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T.J. Hindman’s letter to his father-in-law and his children provides hints about his character…



“Grand Ecore La Aprile 15th 1862
Dear Sir I will endevor to
Give you [mark] a short sketch of ower
March through la Louisana wee left
Brasier and the 13 of March full equiped
For the summer campaign ower march
Was over land [illegible word marked out] and toilsome March
The boys was pretty well tired out on
The 8 of Aprile wee come on the enemy
And had a desperate hard fight it took
Place at Mansfield early in the morning
And lasted for the day the 13 army core
Was badly cut to pieces Wee lost ower
Colonel [paper torn so the ‘l’ is gone] he had his arm shot of below the
Elbow [paper torn so the ‘lb’ gone] and was taken prisoner the los of
[paper torn with word missing] regiment was 12 killed and wounded
[paper torn with word missing] taken prisoner it was a hard fight
Ower corpse lost a bout one thousand
The rebes drove us back three miles than
The 19 core came and reenforest us then
Wee held the ground for the night the
Next night we fell back to pleasant
Hill there wee was reenforsed by gerneral
Smith with the 16 core there wee
Mad a stand and a despirate struggle for
Ower lives and a the rebes was forced to
Fall back the rebes say that tha
Buried eight of there men to one off
Owers that say that tha lost eight
Thousand killed and wounded and the
Same number taken prisoner so i think
on the hole it was the rebes whiped
and [page torn and a letter is missing] us run tha got 50 of ower wagons
[Last row not scanned. The transcription provided to Kay Bauman on April 17, 2011 by ancestry.com user sqgardner1 indicates the line cut off said “and lots of our ammunition”]

[page 2]
The rebes loss in the hole was
five hundred
Was seven thousand killed and wee
have not not heard the amount
of wounded and prisoners yet
Well i was glad to get out a live
The bullets fell like hale all the time
I was glad to hear from
you and the family and my little
children Father i want you to keep
them till [mark] i gave orders for to have
them moved and i think that will
Bee a long time for i think that
you will bee good to them I was
glad to get there likeness tha [page torn]
Look so pretty i hope tha are as [page torn, maybe word is well] l
as tha look
Well i am well at this time a[page torn]
I have sprained my ancle pretty
Bad and can hardly walk on it
And i hope those ma [illegible] find you
the same and the children also
Father i am still trying to live
the life of the righteous that i may
Bee prepared to mee those that has
Washed there robes and made them
White in the blls blood of the lord
John is well at this time
I will close by saying good by
for this time
T J Hineman
to Mr Nathan Nash
J E hinemen
E.A. hinemen”

In A Succinct History of the 28th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, E.E. Blake provides us with much more detail about the events on April 8, 1864 and all of the regiment’s history. Available online:

Just eight months before that battle, while Thomas was at war, his 21 year old wife died leaving behind two children.

It was another 15 months before he mustered out in July 1865.  After Thomas had been home a few months he married Martha, his first wife’s sister, who had been caring for his children while he was at war.


The image of Thomas above doesn’t help us know that he was 5′ 9 34” tall, with blue eyes, light complexion and had light colored hair when he was 26 years old.

The timeline of other known events in Thomas Jefferson Hindman‘s life:

  • February 22, 1836 born in Indiana.  There is uncertainty among researchers as to who his parents were.  Many say it was James and Sarah (Cox) Hindman
  • July 3, 1859, married in Marengo, Iowa Margaret Jane Nash (b. March 11, 1842), daughter of Nathan and Elizabeth (Moore) Nash
  • May 22, 1861, son John Edward Hindman was born
  • August 19, 1862, enlisted and mustered into Company B of the 28th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which was for the Union.
  • September 6 or 12, 1863, wife, Margaret Jane, died at the age of 21
  • Thomas was present at each of his company’s muster rolls except the October 3, 1863 when he was “absent with leave”, which I presume was to go home after his wife’s death.
  • Margaret’s children were cared for by Martha Ann Nash, her sister while Thomas was at war
  • April 15, 1864 letter sent to his father–in-law
  • April 17, 1864, promoted to Seventh Corporal
  • Daughter Elizabeth A. Hindman (unknown birthdate) died in infancy.  Some researchers show her death near the time of her mother’s death in September 1863.  That seems unlikely given Thomas’ reference to her in his letter dated April 15, 1864.
  • July 1, 1864, promoted to Fourth Corporal
  • October 19, 1865, wounded in the ankle in the battle of Cedar Creek at Virginia
  • July 31, 1865, mustered out at Savannah, Georgia
  • October 8, 1865, married in Iowa County, Iowa, Martha Ann Nash (b. February 1, 1839), daughter of Nathan and Elizabeth (Moore) Nash
  • 1866 – 1886 he and his second wife Martha had nine children
  • 1867 or so until sometime after 1885 the family lived in Mitchell County, Kansas
  • By 1894 at least some of his children were in Lincoln, Oklahoma
  • April 16, 1898 died in Sac Fox Agency, Lincoln, Dewey Co., Oklahoma

Thomas Jefferson Hindman was my biological great, great grandfather on my father’s side.


Updated July 3, 2015 with my transcription of the letter and an image of the letter.

Further Reading:

No Story Too Small offered a challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. 
Each of my posts for this challenge will include in the title “52 Ancestors Challenge” and will have the tag of 52Ancestors.