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Askew family Correspondence - MMS 1380

Robert, Matthew, and James Askew's letters to their sister Hannah, living in England. Robert who was a clergyman who did not join the service, explains the mood of the country in the Fall of 1861; Matthew who served in Co.D, 1st O.V.I. describes his experiences during the Battle of Stones River; James who was in Co.A, 12th O.V.I. writes about camp life in the Kanawha Valley and his brief period as a prisoner.

Matthew Askew Letter

Convelesent Camp near Nashville, Tennessee
January the 21st, 1863

Dear Brother,

I now take the pleasher of wrighting you a few lines. I hope thay will find you in good health when this reaches you. Dear Brother, I am sorry to informe you that I am in the place that I am. I first must informe you of my Christmas and New Year. Christmas Day we was called on picket, the 26th we marched in the direction of Nowlinsville Pike, 27th we fought all day and drove the rebbels 8 milles to Triune, 16 milles west of Murfresbroo, 28 we marched towards the battle ground, 29th some fighting done, 30th the Battle comenced with the advance, hard fighting before dark, 31st comenced the Battle of Distruction. Our Divishon, the 2, was comanded by Genral Johnson was atacted at day light and drove back and scatired in all direction. The Rebbs force against our Divishon was Hardee and Cheatem Corps. Thay had 5 or 6 to our 1. I so them marching up 4 regements deep in front of us and the Texes Raingers on our flank, bad for all the roring of musketry and artilery it beat all. I bellive it was about 8 oclock in the morning, the calvery run over me. I was knocked down and taken prisnar, striped of all acotrements, hat and every thing I had. The worst of all I had 2 ribs broke and my back very much injured, but thank the Lord I am getting better. I often think I should not complain for thair was hundreds in a worse fix than I was. Thair was 8 or 9 of my company killed and wounded right on the place. I and my partners was retaken the same day, but I lay 3 days and nights on the feild without a bit of any thing to eat or drink and the weather was very wet and cold. I was picked up the 4th morning at day light by 1 of our ambulances and taken to Nashville where I still remain. I have not had much news from my regement since. At least I have not seen any of the boys. I understand thay are 3 miles south of Murfresboro.

I received your last kind letter on the 14th of December and I answered it as soon as poseball, but I have not heard frome you since, thou I am expecting a letter from you every day. Pleas right me a few lines as soon as posebal. I feel ancious to heer from you and I think you will have heird from Brother James by this time and it may so be you have heard from the Ould County and got some news from our dear frinds at home.

We have ben living on half rations since the battle, but now we have full rations of every thing. The river is up and thair has 40 bots or more come up the Cumberland to Nashville. Provishons is verry dear in Nashville. Flour 8 to 10 dollers per barell, meat 10 to 12 cents per pound, butter 75 cents per pound, potatoes wone doller per peck, appels 15 dollars per barrel, shugger 20 cents per pound, wood 12 dollers per cord, and every little notions in perporsion.

We had a few days of pretty hard winter weather heair, snow 3 or 4 inshes deep. But this morning it has all gon and become warme, but very muddy in our camp. Our camp is made up of all the men that is slightly wounded and sick that belongs to the 2 Devishon, which is comanded by General Johnson of Kentucky. I supose we have in our camp 400 and 50 men out of the whole Devishon. The town is pretty much all hospitals. They have taken a god many of the churches for the sick and wounded. The Hospital no. 8 this morning reports 16 in the dead roome and every other I supose as bad as it. The men that dy heair is a cation of all diseses you can menstion.

I can give you no information of your nabours. Dan Groves was taken prisner and wheather he was retaken or not I canot tell. I have not heard from James Bennet or Joseph Hogan since the fight. I hear our Regement is going to be paid of shortely, but thair is a pore prospect for me to receive any pay. I have got no discript rowl with me and I am not abel to go to my Regement, so I will be very like to mis my pay this time.

I must now come to a close. Pleas giv my kind respects to you dear wife and children, Uncel and Ant and all my inquiring frinds.

I have no sight of getting a furlow this winter as thair is so many that is worse than I am that canot get home.

Pleas right me a few lines as soon as poseball and send me a few postedg stamps as I am out of money till I get to my regement. I could get all I wanted.

I had 4 bullets shot throw my close and when I fell a nother horse blounged right on my bowles, but still I was abel to go on my hands and knees. My best frind was from Cinncitia, his name was Goerge Jemmeson, a brick layer. He was shot through the thigh with a cannon ball and died soon after.

So no more from your well wishing brother,
Matthew Askew

[diagonal along edge]

Dear Brother, I do not know wheather it would be better to direct my letter to wheir I am at present or to the regement. I will leave that to your self.

MMS 1380 - Askew Family Correspondence
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