Camp Bishop, near Shelbyville
Bedford Cty, Tenn
Wednesday Morning Aprl 8th 1863
My dear beloved, kind & affectionate wife.
With the greatest of pleasure I seat myself to answer your kind & affectionate letter of the 11 & 20th of March, which was received with the greatest of pleasure by your loving but absent husband.
I am thankful to god for his kind care and protection that he has had over you all during my absence from you.
[?] leaves me in fine health. For which I feel thankful to God the giver of all good and perfect gifts.
Hoping this may reach your hand & find you all injoying the same like blessing of god.
Sarah, I have nothing of importance to wrtie to you at the present. As I have wrote to you several letters lately.
But you say you have not received but 4 from me since the Murfursboro battle, but my dear be you asured that it is not my fault in not writing for I think that I have averaged writing one every week,
I will give you the dated of several that I can think of that I have wrote to you.
One Jan. 17th received one March 1st bearin date of Feb. the 12 & 14th wrote one March the 2 & 3rd and another the 16th of March and received one from you the 16th which was wrote the 1st March that you sent in one of Armindayís and another I wrote the 21 & 22 March and also one the 19th which I send by Capt. Ashcroft to mail letter at Verone or Pontotoc, & I also wrote one last Sunday April the 5th & sent it by mail besides several others that I have not kept any account of.
I hope you will get my letters more regular than you have.
I do not know the reason why we cannot get more letters than we do.
Some of our company gets letters nearly every week from home & I do not see why I donít get your letters.
Back some of your letters thus & it may be that I will be more certain to get them, back them thus
we are again in Anderson Brigade.
Sarah if you can back a few of your letters in this form & maybe they will be more certain to come.
I will try the luck in mine to [?] as you said & it maybe that you will be more certain to get mine also.
I have not got that letter you sent by Hicks yet & I am afraid that I never will for I would like to get that braid of hair.
I donít think Mr. Hicks has done what he promised you about that letter or else I would have got it by this time anyhow.
I want you to try & find out when there is any body coming here that you can send me letters.
I expect that Capt. Ashcraft will come back after a while & if you can find out when he is acoming & can send me a letter by him, for you donít know how much satisfaction it gives me to receive a letter from you.
Sarah the boys all got their letters yesterday that Phillips brought & when I found out that he did not have anyone for me you cant tell how bad I did feel. I
began to think that you had entirely slighted me, I felt desolate & had nothing hardly to say to any body, my heart felt as tho it was in my throat, but after a while some of the boys got mine from Capt. Duke and brought it to me & you donít know how much it relieved my feelings.
When I am looking for a letter from you & the mail comes in & I donít get one I donít know what to do I am so terrible pestered for all the satisfaction that I see here in this war is to hear from you & to hear that you are all well.
My Dear wife we should write to each other as often as we possibly can as we do not have the sweet pleasure of seeing each other & conversing togather as we once had.
O how oft do I think of you & pray that we may be spared to meet again on earth & enjoy the sweet comfort of our home as we once did.
I do think & not only think, but pray constant, that if I am spared to get safe at home that I will live more Christian like than I ever did.
I have promised my maker if he will spare me throí this war that I will serve him better than I have in days that have passed and gone & that promise I do intend to keep if I am permitted to return to my home.
Sarah I can say to that I do enjoy religion yet, on last night after all had become silent in camps, my poor soul was made to feel happy & I felt like praising my saviours name aloud & thanks be to his great name.
I now feel his love in my heart.
While I am writing this & while I was made to feel so happy, I got to thinking about the old Church of Palestine & the hours of rejoicing that we have spent togather there & the time came to my mind about 3 years ago when I was made so happy at the supper table at one of our protracted meetings when I was made so happy that I thought I was rising from this world.
O it does my soul good to talk about it.
My dear, do you feel religious, if not pray to the Loard may give you grace to bear you up in your trials. Pray in faith and he will bless you. Remember me in your prayers. Pray that I may hold out faithful to the end & gain that crown that is laid up for all the finally faithful. & O talk softy to our little children.
Teach them to know good from evil.
I will now write a few lines for you to read to them. Read to them as if it was me talking to them.
Bascom, Mary Ann, and Billy, my poor little children a word or two to you, be good little children and mind your ma, and help her to do anything she tells you to do.
Your pa is so far away from you that he cannot see you to talk with you.
But my sweeet little children be good and if your pa is never permitted to see your sweet little countanances again think here what he says to you to be good little children.
Your pa prays for you all and that he may see you all again in this world and I think the good Lord will answer faithful prayers, so goodbye my sweet little babies for a while.
Now a word or two to pa and ma. My dear father & mother, I ask an interest in your prayers to bear me up in these troubles.
I wan you to pray for my return to my wife and little children for I now feel like talking to you on religious subjects. I
often think of you all and not only think of you but I pray for you all and think if I could only be there to join with you all in prayer once more that it would be the greatest pleasure to me in the world, but if we are never permitted to see each other on earth, meet me in heaven where there is no more parting
so goodbye for this tyime give my love to Martha and all the rest of the connection.
Elzey is well and doing very well, and also the rest of the boys is well.
Simpson was sent to the hospital some two or three weeks ago, but he was not bad off.
We have not heard a word from Martin yet, I think that he must have been killed or taken prisoner but I am in hopes he was taken prisoner.
Sarah I got my socks that you sent by Capt. Duke, I thank you very kindly for them for I did not get them before I needed them.
I have not drew any clothes lately.
My old cotton pants that I brought from home is the best pants that I have got now but I am in hopes I can draw some soon.
I do not want you to pester yourself about making me any clothers.
For I can draw them cheaper than you can make them.
Shirts cost us $3.00 dollars and drawers about the same.
Pants is high, shoes is 6 dollars per pair.
I have drew three pair shoes since I left home.
Sarah write to me all the news.
I am afraid you all will suffer before this war is ended.
But live saving as you can make every edge cut that you can.
You wanted to know what I thought of you hiring a plow boy
I think you done right by hiring him if he will be industrous.
Make all the corn and potatoes you can.
Sarah there is a talk of our army here going to Kentucky or somewhere between here and there very soon, but I hope that we will nto go back to Kentucky any more, I
am in hopes that that spring tale may be true, we heard about the same tale here sometime ago.
I expect to send this letter by a man by the name of Cason. He lives somewhere not far from Okolona. Sarah examine the office at Pontotoc too for I may send some of my letters there. I may back some of them to you and your paw both.
So I will close my letter excuse all bad writing and spelling, so farewell my dear for this time, I still remain your loving husband and will so as long as we both shall live.
J.E. Hudson to S.J. Hudson & children
I got all that was in your letter.
John Elkaney Hudson's Civil War Letters