efforts to relieve the poor families in Evansville.  I see by the papers that it is being done all over the state very near.  We get the Evansville weekly every week and I find it always interesting     I think that it is a very good paper.  It goes hard for Uncle Abe (bless his old heart) and for Mr. (Colbak?) for speaker.  I hope that I will be home time enough to put in a vote for the president and for old governor Morton too, he is my man for another term. (What do you say father?)
        Well as how I like the baby, I do not know, I have never seen her, but according to the description I think that she is, as you say, a beauty.  Her name I like as well. (Ella M. Goodge was born 27 July 1863)
        I hope that I will see you all in ten months well and hearty.  If I have good luck I will be home in that time, anyhow I hope so.
        Well about that check on the Bank of New York, I wish to know whether John Hopkins will give me the face for it or not.  I expected that you would get green backs and if the are a going to treat me that way I will not send my money home that way any more.  I had the green back in my hand once and give it over to be sent home and it is not right that they should give us anything else.  If father will, he can see if the Journal will give us little information on the subject.
        Well father, I am a manufacturing something out of laurel root and I want a piece of silver watch chain about 8 or ten inches long and a piece of sheet silver about one inch long and a half inch wide.  If you will go to Phillip Guislers and tell him who it is for and get it for me and send them in the next letter I will be very much obliged to you.  I cannot finish the article up right unless I get them, so send them if you please.

I am well, my love and respects to you all.
Yours Truly, George W. Goodge

*******

23 December 1863, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister Emily,

        I received your letter of the 17th last evening.  It found me in good health and fine spirits.  I was glad to learn that you were all well.  We have had a cool spell of weather here. But there has not been any snow at all here this winter.  There is nothing going on here worthy of note that I am aware of.  All things are quiet.  Yes, Emily, we have been on short rations for a long time but I want you to understand that I did not grumble about it.  I merely told you so that you would not think so hard of me for sending for a box.  I would not have said a word about it if it had not been for that.  I do not think that I have been much of a grumbler to you since I have been in the Army of Uncle Sam and it does not become a soldier to grumble.  But the time is going fast and it will not be long before I hope to be able to see you all at home.  It is no use for me to deny that I long for that time to come for I would like if it was here now so that I could get into the civilized world once more.  You speak as you was not a going to have a Christmas dinner just because I am not there.  I am sorry that you are not.  Christmas will be day after tomorrow.  I expect to have a dinner of bacon and hardtack which is all I have in the store, oh yes, some coffee.  Well I passed my birthday in the army on he 18th day of this month.  I am now 22 years old, and not very good looking.  I am glad that you have got that picture.  I expect that it will cost me 5 dollars before it is done, but don’t you think that it is worth that much?  You will see on the mountain a white house, and just to the left of it is where the 42 fought the rebs one night for over 2 hours.  You want to know what my partner’s name is, he is a Dutch and his name is (Hart Lornze?), we call him Charlie Leannce.  You have got a set of furs, I am not sorry now much and I hope that they will be very useful in keeping the cold out and the warm in.  You ought to have told me whether the express agent said whether my box would come through quick or whether he said that it might be a good while before it got here, and then I would know how to look for it.
        Yes I received a letter from you a telling me about you being visited by our cousins and I thought that I had told you about it in the next letter.  I received 3 postage stamps in you letter last evening.  If I live to get home we will have a nice trip over to Ill. I hope, (If you do not get married or throw yourself away on large Bob), but our trip will be in a year and that is a long time.  If everything goes on all right we will have a pleasant trip but I would like to go when they make their molasses and that will be in February.  Well Will Carter has just came in the shanty to see me.  I told him that you sent your respects to him.  He said for me to return you his true respects, but I don’t know how, so good by.

Yours truly and forever
George W. Goodge

*******

10 January 1864, Co. A, 42 Reg.  Indiana Vol.  Inf. , Camp at Chattanooga, Tennessee

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COPY OF LETTER

Dear Sister,

        As it is likely that we will not get started from here for home for a week or ten days yet.  I thought that I might as well write you a few lines to let you know how it was that I reenlisted for 3 more years.  In the first place 3 fourths of the reg. had enlisted and they would go home in a body, have 30 days free of all officers at home, and another 30 days recruiting, and be free to spend a good part of there time at home. And then there is 10 days more for the men to stay in the state some place and drill making in all 90 days in there own state.  Well now the reason why I reenlisted was the officers told me that if I would enlist I would be sure to be rejected and then I would be sure to go home with the regiment any how and would get my discharge at Indianapolis.  The officers and men were all so confident that I would be rejected and I thought my self that I would.  And if there was such a good chance for me to get home I thought that it would be wrong for me not to go. Don’t you think that I was right in reenlisting?

        I would not have been accepted if there had been an examination but there wasn’t any.  The officers were afraid that if there was too many rejected they would not get 3 fourths of the reg. and then they could not go home with the men, so they did not examine any but just put there names down as veterans.  The officers say that if I do not recruit up and get fit for duty when I am home that I will be discharged.  I cannot tell you how the thing has been carried on very well by letter, but I will be home in a month at the (least) and then I will tell you all about it.  I have not received my box yet.  My socks feels good I tell you I would not take $5 for them.  I received them a good while ago but when I wrote I never thought about them until I had sent the letter off.

It is hardly worth while to write to me for we may be on our way home by the time you get this letter.

My love and respects to you all

Yours truly, George W. Goodge

*******

9 March 1864, Camp Carrington, Indianapolis, Indiana

Dear Sister,

        I have been eagerly looking for a letter for two days but I have not received any and I concluded that I would write again.  It has been a week tomorrow since I wrote.  I sent you six photographs home to fill my album.  We expected to get off today but have not done it and I do not believe that we will get off this week now.  The boys are all about here, and most of them are strapped of all their money.  They have been a spreeing and have spreed all of their money away.  We are having very fine weather here and nothing to do.  When we first came here for our 28 days we could run to town when we pleased and come back when we pleased.  But now we have a very heavy guard around us and cannot go without a pass.  There is plenty of peddlers in camp with apples, pies, eggs and cakes.  We drawed our guns today and we drawed all of the clothing that we want.  All of the boys are anxious to go to the front.  If we cannot be at home we would rather be in the field.
        Will Carter sent you a piece of sheet music last Saturday.  I expect that you have got it before this time.
        Will is well and is up in town now.

Write soon and direct you letters to this place, if we leave they will find us.

Mr. G. W. Goodge
Co A 42 Reg. Ind. Vols
Camp Carrington
Indianapolis, Ind

That is the proper direction.  My love to you and Marian Lant’s family

Yours truly G.W.G.

*******

17 March 1864, Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        I have got no letter from you but I thought that I would write you a few lines.  We Left Indianapolis on Sunday morning and arrived at Madison, Ind. at dark.  We went on a boat immediately, which was waiting for us and came to Louisville, a distance of 50 miles from Madison.  We stayed all day and night and then left for this place.  We will not be likely to leave here until tomorrow morning, if then.  I am tired of this place and don’t care how soon I get to Chattanooga.  We are all well and in very good spirits. 

Yours truly,
G. W. Goodge

*******

21 March 1864, Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        As you can see by the heading of this letter we are at this miserable place yet and do not know when we will leave.  There is so many troops here that is going to the front and there is no transportation for them.  There is strong talk of us marching through but it is hard to tell whether we will or not.  If we do it will be hard on us and it will take us 14 or 15 days.  We cannot get any mail, it is all sent to the brigade and we will not get any letters until we get to the front.  I have had but one letter for you and that I got while I was at Indianapolis.  I have not had a letter from neither Lizzy or Mary.  I want father to get good go security from John Hopkins for my money or if he does not want it bad enough to give security why draw it in and put it out to a good man that will give good security.  I am not a going to risk it any longer and was foolish not to make it safe before I left home.  If you cannot get six percent for it why get what you can and put it out for six months at a time.  You will be a doing me a great favor if you do this for me and I will be much obliged.  Emily I have had the bad luck to loose my needle book and you will please get some stuff and make me another one and fix it off nice with red blue and white.*  Put in a good supply of needles, pins, thread, yarn, darning needles &c.  Get the stuff and take it in some time when you go to see Mary and she will help to make it.  I am in no hurry for it and you need not send it until I tell you to.  I expect when you do send it you will have to mail it.  Will is hearty as usual and I believe that George W. Goodge is doing first rate but he fairly hates this city.  I send a little of my love to you and you may divide with the rest of the family.  My respects to all of my friends

Yours truly,
G. W. Goodge

*This sewing kit was handed down through the family and is in my possession at the present time. (Warren M. Archer, January 26, 2002) There is a note in it written by my aunt who knew George, her grandfather, stating the relationship between him and myself (see sewing kit below).

*******

26 March 1864, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        We left that miserable place, Nashville, yesterday afternoon at half past four o’clock and rode all night and got here about 9 o’clock this morning.  I felt very bad being sleepy, dirty and hungry.  As soon as we got off the cars we started for the detachment.  William Lant soon had some coffee and I had a breakfast of light bread, ham and coffee.
        There was a very heavy snow here day before yesterday but it is all gone except on the mountains.  It is fine and warm this afternoon.  The old boys are trying to joke us about veteranism but I no not think that they will make much at it.  Oh I almost forgot to tell you that the regiment marched through, they started 2 days before I did.  I fell down stairs the day before they started and so could not march.  There was about 30 of the regiment that could not march and so we came through on the cars.  I do not think that the rest will be here yet for 12 days anyhow.  I got five letters today 3 from you one from Lizzie and one from M. R.  I think that them pictures of the children are very good but I will not keep them.  You sent me a letter from Uncle George, (George Beidelman, his mother’s brother) he wants me to write to him.  You must send him my respects and tell him that I have so much correspondence or else I would write to him.  You need not be afraid for I will not be too fast. I am not in a hurry nor do I want to fasten my precious (seffs?) before it is needed and when I am ready I will not stand it to be put off, you may be assured.
        I do not think it will be very long before we smell gun powder and hear the great and unequaled band play music.  I have had my hair shingled and am as near ready for a tramp as I can get.  I got six post stamps out of you letter and was glad to get them.  Does M. care much whether anybody sees that likeness or not?  You know if I am trifled with it is all over.  Well, Chattanooga is being torn up, banged about turned over and hammered and, well in fact, it is quite a Yankee looking place.  I hardly knew it.

My love to you all and my respects to all inquiring friend

Yours truly, George W. Goodge

P.S. Remember that all that inquires are not respected friends, (use) your own judgment & also just let me know when letters comes too fast from me and I will do my best to put a stop to it.

Yours &c G. W. Goodge

*******

10 April 1864, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        I wrote a letter to you last Wednesday and got one from you on Thursday so I will answer it today.  It is very cold this morning and I am almost froze.  You need not be afraid of me saying anything about that fellow of yours.  I will be mum, only just get the knot tied as soon as possible for I am hungry and would like to have a piece of cake to eat.  Be sure and send me a piece about as big as a brick in a letter and I will be much obliged to you.  I am very busy now cooking and have got two big camp kettles of potatoes to cook for dinner today.  We get fed well now, we got some sour kraut yesterday and plenty of potatoes.  They came from the sanitary, which is a wonder.  Oh yes, you say that your intended is going to come to Evansville and set up or go into the mercantile business.  Well I am glad of that for I may want something in his line and maybe I can get it on credit and never pay.  Maybe I will get home sometime in the course of two years and then I will set up in mercantile business and then I will come over to your house if you set a good table and keep good cigars.  Well you want to know where I got my beer, I did not have any beer in me but was a going down stairs at the rate of two forty and made a misstep and went down the rest of the way at the rate of two fifty, but it was not a bad hurt, only the oldness of the soldier and the march made it so bad that he could march well.  I understand that Charley is a going to church every Sunday with Mary.  Tell Charley that he must be sure that he is wanted, or not go it.  May not be agreeable and it does not look well to be too thick.  You may send my needle book as soon as you can by mail.  I am well with the exception of a bad cold.  You have $5 of my money at home, I believe.  You will give a half a dollar of it to Mr. McCarie for missionary money but tell him that I do not want him to say anything about it before the whole school and then if he does, why I will not give anymore in that way.  You must hurry Mary up with her photographs for I want one.  I cannot recollect her features at all. Go and see Truckey and tell him that I send my best respects and well wishes to him and his wife and tell me how he is getting along in your nest.

My love to you all

Yours truly, G. W. Goodge

*******

18 May 1864, Resaca, Georgia

Dear Sister

        I am in good health once more. I am with the General Field Hospital yet and have got a good place in the cook house.  There is about 1500 wounded here.  Will Carter has his leg broke just above the knee and is not well.  Math. Parrott’s (Mathew Parrott) right shoulder is shattered very bad, doing ______.  John Stinson is slightly wounded in the top of his head.  There is four more wounded in our company but you are not acquainted.  There was none killed out of the company.  This was all done in about 10 minutes.  There may be more wounded by this time.  I have not heard from them for five days.  This is not much of a place.  It is about 32 miles from Chattanooga and 85 miles from Atlanta.  We are so busy a cooking that I cannot write any more.  If Captain Trimble has not started yet give him all the photographs and a letter for me.  Tell him where I am but I expect that I will be further down before long.  Do not write unless somebody comes that can bring the letter.  I will write when ever I get time.

Yours, G.W. Goodge

*******

14 June 1864, Resaca, Georgia

Dear Sister,

        I wrote you a few lines night before last but I received a letter from you yesterday.  As we are a going to move tomorrow or next day I though it well to send you a few lines.  Your letter that I received was written on the 6th and was answer to the one that I wrote to Math. Parrot’s (Mathew Parrott) wife.  I am very well tonight and am thankful.  You must not forget to send in the money and photographs if you get a good chance.  You can see that I have no stamps and I think that you might spare a half a dozen anyhow.  I have Will Carter’s clothes yet and don’t know when I can send them.  (William Carter died of wounds May 31, 1864)  We are a going to Acworth on the railroad about 50 miles from here & about 30 miles from Atlanta.  You may direct your letters next time:

Mr. G.W. Goodge
Acworth, Georgia
General Field Hospital

Only General Field Hospital ought to be between my name and Acworth

My love to you all,  Yours truly
(write immediately) G.W. Goodge

*******

18 June 1864, Resaca, Georgia

Dear Sister,

        I wrote you a letter 4 days ago and told you to direct your letters to Acworth but we could not got any train to move us.  They are all so busy taking (guard?) to the front and bringing wounded away that there is not time to move us and we will not move until further orders, so we may be here yet for a month, so you may direct to this place.  We was all _________ this moving by a report from a citizen that there was 3 hundred rebel cavalry 1 mile from the town and was a going to come in but I guess they thought it best not to come, anyhow they did not.  There is a report here this evening that there has been some of the hardest fighting done the last two days that our army ever had to do but I do not know how true it is.  I have been very busy today making pies.  I am getting to be an excellent cook and can get up a right good meal.  I have a colored woman to wash for me and (we) get along fine.  If this was only a healthy place I would be all right but I take medicine every other day to keep the fever off.  I am, by that medicine, able to be up and a doing all the time.  If I was in the front I would suffer a good deal.  Write soon and let me know all the news.

My love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours truly. G. W. Goodge

*******

31 July 1864, Vinings Station, Georgia

Dear Sister

       I received a letter from you today but it was an old one and had 3 stamps in it which was welcome.  I am well and still in the old place.  Am close enough to hear the musketry and to know that Atlanta is not taken yet but Uncle Sam’s boys are in good spirits and see no fear.  Atlanta will fall in good time.  I am kept very busy now but am all right with the officers and am a privileged character.  you must write soon and excuse my short letter.  our company has lost very few men lately and the rebel loss is much more than ours.  I told you in my last letter that you might have that gold ring as a keepsake. You may not get that letter.

Goodbye for this time, yours truly G.W. Goodge

*******

8 August 1864,  Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dear Sister,

        I came up here on last Saturday on business for the hospital and my box got here the same day that I did and I got it out immediately.  I found everything all right.  The largest pair of _____ ____ calf is just a fit and one pair of the cloth suits me very well.  I shall return to the front on the 8 o’clock this morning, a trip of (28?) miles.  The hat is just a fit.  I am very sorry that you did not send them J L photographs in the box but yours came safe in a letter and I believe that the rest of them will.  I was up on lookout yesterday and had a nice dinner with the Col of the 42, but I could not find Lizzie Glick so I suppose that she has gone home.  You must recollect that I will be in the General Field Hospital at Vinings Station before you get this letter.

My love to you all 
Yours truly, GWG

*******

22 September 1864, Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Sister,

        I am sorry that I am sorry, well I am bothered, what I mean is I am sorry that I can not get any letters from you.  The last that I received had mother’s photograph.  We are a getting along here very well at present.  I am in my place yet and work when I please and I have a good time generally.  We have good news from the Potomac, the army here is very _______ about our exchanged prisoners.  Some 2,000 have been exchanged here within the last few days and there is hardly a man of them that will be fit for duty under 6 months and yet some of them has not been in the rebel’s hands more than 2 months.  There was three of them that came into the hospital today and they could hardly walk and they say that they were starved to that condition.  If a reb shoots one of our boys in the prison they get a furlough for it.  They have a dead line and if a prisoner lays a hand on that dead line they shoot him and they are not careful and do not care whether they kill one or three.  Our surgeon felt so bad today when he saw them boys that he almost shed tears.  And he called some reb officers up and showed the men to them and he spoke to a reb chaplain and he said, ‘Chaplain if there is a Devil he will get the Confederacy.  Or if there is a hell the Confederacy will go there or there is no use for the Devil or hell either.’  The reb said, ‘Well treat us that way.’  The doctor spoke up ‘thank God that we have a government and officers that are more humane and respect prisoners of war that to do that.’  The rebs looked down and looked mean.  The language was too much for them.  If the men in the north that was able to stand field service had one bit of spunk or spirit in them and was to see these men when they get to the hospital there would be no need for a draft to fill the ranks.  It is enough to make a wooden man’s blood boil.  Well if our boys gets on another campaign I do not think that they will take any prisoners.  It is time to raise the black flag, high time.  Well I saw Christ. Ruff the other day.  He is a clerking in the city for a sutler, he says that Mary did not tell him a word about our _________ and he said that when he wrote he was a going to tell her all about it.  I told him all.  He said that she did not think he told me that you were a going to be married in about a week after he left home and it had _____ mother, so I guess that you have made a change in your name before this time.

Well a long and happy life

My love to you all and my best respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours truly, G.W. Goodge

P.S. I will try and get a furlough in 6 weeks or 2 months and I think that I can get it here.  Yours G.W. Goodge

 *******

18 October 1864, Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Sister,

        As our railroad communication has been cut off for some time I have not written to you, but the trains is expected through in a day or two and then the _______ will go home, and William Elliot will take this letter.  I am well and doing well.  We may go short of rations here yet, but I hope not.  I have nothing to write, only the last time William came to see me he gave me a gold pen and ivory holder for a present.  I have not received a letter from you for over 6 weeks.  Joanna Jackson is well.

My love to you all and by best respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours truly, G.W. Goodge

 

END OF LETTERS

 

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