Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings written June 10, 1863 from Triune, Tennessee.

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Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings written June 10, 1863 from Triune, Tennessee.


Christopher Theodore Dunham was born Sept 24, 1836 in Berkshire, Tioga County, NY. He moved to Freeport, Stephenson County, IL around 1856 and in 1860 was elected county surveyor. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted as a corporal in Capt. Atkin's company in the 11th Illinois Regiment of the Union Army. He transferred to Noleman's Calvary Company and was mustered out July 5, 1862. He returned to Freeport where he again enlisted under the President's call of July 1. 1862 and was elected Captain of Company F, 92nd Illinois Volunteers. With his background as a surveyor, he was detailed as Topographical officer on the staff of Brigadier General A. Baird, commander of his regiment's division. He married Sarah (“Sadie” or “Saddie”) E. Cummings September 22, 1862 in Freeport, Illinois. In 1864 he was tendered by Governor Yates the commission of Lt. Col. but turned it down to remain on staff duty. He was also attached to HQ 3rd Div. Army of Kentucky and HQ 1st Div. Reserve Army Corps. After returning to Freeport he was again surveying, but in 1872 was admitted to the Elgin Insane Asylum, where he died January 27, 1878.


June 10, 1863


Midway Village Museum







Head Quarters Third Division,
Army of Kentucky,
Triune Tenn. June 10th 1863

My Darling Sadie,
Another day of this war has passed away & still I am permitted to write to my darling one! How pleasant it is! How thankful should I be that such has been my good fortune, when so many have fallen and so many been sent in such [portions] of country that communication with their friends at home has been impossible but I feel to night as though I could thank the all wise providence for so preserving me - Oh my Sadie how very much do I love you! More and more every day of this cruel war - and how much pleasure do I take in the thought, that some day we will be living so happy together! that will repay us for the long and painful sepperation [sic] now. wont it love? You do not know how very much I would love to see you now. but you will agree with me in saying that every able one or soldier ought to be at his post. Yes my love this army here whilst the army of the Mississippi is gaining so much glory - wants to do something & every soldier also wants to assist. General Rosecrans has once whiped [sic]
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the Rebels in a great battle & too on ground of their own choise [sic] & at their own choosen [sic] time & he will do it again I think! What shall I write? You will say write what you can - the news of the day. So I will - About noon the Rebs [sic] with a few Regts [sic] of mounted infantry came to our front & made a slight demonstration but it amounted to nothing. Genl Baird did intend to go to Murfreesboro this afternoon dist [sic] - about 15 miles. I was going with hime [sic] - he was to have an escort of cavalry but this raid of the enemy delayed the Genl. We will go to morrow I think I shall be much pleased with the trip - will see many old friends in the army there. I would write you more concerning the command here but at present it might be considered “contraband”. Yesterday afternoon two rebel officers came to Franklin dressed in federal uniform & of course got admission to the camp very readily - they represented that they was just from the army of the Potomac on an inspecting tour. The commandant was deseived [sic] & allowed them to pass along towards Nashville but a Col. Watkins of the 6th Ky. Cav. happened to see them riding along & thought he had seen one of them before. He emediately [sic] followed them & came up with them at the outside picket line. halted them stating that it was the commanders order that they have an escort to Nashville. They reluctantly
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accepted of the invitation & rode back to [3rd Div.] with the Col. who arrested them & demanded their papers.- they showed their forged papers & was detected & one proved to be a Col. the - other a Captain. The Col. was Aide-de-camp to Genl Scott when the war broke out but was dismissed for disloyality [sic] - they were tried by a Drumhead Court Martial this morning at three o clock sentenced at 5 & hung at 9 o clock - So their bold and dangerous & fool hardy undertaking soon came to a very unsuccessful end - the end of a rope - So as they started out as the stated inspectors. The first article presented by the federal authorities - was hemp & they lost their miserable lives doing it - No doubt the rebs will think this pretty hard - but when an officer will do so as they did it right to hang them emmediately [sic] - I saw to day a Freeport Journal & saw that many of the soldiers from Northern Illinois in the fight at Vicksburg & were wounded killed - Col Nevius of the 11th Ill. two Col's of that Regiment have yealded [sic] w/ their lives now for the counties' honor! Have you yet heard from Luther and [Aaron]? Mr. Hess & you all must feel quite concerned about them & I hope you will hear from them ere long - How do you get along Sadie are you still progressing in health I suppose I will not know my sweet wife when I come back you will have changed so oh my lovely girl how very -
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much do I want to see you - How I shall look for a letter more often than before - cannot I my dear. Tis getting quite late so good bye my affct wife Sadie –
Your Husb. C.T.Dunham

Mrs. Sadie E. Dunham
Freeport Illinois

P.S. I almost began to think that I write so many letters that they are not of much account - at least so do they appear to me when I read them over & I'me [sic] frequently tempted to tare [sic] them up until I can write better
[Wednesday mring] June 10th "/ [63?]
Good morning my darling wife. tis very rainy here this morning and I think will continue the most of the day at intervals. At 9.o.clock (sic) I shall go with the General to Murfreesboro. & when I return I will write you all I saw in that great army - I breakfasted a little late this morning 7.o.clock it rained so nicely on the tent that it was almost charming to sleep - I do not think the Rebs will trouble us much now. that they will look out for our cavalry - and we had another - Brigade of Cav. come in yesterday - now love do write me often will you! from your dear husband
To Mrs. C.T.Dunham

Original Format



“Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings written June 10, 1863 from Triune, Tennessee.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed July 16, 2024,