• 4th Indiana Soldier Reports The Union Confiscates Property, Horses From Residents Who Refuse To Take Oath

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    5 pp with four being on a 4 7/8 x 7 7/8 sheet and the fifth being on a separate sheet, 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 from Private William A. Gaddis, 4th Indiana Cavalry, April 29, 1863, as indicated by the postmark on the cover. Postage present.  Gaddis was a 22-year-old farmer from Rossville, TN. He enlisted as a private on August 8, 1862, mustered into I Co. of the Indiana 4th Cavalry. He was mustered out on June 29, 1865 at Edgefield, TN.  Gaddis was taken prisoner on September 20, 1863, confined at Andersonville on March 21, 1864 and paroled at Charleston, SC, on December 11, 1864.  The 4th was in a number of battles including Murfreesboro, Chickamauga and the Siege of Vicksburg.

     

    Writing from Nashville, TN, to his sister, “I seat myself to answer 4 letters which came in hand in the last two days. They found me well but it does not please me to see that you [write] for me to desert. I think I am able to take care of myself and if you [write] it in another letter...you need not look for an answer for I won’t answer...

     

    “I suppose that you think I am dead but I think I will live to see this war over and one more. If I die here, I will die in a good cause. I have no objections to you giving me advice but I don’t thank you for it in every letter...As for drinking, I don’t do anything of the [kind]. I am obliged to you for that advice...Here, we are camped the opposite the penitentiary. There is a great many prisoners in it. I have been all through it and now they are taking all the citizens that won’t take the oath and put them in there and send them out of the Union lines and confiscate their property for the government.  I think that is all right and the orders is now for every citizen [to have] horses taken and put them in Cavalry service. There has been since yesterday over 1000 head taken and there was a pair of Match Horses taken cost $800.  The nicest horses I ever saw...It was reported that the Rebs is advancing on this place, but I think it is false...

     

    “I must write a few words to John...I suppose you go with the girls and have a big time as all the rest of the boys...If you were old enough to be a soldier, I would like to have you here for you could get to see more here in one day than you could see about home in one year. I think I have been amply paid for my time if we never got a cent of pay. 

     

    “I know it has paid me well and I would like to get to go to Alabama before this is over and to east Tenn. We are now in middle Tenn. It would pay a man to come here just to see the Penitentiary and gun boats and the fords here and munitions of war. You could hear the Roars of Cannons on the river...”

     

    Folds, light toning.  Punctuation added and grammar corrected in the description for clarity.  

     

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