This letter was written by Jasper R. Converse (1840-1920) of Co. F, 18th US Infantry Regiment. Jasper was the orphaned son of Edwin Gates Converse (1811-1851) and Louisa Ketch (1814-1851) of Madison County, Ohio. Jasper’s parents died within a couple of weeks of each other in the fall of 1851.
Jasper wrote the letter to his cousin, Edwin (“Ed”) Gates Adams (1841-1875) of Darby Creek, Madison County, Ohio. Ed was the son of Jasper’s Aunt Betsy R. (Converse) Adams (1817-1865) who was married to Ammon P. Adams (1816-1865). Edwin served as a private in Co. K, 136th Ohio Infantry (National Guard).
Addressed to Mr. E. G. Adams, Darby Creek, Madison County, Ohio
Postmarked Nashville, Tennessee
Company F, 1st Battalion, 18th U.S. Infantry
On Camp Oak Creek, Alabama
August 15th 1863
Yours of the 3d was duly received and I take the present opportunity to address a few lines to you. I am well and enjoying myself as well as usual in camp. Our march from Cowan’s Station to this place consisted of 20 miles of road over the Cumberland Mountains and a rougher road I never travelled in my life. I can hardly tell you how bad the roads were. Every mountain is covered with ledges of rocks and the number of wagons that were broken down can hardly be imagined.
Ed, I was almost disgusted at the reading of your letter, although I have had some accounts of such before. I am sorry to hear so often of the riots and treasonable outrages committed by the Copperheads and, worse yet, my own native state is lined with them. I have seen accounts in the papers of their outrageous conduct. What a pity it is that while we are away from home (absent two years) fighting to put down Rebellion that the people that was once our friends are now our enemies, and are everyday rising up against us. These are horrible times. The only fault is the Governor deals with them too lightly — not even one cheer should be allowed to echo for Jeff Davis or [Clement] Vallandigham in the States now held by the Union Troops. It is not allowed where we are, and I think it should not be allowed in the North. Neither should they be allowed to hold conventions. You may ask how will we hinder them — this is a free Government. It can be done by putting every state under Martial Law, and then have troops to execute those laws, the same as we do down here. Then the work will soon be done and law and order restored. I will not say anymore on the subject this time for it will be of little use.
I am glad to hear you are in favor of the Union and have enrolled your name in a company to defend our state. Your deeds will show your loyalty as they have already done. My motto is, ‘Union forever, without compromise.’ With these few remarks you ever have the sympathy and well wishes of your brother soldier.
Your friend and cousin, — Jasper R. Converse to E. G. A,
(Direct as before)