Letter from Molias Hardy to Wife - 1861


This letter was written by Molias Hardy, the brother of John R. Hardy, to his wife Julia Hardy from his army camp at Camden, Arkansas.  The letter is not dated, but was probably written in November or December, 1861.  The name "Martha Frances Hardy" appears at the end of the letter as an addressee, along with Julia's.  The "Matty" he refers to in the letter is this Martha Frances, probably his daughter, who must have been only a baby since the 1860 Census did not show a child living with Molias and Julia.  I have not been able to find any other references to this Martha Frances Hardy, perhaps she died at a young age.

In the letter he talks as though he is anticipating leaving soon on a long campaign.  (Note: his unit left Camden on Jan. 4, 1862.)  Molias served with Company A, 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment (Johnson's), and that unit was in Tennessee by early February, 1862, fighting at Ft. Heiman, Ft. Henry, then Fort Donelson.  He was captured at Fort Donelson, Tennessee on 16 Feb 1862 and sent to a military prison at Camp Butler, Illinois.  He died there on 15 Mar 1862 and is buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, IL, Grave 700, in the Confederate Section.  Many Confederate soldiers died at Camp Butler due to the extreme cold and deplorable conditions.  Illnesses such as pneumonia and smallpox were rampant, with inadequate medical care and poor sanitation facilities.

Thanks to Stephen Jones for providing to me the copy of this letter, and other materials.

The letter was transcribed line-by-line just as written, except for the the periods added at the end of the sentences to improve readability.

Scanned images of the original letter:  Page 1    Page 2

(Page 1)

Camden, Ark  Dear

Wife I seat myself

to inform you that

I am well.  I would be

glad to sea you and

Matty it appears like

I have bin gon from

you a long time.  I

wouldent mind the

campain if I could

be with you but to

stay from my little

Matty eightteen mon

it is a long time.

I am a fraid it

will be more than a month

or too be for we meet

a gain. content your

self till I come let it

be long or short.

I would be glad to hear

from you and of the family.


(Page 2)

Julia send me a

a letter by Rufus

Manis.  he is a go to start

home in the morning. get

a letter wrote and

get James Thomas

to hand it to him.

he is sick and has

a furlow for

twenty days and then he

is to return to

the company.  I must

come to a close

it is late and

am writing on a

drum head.

Farewell to all.


Molias Hardy to

Mrs Julia Hardy

Martha Franses Hardy



1.  The "Rufus Manis" referred to by Molias in the letter is apparently Rufus Maness (or Manass), another  Columbia County resident who was in the same Company.  I found the following data in  Civil War service records:


MANES, R. Pvt Enl 4 Oct 1861 at Magnolia, AR  Company A, 15th Ark. Infantry

Maness, Rufus F.  Private—Enlisted in Co. K, 6th Arkansas Cavalry, at Magnolia, Arkansas, June 21, 1862; died at Van Buren, Arkansas, December 6, 1862; previously served in Co. A, 15th (Johnson’s)

 Arkansas Infantry.


2.   The "James Thomas" referred to is probably James P. Thomas who was the husband of Molias' sister, Susan Caroline.  He also served with the 15th (Johnson's ) Regiment at Ft. Donelson.  He was apparently still at home when this letter was written.


Soldiers of 15th Ark. Regiment Who Died at Camp Butler

Back to "Hardys in the Civil War"

| Home | Surname List |

| Eley | Ferguson | Hardy | Harris | Jones | Murrell | Orchard | Webb |

| Search this site |