Washington cty DC
Dec 23 AD /61
It is with plesure that I tke oup my
pen to let you know that I reseaved
your’s of the 16 yesterday & was glad to hear
from you we are well at present & hope
that theas few lins may find you in joying
the same blessing, I have just com of[f] gard &
should this writing be scaterd I hope you will
for give as I g[o?]t no sleep and it rand all nite,
Alfred & I was down at town last saturday I
will try to give you a short cetch [1] of what I
seen we first went to the patant ofises, I
will try to tel you what cind of a building it is
a larg bildin of marble, we went oup a pare of
steps a bout twelve feet hie and enterd a large
hal we wound our way round thare a while to we
come to winding stares, we started oup
them & folowed oup to we come to the galery &
thare we saw things to draw our aten[?]
ion, we saw all cinds of macheanery that is invent[?] [2]
it is not worth my while to attemp to discribe
the cite then what was more atractin we saw
Washington[’s] Coat, and a lot more of uniforms
I dont know who they belont we had no time to
look round eny mor, there was old parts of sad
les, and all cinds of farming utentels & every thing
[page 2]
ii Good nuse I must tely before I finish the [??] [3]
thare was a batle at dranesfille mid way be[tween?]
chane bridg and leasburg we gand the day with[out?]
eny los the rebel los was 60 cild & 130 wounded & 1[00?]
taking prisner the brigede was General Mcols 2 regt
6 & 12 pensylvany reserves the 10th & 11th was held back
as reserves and was not neded, I think that if the [other?]
to 10 & 11 had been cald thare would have non of them
have a caped. it looks strange that thare can be such a [4]
victory and none of our men cild but I think that thare
had been a grate meny of them that did not want to
fite, thare has been som other fits in misure but I [5]
dont know enything a bout how they went but I
think we gand the day, I must return to my story
a bout town & the patent of ices I while looking
round we saw a lot of sords old and new all
cinds of sords that is the sords of all nations som
is wery cruked as cruked as a circkle I think I can
use the a merican the best well this is a near
cetch of what I seen thare but still I must
leave of[f] a bout that from thare we went to
the campitol and went all thrue it we went oup
to the mane room I tel you it is a nice place
the wals is all coverd with the pictars of
batles indins and all colers of peple we went
out of that rom in to a nother one and
& thare was all cind of marble cutings [6] thare
sulivens monument would look like nothing be side
[page 3]
the cuting hear in the captol, we left this room
and went thrue a lot more & started oup a pare
of winding stars to the dome from which we
could se eliaxandra and farefax not a grate dis
tance from whare that batle was fout, from
thare we went to the naveyard to see the works
going on thare thare we saw ships and steem
boats and canons and all cinds of war prepra
tion we had not been thare lon[g] to they be
gen to fire a canon out in the bay. I have
oftan herd pople saing that you could not see
a canon bal but I could see the baul plane
to it would lite on the water, I expect it
would be as much as 2 minits af ter the report
of the canon to we would see the ball lite
a way out in the bay. we went a way from
that and came back to camp I have told
you a litle a bout what I have seen but
it is but litle well I must bring my
views of the cty to a close & let you
know a bout the cind of wether we have
hear it has been very nice to last nite It
comens[t?] to rain and it raned all nite &
all day to day it is now comencing to bloe
cold and to snow a litle but then it
is not cold in our tents, thare is no drill
to day the ragment is all building gard
quarters then we will have a beter time
[page 4]
when we are on gard at lest I think
I am glad to hear that thompson
Campbell has got his self a wife but I
think that he mite of got one at home
without going so far as the boys is cers [7]
and the girls plenty pleas tel all the
boys that you see that I want them
to take care of the gerls at home and
if they have a notion of geting
maried to try to get one at home
to soot them and not have our
naborhood come out be hind tel
Bandre that I want him to go
to se the girls 3 nits out of the week
and the fourth to rest as it is
hardly fare for him to cill him self
all at onst well I must close my
leter at presant but still remans
your friend son & Brother

From James Gordon Hamilton
Please give my best respects To his friends
to all inquiring friends
This is for all Good by one good by all
a specialy mother

  1. cetch = sketch
  2. Damage at right margin of page
  3. Damage in right margin
  4. a caped = escaped
  5. misure = Missouri
  6. cutings = sculptures
  7. cers = scarce
December 23, 1861


Co. L, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Residence (County): 
Butler County, PA


Name Variant: 
"family and friends at home"
Residence (County): 
Butler County, PA


From State: 
District Of Columbia


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

M. Ellis
Transcription Date: 
November, 2013
Proof Date: 

Get in touch

  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053
  • admin@ehistory.org

eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

Learn More about eHistory