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History Lives Here Text

Letters of Major William H. Dunn of Ganges

Saved from the burning pilemany years ago by Ev Thomas and recently given to the
Historical Society by his son John, through the efforts of Len Overmyer

Ganges, Michigan September 17, 65


Dearest Willie,


I am not going to try yourpatience very long this time. I have company today and so of course must notmake a business of writing letters but will try and find time to write a fewwords to you. I received a letter from you last week also one from Emily, bothvery welcome. Emily is getting very much out of patience because she has notheard from home since she went away. We have written to her several times.Alice Goodrich is at home now is going to stay this time. I guess I hope so asit will not be quite so lonesome as it has been.


Now Will I have some news totell. It is not bad news but I suppose you will consider it as such. I havebeen and gone and went and had my hair shingled. I suppose you will say what asilly Girl, but I did want it shingled so bad. I wear it parted on one side andnow, Soldier mine, I hope you won't scold about it. If you want I will send youmy picture and kiss you ever so many times. I guess I can kiss you goodnatured. I will try when you come home if you are not so mad about itthat you won't let me. Al's soldier has returned from the army and most everyones Soldier has come but mine and I hope he will come soon. How much longerhave we got to write letters instead of talking. I hope not much longer; don'tyou. And now I must close my letter and go down stairs.


Next week there is to be adinner given at Pier Cove for the returned Soldiers. How I do wish you could behere.

Good Bye

Lots of Love and Kisses for mySoldier

My Dear Willie

There is no signature. Thismay have been from his future wife Mary,]


Chattanooga Tenn Feb. 5/66


4h, Will, I am so full of newsthat I am "running" over so I will pen a letter to you. I recvd aboutten letters to day, yours of the 1 8th Dec along with the rest. Ihad concluded that it was your neglect why I had not recved any letters fromyou of late, but you inform me that you have written as many as four that youhave recvd no answer from. But I assure you that I have answered all the lettersI have recvd from you. I have not recvd any since your left Tenn. When you were at Sweetwater. I thinkwas the last one. I regret that your letters did not reach me. I went toCumb [Cumberland] Gap about the 20th of Dec & when I got back to Chat [Chattanooga] the Capt had sent my letterson to me not knowing how long I was going to be absent. Then I wrote to thepostmaster of Knoxville & recvd an answer that the malt had been sent tothe Gap & when I wrote the Postmaster of the Gap & after so long a spaceof time had recevd my letters some of them quite important that should haverecvd them immediately. But so go things in the army & so might as well bereconciled to the matter "oughtn't I" In short I was mostconfoundedly provoked at the delay and won't say that I didn't "get up& up" some a little for diversion.

Will, I think you are enjoyingyourself and I am glad of it. You have been a martyr long enough & I thinkI have nearly. I do not see much pleasure compared with the pleasure of thesociety of our friends at home. I thought I might be a good deal worse off thanI am. You know that a ! 3 dols per month is not always to be had by the way. Iam in hopes I will come out a little ahead. Have you made any investments yet.I suppose you are apprised of my investment in land or that which I asked willbe made soon for me. I am determined to get out of the army in the spring ifpossible. My resignation has been disapproved but I am going to try it again.If I can get the Col. to especially recommend it I can perhaps get out. Will,what do you think of going to Mo or Arkansas.I think I will go out there if circumstances will permit & look around andsee how I like the country or are you satisfied with Mich. It is a good country if there was notso long cold winters.

You say everyone is gettingmarried, I am soon to hear of your marriage from you; hint that you are outlate Sunday night. But of course I can have no opinion who will be the luckyMiss & so it is no use. Our officers are all going home and getting marriedBali that wasn't married before)& bringing their pretty little wives down here. I fear I may get the samenature. Don't you think there is danger, is matrimony catching, I think it is.There are some nine or ten that have married since last spring amongst ourofficers. Well, let them go to it. every dog must have his day. You say thosethat have married have large families of small children, is it always certainwho their fathers are?


Ifwe have been victorious, that is you and I, we ought to be able to catch upwith the rest, I think it would be our fault if we do not. Now, I thinkyou ought to tell me confidentially when you intend to marry. You speak of itbeing so lonesome in Ganges. I do not think itis much more lonesome there than it is here and does not seem that it would befor me. I received a letter from Dallas [George DallasDean] along with the rest, he expected to commence going to school soon. I think youmight afford to go to singing school now. I believe you drive your own stock,do you not. Yesterday was Sunday and I had not had a good horseback ride sinceI have been here and I went to the livery stable & hired a good saddlehorse so H. McConekle & I went out on missionary ridge & to thenational cemetery there. Saw several coffins lately disinterred theinscriptions showing they were bodies belonging to the 10`h Mich.that died last year I believe. One or two from Co. F & one or two from Co.K. I do not know where they were brought from Sweetwater or Lenoirs Station.


I get no letter from Buell. Ido not expect he will write to me. I am afraid he is not very constant.. What apity that he loves liquor so...Now, Will.. when you write, tell me about yourstock, and what you are going to do if you feel so disposed & what youthink about Mich.I think I will dry up now. My respects to your father and brother George andall the rest of the folks.


With much respect your friend

H. H. Goodrich 6th M I W.S.C.T. Hq


Greenville Penn Jane 15/66


Friend William

It will be unnecessary to saythat I was much pleased to hear direct from you. for it has been many monthssince I have had a letter from you. I had a deal of anxiety about you when youwere on that long and dangerous raid. You must have seen a considerable ofservice, that is active service. I was much pleased to hear that you had gotaround again out of the enemy country. I read a letter from George when he wasat or near Knoxvillea couple of weeks since. It was then that I learned where you were and that Dallas was at Knoxville.


Well to cut a long story shortI have just returned from Knoxvilleon 48 hours leave of absence. Was there to catch Dallas when he came in on the cars from theRefit last night. I had a good visit with him. Learned that you were A.G. I. G.[Adjutant General Inspector General] also. Bully for you. Dallas said you were sobusy he did not have much time to visit with you.


We have not been paid yet burthe Paymaster is in Greenville& we are expecting our pay every day now. I think I shall come out someahead although I owe a good many debts. Yet I have not been extravagant by anymeans. It costs horribly to live then not half live. Everything in the line ofmilitary goods are so high & then are not good articles after paying a goodprice. I think things must fall soon in department. I am verry anxious to getpaid so as to straighten up my debts. We are obliged to labor under greatdisadvantage by not being paid, in so long.


Yes, Will I should like verymuch to see you now. Since you have returned from home. Perhaps the fortunes ofwar may bring us together before long. I think I have not anything more towrite of any importance. I send my respects to Maj. Light, Lieut MorehouseLieut White and yourself & all the rest of my friends.


Writeto me again as soon as convenient for I shall be anxious to hear how George isgetting along.

Direct as such and I will getyour letter


I am yours fraternally Henry H.Goodrich


PS I have no photos of myselfat present, haven't had any taken since last summer. Did you get the one I sentthat belonged to you?


PS Recvd a long letter fromDaniel F. He is much pleased with Cal.Wants me to come there when I get out of the army. If you have not time toanswer this, George must write again.

[Henry Hannibal Goodrich wasthe son of the Ganges doctor and a neighbor in Ganges.He had served in Dunn's company in the 10thCavalry, but resigned to accept a commission in the colored troops.]

Ganges MichiganAugust 29, 1866 Robinson and Brooks Detroit, Mich


I read your reply to mycommunication to Mr. Baskins a few days ago. Do not think you can do anythingfor me except in the horse case and possibly not in that, the particulars areas follows:


Onthe 22nd of Dec 1863 Co, D 10 Mich Cav (in which I was 2nd Lt was ordered to take a drove of Cattle from Camp Wilson Ky toKnoxville Tenn. My horse which I took from Michwas not well and could not be ridden (so I procured another) and as the HdQ ofthe Regt. was at Camp Wilson I left him incharge of some men who were to stay. I returned the latter part of Janry '64and found that in my absence my horse had been stolen and nothing could beheard from him.


I think that under the newBounty Law you can collect a claim for my Father, it is like this. My BrotherLeonidas H. Dunn enlisted Oct 23rd 1863 at Grand Rapids in Co.D.10th' MichCav for three years, was mustered in the same day. He accompanied the Regt toCamp Nelson Ky and was taken sick and died there March 22/64 and my father recd from George his back pay and$75.00 Bounty making $100.00 but under the new law, I think he is entitled to$100.00 more, if so please write and let me know and I will see that you getthe Business.

very respectfully

Your Obt. Servant

Wm. H. Dunn



Grand Rapids, Mich. Jan 9th 1888


Major Wm. H. Dunn

Ganges Mich


My Dear Sir & friend


Ithank you most sincerely for your New Years gift of "Michigan in the War." I have studied itenough to begin to appreciate its great value. My sons are already interestedin its pages and I trust will draw therefrom some of the noble patriotism whichinspired the heroes whose deeds are here briefly chronicled. For myself itspages are fraught with stirring memories of joys and sorrows of victories anddefeats, of grief over fallen friends and tears of gratitude shed for the safereturn of sons, brothers and fathers; and my faith in my country and love forthe flag is quickened and strengthened. May you and your noble comrades withyour families be long spared to enjoy richly the blessings which you secured tous all by these splendid achievements. A Happy New Year to yourself family andparents. I am truly your friend.

Franklin B. Wallin