Secuacha Valley
Dunlap, Tenn
Monday Morning, September 1st, 1862

Dear beloved & affectionate wife
I this morning take the pleasure of writing you a fiew lines to inform you that I am well for which I feel thankful to God for his kind cear & protection. I hope theis lines may reach you & find you injoying the same Blessing. Sarah I have nothing of very grate importance to write to you at this time. We are now about 28 or 30 miles North West of Chattanooga  We got hear Saturday night about 9 or 10 oclock. we left Camp Rookey Valley Friday Evning at Dusk. we marched to the top of the Mountain which was about 3 miles and their we rested about 1[?] or 2 ours and the we marched hear in quick time. we wer Nearly all brok down when we got hear  I have not got over the trip yet. I am very soar yet. I came as near giving out as I ever did in my life  My napsack was very heavy besides we had 5 days rashings to carry. Water was very scearse  We marched about 12 or 15 miles without any water with the exsception of one Canteen full  We suffered severly for water  We are exspecting to leave hear as soon as our provisions wagons gits hear tho ar exspected to be hear this evning at which time our 5 days rashings will be on and then as soon as we can prepair more rashings we exspect to continue the march  I amnot able to say how much futher we will have to march  Some think we will go on to Nashville. The Boys are all with us exscept Tom Sullivan  we have not saw him since we started up the mountain tho I think he is with the wagons, Elzey is some better  he got permision when we started to march out of ranks  We left him severl miles behind  he never gothear till yesterday morning late. We are now camped at a good Spring.

tha say that the yankeys was at this place the day before we started hear to tha are gon back north

September the 2nd.

Sarah after I begun to wrtie this letter yesterday morning I was detailed for gard Duty, and in a short time our Campany was orderd out on Picket. & we are still out hear about 2 miles from Camps, on the side of the Cumberland Mountain  after we got hear our Company was devided a part  was sent futher up the Mountain. about dusk we was formed in 2 ranks frounting the Road about 15 steps from the Road. And. The orders was for us to Lodd our Guns. and Spread our Blankets down in rear of our Guns and ly down with our Guns by our Sides and in that Position We lay all night long, with our Napsacks under our head, and our Cottridges Boxes on ready at any Moment Should we be attacked by the Enemy, but as luck would hav it we was not Attachek. their was other Companys out with us. I supose we will be releived this evning  I under stand this morning that our wagons has reached our Camps. I recon we will git some thing to Eat this evning for our 5 days rashings that we started with is about. Sarah, we had plentyful to eat on our March from Camp Rockey Valley to this place. Than we had from Rorrinth to Tupelo. we drew 5 lbs & 2 ounces of Flower to each man per day & ˝ Pound Bacon per day each, I exspect we will leave hear as soon as we git our rashings prepaired. this is a very Mountainous Country  Crops is generly sorry hear. this is the finest Appel Contry I ever saw  Peaches ar not so plentiful. Some of the Boys makes a rites Smart Money Pedling on Peaches & Appels Davey Sanders made $15.00 Sunday & Monday seling Peaches & Appels. Sarah as for my Part I do not Speculate on the Souldiers, esspeculy on the Sabah Day

My Dear Wife.I want to see you all very bad indeed. I have never received a letter fromy you exscept the one you sent to me by Tom. it appears to me, that if I dont hear from you soon I will nearly go derainged  I never wanted to hear from you so bad in my life. This is the 7th letter I have rote to you, I have never received an answer to one of them yet. My Dear is it in the fault of your not writing to me or is it in the falt of the mail. I cant help thinkin you have rote to me. As you promised me you would write to me often. Sarah We are far seperated from each other & deprived of bein with each other. O Try and give me some Comfort by writing to me, so that I can hear from you all, and how you are giggin along. Sarah, Direct your letters to Chattanoga Tennessee in the Cear of Capt E. Melson Co. ‘F’ 41st Regt Miss Vol, our letter has bin bhanged to (F) be cearful in backing your letters Back them plain so that can easy bi understood  Tha say letters will fowwow on after us even if tha are Backed to Chattanooga  their has bin a Post office esstablished hear at Dunlap since we come hear tho Some say that the surist chance will [?] have our letters [?] to Chattanooga that say that heir is a good many union People in theis Mountains. Sarah Saw and red a yankey letter that Some of the Boys found after we got hear to our Camps, it was wrote tby a Woman in New York to her Borther and Sister in the army. their was nothing in the letter of interst only she hoped that their young Mcleon in the next fight would put an end to the Rebble army. her letter was very well Composed She said that tha wer gitting tolerable plenty to eat. She talked as if the men wer very scearce in the North. Sarah I believe I am in as good health as I ever was in my life. & thanks be to God for it

I did not want to be waryed to let you no how heavy I am but I have not had the Chance yet I have taken to smoking a rite smart and I think that agreese with me very well  Sarah it is near the midle of the Day and I believe I will quit writing till I go back to the Camps and it may be that I will have some thing else to write  So I will Close till to night or in the morning. 2nd  I now will finish my letter  I have jest got in from Picket. And have received them fiew lines you Sent to me in Elisha’s letter  I was glad to hear from you all but I was sorry to hear that the Children was not well  I hope that theis lines may find you all well. Sarah I received your letter days after it was rote  We have orders to Cook up 2 days rashings to night and be rady to leave in the morning  you siad you had not received but one letter from me and Arminda had received 3 from Elisha  I have rote as many as he has it is not my fault  This makes 7 to my noing I have rote to you. I donnot want you to wait till you git a answer from me every tim because you may not git all the letters I wright to you Sarah. Sarah you must look over this bad writen letter for I have but a fiew minits to finish it  it is gitting nearly Dark, and we have to Cook up 2 days rashings to night. Sarah I wish you had got all my letters because I rote severl Peticklers in some of them  I hope you will git them yet. Sarah, try & git along the best you can. I got the letter you sint to me bay Tom  Thank you for them socks. I was glad to see them  The Boys are all well exscept Elzey is is not rite well I supose the Docktors is agoing to send him to the HorsePittle at Chattanooga

[letter ends without a closing, so it is probable that one or more pages are missing]

The envelope is addressed as follows:

Mrs Sarah J. Hudson
Randolph: Po
Pontotoc Cty

By the Politeness of Mr Pitts.

John Elkaney Hudson's Civil War Letters