The Lost Letters (5)
Background posts: Introduction, Part 2, The Rebels and the U.S. Post Office, Part 3, Part 4.
Here is the next letter, which may have all been written by the same man, likely a member of a Maryland cavalry company who hustled northward with a companion to rejoin his outfit near York. Failing to find it, he camped with the 17th Virginia Cavalry:
June 29, 1863 York, Pa:
After a long and roundabout wild goose chase, we arrived here about eight o’clock last night, and found Jackson’s foot cavalry in full possession of the town… The notorious rebels are under the command of General Early. They are in high spirits, well dressed, and all they want is to fight…
We expect to be ordered to Harrisburg every minute. The pickets drove back a large force of Yankees just below Columbia, yesterday evening, and I expect ere long you get this you will hear of the fall of Harrisburg.
The General has demanded one hundred thousand dollars from the Yankees of this place. Already preparations are being made for the desired amount. As there is no money in the bank, there has been a committee of the citizens appointed to raise it, which I think can be done, as they are terribly scared…
Good by. Rest assured that I will never disgrace myself by running from a black Yankee, but, on the hand, fight till I die or conquer. This is my motto, actuated by pure motives and principles.