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154th Ohio Infantry

Item LTR-7196
May 24, 1864 Samuel Newton
Price: $245.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 5 pages written in period ink.

New Creek Station, West Virginia
Thursday morning, May 24, 1864

My dear, dear Mary,

Another week rolled around and we still remain here. One company of the 154th (Co. F., Capt. King, Lieut. Dan McMillan) has been detached from the regiment and sent to Piedmont, seven miles from here, at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains. The location is not considered a desirable one for the men but is a very important one. The B&O Railroad crossing the North Branch of the Potomac there and also having much valuable property at the station. It is most probable now that the headquarters of the regiment will remain here but some other companies may be sent out upon detached service. I hope that we may remain here until our “hundred days” are over as I consider the location more healthy that any this or that we are likely to be sent to.

On last Saturday, I visited some of our picket posts and climbed the highest peak of the New Creek range of mountains. On the summit of this mountain is situated the old Piano Fort (not the kind of a piano forte’ used in _ ) which has made loud music in its time but is now deserted. The magazine yet contains a few mementoes of the olden times in the shape of three of four inch shells. I enclosed a flower gathered near the fort which you may perhaps value on account of being from a place where I run out and fought. From the top of this mountain we can see the Knobly Mountains which are second in size to the New Creek Range. The scenery is very fine but the country appears almost valueless when compared with the Miami Valley. A Greene County farmer would hardly accept one of the farms as a present if coupled with the condition that he should line upon it.

Small bodies of rebels are said to be lurking around but are so insignificant as to be hardly noticed. One squad of our pickets claims to have seen rebel signals during part of one night and three guerrillas in person, but the person in charge of the station being none other than the celebrated Benjamin Franklin January, too much reliance should not be placed in the report.

General George W. Cosby has departed. Has become a high private. Has been ordered to Piedmont, &c. &c. Well, perhaps our loss may be “Kings” gain. If he cannot again offer to conduct Dress Parade of the 154th, he may assist Company “F” in guarding the Potomac. We shall endeavor to bear the loss with becoming resignation, remembering the honors that he won upon the banks of the Tennessee River at Pittsburg Landing Battle. Poor George, he and the aforesaid Benjamin Franklin J. may fully consider themselves a persecuted pair.

Your letter of the 15th inst. reached me on Thursday and the thought that there was somebody to remember me while I was away “soldiering” gave me much pleasure. I wish that the dents containing your “hieroglyphics” (as you call them, very plain to me however) were twice as long and came oftener. Don’t delay writing even if my letters should be “lost in the mail”. I did not know before that you appreciated Mr. Fee about as highly as I do. But even his homilies would be acceptable to the poor fellows who have made but one sermon in three weeks. Our chaplain is a good friend of mine but does not appear to be overly anxious to preach. I fear that he will not be the only one that is affected by the lazy camp life that we live. I could far prefer to work seventeen or eighteen hours per day as of old.

You speak of Prof. Smith, wishing you to teach the Senior Classes in French and Latin during the coming year and of teaching all of the time until Christmas. I should much prefer that you do neither, but want “the dearest girl” in the world to please herself. I want the school of two to reign before Christmas, even that time seems such a long way off. Consider also the large amount of gossip that the good proph. of X. would indulge in. Lem Trader has hinted already that he knows something. I hope to receive a letter from you tomorrow evening telling what your “home folks” have to say about your going home this summer. I feel a little anxiety about it, “that’s so.”

Can you manage to read my “hieroglyphics?” If you can’t, I will try to write plainer. Although it is pretty hard to do so in camp without a desk or even a table.

As ever.
Yours truly,
S. Newton