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15th New Hampshire Infantry

Item LTR-8838
January 27, 1863 Absalom Ford
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

Carrollton, La. Jan 27th 1863

Dear Sister,

I received your letter yesterday & was very glad to know you were all well. I received two papers also from you. I received Louella’s and Sarah’s also, making 4 letter & 2 papers. So, I got quit a mail. I should to get as much every week, but I do not.

My health has been very good for a week, but today I am not feeling quite so well. I have had the dysentery for some time, but not very bad so as to be excused from duty. But, it was some hard to do it for 2 or three days. But, I am in hopes I shall get over it soon & if I do I think I shall be tough but cannot tell.

I hope for the best believing in God & trusting He will do all things right & I may do my duty as faithfully as He does. But, I am afraid I do not but my hope & my prayer is every day that He may watch over me & give me grace to be faithful unto death & if it be consistent with His holy will my life may be spared & I be permitted to return to my home & friends there to rejoice in Him who died for us all that we through His grace might live & praise Him once more. But, I feel as though it would not be spared. But, I am resolved to keep up my faith in Him & to strengthen it if it is in my power. I want you to pray for me & I would be glad if I had more friends to ask to pray for me, but I have not but hope that soon I may have, for I hope that they may some time feel their true condition and be led to turn unto the Lord & seek Him while He may be found.

I am glad that they are having religious meetings up there & may they not be in vain for I do think there is need of a reviving work in that place but no more than many other places.

I wrote to Father the other day hoping it might do some good & it may. My prayer is that it may & I hope that he is not the only one that may seek an interest in our Lord Jesus Christ for in Him in our only hope & strength & I did feel when on the water as though my hours were flying swiftly away & I have seen may ours n land also that looked very dark. But, I think there is clear sky beyond the clouds.

I have just finished a letter to Alden. I forgot to tell you who I received the fourth letter from but it was from him & I was very glad to hear from him. I have not heard from anyone for some time before but if you knew how glad I was to hear from you all you would write to me most every day I guess.

Has not Mother got home yet? Has she been taking care of Abram or not? I received a letter from Lou & one from Arrie last Thursday.

Lou mailed hers at Warren so I knew she was over there. I think I have received every letter that has been written to me but I do not know certain. I feel very sorry for Mr. Marsden for I think he is to be pitied if anyone was I would like to have been there to mutiny when he spoke of the death of his sister. I hope my friends will all live until I get home but we cannot tell who will come next. But, if I am to leave this world I hope I shall have a chance to get home for I do not want to be left out here.

I thought it quite strange when I heard about Mr. Williams' experience, but your letter gives a little better idea of it. I am in hopes it is all true & will prove to be a good thing for him for he has talked so in the store about Christians & religion. I hope it will not stop with him but many be called unto Him & be bound in serious connections.

Oh, Sister, how many times I have thought with regret of my past life going to Saturday & Sabbath evening meetings & sitting & hearing others speak of God’s goodness & I sit and not one word to say in His favor. Oh, I do think if ever I returned I will try 7 do my duty more faithfully. How many privileges I have had of going to meeting & not enjoying them. I feel it more I suppose being out here & not having any such opportunity, I think if ever I get back I shall do a little different. Do pray for me that I may live faithful & be prepared for death & if consistent with God’s will be permitted to return to you in health & strength once more.

You spoke of my experience when on the sea. I felt as though it was all right as it could be at that time & I felt as though God was with me & would protect me under all circumstances & I was very much reconciled for I was prepared to go as well then as ever. But, not few were the prayers that I offered up to the throne of grace to spare my life & I have felt & do still feel that they were answered. I would like to be there & drive Lou in that new sleigh with that new harness but cannot just yet & would not I like to be there to go to singing school one evening but as I say I cannot just yet.

I would like to have been there on Christmas Eve but it is no use I might just as well be contented as any way for I cannot get away. I am thankful I am not in some fellows’ places here. They are sent to Ship Island for three years. I hope I shall not ever get tat sentence. One of these tried to desert. One insulted his Capt, the other five for disobeying orders.

I believe I wrote you we had moved from the Regt down into the city to do Provost Guard duty & guard Commissary stuff & other things. We are about 1/2 a mile from the rest. Co. C is also with us.

It rains quite hard & has all day & part of last night. It is now most three. I thought I would write to Louella & Sarah but I am getting some tired. I have most forgotten what I have written to you before so I do not know what to write now.

Our Regt have had orders to move up to Camp Parapet some two miles up the river. We are in a very pleasant place of Carrollton some 6 miles from New Orleans up the river. We called there when we came up along. I mean to go down there if we stay here any length of time. The Provost Marshall says we shall not go for he has been changing every two weeks & he now he has got a good guard now & he shall keep it. But, I do not know how it will be.

I wrote to Father & sent him $30.00 by Express going to Mr. Rogers. So, he will have to go to him for it. I want you to write & tell me now if you have got it.

Give my love to all & keep a share yourself. From your Brother Ab

Harrison Gilmore was down to see me a few days ago. He was well.