Ltr #38 & #39 K. G. C., by H. B. Talbert
[Clement Vallandigham, a Democrat, wanted to become governor of Ohio. He thought the war effort was diminishing civil liberties in the North and said so in his campaign. To some his words were unpatriotic and he was arrested. The administration, not wanting a martyr, had him released and sent into the South. He then appealed to the war-weary Northerners sympathetic to the Southern cause to organize, and they did with the semisecret club called the Knights of the Golden Circle, K. G. C. This club did not help the Northern cause or Lincoln.]
January the 6th 1863
Dear Brother Alpheus
This evening finds me again Seated in my lonely Tent, No other Companion to cheer [me] except the Stove which has been a very exceptible partner for the last day or two. For the last 8 or ten days it has been raining considerable but last night it turned cold and to day feels like Winter for the first since Nov. Times are very quiet, Nothing going on to create excitement but hearty wishes are daily heard from every true hearted Soldier in favor of our Army Now in the South. Although your letter brought rather discouraging News, still I feel as I think every true Patriot ought to feel determined to never give up as long as there is a gleam of hope remaining for the Union as it was & the Constitution as it is. And I cannot for my life think it will ever be settled otherwise. Although I acknowledge things look very gloomy at present. But I hope and trust time will bring things around all square. The Knights of the Golden Circle has long been talked of in this State and I have always been fearful that they would some day rise up against us but I hope our Army will be successful in the Battle now in progress both at Murfeesboro & Vicsburg and thus keep the cowardly K. G. C. at bay. Your ever welcome note of the 30th & 31rst of Dc. [December] came to hand yesterday evening, which found me well, hearty and in fine spirits. And I sincerely hope these few lines may find you all the same. The health is good without any exceptions, not a sick man in the hospital at this post, and has not been for some time. I am not as fleshy as I was last winter (weigh 170) [180 lbs 1/62] but I enjoy as good health as I ever did in my life. New Years Day I went to Sedalia with Lt Thomas, staid three nights and two days, then returned. I found [cousin] Frank, Wm. Worth, J. M. Ash, & all the rest of the boys well and hearty. Frank appeared to be well satisfied. I got there late in the evening, but in time to get some of his goodies sent him from home.
Dc 7th [January 7] I will now try and finish my scribbling. We got a paper this evening which brings cheering news, Murfeesboro & Vicsburg is ours according to its statements. You can hardly imagine how it cheers the boys to hear of such Union Victories: Hurrah for the Union.
[The newspaper was wrong. Vicksburg had not surrendered to the Union and did not for several months.]
This afternoon I went out and set two mink traps on a small creek running close by. While setting one trap I saw a mink slipping from one drift to another. I think there is several along this creek. Coon are plenty. I do not no exactly what they are worth but mink about $1.00 & coon 50 or 60 cts. Tomorrow me & P. C. Holland are going down the creek to set some more traps. He goes with me for company, and I go because I have nothing else much to do. To day Peter wrote a letter to Mother, in which he gave me a very good name. I objected to his praising me up so high but he said I deserved it and he would have his own way. From the way he writes, you would at once suppose I had a huge pair of whiskers & mustache but if you was to see me you would think different. My beard has grown but very little since I left home. [Brother Alpheus] I was glad to hear that you had so plenty of money, and if you think you can not take care of it all just send me about five dollars in a letter. I assure you I can find a place to deposit it. There is four months pay due us now, and I do not no to what there will be four months more due us before we get any. [U.S.] Uncle Sam and the boys in camp now owes me over $100.00 [3/4 years income]. Tell me in your next letter if Father has collected any of that money coming to me from the boys killed at Lone Jack. And if he has not got that that is coming to me from Charley Hungleford tell [brother] Milton he can have it if he will collect it. Material for writing letters has become so scarce that I have concluded to only write home. If you hear any one complaining about me not writing tell them how it is. And this is not all, I have so little to write about that I think it useless to write so many letters to thee same settlement. This leaves me enjoying good health and hoping it will find you all well and doing well. I will close with love and respect, I remain your affectionate Brother
P. S. Some of you must be sure and answer Peters letter. And if you do not send me any money send a few postage stamps and oblige your Brother
[I think Uncle had problems rewriting Peter’s letter and read Peter’s "s" as an old time "t’ in the words "conclution - conclusion" and "profution - profusion".]
[January 7, 1863]
Uncles copy of Peter Hollands letter to Mother.
Mrs Talbert I have the pleasure of peruseing [reading carefully] your sons letter. At the conclution [conclusion] of my reading my heart was filled to overfloing with pleasing recollections of my youthful days when I had a kind Mother that would anxiously inquire after a wondering or prodigal son. As the old proverb says providence tempers the east wind to the shorn lamb in taking one kind friend from me he has given me another that maternally inquires after my welfare, & in return for your kind inquiry madam accept my sincere & heartfelt thanks. This at present is all the return I am able to make you for your very disintrested and welcome friendilyship. In future I hope to be worthy the confidence in me that of being the friend of your son. This honour to me is flattering. And also to all of his associates his honorable principle and gentlemanly deportment [behavior] commands the good will and respect of all who know him. His apearance is much changed since he left home, his apearance now is that of a soldier, bold, frank, generous, and manly wearing a g[r]aceful profution [profusion - abundance] of whiskers and mustache with the endelible mark of truth on his bold forhead. This picture of the man is not as flattering as the original justifies. He is all that his Mother could wish him to be & what any Mother would be proud of. This writing or description he promptly condemns a[nd] remonstrates [pleads] against my sending it, nevertheless, I will have my own way in some things.
[End of Peter’s letter]
[If because of the current telecommunications financial fiasco you may not be receiving these letters in the future and you have enjoyed portions of these letters then contact me for a $7 CD. The CD includes all of H. B. Talbert's Civil War letters, scanned copies of all the letters and envelopes, a few scanned letterhead imprints, plus pictures, index, and other interesting information. Make check payable to Jack Hultquist, P.O. Box 24, Minden NE 68959-0024]