[1] at the arsnell
August the 12: 1861

Dear Mother I take thiss
oppertunity to let you now
that i am well and hope that
you are all the same I have
been Sargent of the poleas gard
to day and am of[f] duty to day
now the prisners in the gard
house have all Served thare time
and are released The penatensery
forms one side of our camp fence
and the arsnell is Just back of
it it is a vary beaitifell plase
and is Just in a point of land Just
betwean the river and the bay
[page 2]
Our Compy is nearly all gon down
to the stock yards to pick our our
horses Gorge Cooper came here to
day and he said that thare was
a large and fine lot of them
thare and the Capten and mager
thot that they had beter to when
the chance was good
We have got our peases [2] all here now
and will soon have our fool [3] [comp???]
Thare was a small brush over the
river on last friday but out men
drove them back and did not loose
a man Lieutenant Grean of the
Mercer Compny [4] was over here to
day and he says that thare is
about one hundred and fifty men
stationed along the hghts and
well fortified and that thare is
vary few sick among them we
could hear the fireing of the muskets
plane that day it was in the
fore noon and lasted but fore a
short time
[page 3]
My friend Tom is riting on an
other trunk beside me to some one
i now not I said friend but he is
more than a friend to me we are
to geather all our spare time we have
John Fullerton is cept prety buisey
at presant and is well tell lib sow
I must stop for a bit and go and
take John Mc [5] an oilcloth he is
on gard and would do a good
turn for me as soon as any
other man Well i am back again
John has the blanket and the rane is
Stoped but still loocks like rane it
has raned a good shour now for
three days. Yesterday was Sunday
we new it was the day but the
work went on as usial holling
arms and amunation out we did
not drill any and got leave of the
Cornell to march all that wanted
to go to church but Ju[s]t at the [h]our
it raned Sow hard that we could
not go
[page 4]
The Camp rools are very strict here
and they have to bee a man cant
go through the streat here with
out a pass from the cornell if
he has non he will be poot in the
lock oup for safe ceeping
When we git our horses i want to
git a pass and ride through the
sity it is nice what i have sean
of it We can ride on the steam boat
for ten cents and back I would like
to go down and see whare Elsworth
was cilled Yow may think that
it loocks war like thare but if you
was here one day you would think
it was war for Surten if you
Could Just see through this arsnell
and see the arms once you would say
that pencylvania united states
Could not be whiped at all and
i think sow now Our Compny is now
Cald to go on Dres peraid what thare
is of it here and Lieutenant
Cadwalleder has to take it out
he has got his new close and loocks
fine i lent him twenty dollers
to git his things with i did
not want to cary it in my
pocket at any rate i got 22.95 cts
and i hat three dollers of what
pap gave me
[page 5] [6]
Well the roal call
is over and as my
time is preasious
in day lite i will
endever to rite some more
Our grub is Midling good here
plenty of soft bread and crackers
and fresh beaf and pork and
rice and som beans and the field
that we drill in has fore tater
paches in it and we dont starve
for taters and the corn has to
Suffr around here pap you
nead not groul when they take
some to dry if you ware near here
you would have something to
camplane of thare is lots of
fealds that are Just throwen
open and tramped down
and things looks distructive and
as if now body was at home
[page 6]
John we had a review on
wednesday of all the troops here
and the president and his
Cabanent was at General
McCleland and a grate many
other of our head men it was
estimated at twelve thousand
men in the field at that time
it was a grand site i wish
you could Just of sean it it
would of don you good
John what has come over
you thare that you will alow
a man to herrow for Jeff Davis
Ben Cowden red me a leter
that he got from beadford to
day and it stated that thare
was men in that town that
would herrw for old Jeff now if you
can stand that you are a strnge
cind of men and ot [7] to suffer
your selvs a man here would
soon be cut down if he would
do that her dont a low it
[page 7] [8]
James Kingcaid [9]
came steping
in to the camt
on saturday and
came oup to me and asked
me if i new whare Compny
B was and i shoad him
and he turned round and
was starting off and i Said
Jim how are you and he
turned around and loocked
and laffed and he Said
Jim is this you you See i had
my new close on that is
whats the mater and then
i have got such a beard
and mustash i have not
Shaved since i left home
and you now it was vary
havy then the boys all said
dont cut them off they
loock fine and i dident
[page 8]
He came to harisburg and
wend to the Cornel in comand
of that Camp and got examend
and Sworen in and then
Came on and gave his papers
oup to the Capten and Joined
the Comny and is doing fine
I send you a Sesion [10] invellop
that was got oup after the
fite at bulls run and our men
retreated I sent you a Cople
of Soulders Camp Curten pyes
in my Sack our grub is not
vary good her but midling
I must stop for here Coms
our horses and i must go and
help to tend them and it
is geting dark Sow fast
that i cant see any more
iwant to send this
with gorge cooper and
he Says he will Start at fore
in the morning good [??]
My love to all you all
and a big share to
J S miller

  1. Printed illustration of the U. S. Captitol at the top of page 1
  2. peases = artillery pieces
  3. fool = full
  4. Mercer County
  5. John McCurley
  6. With a printed patriotic illustration featuring George Washington
  7. ot = ought
  8. Patriotic illustration of the American flag at top left of page
  9. Pvt. James C. Kincade of Battery B
  10. Sesion = Secession
August 12, 1861


Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery
sergeant; first sergeant
Residence (County): 
Lawrence County, PA


Residence (County): 
Lawrence County, PA


From Note: 


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Michael Ellis
Transcription Date: 
October, 2012
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