Harrison’s sister Ann was probably very troubled that the next letter from her brother was written by a friend of his, Henry E. Trumble, a musician in the 13th Michigan from Portage. Harrison had asked Trumble to write since he was in bed suffering from complications from the wound in his ankle. While Tip, as Trumble calls Harrison, was still confident he would recover and Trumble, too, says he doesn’t think it is anything serious, a doctor today might be concerned about the fever Tip reported. Under the sanitary conditions of a Civil War camp, the fever could well be a sign of an infection, possibly gangrene.
Trumble writes about the war, that the end is clearly in sight. They’ve heard that the Confederate capital of Richmond had fallen to Union forces and he is confident that Lee’s Army cannot survive long if it had to forage for food and supplies in the early spring. What he is unaware of as he writes this later is that the very next morning, April 9, Gen. Robert E. Lee will surrender the Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House.
That surrender is usually seen as the end of the Civil War. One sizeable Confederate Army, however, had yet to surrender. General Joseph Johnston’s Army of the Tennessee, which had attacked Sherman’s Army at Bentonville, NC, the same battle in which Harrison was wounded, did not surrender until April 19, 1865.
Apr 8 65
Friend Today Tip wished me to write a few lines to inform you how he is for sevral days he has been confined to his bed caused from the effects of his wound & a slight-fever but for two or three days now untill today he has not had any & last night he felt pretty comfortable today he has a little fever & his leg paines him some he thinks although it is getting better & I hope & think before long he will be again around Camp his wound I think is nothing serious but it will Probbaly be some time before he will
be able for duty in the Field We have been receiving some very good news lately which undoubtedly
you have recieved ere this if it be true that Richmond has fallen six months closes the war (this is my Opinion) for if Lees army is not captured now he can not go far through this early & suply his army with
rations & amunitions we have an army here that the southern Confd. can not whip our ranks are filling very fast & besides we can be heavily reinforced in a short time by Cooporating armys we have an abundants of rations & clothing now & the troops are in the best of spirits most evry man thinks he will be at home soon Yesterday we were out on review out side of the pickets where there was a field of nearly 100 acres while we were maneuvering there was five rebs rode in the sight on the opposite side & seemed to be entertained by our parade the Gen sent out a Co. of men & they soon left
As there is not much news of intrist – I will close
Tip wished you to write soon
H E Trumble