The Rebels

This will be the last of the Civil War posts I'll share - there are many more letters, but I'll save them for another time. Quick warning - today's letter has some strong language.

Carlisle PA July 7th 1864

My Dear Wife:

The rebels are coming. They are now at Greencastle, with a force of a thousand men, and it is said that they have 40 thousand behind them. In all probability, we shall have them here. We ...?... union force to oppose them. Our men from the Barracks and the Rebels had a big fight in the streets of Hagerstown. At first our men drove them back, but they got reinforcements  and drove our men to Greencastle. You ought to have been here last night to witness the boxing up of our merchants and others. The niggers and whites are flying in every direction, and everybody is intent on saving their things.

Don't be alarmed about me. I will take care of myself. I don't intend to leave Carlisle for any infernal Rebel south. I shall stay at the Parsonage and if that Doctor I met with at Gettysburg comes here and fulfills his promise to see me "about our affair of honor" he will not get beyond our threshold. I have my revolver prepared, and will blow his brains out the moment he enters.

It is said they are conscripting our men as they go and preparing them into their arm service from 16 to 50 years of age. We have all resolved not to be conscripted  - to die first. The 12,000 militia for 100 days are responding fast, and I hope we shall be able to give them a sound thrashing before they got back to the Potomac.

I believe they take all they want from private houses. Oh my poor pigs! We have concluded to put them in the ??ary while the rebels are here, and feed them on funds of deposit. And as for our blankets, we shall take good care of them. Now don't be alarmed, if we should not meet again on earth we certainly shall in heaven. It will be for better for me to say here than to leave: and it may be that the Rebels will not be so harsh as ...?.

I am very glad you and the children are away. I hope to see you at the time we appointed. There will be no doubt a great battle in our valley. What our government is doing is a matter of secrecy, but I have no doubt plans are being laid to defeat the enemy. Several men from the barracks have been brought in wounded, and several rebel prisoners ..? through here. Love to all. Write immediately. God bless you all, if we never meet again on earth, we shall meet in Heaven.

Your devoted,

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