1863-64: Horace Nichols Beadle to Olive Beadle

I could not find an image of Horace but here is James N. Crawford of Co. H, 2nd Iowa Infantry who was about the same age. James did not reenlist either.
(Mike Huston Collection)

The following letters were written by 27 year-old Horace Nichols Beadle (1836-1918), the son of John Fish Beadle (1803-1874) and Mary Waite (1802-1885) of Easton, Washington county, New York. All of the letters were addressed to Horace’s younger sister, Olive Beadle (1843-1927). Horace had two older brothers who died during the Civil War and his brother Marcus also served but survived being captivity after he was taken prisoner at Gettysburg.

It isn’t clear how Horace came to be in Iowa prior to the start of the Civil War but when he enlisted as a private on 4 May 1861, have gave Keokuk as his residence. Horace signed on to serve three years in Co. A, 2nd Iowa Infantry. In early 1864, he resisted the temptation to “veteranize” or reenlist with others of his regiment and therefore mustered out on 27 May 1864.

Letter 1

LaGrange, Tennessee
September 24, 1863

Dear Sister,

Your kind letter of the 19th came to hand today & I assure you it was most welcome. I have written to Father since I wrote to you & enclosed the same amount of money. I will enclose but $20 in this as the signs of the times indicate that we may be on the wing before a great while & the probability is that we will not be paid again for some time. There is various rumors afloat about Old Rosey [Rosecran’s] Battle in northern Georgia [see Battle of Chickamauga] which has been progressing these last few days but we have no fears in regard to the result for we know that he has some troops that will fight & we also know that he is a fighting man for we have been under him in battle.

I should think that it was almost time for the Army of the Potomac to have another round. I see by the papers that it is all quiet on the Rappahannock. I was sorry to hear that Marcus 1 was taken prisoner. You very probably will hear from him by the bye. they are not exchanging prisoners at present

Tell Uncle Elijah 2 that he may expect to see me next summer sometime for we are only eight months men now & then we will let some of the new ones go in for awhile. I saw several names on the list that you sent of persons that I knew & there are other names that I could mention that I would like to have seen in place of some that were on it. I cannot think of anything more to write so I will draw this to a close. Give my respects to all enquiring friends.

From your brother, — H. Beadle

N. B. Write as soon as you receive this.

1 Marcus Beadle (1834-1913) served as 1st Lieutenant in the 123rd New York Infantry. He was taken wounded at Chancellorsville on 1 May 1863 but not so badly that he couldn’t be on duty at Gettysburg on 2 July 1863 where he was taken a prisoner. He escaped captivity at Winnsboro, South Carolina, on 14 February 1865 and mustered out of the service on 8 June 1865. 123rd New York Infantry.

2 Horace’s bachelor uncle Elijah Beadle (1795-1866) was a farmer in Washington county, New York. In the 1855 State Census, Horace was enumerated in Elijah’s household.


Letter 2

Addressed to Miss Olive Beadle, South Easton, Washington county, New York

Pulaski, Tennessee
December 27, 1863

Dear Sister,

Your kind favor of December 13th was duly received & I now seat myself to write a few lines in reply. We are having very wet, disagreeable weather in this vicinity. There is nothing but mud. There has been about 175 of our regiment reenlisted & gone to Iowa on furloughs. I made up my mind that I would wait awhile. I want to see them draft a few of those Copperheads up North first.

We had a very nice dinner Christmas. It was sent to us by the Ladies of Keokuk & you had better believe that we enjoyed it much. I received that letter of yours that had the picture in about one week ago. It looks first rate.

I had a letter from Lewis Phelps a few days ago. He was well. There is nothing of any importance transpiring so I will draw this to a close. Give my love to all inquiring friends. Hoping to hear from you soon again, I remain as ever your brother, — Horace Beadle

Co. A, 2nd Iowa Infantry
Pulaski, Tennessee


Letter 3

Pulaski, Tennessee
January 29th 1864

Dear Sister,

Your kind letter of the 17th has this moment come to hand. I was much pleased to hear from you but was sorry to hear that Mother was unwell.

I am enjoying good health as is the whole command. The surgeons have but very little to do at present as there is not many left here now. As all the Vets have gone home on furloughs, we have a great deal of duty to do. Besides, guerrillas are taking advantage of our weakness & trying to bother us all they can. They attacked a couple of wagons yesterday and captured 8 men & killed one. Our train was only about 1 mile behind. They could not get up in time to assist them though they did not have time to destroy the wagons.

I do not think that I shall reenlist for awhile at least. I had a letter from Lewis Phelps a few days ago. He was well. There is a good many Rebel deserters coming inside of our lines now & taking the Oath of Allegiance.

Well, Olive, there is so much noise here tonight that I can’t write. Give my love to all. Hoping to hear from you again, I remain as ever your brother, — Horace Beadle

Co. A, 2nd Iowa Infantry
Pulaski, Tennessee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s