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40th Pennsylvania Infantry

Item LTR-8935
October 19, 1862 James McILwain
Price: $200.00


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

Camp Near Sharpsburg, Maryland
Sunday, October 19th 1862

Dear Emma,

I seat myself to answer your letter and also one of Mattis, which came to hand yesterday morning. It was a good big letter. The kind I always like to get. Still there was paper left for as much more writing, which Matt Saise would do me to write an answer on. I have plenty of papers here. Which don’t cost me nothing. We was disappointed the other day when we had everything fixed up for a fight or a long march into Old Virginia. There was a skirmish fought on Thursday. New Charlestown, a small place about 7 or 8 miles from here. But I have not learned the particulars now nor have not heard what Pennsylvania regiments were in the fight. Only that the new troops were into it and made the rebs seceeshable on double quick. You stated in your letter that Mr. James thinks very strange of some of us. I’m not writing to him concerning his brother. I would have written to Mr. James long before this time, but when Mr. Samuel Jack was here, I stated to him all the particulars. So that he could inform his friends all about him. This accounts for not writing. If it was not too late, I would write yet. I could not write to Thomas’ wife because I did not wish to make any statement until Lieutenant Abe Jackson, would write and give his all the particulars. Ross Torn, he was my mess mate, when I was in the company. He died at his post and he now lies shrouded in honor. And his family have the assurances that he has gone to a better world where he will have no traitors to contend with.

The news has just come in that Captain Speer has come back. I must go and see him. The captain looks fine and gives a good report from all the folks about Apollo. Though he says he has not been there for six weeks. But says he hasn’t lately heard from all the folks.

I drew some money yesterday which was coming to me from the month of August for extra duty. Which will help me along until I can get paid all that is due me. Send your five dollars, which may come hand for laying in your winter provisions. I want you to send me fifty cents worth of postage stamps, 13 three-cent stamps, or buy one dollar’s worth and keep what I don’t send form in this letter, which will be of use when you want to send letters. I hope you may get this letter soon.

Kiss the children for me.

I remain yours,

Jim H. McIlwain