This letter was written by Henry D. Covert (1839-1922) was the son of Harry Covert (1812-1908) and Oritha Field (1819-1882) of Armenia, Bradford county, Pennsylvania. Henry served in Co. C, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. He enlisted as a private in November 1861 and mustered out as a corporal in November 1863. He was a farmer by profession.
Henry wrote the letter to his friend, Fanny C. Rundell (1845-1920), the daughter of Jefferson and Hannah (Pratt) Rundell of Canton, Bradford county, Pennsylvania. Fanny married Fidello Biddle (1842-1913) in 1867. Fidello served in Co. D, 106th Pennsylvania Infantry and then reenlisted in Co. D, 50th Pennsylvania Engineers.
Headquarters 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps
Department of the Cumberland
Sunday, April 12th 1863
My Dear Friend,
I now take my pen to write in answer to your welcome letter which was received some three or four days ago but have not had the time to answer it. I was very glad to hear that you was well. I am not very well today but I hope this letter may find you well. Today is Sunday but it does not seem like Sunday to me. All days are alike in the army. How I would like to be at your home to go to church with you. It would be a great privilege for me to enjoy.
Fannie, I was glad to hear that you got along so well with your school. I would like to have been there. George ¹ told me he went to your school real often. George was here to make me a visit. I do not see him very often for we are some ways apart. He has your likeness with him. He let me see it. How natural it looked. It put me in mind of the pleasant times we had while we were at school together. How I have wished for another such a time. I never enjoyed myself better in my life than I did that fall. I had been sick all summer and had been shut out from young society but those times are past, never to return.
Yes, Fannie, if I could come home the first place I would go to after I had made my mother a visit would be to your house to see you and make you a visit. Then wouldn’t we enjoy ourselves as old friends do.
It is very pleasant today and it is spring in good earnest. The fruit trees are all in bloom. I think it must of been good sleighing up home if the snow was as deep as you said. I recon I will have to come home and have a sleigh ride. Will you go with me if I will come?
Fannie, I know I promised to send you my likeness but I could not get a good one taken so I went and had one taken but it was a poor one. I did not like to send so poor a picture but it was the best I could do. I sent it some time ago and I think you have got it by this time. I wish you would send me yours for I would like very much to have it for you know not how much I would give to have it to look at when I am lonesome. It would remind me of the happy times we have spent together and that would turn my mind from my troubles.
Fannie, I think the prospects look rather dark for the close of this war very soon but the old saying is the darkest hour is just before day and I think we have seen some rather dark days. I think the war cannot last more than one year longer for starvation is at the door of every family within the confederate lines and I don’t see how they can hold out. I don’t care if the last man of them starves to death. Fannie, I wished that I would live so that if I should be called to die before this war closes that I might meet all of my friends in Heaven. But you know that a soldier has so much to perplex him that it keeps him wicked all of the time.
But I want you to pray for me that I might be a good boy and I will try by God’s grace assisting me. I will bring this letter to a close by bidding you goodbye, hoping to hear from you soon. This from your affectionate friend and soldier, — Henry D. Covert
Tuesday, April 14th 1863
As I did not send this letter in yesterday’s mail and have kept it until this evening, I will write a little to to let you know how I feel. I am well as usual and hope this will find you well. The reason I did not send this letter was because our mail train was taken by the Rebels between this place and Nashville. The Rebels take a train from us every little while. I will close for this time by bidding you goodnight.
This is from your affectionate friend, — Henry
Give my best respects to all of your folks. Direct as before.
¹ George L. Covert (1843-1908) was the son of Harry and Orthia (Field) Covert. George enlisted on 12 September 1861 in Co. C, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry and was taken prisoner at Gallatin, Tennessee on 21 August 1862. After four months, he was exchanged, and he then joined his company at Nashville. On 28 November 1863, he reenlisted at Huntsville, Alabama, as a veteran volunteer. On 20 June 1864, he was wounded in the fighting at Noonday Creek near Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. He was shot through the left lung and left wrist and remained in a hospital for several months recuperating. He was honorably discharged from the service on 5 September 1865. See 1863: George L. Covert to Fannie Rundell