Back in June I told you about Don Casada taking the time to write down all the names mentioned in W.C. Penland’s Civil War letters. The list contained family members as well as members of W.C.’s company of soldiers. In the Civil War most soldiers signed up and served with their neighbors. This made it a certainty that W.C.’s family knew the men he wrote about in his letters.
During Don’s research he came across a letter written by one of W.C.’s fellow soldiers on the Charles Thompson Families family tree on Ancestry.com. The letter was written by William H Coalman (also Coleman) which was sent from Knoxville on October 8.
Don transcribed the letter for us-he did insert periods and capitalized the first letter of sentences to make it easier to read. Don’s transcription was not from the original, but from another transcription. The Charles Thompson Families family tree on Ancestry.com noted that the letter was found at the Price home.
Knoxvile Tennessee Oct 8, 1862
Dear father and Mother and family
I now take the pleasure of droping you a few lines to inform you that we are in common health at this time with the exceptions of my old complaints, and my head nearly kills me at times. Howell is well and there is not a siveler man in camp than he is and I hope these few lines may come safe to home and find you all as well as common and doing the best you can fur we have a hard time here fur we don’t git more then half a nuff to eat nur far our horses. There between 75 and 100 thousand soulgiers where at this time we are campt west of Knoxville and north of the Clldeghill Hospittl and we drill in full view of the hispittle and in view of town. Tell father that we drill in the very field that he thought we would drill in rite to the rite of the hospittles and we use water out of the spring thay use out of. There is 3 and fifty sick soulgers in the colledg hill and there is about 25 hundred in all of the hospittles in this place. There is six companies where and there is 9 that has diserted but they were a east tennisee company. We are the best company in the Battalion the commander in this place says that John Morgin can’t beat us. We have had the praise deare Father and Famly and friends. I can say that I am trying to do the best that I can I have prairs in our camp and we had prair meeting last nite and if we never meet in this world hope and pray that we will meet in heaven where parting of friends will be no more. I want you all to pray fur me fur I can’t think of you all but what I am all most ready to cry. So no more at present fur the time is short that is given as I want you to write to us soon as you git this letter and as soon as you can fur we don’t know how long we will stay where. You must direct your letter Thus William H. Coalman in the ceare of Captian William P. Moore 7 Battalion V Cavely.
Please let Father see this letter. Tell him that I would rite to him in a few days if havt time the coin that I send is fur Elzabeth. Tell hur that se had better tak good ceare of it. We hant sent our saddles but we will in a few days by Patten to the Fort Hembree and you had better go as soon as you hear of them. So I must close.
Remain your son,
William H Coalman
Howel Curtis to Mr. Madison Curtis
A hard letter to read even though a full century has passed since he wrote it.