This letter was written by Isaac Marshall Hardacker (1843-1873), the orphaned son of James H. Hardacker (1818-1857) and Elizabeth Wickwire (1818-1861) of Greenville, Outagamie county, Wisconsin. Isaac was born in Horton, Kings county, Nova Scotia, Canada and came with his parents to Wisconsin when he was a little boy.
Isaac served as a private in Co. I, 32nd Wisconsin Infantry. That regiment participated in Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign: operations on the Mississippi Central Railroad November 18, 1862, to January 2, 1863. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., and provost duty there till November 26, 1863. Moved to Moscow, Tenn., November 26-30, and duty there till January 27, 1864. Repulse of Lee’s attack on Moscow December 2, 1863. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., thence to Vicksburg, Miss., January 27-February 2, 1864.
Isaac wrote this letter to Jennette G. Jack (1844-1903), the daughter of Hiram Jack (1819-1884) and Mary Hunter (1820-1904) of Hortonville, Wisconsin — formerly Penfield, New Brunswick, Canada. Isaac and Jennette were married on 25 September 1867.
Addressed to Miss Jennette Jack, Hortonville P. O. , Ontagami county, Wisconsin
Postmarked Nashville, Tennessee
General Hospital No. 1
March 12th 1863
It is with much pleasure that sit down to enclose these few lines to let you know that I am enjoying very good health at present hoping that this will find you enjoying the same blessing. I have been quite sick with the measles but have got about well of them now and expect to rejoin my Regt. & Co. soon. The 32nd Wisconsin Regiment is at Memphis now doing provost guard duty there now. I have been here about two months in the hospital here. There has been considerable sickness here amongst the soldiers this winter.
I got a letter a few days ago from home informing me of the death of the boys in the 21st Regt. Wisconsin Volunteers. I felt very sorry to hear that the boys that left Greenville were dead. Left their homes in so good health and spirits to fight the battles of our beloved country. And now have gone to their long homes — never to return. They did not stand the campaign long. But I have seen a good many since i have been here fare the same fate — some that I have had but short acquaintance with that seemed to be as brave boys as ever drew a saber or handled a musket. Gone from this world now. The sick men in this hospital have very good care taken of them.
The weather has been quite pleasant here for the past week. It really begins to look like spring down here now. But it has rained about ¾ of the time here this winter. What few citizens are left here now are beginning to plant their gardens but they’re scarce.
Jennette, I have spent the Merry Christmas day and Happy New Years for this year. I think that you can imagine about how without my writing it down for it would cover about four sheets of paper and then not give it more than half justice to it. We were encamped in the woods about two miles from a small town in Tennessee called Dresden — about 60 miles from this place. I guess that we had about a half a dozen crackers in the whole regiment that day. As soldiers, sometimes we see first rate times and I enjoy myself first rate. Then again, it is not quite so pleasant. But the soldiers will have to endure it till this horrid war is brought to a close sooner or later. Soldiers as well as friends at home will have to await the results.
My best respects to all. From your friend, — Isaac M. Hardacker