1862: John Harvey Grable to Friends at Home

The provenance on this letter suggests that it was written by Harvey Grable (1844-1864) of Co. E, 29th Indiana Volunteers. There is strong evidence to support this based on the content of the letter yet Harvey’s signature is absent. The strongest evidence is that the author claims to have been marching in company with David Early (1843-1926)—another member of Co. E, a close friend, and one who was known to the folks back home. David Early was from Bethlehem, Cass county, Indiana, which is also where Harvey Grable was from. [Note: The Grable & Christie Letters appear to have been together as a single collection at one time; see: The Civil War Gazette]

John “Harvey” Grable was the son of Samuel Grable (1801-1892) and Hannah Conrad (1807-1876). Harvey enlisted in the 29th Indiana Regiment on 13 October 1861. He died at Chattanooga on 1 July 1864 and was buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery (Plot E#11651).

Union troops marching on the muddy roads near Green River, Kentucky


[Camp Wood, Kentucky]
January 11th 1862

In camp and haint on any horse. I got along first rate, only I had a little trouble in Louisville. I had to get a pass there. I started [at] seven o’clock on Friday morning. There was a fire in town that morning. I got to camp on half fair. They have got big tents now—15 [men] in a tent. It is a nice place where they are now. It is very hilly here. I got to Green River Saturday, 8 o’clock p.m. It is about a mile and a half from camp.

Dave Early and I stayed at the depot that night. We slept in an ambulance that was standing there. It was the coldest it has been this winter. It [water] froze so it would bear [weight]. It is rainy here now. It is mud knee deep.

Bob Christie is well. He was so he couldn’t talk for to or three weeks. That day that Job Pownall left he got so that he could talk. He looks bad. I hain’t been up to see Tom Campbell yet but they say he is running around.

Write as soon as you get this. The boys are all well.

Direct your letter to the 29th Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Company E in care of Capt. M[ilton]. M. Boggs


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