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20th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Item LTR-5794
April 14, 1865 John Eby
Price: $150.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages written in period ink.

April 14, 1865
Camp near Stevens Station

Dear Sir,

I sat down to enjoy myself to write you a few lines.

Hoping these lines may find you all enjoying yourselves in good health. I was very glad to hear from you and my parents. I am in good health with the exception of the diarrhea has caught me. But I am over it now. Pretty well again now. The water is very bad where I am now, but it is a very nice country here. But everything is destroyed here. You don’t see any fences in Virginia at all. It is all laying open like a barren field or some commings, but it is a very nice country – level. I would like to live here after the war is rightly settled.

You stated that there was plenty of sport at William Bair’s sale. I’ll bet when the men was at the cider he would say, “by H. C., you better leave now or by heavens, I’ll make you leave damn quick, you damned rascal, you get, by God.”

You stated in your letter that Father don’t tell Mother when he gets a letter from me. But I had only written two letters to him since I am here in the service. Blair Miller had written Mother though, that I had sent him money to him. By what I could understand by his, that he was drinking again. I would be sorrow for it, for because I don’t want him to commence drinking again. But I had not sent him any money, for I was afraid he would get to drink again.

Tell your sister Cate that Isaac Shellenberger is in the same regiment that I am. We have plenty of sport here. Very near as much as at the Dutch wedding but not quite so many good things to eat as we had there. But I would rather be here than at home. But it is not quite so nice to lay on the ground as it is in bed at home. We were drawn out in line of Battle at Charlestown and after they found out there was no rebs about, me and Noah was detailed to lay out in skirmish line and it commenced raining and all night. And the rain came through the gum blanket and woolen blanket and overcoat. You know had not the dares to leave there but mind rain here comes a great deal harder than at home.

There was some fun with the boys. Some of them put the ball in the musket before the powder. They had a great time of taking the load out of the musket. The next morning, some of them was frightened very bad. Some of them [so] frightened that they got sick. But that was the best sport I had. I had plagued some of them and they got cross at me but I did not care about it. But I did not like the laying out in the rain. It was three days that I had not a dry stick of clothes on me. I am in better health than I was at home. Plenty of hardtack and speck to eat. The grease runs down each side of my mouth when eating it.

Now I bring my scribbling to a close with my best respects to you. Tell Mother that I am in good health and that I have some notions to enlist as a regular in the army for five years. Sixteen hundred dollars’ bounty and eight hundred cash in hand. Ask her how she would like it and see what she says about it. Send my best respects to my friends.

John A. Eby