Civil War Period Letter 1862
Civil War Period Letter written in period ink and dated: June 29, 1862.
3d Brigade Headquarters, 29th June 1862
In reviewing your encouraging letter today, it occurred to me that I omitted saying anything about your institutes. Well, while I have no disposition to throw aught in the way of education, but much rather encourage and advance it until every dark corner of the universe shall become enlightened. Yet, I must admit that the cause is often abused by those fancying themselves to be beacon stars in the cause.
This will probably not reach you in time to influence you in any way as regards your next meeting and perhaps it is best so. But from the proceedings of your last meeting, it seems to me strict propriety would dictate that you respectfully decline any further participation in the matter until others learn to keep within proper bounds.
I think sometimes no wonder the ancient Jews falsely accused St. Paul with being mad. Through much learning, as no doubt there were in that day as well as now, a peculiar class of person almost without a natural idea at all and yet among the most apt at acquiring what is properly termed learning. It is not uncommon to see this class of person loose themselves entirely when attempting to branch out off certain prescribed limits of the well beaten track. I should not be surprised to hear that you have some of this class in Fawn Township. But enough of that. You are probably aware that Mr. Weirman had written to Mother about leaving the lock, saying the lock must be regularly attended the coming season and supposed it would not suit her to stay. But that he would give her any other place on the canal where he thought her and her daughter could discharge the duties. His letter was forwarded to me and I wrote to him.
To say I received a very clever letter from him saying he had on receipt of mine, informed Mother she could remain, had thought of offering her instead, the collectorship at Blairsville, but concluded it might not suit altogether. Also paid me quite a compliment as a soldier. So we will consider No. 5 our home for another year. But Mother will have to employ help at least part of the time.
When I was reading the last letter from home, I thought it had been written by Alice until I came to near the last lines when the writer said Alice has just come home. Then found it signed by Mother and Oliver.
When do you expect to visit Sharpsburg again? Will there be any chance for a summer school when you are?
The 37th New York Regt. while on picket last night caught a party of Rebels at a dance some distance beyond our lines through information given by a Negro. A skirmish resulted in the loss of one Union soldier and ten killed and two prisoners of the Rebels. The prisoners were brought in this morning minus coats or hats. One, quite an old man, was furnished coat and hat by our Brigadier General Jamison and the other, said to have been the fiddler of the evening, was furnished a cap by someone else. And then they were escorted to Washington by Walkers Line. I scarcely expected the day to pass without a move, notwithstanding the desperate condition of the roads. But all is quiet yet.
Your father as ever,
J. W. Given