Civil War Correspondence of
William J. and Mary Elizabeth (Fordyce) Strieby

These letters are in the possession of Jeff Roller and scanned copies of the originals can be viewed at his website. Thanks to Jeff for making them available.

Camp Nevin Ky.
Nov 2nd 1861

Dear Wife,

I take the present as a favorable time to write a few lines to you in answer to your very welcome letter which I rec'd a few days ago bearing date of Oct 15th. You cannot imagine how glad I was to hear from you after looking long and anxiously for a letter. I almost concluded that you were not going to write at all. I have not been very well for a few days. I have taken cold but am about over it again. The weather has been very pleasant here all along until yesterday. It clouded up & commenced raining and is rather cool this morning. We are encamped in a valley & when it commenced raining the water began to run into the tents & the boys began to dig ditches to carry off the water & some of the boys had to move their tents to higher ground. The Union troops continue to arrive in camp. We heard that the 44th Ind. Regt had arrived in camp. Whether true or not I cannot say. I have not seen it yet.

There is not any more prospect of a fight than there was when we came here. The rebels have destroyed the railroad bridge across Green River so that we cannot advance on Bowling Green & there is no rebel force worth naming within reach of us. The health of our Regt. Has been pretty good thus far but I am afraid there will be considerable sickness if the weather continues wet & cold long. I do not want you to be uneasy about me or think that I will not fare well. We have enough to eat of good Substantial food, but a pie or cake would not come amiss if we could get them occasionally but as we can not get them we will be content without. We have good warm wollen clothes with blankets &c. so that we need not suffer with cold. I want you to keep old Jake & bud about right and when you write again let me know how Dennis is getting along.

Now I will look for a letter from you in a very short time. The letters come through from Ligonier in 4 days so you had better mail your letters there if you can send them. You cannot imagine how much good it does a fellow to get a letter from home away down here in old Kentucky. Our parade ground is too wet to drill on today so a lot of us were sent out into the woods to take down some of the big trees for firewood. It seems like old times for a fellow to shoulder his ax and march into the woods. Tell Rob McEikkren that the coons are so plenty here they crawl on right up to a fellow when he is standing picket guard. He ought to be here to catch them.

I have nothing more to write now that would be interesting. Give my respects to all inquiring friends and when you write to me give me a whole history of what is going on. Write me a long letter.

From your affectionate husband,
Wm Strieby

To Mary Strieby

Hospital No. 1 Evansville, Ind.
October 26th 1863

Dear wife & children,

I take the present opportunity to write a few lines to let you know that I am getting well again. I have been quite sick but I am a good deal better now. I have been trying to move a little but I don't feel strong enough yet but I think I shall be soon. I have not had a letter for two weeks. It snowed yesterday all day & it looked as if winter had set in for good. The snow would have been as much as six inches deep if it had not melted as it fell & it is about two inches deep this morning but it will soon be all off for the sun is shining bright this morning. The church bells are ringing loud & clear & how I wish that I was there to take you and the children & go to church once more, but it seems as though it is impossible for me to get away from here till I get able to go to the Regiment so I have given up all hope of getting home till the war is over or till I am discharged, which there is no prospect of at present for discharges are played out for the present. I got the clothes & everything that you sent. I am very much obliged to you for the money that you sent except one of them bills that was on a broken Bank, but I found an old Dutchman that had some butter to sell & I let him have it for four lbs of butter. Well I am glad of it that they have drafted a lot of them cowardly fellows & I wish that they would draft three times as many more of them. We have been out & nearly run ourselves to death & I think that it is time that they turn out & relieve us but there is no danger of their doing it ____ as they are drafted for they are too big cowards to go only as they are forced to but they may have to come out yet and see how they like soldiering. I don't think that I shall go to the Regiment this winter for I don't gain strength very fast & they won't send me off till I get well & if you want to see me you will have to come and see me for I can't go home no more than I could if I lived in England. They will keep a man here till he dries up and blows away & then they will send guards after them but it is no use then for they have got their discharge for good then & the doctor has no more control over them. Well if they want to keep me here when I can't do anything let them do it. They will have to pay me whether I do anything or not & I can stand it as long as Uncle Sam can in return. Thomas Vaughn is still here on detailed duty in No. 3 Hospital . Well there is nothing more that I can think of so I will close for the present hoping to hear from you soon. This is from your affectionate husband,

William Strieby
To Mary Strieby    Good bye

Bridgport, Allibama
January the 18 '64

Dear Wife,

It is with pleasure that I take my pen in hand to answer your kind letter that I received yesterday and was glad to hear that you was well. I am well at present and hope when these few lines reach you they will find you in the same state of health. Well Mary, I got them stamps that you sent me and was glad to get them. Well Mary, I ain't got much to write at this time only to tell you that I have some notion to enlist in the veteran _____ and come home on 30 days furlough and see you and Henry January the 19th. Well Mary I am yet alive and hearty as ever and hope that these few scribbled lines may find you in the same state of health. Give my love to all inquiring friends if there any be. Well there ain't anything happened since I last wrote to you. Well Mary I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon and often. Well Mary if you go home write and let me know when you go so that I can Write to you as soon as you get there. Good bye Mary for this time from your husband

William Strieby
To his wife Mary Strieby

January the 9, 1865
Camp at Huntsville, All.

Dear wife,

It is with pleasure that I take my pen in hand to answer your kind letter that I received the other day and was glad to hear from you. It was the first time for about 1 month which seemed like a long time to me. One of them bearing the Date of December the 18 and the other the 23. They both found me well and hearty and hope when this few lines reaches you they will find you in the same state of health. I was glad too hear of the Dish washer and would like to see her as she is a soldier boy and a veteran at that. Well Mary I ain't go much to write about at the time only to tell you that we went in to camp and I got me a good tent out and a good fireplace in it. Well write and let me know if you got that money or not. I made a mistake. It was only 1 hundred and 70 dollars instead of 1 hundred and 80. Tell me all about how you got alongthis time. Well I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon. I remain your husband till Death.

William J. Strieby to his wife Mary E. Strieby

Well tell me if you got that plate or not that I sent with Bill Johnson when he went home. Well you can name that girl just what you want to and I will be satisfied with the name.

Noble County, Indiana
January 15, 1865

My Dear Husband,

It is through the mercies of the good Lord that my life has been spared to write a few lines to you to let you know how we are getting along at present and to let you know that your letter bearing the date of December 30th came to hand yesterday and found us all enjoying tolerable good health. I am not very stout yet but am gaining strength slowly. I am able to be up all the time and can work a little but not very much. My back is very weak and hurts me very much ever since I was sick. The baby is well and seems to be very hearty. It is not so poor as Henry was, it weighed five pounds and nine ounces. She will be four weeks old next Wednesday. She was born on the 21st of last month. It was my birthday too, I was 25 years old that day. I should have liked to have had you here then but we got along very well as it was day, or rather in the morning. I was not sick very long. Mother and Liz Hines was all that was here until it was over. We did not have time to get the doctor or anybody else much here. I got along much better than I did the other time but am weaker in my back and am not able to work as I was in the same length of time. Well no more of this as I expect you have heard about it before this time as Sarah Jane wrote to you about it the same week, but I thought I would write the particulars, as I thought you would like to know. Send her a name if you have one.

January 16th Well William you see I had to quit writing last night as it got too late to finish after I put the baby to sleep. Tonight she is sleeping in the cradle by my side. I wish you could only peep in and see her but you must keep in good heart. I think and hope the time will come soon when you can come and see us all and stay with us too if we all live till that time. I do hope and pray that the Good Lord will spare your life that you may be permitted to return home once more, and it seems as if the Lord has ever heard my prayers for I have prayed for you and asked the Lord to take care of you and the shield you from the hands of your enemies, and if we only put our trust in the Lord he will bring you through safe if it is His will. If not, the Lord's will be done and not our s. We should always be willing to submit to the will of God let it be what it may. For my part I do thank the Lord that it is as well with me as what it is. Now let us put our whole trust in the Lord and try and live more faithful, and do his will as it is required of us and always remember the words, "Thou God Sust Me."

Well William I received the money or one hundred and seventy dollars instead of one hundred and eighty dollars. It was marked $170.00 on the package. The book I have not got yet. No more at present. Good night.

Ever your wife
Wm J. Strieby Mary E. Strieby

Noble Co. Ind. Febuary 19th 1865

My Dear Husband,

I seat my self this eavening to try to write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all well this eavening and I hope you are the same. Well William I have not received a letter from you for two weeks , which seems to me like a long time, but I hope I will hear from you soon. Well William, Sarah and Alfred Strieby were here to day. They said they were all well up there. I have not seen your Father and Mother for a bout six or seven weeks but I think I shall see them soon if I and the rest of the family keeps well till next Saturday and if it don't get too mudy. Well William I have not received that Book yet which you are sending to me. I should like to know what kind of a book it is. Well you wished to know wheather I received that plait which you sent by Bill Johnson or not. I did received it and was very glad to get something you had taken from the rebs. I had forgoten to write to you a bout getting it till this time. Well William there has been quite a time here of enlisting men for the army. There is to be another draft the 21st of this month if there is not enough enlistes. Well I will tell you some of the names of the men that enlisted a round here Joseph Bull, William Bull, David Longfellow, William Robison, John Owen and a great many others that I do not remember the names of just now. Oh! Yes John Cooper has enlisted to a mong the rest. Well enough of this. Well I hardly know what more to write this time as I have not received a letter since I wrote to you last and I give you the particulars in the other letter. Well I will bring my scribling to a close for this time hoping to hear from you soon. The baby is well and hearty. No more. Good night from your affectionate

Wife Mary E. Strieby
To William J. Strieby

I will get them likenesses taken as soon as I can get to go to Ligonier. The baby is not hardly old enough to take so far in a wagon over rough roads. She will be two months old day after tomorrow.


Please excuse this dirty half sheet for it is all the paper I have at present.

Mossboro, Tensee Camp Drake
June the 10th, 1865

Dear wife,

It is with great pleasure that I take my pen in hand to in form you that I am well at present and hope when this few lines reaches you they will find you in the same state of health. I got your kind letter yesterday and was glad to hear from you. There ain't any thing happened of anything important only that we are drilling most of the time. It is harder than work. It is a wet day and we are setting in the tent to Day. They say that we will get pay to day and if I get it I will send it to you as soon as I can. You stated that you had planted potatoes on our place. I think that you will have to eat them you self if the war don't close soon. There ain't more sense of the war closing than there was a year ago. I was to see Joel last Sunday and he was on picket guard. He was {next few lines illegible] Monday. I must tell you that Jacob Banford has got back to the camp today. The _____ is higher than it has been since we left Camp Nevin. That is 11 men got back since Sunday. The health is pretty good ____ at this time. Robert ____ sends his high respects to you. Well Mary I will close for this time hoping to hearrom you soon. Good bye Mary for this time. Write soon.

From William J. Strieby to Mary E. Strieby

Noble Co. Ind. June 26th 1865

Dear Husband,

It is with pleasure that I seat my self to try to write a few lines in answer to one which I received last Thursday eavening and was quite glad to hear that you were well. Well William we are all well at present and I hope this may find you the same. I have not received the money yet that you sent but I think that I can get it next week and it may be that I can get a chance to get it this week for I expect it is at Ligonier for me, and I mite of got it my self last Thursday had I of known it was there, but I did not get your letter till I was coming home from Ligonier and so I did not know that the money was there.

Well William you wish to know wheather we got the corn planted or not. Well we got a bout an acre of it planted. The grass had growed up so that it could not be plowed to do any good. Dan Boomershine come and plowed a day and he said that he could not plow it to do any good, so he told me that the grass would be of more account than the corn would that I would raise on it. The field is growed up with red top and timmothy and it will make good hay if I can only get it mowed and taken care of. I was in hopes that you would get home in time to mow it your self, but if you have to go to Texes I suppose I shall have to get some one to come and mow it for me, but it is so hard to get hands to do any thing of the kind. I don't see how the folks will get their harvest off if some of the men don't get home. The wheat will be ready to harvest a bout next week. Well William I must tell you that Henry's Strieby's wife has got another dishwasher and Andy's wife has a boy. I expect he is so proud that his pants will not hardly hold him now, but I have not saw any of them since you was here. They have not been here nor I have not been there. I expect your mother will think I am mad but I could not help it for I could not walk up there and carry my baby and I had no other chance to go. But I want to go so bad. I would like to see your mother a gain for she is good company for me and I think you would like to see her too. Well William I do not know what more to writethis time only to tell you that the folks a round here are well. Uncle Gordon is able to work again. I saw him a bout a week ago. He always inquires about you, where you are and wheather you are well or not. He says he hopes to see you at home before long. I hope you will be at home soon. I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon. Now please answer this as soon as you get it. From you affectionate

Wife, Mary E. Strieby
To her husband William J. Strieby

Remember me
When this you see

New Orleans, Lusa.
July the 1 1865

Dear wife,

It is with plesier that I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and hope that you are the same. Well Mary I haven't had a letter from you for 1 month and I hope that you will write to me soon as this comes to hand and I will answer then. It seems to me as though you had forgot me and I want you to write to me. Well Mary I thought at Nashville that I would get home soon but I don't think that I will soon. Well Mary I seen something more than I would if I had got home. I been in six difrent states since I left Nashville and seen to City of New Orleans. We are about eight miles from the city. Well Mary I want you to tell me if you got that money that I sent from Nashville when you write to me. Well this is all at present. Write as soon as you get this and don't delay for I am as true to you as ever I was in my life. It makes me think that you had for got me when I can't here from you. Well this is all at present so I will close by biding you good bye. This is from your true and beloved husband. Yours truly till Death,

William Strieby to his wife Mary E. Strieby

Noble Co. Ind. July 16th 1865

Dear William,

Once more I seat my self to write a few lines in answer to those that I received from you a few days ago and I was glad to hear that you were well and I sincerely hope you still are the same. Well wee are all well at present and I hope when you get this that it may find you the same. Well William I was quite glad to get your photograph. I thank you very much for sending it to me as I was so good to send you mine and I hope you will take good care of it and not let it get spoiled in any way. Well William to tell the truth I am sorrow that I did not yet send you the photograph before you left Nashville but I could not get them taken. I went to Ligonier twice with the calculation of getting them but one day it was not a good day to take them. . The 4th of July there was no chance to get them. So you see that I had to come without them again, but I hope you will soon get home and then you will not need them. You can see us and I can see you (that is if we all live till that time comes) which will be much more pleasure than looking at a picture and talking by pen and ink as we now do. But still we should be thankful that we can even have this privlig of communicating our thoughts and affections to each other when far a part as we have been for some time past. Well William I hardly know what to write this time as there is nothing going on at present and I have been writing to you so much that it seems as if it is the same old story over and over a gain and nothing interesting at last. All though I do not know how much it may interest you, but I hope that it will interest you and keep you from getting home sick any how. Well something ___ The wheat crops this year is pretty light as it was _____ pretty bad. Some of Jakes Himes was not hardly worth nothing and most evry body elses was pretty light too, but Father had a bout the best crop this year that we had had for some time. The corn looks very nice and promising. The weather is quite cool for the time of year and has been for three or four days. Jake Himes family is well or was yesterday. Your Father's family was well last Sunday. Sarah and Alf and Manerva and Barbra were here last Sunday. Sarah had her beau with her. His name is Cory. He has been in the army and was taken prisner. He was in the prison at Richmon Va. We I do not know what more to write this time so I will bring my letter to a close by asking you to answer this as soon as this comes to your hand and let me know where you are. Good bye from your affectionate
Wife, Mary E. Strieby

To William Strieby

Come smiling one with joy sincere
Come make your constant dwelling here
Still may thy presence cheer my heart
Nor war compell you to depart
OH! May I that happy person be
When I thy face once more can see

Well William Dennis has just come home and brought a letter from you. You wished to know if I got the money. I did get it and wrote to you since.

Noble Co. Ind. Sept. 4th 1865

Dear Husband,

I now seat my self to try to write a few lines to you in answer to a letter which I received a few eavenings ago. It was dated August 7th & 11th. I was quite glad to hear from you and learn that you were enjoying good health for that is not what we are enjoying here for there is good many sick here at present. Sarah Jane has been sick for more than 5 weeks , it will be 5 weeks tomorrow since she has been confined to her bed. She first took the flue and after the flue was checked on her she took the Typhoid fever with which she still is confined to her bed with but she is some better to day and to nigh and I think she will get a long now if she does not take another turn of the flue. There has not been any body here to set up with us at night yet. Mother and me had to do all the setting up that was done since she was sick. James Henry was here two or three nights to stay for company but we did not have to stay up long nary a time that he was here. Lydia Ann was here a few nights too but we did not have to set up long when she was here. The Doctor is still tending on her yet. Henry is not very well. He had a high fever to day all day but he had got about well of the first spell that he had . Then Doc left him medison twice and he had got a bout well but if he still has fever till the Doct comes a gain I shall have to get medison for him a gain. He has lost right smart of his flesh that he had last spring when you were here. I am not very well my self but the most that ails me is the old complaint, that trouble of my back and pain in my side. I have had to work harder than I am able for since Sarah Jane has been sick I think is the cause of it, waiting on her and taking care of my baby and doing the work is all most more than I am able for. Lydia Ann would have come and helped me but she was sick her self and is only beginning to be able to be a bout but she is coming to stay with me this week and do what she can. Well William I hardly know what to write this time more than what I have wrote but I hope that if I have to write any more letters that I will not have so much sickness to write a bout but can write a bout something else. But I hope I will not have to write many more letters to you but can talk face to face and that before long, for I see that the 30th Reg't and several other Reg't are ordered to be mustered out. I saw this in the Indianapolis Journal which I hope is true for I should like very much to see you coming home now for I would think then that you were a going to get to stay this time. Well William let us keep in good heart and wait with patience till the time does come . Let it be long or short and then if we boath live we can we can enjoy each others society and if not here let us live that we may meet in heaven. I must quit for this time. Good night.

From your wife Mary E. Strieby

Please write as soon as you get this and let us know where you are.
Write as long a letter to me as this if you can and let me know all of the news there.

Noble Co. Ind. September 20 [1865]

My Dear Husband,

I now seat myself to write a few lines to you to let you know that I have not forgotten you yet, and to let you know that I am still a live and enjoying tolerable good health. The rest of the family are well except Sarah Jane. She is not well yet, but she is able to be up a part of the time now, but is not able to set up all the time yet. The Doctor has not been to see her or two weeks tomorrow, but she was very sick and it takes a long time for any one to gain strength that has that fever, but she had the flue in the first place and after the flue was checked she took on typhoid fever. Well William I must tell you that Elizabeth Willis is verry sick with the Typhoid fever. She says that she will not get well but the Doctor thinks she is not dangerous. Uncle Gordon has been very sick too but he is able to be up again. He just had the billious fever. There is a good deal of sickness a round through the country now. James Henry has the ague evry other day. Well I must tell you that Jane Himes has a little dishwasher. It was a week old last Sunday. Well the next that I must tell you is that the 152nd Regt has got home and sorrow do we feel to think that Uncle Joseph Bull could not come to cheer the hearts of his friends and especially that of his companion who kept in good heart and felt very shure that he would return a gain. The very day that the sorrowful news came some of the neighbors were there and thought that he would soon be at home. But little did she think that such sorrowful news was on the road to her. I must tell you too that David Longfellow came home very sick. He is getting better or was the last that I heard from him. But the Doctor thinks that he will be a criple for life. He has lost the use of one of his legs . What is the cause of his being a criple I did not hear but I think that it is the fever settled in his leg. But I do not know for I did not hear. Well William I hardly know what more to write this time as I have not got a letter from you for about three weeks and I do not know where you are. Some say that you are on your way home and others say that you are going further a way so that we do not know where you are, but I hope that you are on the road home before this time. Well William, I must tell you that our little Margaret can crawl and climb up by the chairs or anything that she can get a holt of and can walk after a chair. She will be nine months old tomorrow. I hope you may soon be at home to see her and the rest of us. I know I should be very glad to see you coming any day now. Please answer this as soon as you get this and let me know where you are and wheather there is any prospect of your getting home soon. I must close for this time. Good night.

William Strieby from his wife Mary E. Strieby

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