Harpers Ferry Va
Aug 26th ,62
You may be disappointed in not getting a letter sooner from me, but I have actually had no time to write, or no chance.
Of our trip to Albany, I suppose Mr Francisco has told you everything. It was very pleasant trip, and we have enjoyed ourselves very well, it was just cool enough. We had an awful march from the Barracks to the Depot at Auburn it was so dusty. while there I saw Leonard he said that he saw you in Lyons, We arr at Albany about 4 oclock, got our rations at the Depot, then went on board the Thaddeus Joy, to be towed down by the Ohio, Left there arr 7
Had a tip top time, all the morning, on the Upper Deck, In the afternoon windy & showers at night slept on the lower deck of the Ohio got up at 5, Arr at N Y opposite pier no 21 staid there until 1, then went to the Castle Garden, [then] took the [J] Delknap.
at 2 had a ration soup Coffee & left N Y after taking on our Arms at 5 for Amboy N J, had a splendid trip, never enjoyed a ride better in my life. Canons fired, Ladies waved their handkerchiefs, boys cheered, Arr at Amboy arr 8 PM, detailed to take care of some sick men, and get them on the Cars.
after a great deal of trouble landed at 9 PM. Got the sick on board, then took Co D car Short seats no cushions, awful ride, laid down on the Floor, and slept Arr at Camden N J at 1, too the Ferry for Philadelphia, arr there at 1,30, arched Cooper’s Volunteers. Free Lunch Shop there had a Splendid meal, then Marched to the Phila & Balt RR, left at 8 AM for Baltimore, in Cattle Cars, with seats in pretty rough trip, all the way.
Crossed a river in one place, where, a ferry Boat took the whole Train over at once, they had three tracks, The country is very rough between Philadelphia and Balt, through Penn Del & Maryland, very rough, I should not think one half was under cultivation, at any rate all along the track is Forests, One thing I noticed, I did not see a good looking house on the Road All the houses except the headquarters at the Plantations, were all little miserable shanties, I do not wonder that the Southeners call them Poor White Trash, they are the worst looking lot of People that I ever saw. You could tell that you was coming south, before you had hardly left Philadelphia, so many darkies.
Salutes were fired all along the Road Flags flying. If It had not been Sunday we would have enjoyed ourselves better. From Philadelphia to Balt, the RR Bridges are all guarded We arrived at Baltimore at 8 PM, marched a mile and a half to Balt & Ohio RR Depot to the Union Relief Association and had our supper, then we took the cars, arr 7 for Harpers Ferry 80 miles.
This road runs through a Splendid country, [right] a valley some places cut through solid rock two or three hundred feet high They had to run very slow as there is a great many curves, and they are afraid of obstructions, We go to a place called the Point of Rocks where the Rebels, a few weeks ago pryed a Rock weighing two tons loose, and let it down to obstruct the track, as good luck would have it, it went right over the track down an Embankment, At this place the night that we came, the Rebels ran an Engine off this Track which delayed us from 3 AM until 6, when we again got under weigh for H F, arr here at 8 AM. Just as we were coming [into the] we met the Regt that we take its place, leaving to Reinforce Pope.
This week, the 12th N J Militia and 87th [got] three months men leave. Harpers Ferry is a deserted looking place, of about 2000 Inhabitants, it lies right in a hollow, surrounded on all sides by mountains from 1 to 4 thousand feet high. Everything looks hard here a great many buildings burned out We marched past the Arsenal that John Brown took, it is a deserted looking place
The 12th Militia got up a dinner for us at three PM of bread meat & cheese, I tell you it tasted good. The Cavalry are Guarding this place for 5 miles around, and today pickets were thrown out, The Boys like this as it is not confining. There is about 5000 troop altogether in this place of these about 1/2 will leave in a week or two. I heard a 100 pounder speak last night I will tell you It made a little noise.
This place is under Martial Law, lights are all ordered to be extinguished at 9 PM You can hear the Guard calling the hour all hours of the night. I hear it rumored that this is to be a camp of instruction and that 30,000 men are to be stationed here, this I rather doubt. I think that Colonel Sigoines policy is to hurry up things as much as possible, and get us into the Field, I do not care what he as long as leaves this place.
Stonewall Jackson was on the mountain, 1/2 a mile west of this camp, a week or two & I think we are liable to be attacked at any time, The woods around here are full of [Guerillals], the night before we came our boys brought in 12 of them, There are 2 Cavalry Regiments stationed in sight of our Camp When I write next I think I shall be able to send my Photographs When you write let me know how & when Charlie got home.
Hoping to hear from you soon
with love to all
(note in the margin reads)
“[deliver] letter In care of