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12th Pennsylvania Infantry - NEW

Item LTR-10555
June 10, 1861 Charles F. Porter
Price: $245.00


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

Mellsville near Baltimore
June 10th 1861

My Dear Wife,

I received yours of the 5th on Saturday and I was very happy to hear that you are both well. I am in very good health at present. We had a great deal of rain last week but it is clear and very pleasant now. There is nothing new to tell you at present, but any amount of rumors. We are expecting orders to leave here every moment, but where to, we do not know. Some say Harpers Ferry and others say the City of Washington, but God only knows when or where we shall go to. But I think we shall be here for some time yet, and I think when we go, it will be to the City of Washington to help the guard it from the rebels, but cannot say so for certain, but that is my impression.

Colonel Campbell has left here with the band and gone to Cockeysville. There is only two companies of [our regiment] here at present. The Blues have gone up to the place where the Greys were. The Greys are at the Relay House, three miles from us, in place of Capt. Cooper’s Company. The City Guards are with Campbell, and the Zouaves at Cockeysville. As there is only two companies of us here, we have still harder guard duty to do, but we all stand it very well.

We have a report in the regiment here that Campbell is to be a Brigadier General and S. W. Black is to be Colonel of our regiment. I cannot vouch for the truth of it, but that is the rumor here, and that the regiment after the three months are up is to [be] filled up and go for three years. I know for certain that the regiment has been offered by Campbell to the Secretary of War for three years, and has been accepted—that is, after out three months are up and all the three months men can [either] reenlist for three years or go home at the end of their present term of enlistment, and then they will recruit to fill up the regiment. I think and am sure there will be very few who will reenlist out of this regiment. They are dissatisfied with their treatment and their officers but would nearly all of them come back in other companies.

We are not in Gen. Negley’s Brigade now. We are not in any. We are on detached service. The Secretary of War sent officers to York to Gen. Kiem for a good regiment and one that could be trusted to guard this road. we were sent as the only regiment he could trust—so much for a good name. All around here and at Washington we are called the crack regiment of Pennsylvania. So, they have a good opinion of us, and I say it without any bragging that we are the best drilled regiment for the time we have been in service of any in the state. We will drill with any of them, and our company is as good at drill as any in the regiment. We expect some trouble about here next Thursday, it being election day. They expect plenty of rows in Baltimore and all the troops are ready for any attack that may be made on us or the citizens which stand for the Union. God help them if they do commence on us. Baltimore will be laid in ashes for we can do it, for Fort McHenry commands the whole city and we have troops all around the city.

I enclose a secession badge which will be a curiosity to you as you never saw one. They are afraid to wear them openly here for if caught they would get in trouble.

How is everybody? Give my best respects to Mr. Parks and family, and to Jim Irvin, and all enquiring friends. Give my best love to all of your folks and tell Kate I have her letter safe. I wrote to you last Monday the 4th of June and have got no answer to it yet. Tell Kate to kiss you for me, and you to kiss her for me. How is the bird? How do you get along? I hope you take good care of yourself. Now be sure to do so and tell Kate to be a good girl till I come home. You must excuse this letter for I have nothing to write new to you for we get very little news here.

Tomorrow our quartermaster comes to give the men their rations and then we will get some news. No more at present.

I remain your affectionate husband,

Charles F. Porter