These 24 letters were written by Anthony Robert Fraser (1844-1920), the youngest son of Wm. J. Fraser (1801-1877) and Catherine McCollum (1802-1875) of New Ephrata [later renamed “Lincoln”], Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. All of these letters were written during the period of one and a half years that Anthony served in Co. H, 186th Pennsylvania Volunteers. He served earlier in the war—from August 1862 to May 1863—in Co. F, 122nd Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Anthony was married in January 1870 to Amelia Wilson Shirk (1849-1912) of Kinkletown, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. In the late 1870’s he moved to Iowa where he was a grocer. By the mid 1880’s, he had moved to Madison county, Nebraska.
Rebecca Fraser (1831 – 1834)
Mary Fraser Weidman (1833 – 1920)
William Jackson Fraser (1835 – 1910)
Sarah Fraser (1836 – 1871)
Charles Fraser (1839 – 1914)
George Wilson Fraser (1841 – 1912)
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE
Addressed to W. J. Fraser, Esq., Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, PA.
Provost Barracks, Philadelphia
March 13, 1864
We are yet at the barracks first sent to and may stay here for several weeks yet as the company we will be in has only twenty-four men, but the prospects are that it will be filled in a hurry and after it is filled, it has got to wait until everything is fixed for mustering for pay. Co. G has been full over a week. They talk about mustering it tomorrow Monday. We at first thought we would be put into [Co.] G but we were about a day too late.
Martin Zell and Rudy Wolf are here also and some of the members of the 122nd that I know. Co. G and us fellows are all in one room. The house has five stories. ¹ Below us is the mess room and above us are two companies of the Old Provost Guards who have been taken out of hospitals in this city. Some have been here two years. ²
Above them is the straggler’s room and the deserters room. You ought to see the occupants of the latter room when new ones—or “fresh fish” as they call them—come in. They take them and put them on a blanket and throw them up against the ceiling and if he has any money, he can get out of that punishment by paying the initiation fee, as they call it (50 cents).
The rest of the companies are out in Seventeenth Street in camp under command of Capt. Jack, I suppose. I must close. Tell me who’s drafted up there. After we are paid, we may be up there. Yours, — Anthony Fraser
Address: Co. H, 1st Bat. P. G., Fifth & Buttonwood, Philadelphia
¹ An article appearing in the 24 November 1863 edition of the North American (Philadelphia, PA) mentions that fourteen deserters and substitutes who “were confined in the fourth story of the Provost Barracks at Fifth and Buttonwood streets” escaped by boring a hole in the wall of the building whereupon they lowered themselves to the roof of an adjoining stable. Another source described the confinement of the deserters and draft dodgers as being ‘in a filthy room” on the fifth floor where the doors and windows were all “strongly guarded.”
² An advertisement appeared in the 16 January 1864 of the Press (Phildelphia, PA), asking for recruits to serve as Provost Guards. “Clerks, musicians, printers, carpenters, and other mechanics are wanted” who are of “good character and unexceptionable habits, and between the ages of 18 and 45 years”—a “splendid chance to one thousand men who desire to serve their country without incurring the danger of the battlefield.” These recruits were to be housed in the Provost Barracks.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO
Addressed to William Fraser, Esq., Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Pa.
Provost Guard Barracks, Philadelphia
April 10, 1864
Your letter of the 9th was received this morning rather with surprise as I thought you were not going to answer my letter written a couple of weeks ago but nevertheless, you are excusable considering the circumstances. I was sorry to hear that you had such a trouble with our baggage. Did you get my valise and also my dress coat wrapped in paper? I would like to have the buttons fixed at it as some of them were torn off as I may perhaps wish to wear it if I come home which may be in a couple of weeks as I will not take a pass for less than five days or a week. Some of the fellows of the first companies got passes for 20 days of Capt. Jack, commanding camp.
I think we will be out at camp in a couple of days. I was out at camp yesterday to see the boys of Company G. They are fixed very comfortable with Sibley tents. You are laboring under a mistake about persons visiting us as they need no passes. All civilians can come in that have any business in such as seeing their friends. After we come out to camp, the address will be Co. H, 186th Regt, P. V., Camp Cadwalader, 17th and Master Streets, Philadelphia.
I have not been at the Hall of Independence but I was at the Music Hall last week to hear H. W. Beecher’s lecture which you have seen in the paper, I suppose, ‘ere this. I have been at all the squares of the city of all which I think Logan ² the nicest with its squirrels and deer as also Pea & guinea fowls.
For the last week we have been kept inside of the Barracks—on what account, I do not know—only going out to drill, But after I get out to camp, I expect to see some more of the public buildings as when we are out, we can get passes for cleanliness when detailed for guard. I received my money and gave it to Charley to put in his belt for carrying money. I got two $100 dollar City Bounty notes and one $50 note—all bearing interest at five percent. I have been offered 1 percent premium for them already but I think I will keep them. Perhaps Stober would take our money home if you would tell him to go to camp and see Charley and I think I will also be out before 3 days. I think I must close as it draws time.
I bought myself a gum blanket last evening as also a handkerchief and a pair of white gloves which we have got to wear and must be clean too. I also bought myself a cap as all the boys did and so I thought I wold do the same. I have been wanting to buy something for Emma but I do not know what as I see so many things I know would please her as also Thomas. What do you think? In Chestnut Street is the place to see the nice things. No more. Write sooner.
Your brother, — Anthony
Co. H, 186th Regt. P. V.
Now at 5th and Buttonwood, next letter at 17th & Master Streets, Philadelphia
P. S. Give my respects to all acquaintances &c. —Anthony
¹ Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was giving nightly lectures across the eastern seaboard calling for an amendment to the US Constitution banning slavery in the U.S. He argued that the President had no right to abolish slavery himself—that it would take an amendment to the Constitution.
² Logan Square was the site of the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia in June 1864.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THREE
Addressed to William Fraser, Esq., Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Pa.
Camp 186th Regt. P. V. Philadelphia
April 24 
Your letter of the 17th was received and would have been answered sooner would it not have been that I was waiting to have my Ferrotype [tintype] taken. But as we were sent out to camp on last Monday, so it took sometime to have ourselves fixed. And yesterday morning I was on guard at Fifth & Buttonwood [Provost] Barracks and came off this morning so I thought I would write a couple of lines without sending my picture—waiting to do that in my next. I will have a pass tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock until 3 o’clock P.M. when I will have some pictures taken called Ferrotypes which are finished in fifteen minutes. I suppose you saw those of Al Stobers which he had taken when he was down. He did not go out to see Charlie as he said he had no time. I do not know what Charlie has against Stobers or whether he has anything against them.
You talk about W. H. Spera ¹ &c. As to General Meade and Gen. Grant, my opinion is that by working together they will do some work at least. I think by the way they fetch up the deserters, stragglers, & convalescents that there will be a move in a very short time. Details of men go from our camp every day—a couple of them to take men down to the front. Everything seems to be active. I have not heard anything of the 79th P. V. Regiment as to how many men they have recruited &c. as we do not get to see any Lancaster paper.
As you spoke about Lydia Ressler, it just reminded me of it as there is a brother-in-law of Ed Resler’s in Charlie’s tent by the name of Kreitz. He could hardly believe it when I told him about it.
As to our coming home, I do not know when it will be as it is very uncertain as a good many want to go home at present and so we do not know who will be granted a furlough. It is also uncertain whether we can both get them at the same time as we are not in the same company. But I expect to be transferred to Co. G yet through their orderly, Rambo—the editor of the Columbia Spy’s son, I suppose.
I have written enough for this time as it is near Dress Parade time which we must attend with our Springfield rifles (new), dress coat, white gloves—which we must find ourselves and wear on all but Police duty. I was surprised at the Erbs as to their principles. Indeed, I would not have thought it. In our tent of seventeen men, we have all true men—all in favor of supporting Old Abe. No more at present. Write soon and I will do the same. Give my respects to all enquiring friends.
From your brother, — Anthony Fraser, Co. H, 186th Regt. P. V.. Camp Provost Guards, 17th & Master at Philadelphia
¹ Weidner H. Spera was promoted to Major of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry on 3 May 1864. He was formerly the Captain of Co. C. He was from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FOUR
Addressed to W. J. Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Pa.
Camp Provost, Philadelphia
May 30, 1864
Your ever interesting letter of the 28th came to hand on the 29th. I was glad to hear that you are all enjoying good health which is least thought of when in the state and most wished for when sick. We are both enjoying good health and while I am writing, [brother] Charles is laying under a pear tree sleeping sound having been on guard last night and having come over to see me this afternoon as I was over at their camp yesterday.
Our company [“H”] is going up to Scranton tomorrow morning at five o’clock, I suppose to be quartered there for some time. We will have a house as our quarters, I think. We will have a nice time of it in the mountains—go out deer hunting, &c. It is what I have been wishing for sometime—to go out to some country town—as I think this city is rather too large. It takes too long to go over it. Perhaps we may have some skirmishing to do with the “Irish.” I do not know what our duties will be. In my next, I will give you the details &c. as I will know more about it. The place, I think, is in Luzerne county. I suppose we will take the Camden & Amboy Road or rather the Northern Central railroad. Some of the other companies are jealous of us as they would have liked to had the chance. They all say it is a good place. Charles expects to get a pass before long and go with his and as many they can get passes for from three to six days out at their camp. He says he likes the camp very well. They have a good set of men, both from Lancaster, Lebanon, and also Bedford counties, and he has formed quite a number of friends from amongst them—in particular with some from Myerstown, Pa.. and a couple from Millersville, Pa.
I was glad to hear of the success of Fink and Bruner as it is a very fine service to be in the Signal Corps—a post that I would like very well.
I think I will have to close as we will have to prepare for an early start in the morning as the Iron Horse will not wait on us. I think it will be a fine sight through the country. Indeed, I hardly know how it does look at present as it was winter yet when we left home either latter of February or 1st of March—at least there was snow on the ground. Please tell George to write as I will give the directions and also J. A. Stober.
My respects to Father & Mother as understood all the rest of the family and friends of Lincoln and vicinity. Tell them that I like “sogering” as well as ever and far better than the militia. Tell all the militia boys that this service is a little better regulated than it was when they were out. A fellow has got to do what the officers tell him or else be put into the guard house or carry bricks or a barrel. Yesterday one of our fellows refused to do duty and they tied him to the pole with another fellow—backs together—for all the citizens (of which there were many) to laugh at them. There is no shying out of it. No more at present. Write soon to your brother, — Anthony Fraser
Co. H., 186th Regt. P. V., Scranton, Pa.
Excuse mistakes and hurried writing.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FIVE
Addressed to W. J. Fraser, Esq., Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Pa.
June 19, 1864
Your letter of the 16th was received on the 17th inst. and read with pleasure but rather surprising me that you had sent the shirts already in so short a notice. They did not come until yesterday afternoon and I must say I am exceedingly well pleased with them both. The roses inside gave them a very good scent. It reminded me of the old chest in the shop or mother’s bureau upstairs. I laid them on a shelf in my bunk (i.e. the roses) and the fancy shirt—as it is Sunday—I thought best to initiate it with a paper choker collar.
We have a good many roses up here. The people go in for having nice yards and flower beds. Mrs. Col. Scranton across the road from our barracks sent us a basket of roses and told us that whenever we want any other flowers, we shall take them but be careful not to tear the roots out. The people seem to be better than I thought they were before we came here but they say our company is the best set of men they have had here yet. I think we will try to keep our names up.
In my former letter I gave you the distance to Reading from here as 90 miles instead of which it being about 140 miles by way of Catawissa, from thence down to Reading, and the distance to Harrisburg is very near the same as to Reading. That is what the ticket agent says. The train to Harrisburg starts at about 4:30 P.M. and to Reading at the same time, changing on the Catawissa Road at Northumberland. But enough of this as in a week or so I will know more about the route as Martin Fieles—my mate at night—is going home on a furlough of five days to morrow. He lives at Neffsville with his grandfather and when he returns, he will know all about the route &c. He is a school teacher and well acquainted with George Grammar, A Bowman, and all others about there whom I am acquainted. He is a good-natured fellow, not having been away from home much before this except at Millersville. Therefore, he is what some of the boys would call a “gawk.” But who would know anything by staying at home, as John Coover said, where you see nothing but the blacksmith and the mill.
We are still kept busy every day from 8 o’clock A. M. until 4 P. M. I am in the examining room with the Board of Enrollment and four other clerks. I have the Enlistment Papers to attend as also the discharges for those paying commutation or exemption for disability, non-residences, and aliens. Of the latter, there are a great many, it being the fault with the Enrolling Officers. We gave about sixty discharges yesterday for the above reasons.
I am well pleased with the nomination of Abe and Andy Johnson but very sorry that I cannot put in a ticket for each of them. It is very disagreeable to think that I will be so near the age and still not quite old enough, but nevertheless, if I cannot vote for them, I can cheer and fight for them. The news of our army is cheering indeed and I yet believe that U.S. Grant will be in Richmond on the 4th of July. What would I give if it were so,
I suppose I must close. I am well and very thankful for the trouble you all take as to my own good and send my best wishes to you all and also my respects to Stubers, Beckers, and Jacob Kafroth, E[dwin] Musser &c. I like it very well up here in these wilds.
From your brother. Write soon. — Anthony Fraser
I suppose the “Cops” [Copperheads] are very nearly played out and getting to be flanked from all sides. — Anthony
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SIX
July 9th 1864
Yours of the 5th inst. was received yesterday morning the 8th inst. and was read with great pleasure. As to the letters not arriving here as soon as mine, must lay in the post master at Lincoln or Lancaster as the post master at this place tells me that he sends my letters via Harrisburg & Lancaster which train leaves this place at about 4:30 P. M., arriving at Harrisburg next morning at 3 o’clock which shows that they can easily make the change and send it out on the “old coach” in time for you to receive it the next day. I suppose the route from here to Catawissa, thence to Reading, would be as near as Harrisburg but the connection are not so efficient. I think the best route, therefore, is to Lancaster via Harrisburg for letters and for traveller to Easton, Allentown, and Reading, by which route they charge $2.90 cents going from Easton on the Lightning Train as also on the Accommodation Train if not behind time at four o’clock P. M. which will arrive at Reading at about 9 o’clock P. M.
Some of the Lebanon county boys took that route at 10 o’clock A. M. 2nd July not wishing to wait until 4:30 P. M. to go to Harrisburg which route they took coming back. They all seem to have enjoyed themselves on the Fourth. One of our boys named Charles Liepold from Lancaster boasts very much about the Celebration at Lititz, he having been present. I have no doubt it must have been a grand affair.
I see, however, that Lincoln was as usual deserted by mostly all of the folks having all gone to Lititz. At Scranton, there was nothing going on but the town was crowded—overflowing with Irish, Scotch, Welsh and Dutch. of all grades. Free Fights were the topic of the day, turning out in half dozen or more with blue eyes and scarred faces. In the evening, the Ladies had a fair to pay debts in the Episcopal Church—rather too much of a money-making affair. It was held in a Hall right above the Provost Marshal’s Office. They had the balloting affair for the next President—McClellan & Lincoln—charging ten cents to vote; the latter receiving 350 votes and the former about 100. They also had ice cream, cakes, &c. all to take in money—not coming up to the Lancaster Fair by one fourth. As you know, they have not got much fruit &c. up this way. Neither vegetables except those they get from Philadelphia or New York. Therefore, the main thing they had was all artificial and, for my part, I like to see the real thing.
But enough of the Fair. I will turn to something more “Rampamp” in the shape of a riot which broke out at about 11 o’clock P. M. of the 4th. After we had been in bed, one of the Policeman came to our barracks asking us to go over to Ward Street across the Lackawanna Creek—a Dutch settlement. So I went along also with my Springfield thinking we might have some fun. But after they heard us coming, they skedaddled—all except one whom we took. They had done a good bit of damage breaking windows, doors, &c. with a will. They had about four horse load of stones on one of the porches. We stayed there about an hour but they did not show themselves. We broke up two balls through the operations which were the cause of it as much as anything—one being on one side [and] the other opposite. So you see, the 4th at Scranton was not of much account. We, however, had the office closed all day and the principal stores were also closed.
I was sorry to hear of the misfortunes of Hatty Bruner as I knew nothing about it before. It seems as if it was in the family.
I would like to be a participant of the picnic at Pannabecker’s dam. No doubt there will be quite a crowd assembled. The great majority, however, being flaxen-haired lasses. Old Jessie is a pretty good old fellow and has some influence with the men of his vicinity. I presume that H. Erb must be all right again as ever. He also has a good bit of influence among his customers &c.
I have no doubt but what George and Adam had a fine time over the 4th—at least I hope so.
On Monday will be the last day for the drafted men to report but I hear that the man has received orders to make another draft of deficiencies. Time will tell how it is. I received a letter yesterday evening from Al. Stober written on the 6th inst. I will answer it tomorrow (Sunday) having nothing else to do—it being a quiet town. I am well as ever (and am glad of it too) and send my best wishes to you all, begging to remain your brother as ever. Respectfully yours, — Anthony Fraser
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SEVEN
Addressed to Mr. Wm. J. Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V. (Col. J. W. Fisher Commanding), Monocacy, Frederick county, Maryland
Fort Washington, Harrisburg, Pa.
August 14, 1864
By the above you will see that we have moved our quarters somewhat since my last letter to you. As you will recollect, your last letter to me was addressed [to] Scranton where I received it. We were at Pottsville having stayed there about three weeks. We moved to Harrisburg passing through Reading, Lebanon, and different other towns as you know along the route. At Reading, we laid over for two hours fro 4 to 6 o’clock P. M. The Captain allowed us to take a stroll through the town. I admire it very much. As you know, I never had been there before. I did not see anyone that I am acquainted with except Jack’s friend—Mr. Billy Swartz. But not having time, I did not have any conversation with him but I could not help thinking about the time Jack and I went to Reamstown last winter to Dr. Ream’s sale. But I am rather straggling off of the subject.
We arrived at the depot about nine o’clock & were quartered in the “Soldier’s Rest” for the night after marching up to the Capitol under a drenching rain and back again. The next morning we went out to Camp Curtin where they put up tents for us with floors the same as for you. We stayed there two days when we were sent over the river to this place, being here now since Friday a week. Company “E” of our regiment, formerly at Logan’s Square, is with us as also a company of convalescent artillerists from Philadelphia hospitals. There was a company of 100 Days Men here but they left yesterday for Chambersburg, Pa.
Our duty is not heavy at present. We have three guards in the fort and one at each bridge. Those in the fort are stationed as follows: one at the gate and two at the ammunition. Five out of each company can get passes every day to go to Harrisburg as also some have got them for 48 hours to go to Lebanon and Lancaster but I would not think it worth the while to go home on so short a time. Two of my bunkmates have gone already—Fieles and Tomlinson, the latter from Lancaster. I was over at Harrisburg on Thursday [and] saw one of the old Co. F boys who has enlisted in the regular army already six months in service. His name is Lewis Cowen from Pennville, Lancaster county.
The City as usual is filled with officers of all ranks and soldiers as usual are not respected, charging awful prices for all fruits &c. bought by a soldier. They change prices for citizens putting it on the soldier who they think will buy at any price. I do not think much of Harrisburg and never did.
Before leaving Scranton we received our original Captain who had been on detached [service] ever since commissioned at Camp Cadwalader, Philadelphia. He is a very fine man having been in the regular service for five years, having been wounded in the leg so he was put in command of us. As you know, we have very [fine] officers in our regiment that have not been wounded and all have been in service in the field. I almost forgot—his name is Al[bert] Heubel (i. e., our Captain).
I was very well pleased with your selection of bunkmates as they are all first rate fellows. I suppose you fellows have corn, potatoes, &c. for your dinners sometimes. Our fellows fetch in corn &c. in by the bushel as there are cornfields all around. Our Captain said that by rights, the farmers ought supply us with grub all the time so there is nothing said to the boys if they are seen out foraging. Capt. [James] M’Cann of Co. E is in command of the fort, he being the senior officer only five days over our Captain.
[Brother] Charles, as you are all aware of, it yet at Camp Cadwalader, Philadelphia. He intends going home this coming week so he informed me in his last letter written the 10th inst. I have not received a letter from home for about a week, [brother] George not being quite as punctual as you were. I suppose I will receive one tomorrow.
What do you think of the Election? Pretty good for the “Old Keystone” as also “Old Guard.” George told me in his last letter that Jac Martin says “now lusse cumma mit erem McClelland oter der Fremont.” He is satisfied that Pennsylvania can give 100,000 majority for Old Abe. I’ll bet that quid of tobacco had to suffer on the day of Election. But I am lengthening this letter more than necessary so I must close. My best respects to Jack and also all of the boys from Lincoln as I cannot name every one of them, not forgetting Capt. Ricksecker, Lt. Stam, and Sergt. Shriner, hoping that you may all go through the campaign safe, coming home with the news that the Rebellion is crushed and peace one more established in our once happy country. From your affectionate brother, — Anthony Fraser
Co. H, 186th Regt. P. V., Harrisburg, Pa.
P. S. My respects to John Stuber as I believe he is in your company. Yours &c. — Anthony Fraser
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER EIGHT
On the Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg, Pa.
August 29, 1864
Your very interesting letter of the 25th was received today. I was very glad to hear that you are getting along so finely as a soldier and that you are yet stationed at the same place as after I had written from Fort Washington to you, I was afraid perhaps you had moved down to reinforce Sheridan. But it seems they sent other troops to his assistance. If he actually needed such as I have since thought, perhaps he was merely falling back on account of gaining some strategy.
As you know doubt were informed by George, why it is that we were sent up here so it is useless for me to say anything more about it. Suffice it to say that yesterday a week ago, two of our companies [E & H], two 100 Days companies [First Penn. Battalion], one company of mounted infantry [led by Capt. Bruce Lambert], and two pieces of artillery—Keystone Battery—left this place for where the Rebs were said to have been. I, however, was left here to take charge of the company property. Captain Heubel’s and Captain McCann’s trunks &c. and also to get the letters out of the post office and forward them daily to the two companies. I am also ordered in writing to remain with the property and not abandon it under any circumstances and not to rejoin my company until so ordered by Captain Heubel, our captain. Since leaving this place, they have gone seventeen miles to a place called Benton on foot and have as yet found none of those fighting chaps as Captain Heubel told me who came back on Wednesday, getting sick up there as he says it is a low, marshy place where they have encamped. He ordered me to make out the muster rolls or pay rolls, four in number, which I did and sent them up again this morning with a courier of which we have two stationed at this place. The Captain left this place on Thursday, however, for a place called Orangeville about six miles from here to recruit his heath a little and then again rejoin the company. ¹
I have a very good time here—nothing to do except go to the Post Office twice a day as I have three of our company here—convalescents who have got to stay here whenever I wish to go out, as my order is to the same effect. On Saturday, four companies of invalids also came here and yesterday started up to where our boys are as also Maj. Gen. Cadwalader and Adjt. [David P.] Weaver. It is rumored here that they are a going to surround what is called North Mountain where it is said the Rebs are concealed. They are composed of deserters from the Army and men that have been drafted and never reported and wanted to resist any force coming to arrest them and even carried the threat into effect to some extent in the shape of shooting a Lieutenant [James Stewart Robinson] who went there to arrest some of them, however not killing, but wounding seriously. Who would have thought that we have such men in our state so ignorant as to think such officers would hold out. But enough of them, Time will show what can be done with them.
The invalids are composed of all Western men. They left their knapsacks here with a guard and I have formed an acquaintance with a young fellow—a corporal formerly belonging to the 32nd Ohio Vol. He has been in both the Eastern and Western Army having participated in the siege of Vicksburg—their regiment having been right in the rear of Gen. Grant and Pemberton while the latter surrendered. He has seen or participated in almost every battle fought in the West. His time expires as also his brothers next Sunday when he is going home to his friends. He says he would stay in the Army were it not on account of his health as he is afflicted with asthma. He has another brother who has reenlisted, he yet being in the 32nd Ohio, there being three brothers who went out at the same time.
“Rickey” seems to have the same opinion as ever that he can make a better company out of his men than any other officer in his regiment and it seems as if it was actually the case as he always succeeds. In fact, he is a thorough going man. Whatever he undertakes, he is bound to see through. What does he say about reenlisting? Does he intend trying it again? Does Jack and the other boys intend going again? How does Jack like it? I would like to know as you know he was wishing when we started at Williamsport to go home—that he had enlisted for three years but he had some particular reasons for it as also H. S. Erb. I did not know anything about H. S. Erb being a “papy” yet. I think he is in a hurry as he was to get married. Perhaps he had some cause to be.
How about B. Lorah? Can he get enough to eat while working? It seems rather impossible. I heard that he had some cause to enlist. It was said that Miss Felker had something to do with him but it may not be so.
The ladies of this town are very generaous. They give us anything we wish for almost. I think it would be a good place for Jack as he is fond of seeing the fair sex. We have corn, apples, potatoes &c. daily as also plenty of lady visitors. I received a letter from [brother] George in the latter part of which he says, “beware of those nice young ladies” but they are respectable ones—not as he thought, as I suppose. I think he would better beware of those curls. What do you think? He has taken his old school again and I suppose he will not enlist, but he says he hates the conscript soldier business.
I do not have any correspondence with Jeremiah Albert Stober, as I wrote to him when yet at Scranton and since which I have not received an answer. I do not know what is the cause of his not writing unless it was that I wrote in a letter to George at the time of your enlisting that I thought it the duty of all to go to protect their native state. But I do not think he had any cause for it. But I do not care either.
But I must close by giving my respects to all the boys and pioneers, hoping that you may all enjoy themselves. I am well. Write soon. As you know, I am always glad to hear from you. Your brother, — Anthony Fraser, Co. H, 186th Regt. P. V.
¹ The presence of Federal troops in Bloomsburg, Columbia county, Pennsylvania, was to round up draft dodgers and deserters as well as quash any civil disobedience among the population of the county—largely “Peace Democrats” who resisted the impending conscription and opposed the Lincoln Administration policy of freeing the slaves. More information can be found on the incident by searching under the names, “The Military Occupation of Columbia County,” “The Fishingcreek Conspiracy,” and “The Fishingcreek Confederacy.”
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER NINE
Addressed to Mr. William J. Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V., Col. J. W. Fisher, Commanding, Baltimore, Maryland
September 8th, 1864
After partaking of a hearty dinner composed of potato soup and soft bread prepared by one of the boys, I seat myself to answer your very interesting letter of the 5th inst. received on the 7th. I was very glad to hear that you among all the rest are yet blessed with that noble gift of above, good health. May you ever remain so. It always give me much pleasure to receive a letter from you as they always contain interesting matter and sound sense. I yet remain here in charge of the things entrusted to my care and have no anxiety to leave as yet for the camp as they have no shelter except what they can put up with their gum blankets. It is rumored, however, that they are coming back again in a few days as they say the Rebs have all skedaddled whence it is not known. How true it is, I am unable to say.
I also received a letter from [brother] George and Al Stober in which he explains the reason for not writing, having written to me at Pottsville, and his letter was sent to the Dead Letter Office and again returned. He is as full of combustible matter as ever, talking about enlisting, gals, &c., but I suppose I must keep up the correspondence to please Mr. Stober and “Old Sally.” But enough of this trash.
The Lincoln boys are indeed more patriotic than I thought to reenlist for one year. The bounty is very large and tempting. I almost wish I would have the chance to enlist—almost make a fortune. Any man married or single is very foolish to stay at home when such inducements are offered. By the time your term is expired, Charles and I will have not quite one year and a half to serve. But I do not expect to serve any longer than you fellows as I think the 5th day of November next will finish the thing up entirely—when we will all go marching home together to talk about “sogering.” I did not expect to hear of Jacks reenlistment as I thought he would like to go home to wait for another raid, but it seems he screwed up his courage after all. Bully for Jack.
B. Lorah did a strong business in emery paper. Indeed, it is more than any blacksmiths could do. How far is it to Frederick from your camp? I see all the letters so far have been stamped at that place. It is or used to be a very nice town. We were within a couple miles of it once when we marched up to Pleasant Valley and Slaughter Mountain.
How is it that John Stuber did not reenlist? Or has he as you did not have his name among the number that you mustered. I suppose Father will have to close the shop now as George intends commencing his school on the 19th inst. How can he content himself alone? It will take a good many papers with Jac Martin to keep him contented and then he will not be. Who will help him to make wine? He will have to close that shop too until we come home.
To tell the truth, I did not like to see you reenlist—not because I thought you has as much right too, or the shop at home &c., but because I would not like to hear of you being wounded or getting sick. I would rather suffer the privations &c. myself than see a brother suffer. I believe if I was in your place, I would not take a furlough either as Mother would feel very sad to see you leave again more so than of you remain out of sight. I do not expect to go home—perhaps not until the war is over, as it is always more pleasant when you go home to stay in such cases. But you must do as you wish. Not all persons are alike as to their thoughts.
George says some of our relations live up in this part of the country but so far I have not seen any. There is a George McCollum up about 10 miles from here—a book peddler. Perhaps it is Uncle George. I suppose I must close for the present, hoping that this war may soon be over and the Rebels made to suffer for what they have done. Give my respects to Jack and all the rest of the boys, hoping that they may all come home safe together as they started.
Your affectionate brother forever, — Anthony
Lincoln & Johnson!
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TEN
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V. (Col. J. W. Fisher Commanding), Baltimore, Maryland
September 15, 1864
Your very interesting letter of the 11th inst. was received on the 13th and read with pleasure as your letters always are. I was very glad to hear of your continued good health and spirits and also that you are not behind hand in the grub line. You and Jack, I suppose, might be called “the Happy Family” as neither of you is apt to be growlers, each one doing as the other wishes without any fuss about it. Your bunkmate in the Emergency was rather too quick tempered and God knows “Jack” is not. As to the living arrangement, I would advise you to live as well as you can if things are to be had, [even] if they do cost money, as I know neither of you enlisted to make money by the operation (i.e.) for the sake of being miserly. I am not in favor of spending money uselessly either but then when there is anything good to eat about, I always like to have it. A soldier in these times can live well and yet make more than he could at home. I know I did at any rate. I think I can save $150 a year, not including the bounty.
You devoted your Sabbath to some extent similar to myself—in writing in the evening. However, I attended the Methodist Church [located at “Third Street below Market”], hearing a very good sermon on the victories of our armies, on our cause [against] slavery &c.—the parson [Rev. Reuben Elliot Wilson] being a sound abolitionist. ¹ I thought while listening to him it was a very good political sermon. He said that he actually believes Abraham Lincoln to be the second Washington. I can tell he did things up brown. ² In fact, I have not heard a sermon for a long time that suited me as well as it did. The parson through his daughter invited me to come and take supper with him a couple of weeks ago but I was busy at the time preparing the Muster Rolls of our company, wishing to send them up to camp next morning so I could not leave. You, however, at the time were perhaps walking your beat on picket. I wish you could have been with me instead. I always liked picketing in the Fall in particular when you can get apples, grapes, &c. It is disagreeable, I know, with those cowardly guerrillas.
It pleased me indeed that Jack wishes to form a contrast between him and some of his would-be friends when he used to have his horse and buggy in town with a well-filled pocket book for some of those bummers to sponge on. Jack is too good for such fellows. I hope that you and him may always be bunkmates as anyone with him need not be afraid of suffering. Ask him whether he recollects the time he and I went to Rothsville and Earlville and passed off for Al Stober with the grey horse.
As you talk about Joe Martin I must tell you that I received a letter from him this evening in answer to one I sent to him a couple of weeks ago. He says he never received a letter that was more welcome than mine and wants me to write as soon as I get his. He says he is certain of 6,000 majority for Old Abe. He never writes a long letter. He is going to send me some papers also.
I do not think George will leave home as there will be no draft in our district and therefore will commence teaching school on the 19th inst. I have advised him that he should stay with Father & Mother as they would have none to correspond with us. ³ I must close as it is after bedtime. The rest are sleeping. Give respects and best wishes to Jack and all the rest of the boys, keeping a good share for yourself. From your affectionate brother, — Anthony Fraser
Write soon. I don’t know whether I told you that one fellow took 75 of the Rebs—one of which was the county Treasurer, one commissioner, six jurors, all sent down to Mifflin.
¹ The abolitionist preacher, Rev. Reuben Elliot Wilson (1828-1901), was vilified and ridiculed in the local press—particularly by Levi Tate of the Columbia Democrat—for using the pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church to promote party politics. Tate warned his readers that anyone “who pays a dollar to an Abolitionist preacher might as well pay an incendiary to set fire to his house.”
² Not sure of the origin of the expression “did things up brown” but it was used extensively in the 19th and early 20th century. It is rarely heard today.
³ From this and other statements by the Fraser sons, it is clear that neither of their parents were literate enough to write a letter to their sons.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ELEVEN
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V., (Monocacy Junction) Baltimore, Maryland
September 29, 1864
Your very welcome letter of the 22nd was received here last evening and read with extreme pleasure, always feeling glad to hear of your continued good health and spirits. By the heading of my letter you will see that we have again changed our post somewhat since my last letter to you leaving the town of Bloomsburg yesterday a week to report at Headquarters, Philadelphia, where we arrived in the evening today a week, remaining at 5th & Buttonwood [Provost Barracks] for the night, and the next morning moved out to Camp 17th & Master Streets, and of course expecting to stay there for the winter.
But we were quite pleasantly disappointed on Saturday afternoon that eighteen of us have got to be ready at nine P. M. to go to the City of Lancaster. I was in for it as you might suppose so we arrived here on Sunday morning at 2 o’clock A. M. We are stationed at Mr. Hess’ Hotel, South Queen Street, where we have our boarding and lodging. We are doing duty at the Provost Marshal’s Headquarters such as taking men to Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and also all other duties around the Pro-Marshal’s office.
On Monday evening, I took the train and went home, coming back with the hack last evening. I had quite a nice time at home and was wishing that you and Charles could accompany me as the grapes are very plenty and of good quality. You may judge that I walked into them pretty heavy as also into a chicken and noodle soup which Mother had promised me for some time if I would come home. Father is getting along better than I expected but says he sends away a good bit of work which he does not see well enough to repair. He however asked to see my watch and after he had it apart and repaired for me, it wanted cleaning. He was quite lively as also the rest. They had already heard that I was here through Al. Sheaffer who was in town on Saturday night and Sunday. As you know, he pays his respects to Miss Horting which accounts for why he was here at the time. I paid hurried visits to my friends around town, not staying long enough with any of them and even skipping some whom I had promised to visit. I was invited to a playing party that was to be held at Springville last evening but I could not stay as I promised the sergeant in charge of us to come back last evening. But he told me since coming back that I might have stayed for that matter. Miss Lizzie Buckwalter sent me the invitation. As I suppose you know, she has the school in her charge at Springville. I did not get to see her, however, as George I believe goes to see her sometimes so he can make my excuse for not coming satisfactory.
The town of Lincoln, however, seems deserted. I could not content myself there at present—the young fellows nearly all having left. And more than all, there is one face missing who has been worth more to us soldiers than all the young folks remaining. Poor George Becker. ¹ He did, however, not [die] from a fall from the hayloft as was reported to you. He had a stroke of palsy which caused his death. He was just in the act of throwing straw over into the cow stable when he was taken with it and Mrs. Becker, hearing him, ran out and found him senseless with the fork laying underneath him. But he was already senseless and I believe did not speak at all. The girls and Mrs. Becker take it very hard and it was indeed a great loss to them. I took a ride down to Gross’ with Edwin Musser. He told me all about it. They intend having a sale of the loose stock this fall. As to the other property, they have not yet decided. Mr. Becker bought a couple of fast horses shortly before he died and he told John Hibsman and Dan Markley that they must take out Kate Hocker and Hallie Musser on horseback about half an hour before it happened. The ceremonies at the funeral were as he had directed long ago. Six girls while going up to church sang, “I’m Going Home.” The pall bearers all receiving a gold dollar & he had a large funeral—they say the largest funeral ever in Lincoln. [Rev.] Mr. Gerhart performed the services.
I heard of his [Becker’s] death last Friday in Philadelphia. [Brother] Charley having received a letter, came over to me in the evening with it. We took a stroll through the City, not having met for four months, so he said we would go down to 8th and Market to a restaurant and have a supper—so we did, coming back at eleven P. M., he going to his camp. The next day we went to the same place and had quite a fine time until five o’clock P. M. when I returned to camp and was told that we were to go to Lancaster. I, however, met Charley before leaving at the Depot. He said he was going home on or about the 5th of next month as you no doubt are aware that the Large Mass Meeting [Political] is to be held on the 5th at Lancaster. I expect to have a fine time. They had a meeting at Lincoln on Monday evening when I came home making preparations for the delegation such as electing or appointing Marshalls &c. which I will give as far as I know: Chief Marshall—J. S. Roger, Asst.—Urias Fry, Ed Musser, and Francis Coover. They rather slighted Uncle Billy this time. I believe he was slow in contributing to the bounty fund this fall, accounting for their conduct towards him.
There are some indications of us fellows staying here some time—perhaps all winter—as the fellows we relieved were here five months and their time (i. e., some of them) expires ‘ere long belonging to the Condemned Yankees. I heard the Major say today that the had the best set of men here now that ever were there. Quite a compliment, it it not? We are all right on his side. He recognized me as one of the 122nd but could not tell my name.
I am going down to Philadelphia as a guard tomorrow with about thirty new recruits who will be taken to Camp Cadwalader to be distributed. Enlisting goes on quite favorably.
The news are cheering. In fact, everything is going on finely in all quarters. As to that preacher’s daughter up at Bloomsburg, she’s rather young yet, but quite good looking. I, however, got acquainted with a young lady about sixteen [named] Miss Laura John ²—quite a respectable young lady, very talented. She told me she was very sorry to see me leave. She is the Post Master’s daughter and is very good-looking. I almost felt like staying thinking like Henry Miller, “I’ll marry her.” But enough of this trash. I must come to a close.
I saw John Wilson. He looks very good and has changed a good bit. No more. From your affectionate brother, — Anthony Fraser, Co. H, 186th P. V., Lancaster, Pa.
They are all well at home. May you all be the same. Write soon.
¹ George Becker (18xx-1864) died on 17 September 1864. He was the son of George Becker (1814-1861) and his wife, Elizabeth Gross. The Becker family were near neighbors to the Fraser family in Lincoln. George’s sisters, Mary Ann Becker (1842-1916) and Sarah E. Becker (1846-1897), were married, respectively, to Jacob Kafroth (1832-1888) and Edwin Musser (1838-1918)—both mentioned elsewhere in these Fraser family letters.
² Laura Elizabeth John (1848-1939) was the daughter of Palemon John (1827-1902) and Hannah Jane Bailey (1829-1885). Palemon was not only the Post Master of Bloomsburg, he was also the editor of the Columbia Republican—a patriotic newspaper so pro-Lincoln that the rival Democratic organ referred to Palemon John as a “Lick Spittle General to Abe Lincoln.” Laura later (1870) married American author William Rosser Cobbe (1848-1907).
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWELVE
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Penna.
Lancaster City, Pa.
October 13, 1864
As you requested me to go to the Bank and see about your Bonds, so I called on Mr. Gyger and inquired about them and he told me that they have arrived and are ready for you at any time.
There are no additional news of importance more than you will find in the Express. The house vote is supposed to reach about 5,000 majority in the State. The soldiers vote will swell it to about 30,000 majority by all accounts received so far. The Union League Band serenaded Honorable Thaddeus Stevens last evening with very good music. He made a short speech and seemed well pleased.
No more from your youngest and respectfully, — Anthony Fraser, Lancaster, Pa.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THIRTEEN
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V., Martinsburg, Va.
Headquarters Swan Hotel
October 16, 1864
Your very interesting and long looked for letter of the 11th inst. was received in the evening of the 14th and was read with extreme pleasure, being very glad to hear that you still enjoy good health as I hope you may continue. Your account of the travel and country along the route was also very interesting to me having passed through part of it—you, however, having the advantage of us as we had to foot it just about two years ago. It is indeed strange that you are only six miles from Dam No. 5. I did not think that you were so far north.
I think you fellows have the right plan at present—to take or destroy everything of use to the Confederacy and their friends. I think that plan ought have been adopted long ago. I would like. I would like to accompany you in some of your foraging expeditions. I always fancied that work in particular, if it was Rebel property. I suppose B. Lorah does his share of it as usual.
As you will see at the head of my letter that we are yet at Lancaster enjoying ourselves as best we can. We had a very fine time at the Convention. Ephrata was pretty well represented where I saw a good many friends and heard some very good speeches as you have seen ‘ere this in the Express so I will not name the speakers. Since writing to you last, I have been at home again, going from here to Rothsville yesterday a week where they had a Lincoln & Johnson meeting. I went with my bedfellow, Mr. Fieles in a buggy. From then I went with Jac[ob] Kafroth, Charley being with Samuel Hacker, and stayed at home until Wednesday morning—Charley leaving on Monday dinner for Philadelphia again. Al and I were after the partridges on Monday forenoon but the ground is covered too thickly yet with grass. We, however, shot 4 partridges, one Flicker, and one rabbit. I expect to go out again next Saturday or Monday following as Lewis Hibsman told me he has a good dog and Al wants me to come out and he will go along with us. I expect to have a fine time. The Sergeant in charge of us will give me a leave at any time.
I almost forgot to tell you that I saw Capt. Ricksecker on the 5th at the Convention, as also Fellers & Leamon. They all thought I look so healthy and stout. I wish it were so that you might all be sent to Harrisburg and be organized so that you might come home for a few days.
When at home I went up to Old Jesse Pannabecker’s together with a lot of other fellows from Lincoln to hear the political sermon by Moses Dissinger. ¹ I can tell you he did give it to those Copperheads. He is not afraid to talk to them. They are going to have him at Lincoln before long. I saw H. L. Erb there. He told me he just received a letter from Jack. He said Jack’s whiskers were rushing so he id not know what to do. He is getting along finely with his new lot. Joel Lightner is not going West as he had intended, there being a mistake of $1,000 in the wages—rather big, is it not? He is going to stay at the old place. They have raised his wages some. He sends his respects to you. George was in town yesterday and got those two $1,000 Bonds and one $50 Bond at the Bank and also $300 worth 7 3/10 for Charles.
I suppose I must close for the present. The news around Lincoln are very dull and I could not content myself at present there. The young folks, except the Ladies, have all left. Of the latter, however, there are plenty. My respects to Jack Wissler. From your brother, — Anthony Fraser
They are all well at home.
¹ Moses Dissinger was a local, unpretentious preacher and rural evangelist from Lancaster county. He spoke to the people in plain language, direct, and without notes. He supported Lincoln for re-election in 1864 and was outspoken against slavery and the rebellion.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FOURTEEN
Addressed to Mr. William J. Fraser, Co. C, 195th Regt. P. V., Martinsburg, Virginia
Camp 17th & Master [Streets], Philadelphia, Pa.
November 2, 1864
Your very interesting as also welcome letter of the 26th inst. came to hand not at the above place but at Lancaster on the 28th, only a few minutes before starting for home as I received an order from the Captain to report to the Company at the above place for duty as Company Clerk. So I thought I would go to Lincoln to see the folks and have a little fun before going, it being Saturday, so I went along with Urias Fry to his home at Hahnstown, from then to New Berlin in the evening where they had quite a spirited Union gathering. Among the speakers were Messrs. Billingfelt, Pannabecker, and others of less account. There was quite a good turnout of ladies. Among them was a wagon loaded with something from Reamstown. You can tell Jack I had quite a talk with Miss Fiana Lutz. ¹ She hinted about those boots. But I am getting off the track.
After having seen the meeting through, I started with Hie Bentz to Lincoln where we arrived about one o’clock on Sunday morning. After sleeping a little, we started for Reamstown to church and had quite a pleasant time together with Al. Stober, Hie Bentz, Jno. Hibsman, Daniel Markley, John Coover, and others. We all got home safe in the afternoon again and stayed there the other part of the day.
On Monday morning, Al and I started out gunning, coming back in the afternoon with very little game, having had bad luck to see game. We, however, had seven partridges and one rabbit each four. I had a taste of partridge yesterday morning for breakfast.
I went to Lancaster with Edwin Musser, he being accommodating enough to come to our house when I was out gunning to tell them that he is going to town and that I can go along. He also gave me a small box of segars which I shall divide with [brother] Charles, having as yet not had the chance as this morning when I went to his camp quarters, he was just getting ready to go to 5th & Buttonwood [Provost Barracks] on guard.
I came in to camp last night about 8 o’clock but he had gone out with a number of others to a Union Meeting at the Headquarters of the Union League. At any rate, he is all right and expect to see him tomorrow morning. I have been finishing the Muster Rolls today as also nearly through signing the Pay Rolls.
I have indeed the same opinion that you have as to the Election next Tuesday—that it will be better attended by the Union men of Pennsylvania and poll such a vote as to scare all the Copperheads to death, letting none to tell the tale.
Before going any further let me tell you that the 79th Regt. P. V. came home about one hundred in number—such that had not re-enlisted. Among them was Edwin Faust. He looks very well but brought the sad news that his brother Peter had died [at Chattanooga, TN, on 3 October 1864] of his wound received at the Battle of Atlanta, Ga. He died and was buried at Chattanooga. They talk about fetching him home. Samuel Bear also came along with them (Abm’s brother). He still likes whiskey as well as ever.
I suppose you have heard that Mrs. George Becker has appointed Samuel Niply administrator of the estate and they are going to have a sale of personal property the 18th of this month. I suppose they will have a large sale. I would not mind attending. They are going to sell the two fast horses.
The folks around Lincoln are all well—at least were when I left them. Father is very well as also Mother and still very patriotic and proud that they have three sons in the arms of Abraham. Mrs. Edwin Musser gave birth to a daughter on last Thursday night as also did Sue Irvine (formerly) a couple weeks ago. Charles sends [love] to you all. Give respects to Jack and all the rest of the boys and keep a good share for yourself.
Your affectionate brother, — Anthony
Write soon. Jno. Brewisen is going to be wedded to Miss Hallie Gorgas this week, — Anthony
¹ In the 1860 US Census, 16 year-old Fiana Lutz was enumerated in the household of Jacob Hage of West Cocalico, Lancaster county, employed as a maid.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FIFTEEN
Addressed to Mr. W. J. Fraser, Co. B, Battalion 195th P. V., Martinsburg, Va.
Camp 186th P. V., 17th and Master Streets
December 18, 1864
Your most welcome and very interesting letter of the 14th inst. came to hand and was read with pleasure yesterday, the 17th, coming in good time more so than your former letters. I am always happy to hear of your continued good health as also of all the rest of the Lincoln boys, counting Jack among them of course.
I was pleased very much to hear of the good friendship you have formed with your Orderly Sergeant as it is always a good plan to be on good terms with his rank, saving a fellow often times from a day’s duty. I see you have been, or rather are engaged in my old business of making traps to catch partridges which I must say I would delight in very much were I with you. What are you going to do with them after you catch them? I think it would be very nice to have a lot of them in a tent. At any rate, if I were with you, I think I would keep a couple as pets.
Since writing my last letter to you, I have had the pleasure rather unexpectedly, however, of a visit by Edwin Stober, he being here last week to lay in a small supply of stock, staying with me only about an hour. However, it was pleasant as he brought me about a hundred segars of good quality sent by Father and some by Al. I did not think Father would buy any. He said I should give some to Charles if I have the chance. I do not know how I will send them yet. Perhaps he will be down ‘ere long. At any rate, I will keep them for him. Charles’ address is Co. G, 186th P. V., Lower Merion P. O., Montgomery county, Pa.
Are all the Lincoln boys at one place with you? I wish you and Jack success in your undertaking of building quarters. Have you got plenty of lumber? I hope so as with that you can put up very comfortable quarters for the winter. We have had a good bit of snow for the last week or so but it is nearly gone making as usual a good bit of mud. Corn cakes are very good indeed if prepared rightly, but where do you get the meal from? Perhaps you draw it from the Commissary?
While I am writing, there is being a salute fired in honor of our recent victories. I suppose ‘ere this reaches you, you will be in possession of all the news. They are very good in all quarters.
I think probably I will go to Lancaster this week but no further as [brother] George wishes me to come up to the Teacher’s Institute. If I go, my time will be very limited so that I will be unable to go home as I intend to go up one day and come down the next in the evening. And as I will have to make out a Set of Ordinance Returns and also fix up some Clothing Receipt Rolls, after which I will have to get ready to make out our Muster and Pay Rolls for November and December, but the Captain told me if it was not so near the time to make out all these returns and rolls, I might go for a week. I will attend to the Express business for you. I hardly think it worth the while to go for so short a time but as I partially promised to meet George there, so I suppose I will have to fulfill my promise. George intends to be there only in the latter part of the week.
I do not think I have told you of the misfortune of Hiester Shirk, ¹ he having left a couple of prisoners out of confinement at Fort Mifflin, receiving therefore a $50 counterfeit greenback. The authorities having found out who it was, so he was court-martialed and of course found guilty and sentenced to serve his three years in the bomb proofs of Ft. Mifflin losing $10 each month of his monthly pay to wear a ball and chain every other week. And after his term expires, to receive a dishonorable discharge. A fine thing, is it not for a Lincoln boy? He finds out I am thinking that he has not got his father to deal with. He is keeping his parents and friends in darkness but his Lieutenant told me about it. I have not seen him since last spring.
Pierce Rhoads of Reamstown is in our guard house having been arrested about three months ago. He belongs to Co. C, our regiment, but has denied his regiment wherever he has been, having been at Ft. McHenry, Camp Distribution, Alexandria Jail, since his arrest. I suppose you know him. He is Elias Rhoads’ son—Kate’s brother. Jack knows her.
I suppose I must close for this time. The Captain’s picture is very fine indeed. I am very much obliged to him for it and will keep it in remembrance as long as I live. My respects to him, as also to Jack and all the rest of the boys, wishing them all a Merry Christmas. Accept my best wishes and respects. Your affectionate brother, — Anthony
¹ Heister Shirk mustered into Co. D, 56th Pennsylvania Infantry but deserted in January 1862. He later served in Co. I, 186th Pennsylvania Infantry from 15 April 1864 until he was dishonorably discharged on 1 December 1865.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SIXTEEN
Addressed to Mr. William J. Fraser, Co. B, 195th Regt. P. V., Martinsburg, Va.
Camp 186th P. V., 17th and Master Streets, Philadelphia
January 29, 1865
Your brief but welcome letter of the 26th inst. came to hand last evening and was read with a little surprise on account of its shortness and understanding why it was that you wanted the Drill Book so soon, thinking perhaps you were promoted. But at any rate, after reading your letter over a couple of times, I started down town to buy a Company Drill Book as you stated but I was unable to get one. I must have been in a dozen or more stores. They nearly all had Casey’s Tactics but as you said so, I did not take any of those. I am going down to Market Street below Eighth to Lippecott’s & Co. tomorrow morning as they always close their store at six o’clock P. M., therefore being too late last evening. I am certain I can get one there as they keep all kinds of books a person wishes to buy. I will send it as soon as I get it so that you will have it about Wednesday.
I have not heard anything from Lincoln or vicinity for over a week. I do not know why it is. I suppose they are too much frightened about the draft that is coming off on the 15th next month.
[Brother] Charles intends coming to see me tomorrow and stay over night with me (i. e, if he keeps up his promise). He sent word to me with one of his company the other day.
My Captain has been on detached duty and will be for a couple of weeks to come, having been ordered to organize the 1st Battalion Veteran Reserve Corps in this Department out of the hospitals. He has got to take them all to Washington D. C.
I have nothing of any account to tell you this time. I will send you a couple of newspapers today. Your affectionate brother, — Anthony
Write soon. I am well.
William, since writing the foregoing, the Captain came in and he having two sets of Casey’s Infantry Tactics, so he told me I should take the first volume and send it to you. He says that the other books are generally not of much account and that you cannot rely upon them. I will send it today with this letter or rather tomorrow morning as the mail does not leave this evening from camp.
You will oblige me very much if you tell me whether you received my answer to your last letter before this one as the mail carrier is accused of opening letters and as you did not say anything in your last, so I thought perhaps you did not receive it. I had a red seal on th back of it with the letter “H” on it. The book will not cost you anything.
Yours respectfully, — Anthony
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SEVENTEEN
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Co. B. Bat. 195th P. V., Martinsburg, West Virginia
Camp 186th P. V., 17th & Master Streets, Philadelphia
February 5, 1865
Your affectionate letter of the 2nd inst. came to hand this morning and was read with pleasure. I was very much disappointed at hearing of the non-arrival of my previous letter. I felt like pitching into the carrier instanter. The Captain and I have formed a plan which will catch the boy, I am afraid. We intend fixing a thick letter with a seal on the back and as the mail goes to 5th & Buttonwood [Provost Barracks] from here, so we intend having a man to look over the letters and see whether the same letter is along. The one I sent to you was sealed and contained two sheets. But enough of this. I will inform you of our success, if any.
As you received the papers and also the “Cartridge Box,” ¹ it may therefore be of interest to you to know that George W. McElroy is one of its correspondents as also Lieut. [John M.] Johnston of [Co. I of] our regiment—formerly a hospital steward at the York General Hospital. He hails from the cold state of Michigan, is quite an agreeable man, and also an accomplished writer. I am in his company a quarter part of the time—he being on detached duty taking prisoners from here to Washington D. C. Therefore, whenever off duty employs his time in writing or playing a social game of Sixty-six with our Captain. He wrote into my autograph [book] only two words, “Be Cautious.” He says he is very well acquainted with McElroy having formed the acquaintance at the York Hospital where the latter was a patient before receiving his discharge. I will send you one of the aforementioned papers semi-occasionally, receiving them from the Lieutenant. Do you get to see the Philadelphia papers or have you no chance of getting them?
As to the favors at my hands, they are all done cheerily, always remembering the favors I received two years ago which I always think I cannot repay. Brother Charles did not come the day he promised but in two days afterward. I had given up the hopes of his coming at all. We had quite a fine time together as he stayed over night. We went down to Carncross and Dixie’s [Minstrels] in the evening to see the new troupe. They have a good set of minstrels—better than they have had for some time. A fellow can laugh to his hearts content by listening to Dixie’s dalliances alone.
Charley does not write to me as regular as I could wish, sometimes forgetting to write at all. He again told me he must write to you so look out for a letter. I am afraid, however, he will forget it again. I have not received a letter from home or anyplace around home for nearly three weeks. I suppose they have forsaken me for good and all no doubt. I wrote two to [brother] George—one with some money. I suppose the reason for Miss Hocker not writing anymore is on account of me writing very independently to her in my last letter—not caring whether she wrote to me anymore or not as her letters always were a little like J. S. Hocker’s—too much soft soap about them for me. I have a better correspondent at present or ever since I was at home by the name of Miss Carrie Fry. As you know, I met her at the ball for the first time in my life. She seemed very intimate with me and commenced talking with me as if she had known me from infancy. Well, we parted that evening or morning rather and I did not think of her any until I received the answer to my first letter after coming down from George in which he stated that he had received a request from Miss Fry to send me her best wishes, asking whether I remembered the ball, and wishing me to write to her and send her my photograph, and also telling me that by her talk she must have fallen in love with me. I can tell “Dis chile was somewhat nonplussed” after reading all that at once. I almost got the notion like Henry Miller, “I’ll marry her.” Well, I went to work and wrote her quite a flattering epistle after thinking a little while and not having any picture at the time, I told her however I would send her one ‘ere long &c., wishing her to send in her letter one of her pictures. In a week afterwards I received a letter postmarked Ephrata containing one of her pictures—a very good one too—Vignette. She is a very nice kind of a “gal”—a daughter of John Fry’s school director. She is young yet—only about sixteen—and teaches school at Mohler’s schoolhouse. She also told George she would put my picture on the front leaf of her album. Not so bad, is it?
Well, as I was about to say, I answered her letter without sending my picture as they were not yet finished. I received a very sweet note of hers in answer a few days ago [with] a good bit of love in it, I can tell you. Almost as much as you and the Rev.’s daughter generally had. I of course wrote to her in the same manner, sending one of my pictures. I therefore expect to hear from her one of these days. I suppose (as you know) Dan Markley goes to see Maria Hocker about my corresponding with Miss Fry. No doubt she is affronted. It suits me well enough. I hate to write to any person who has nothing to form a basis for your next letter. As you know, an army too far from its supplies can not hold out. The same in writing letters. Miss Fry is an agreeable correspondent as she is more enlightened than most of the young ladies in our “diggins.” She intends going to school next summer again, but has not determined where yet. But enough of this one subject or you may get tired of it.
I believe you asked me who was Mollie Musser’s galant in one of your former lettres, which I did answer in the letter that was lost. She had none at all when I was at home, Al. Stober having brought both Hallie & Mollie to the ball. I have not heard of her having any since. I will try and find out if I can. I received a letter from sister Sarah last evening. She wishes to know whether George goes to see Miss Buckwalter yet and hope that he won’t marry her as she says she would not make a good housekeeper. Pretty good [advice] from Sarah, is it not? I told her that I was a little too far off to know anything about these affairs. She would better inquire of George himself. She is rather too old a hoss for him, I think myself, but just as he thinks himself I say. I did not know that he intends enlisting. I suppose the Peace ___ will settle everything again.
I suppose, William, I will have to close for the present. Give my respects to Jack, Capt., and all the rest, hoping to hear from you soon. I beg to remain your affectionate brother, — Anthony
Write soon. N. B., I enclose herewith a three (3) sent fractional currency note. — Anthony
¹ The Cartridge Box was a weekly newspaper published by the U.S. Army General Hospital from March 1864 to July 1865 (York, Pennsylvania). According to a blog by Scott L. Mingus entitled, Cannonba!! (21 Nov 2014), the Cartridge Box was “edited by George W. McElroy and A. R. Blair, and issued by the soldiers.” It was “a spicy little sheet, brimming over with fun and patriotism.”
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER EIGHTEEN
Addressed to Mr. William Fraser, Co. B, 195th Regt. P. V., Martinsburg, W. Va.
Camp Cadwalader, Philadelphia
March 26, 1865
This morning I received a letter from E. Hocker in which, to my utter astonishment, I saw that you were looking for a letter from me and I wrote to [brother] George telling him that he should inform you that I am and have been for two weeks looking for a letter from you. I wrote to you on the 2nd day of March in answer to your letter. I had fill;ed two note sheets. No doubt it was confiscated. How disagreeable it is. It seems that you must have always had luck with our correspondence but as we have changed our camp—as you will see at the heading of my letter—I therefore hope we may have better luck in the future as the letter thief, as I will take the liberty to call the carrier, will not have any chance at our letters as we have a Post Office in camp which is conducted in an upright manner I am told.
George says that you and Jack were on a visit to him. He says you both look very stout and hearty but rather dark complected which is no disgrace but an honor. I was indeed very happy to hear it and hope and wish that your health may continue the same through your term of service as also friend Jack.
We came to this camp to do temporary guard duty such as taking recruits to their destination. Some of our men—20 in number—started for City Point, Va., last Thursday. We expect them back on Tuesday again. Yesterday 11 of our company started with recruits for the Western Army—either to Louisville, Ky., or Nashville, Tenn., and one of our corporals went with one man to Cumberland, Md. I did not know that he had to go through Martinsburg, Va., or else I would have went myself and would have stopped to see you fellows on the way coming back. I was sorry after hearing the route explained by the Captain this morning.
I have very good times at present as I stay with the Captain [Albert Heubel]. We have two rooms for our quarters with two beds, tables, a desk, chairs, and different other furniture “too numerous to insert” as Samuel Niply would advertise it if he were to sell us out. I say “us” as whatever belongs to the Captain, belongs to me and what belongs to me, belongs also to him, so that we both make a happy family.
I had the pleasure last evening to see my former and constant bunkmate Jac[ob] Gable from Sheafferstown for the first time since we were mustered out of service [from Co. F, 122nd P. V.] at Harrisburg. He is a new recruit and has put his name down for the 214th P. V., 8th Union League, but says he wishes he could get into the 195th P. V.
[Brother] Charles was down to visit me last week. He is well and was at home two weeks ago today and as he says, enjoyed himself pretty well finding Old Lincoln rather deserted of young men, ladies being as plenty as ever. He was at home only three days or parts of, going up on Saturday and coming down on Tuesday. Father, he said, was well and working in the shop at the trade, as usual.
I was happy to hear through E. Hocker that you have been promoted to corporal. It seems strange we should be promoted about the same time as [I] was appointed in February to date from the 1st of January. I, however, retain the position of Company Clerk as the Captain told me before I accepted it. Otherwise, I would not have accepted it.
As I do not know whether you received my letter of the 2nd of March, I am at a suspense what to write. As your last letter lays in front of me, I see a number of questions you ask. One is, “How is your Ducky getting along? As I take it for granted that you mean Miss Carrie, she is all right and writes as lovely letters, if not more so, than her former ones. George can tell you as he saw a couple of them. I expect one from her one of these days. Hiester Shirk is not dead.
But hold up. I must tell you about Sarah. She is as usual trying to interfere with private affairs. I received a letter from her some time ago in which she says she hopes I do not correspond with Miss Fry as she says she has a bad name. I told her I thought I knew as much about Miss Fry as she does if not a little more. It made me mad as she is always meddling—a regular Paul Pry. But enough of this.
I am well, hoping to hear from you very soon. Give my respects to all the boys. I beg to remain your younger and affectionate brother, — Anthony
Co, H., 186th P. V., Camp Cadwalader, Pa.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER NINETEEN
Camp 186th Regt. P. V.
Seventeenth & Master Streets, Philadelphia
April 13, 1865
Again a change, as you will see by the above, but nevertheless I received your long wished for and very interesting epistle of the 7t inst. this evening, it having been sent to me by the Post Master at Camp Cadwalader which place we left last Saturday, having been stationed there only three weeks, as our orders told us that we were to remain there temporarily to convey troops—or rather recruits—to their destination.
I did not like the place at first but after being there, I got to like it so that I would have preferred staying. But still the camp has its disadvantages as nearly all camps have. We have been busy since returning to our old camp fixing up the quarters, making houses out of boards 6 by 8 ft., shelter tents for the roof. The Captain is having a house built 8 by 16 ft. long and 8 ft. high which I will occupy. As you know, he lives but a short distance from camp, only staying here when on duty as Captain of the Day. I will have very comfortable quarters. The boys are laying grass plots around their tents and the officers quarters, planting flowers and evergreen. Every company has at the head of its street a Corps’ mark of the corps in which the majority of the man have served before entering this regiment, made with sods of grass. It looks very nice.
You have undergone a good many changes since your last letter. I suppose the new recruits have received a thorough initiation by it. I was quite interested in reading that part of your letter relating to picketing along the Shenandoah. I felt like being with you, fishing for suckers &c. You know I always liked that kind of sport—Father thought too well. I always dreaded the infernal guerrillas, however. No doubt the new recruits dreaded them also at first sight. It is quite strange indeed how so many high numbered regiments got together and three regiments from each state having the same number.
By your letter, I infer that you had not yet heard of the surrender of R. E. Lee and the Army of No, Virginia, which news we received here on the 8th inst. It is glorious, is it not. I wish you could have heard the rejoicing or seen it here in Philadelphia. It was awful. They are going to have a grand parade on next Monday and an illumination of the whole city in the evening. I think it will be a grand affair by the looks of the papers.
I am of the same opinion as you about the Rebellion being “Done gone up” as the nigger would say. I see the Virginia Legislature are assembling to devise some way of getting the Old Dominion back again. My opinion is that we will have Peace in less than two months if not sooner. Gen. Lee, it is reported, intends going to Europe with his family saying that Jeff Davis had deserted him in the hour of trial. His army is estimated at 75,000 men, 100,000 stand of small guns—a big thing is it not?
I intend writing to Charles this evening yet. I will tell him about the german. I received one letter from father since George left written by Peter Martin. I expect one one of these days. I received one from Miss Lizzie Buckwalter rather unexpectedly with a picture wishing one of mine in return. Of course I could not so I wrote her a letter and sent one along although it was the last I had. I have no more correspondents from Lincoln anymore, as I think I told you that when I was at home that several of my would-be friends said I should write when I arrived in the City again. I told them “all right” but have as yet not complied with the request, nor do I think I will either. I receive a letter from Miss Carrie about once a week. I received one the day we left Camp Cadwalader which was longer coming than any yet—about ten days—as she left Ephrata for Millersville to attend school again, which caused the delay. She asks to be pardoned. I suppose I affronted Sarah with my last letter as she has not written since.
Wilson W. Shirk visited me yesterday having come to the City a few days ago with the intention staying [and] wishing to get a place in some store. J. Roger E. Stober and Lemon Fry also came down but have not been out to see me yet. Roger and Jery intend going with the Business College. John Mellinger is attending it at present. He was out to see me.
I also received a letter from George written on picket today. He seems to like it very well. Tell him I will answer his letter tomorrow or next day wishing to have an interval between the the two letters. I wrote a letter to E. Hocker sometime ago. I wonder how he appreciated it, or whether he did not understand it, about some of the Lincoln folks. I suppose I must close for tonight as it is after “taps.” Good night. My best respects to Jack, Joe Steininger and all the rest of the boys from Lincoln. Thinking and hoping that I will meet you all ‘ere long at the above-named place, I beg to remain as ever your affectionate and younger brother, — Anthony
N. B. I am well. Hope you may be the same. My regards to Capt. Ricksecker
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY
Addressed to Mr. W. J. Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Penna.
Camp 186th Regt. P. V.
July 8, 1865
Ex U. S. A. P. M. or Brother Wm.,
If you could but imagine my happiness in receiving once again one of your good letters written at that good old place, “Home.” I think you would be amply repaid for the trouble of writing. It came to hand yesterday morning and as Charles and I are together yet, so I read it in his presence. He had many comments to make and wishes too numerous to mention. He would have liked to accompany you to the Litiz Springs on the 4th. Wonders how Jac[ob] Kafrother is getting along with the lower farm as you had mentioned his name in the letter. Would like to see you [and] supposes you must look tanned &c. &c. However, my wishes expressed at the same time were not much less in number than Charlie’s.
We had some intentions of coming home over the 4th if we had been paid but that event has not yet taken place, nor is it likely that we will be paid until next muster if we remain in service that long as there has an order been issued not to pay any troops except those who are being mustered out. I do not approve of the order as it causes too much dissatisfaction and disappointment among the men. Some o our men who have families in the city and have not been paid for six months have their children out begging for the necessaries of life. I was happy to hear that you spent the 4th of July so pleasantly meeting with your friends and associates. The place of meeting could not have been better. I have not seen Jerrie Roger since my return from Chester but I intend going down to their storehouse in Water Street next week. Their residence is on Camac Street above Montgomery Avenue, not more than about six squares from here. I have not been at the house yet although I have had invitations to go there several times, I expect.
The 4th, in day time, [I spent] mostly in camp, but in the evening I took a stroll down Broad Street to Chestnut, from thence down to Independence Hall which was splendidly illuminated from one end to the other. After seeing all I could see, as Artemus Ward would say, I started for Penn Square up Chestnut etc. to Broad and out Broad to Market, but such a jam I never did see—the pavement and street both crowded. However, I reached the Square just in time to see some of the most splendid fireworks displayed that I ever witnesssed right in front of the Union League Hall. I remained there until about ten o’clock whence I started again for camp in company with one of our boys. I felt pretty well tired of the walk and standing around, and also the continued firing of cannon, guns, torpedoes, &c.
I received a letter on the 2nd inst. from George dated June 20th. It is rather long in reaching me. I suppose H. Eichelberger has a good bit to tell old Jakey. It would be amusing to see them together. George said in his letter that the report was with them that A. Bingaman had died. Did you hear anything about him? I was happy to hear that Jack Wissler was again recovering.
Did you and the rest of the Lincoln boys bring your guns along home with you? I hope so, however, as Charles and I both intend keeping ours. We do not hear anything said about our time we shall have to serve yet but the general talk among the officers is that we will serve at least a couple of months yet.
Charles joins with me in sending our love and best wishes to you all at home with the hope that we may all meet each other at home ‘ere so very long. Give my respects to Edwin Musser and family. I beg to remain as ever your affectionate brother, — Anthony
P. S. Write soon.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY-ONE
Headquarters District of Monongahela, Pittsburg, Pa.
July 28th 1865
No doubt you will be surprised to receive a letter with the above heading from me. I can hardly realize it myself but nevertheless, it is so. We were ordered yesterday to “get up and git” from the City of Brotherly Love and proceed without delay to the Smokey City. We started at 12 12 o’clock M. yesterday and arrived at this place at 3 o’clock A. M. this day. I have not had much time yet to look around. our Capt. has been assigned to the command of the above District. I have been placed in charge of the office as Chief Clerk, having three other clerks under my charge. I have a great deal of writing to attend to and see that it is done, but I expect in a few days that some of my work will be taken off of me as the Captain has sent down to Col. Jno. S. Schultz, A. A. Gen’l. at Philadelphia for two more officers—one to take charge of the company and the other to assist us in the office. My time is too limited to write much this time. I intend to express some money to you but will wait until you write again.
We passed through Lancaster. I saw W. A. Zook there but had no time to speak to him as we were on the fast line. I enjoyed the trip over the Allegheny Mountains very well although it was night when we crossed them. The Captain and I were together all the time. I had about six hundred dollars in my charge belonging to the Captain. I sent a pair of trousers or gave them to Charles to send to you by express. No doubt you have it as he said he was going to send you a box. I also sent some other trash belonging to me.
I must close as I cannot take time to write anymore. Let me hear from you soon as you know news is rather scarce up this way. Give my regards and best wishes to Father, Mother, Mary, Emma, and all the rest. I remain your brother, — Anthony
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY-TWO
Addressed to Mr. William J. Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Penna.
Headquarters Post of Pittsburg, Pa.
August 4, 1865
Your very welcome and interesting missive of the 3rd inst. came to hand this evening and was read with pleasure and great interest. I also received your letter of the 27th ultimo a few days ago but thought it best to wait until I would hear from you again. I was happy to hear that you are all getting along so finely as nothing is more encouraging than to hear the news of that kind from home. I, however, have not fared quite so well since my letter to you as I felt a pain in my jaw—something like neuralgia—when I arrived here, but thinking it was only a trifle, I failed to mention it to you or anyone else. But next morning I found that it was something of more than ordinary pain as my jaw had swollen. The aching was all through my jaw and head so that I could not do anything in the office of any account.
The Captain advised me to have a plaster put on my cheek and back of the ear and wrote a prescription for me, which he put in for me. It was to be an everlasting fly plaster but instead of that, the Druggist prepared a regular fly plaster. It drew blisters very soon but the pain would not cease and I could not sleep at night. I was wishing to be with Mother as I felt assured that she could do something to give me more ease, but that was of no avail. I had to go through with it, so I did, but with some suffering. I have again recovered of it with the exception of a slight swelling which I think will leave in a few days, as also a disfiguration of my cheek caused by the blistering, leaving a red mark, however all healed. I think the origination of it was the hollow teeth in my jaws as I was sitting at the window coming up here all the way and there was a heavy draft of wind pouring in upon me all the time. But you know I was inquisitive as I wished to see as much of the country as possible.
I was surprised to hear that some of our fellow townsmen intend leaving for the South and West, in particular Hon. Mr. Rother, the butcher. I thought he intended to stay at Lincoln all his lifetime. But of all, I was surprised the most at the rumored intentions of the Dr. to join the Conscientious Chaps who would not shoulder a musket to kill rebels but would instead shoot a rabbit on Sunday. But I suppose he is seeking some advantage by it as they generally all do of that stripe. How about his favorite melodeon and music? I suppose he will be under the necessity of disposing of it by vendue. The picnic I have no doubt was poor, as usual. But what more could you expect from such a poor manager.
I would like to see Ike Hocker. What does he intend to do? No doubt go out West again.
You will see that we have changed the name of this District to a Post by orders from Department Headquarters. We have plenty of work to do in the office but we have received assistance since I wrote, having made application for Lieut. Johnston of our regiment. He came yesterday, as also Lieut. Paris of our company.
I expected to hear that George was at Philadelphia awaiting muster out of service as i had seen in the papers before we left Philadelphia that they were at Washington. Perhaps it was a mistake of the correspondent. We have no idea how soon we may be among the lucky ones (i. e.) to get our crows as the boys generally style the discharge, but I do not think it will be for some time to come—not until the rest of the troops are sent home. I will express you some of my money either tomorrow or Monday. I will send you a letter with the receipt as soon as I express it. I have not heard about J. A. Stuber for a long time. How does he behave himself just now? As also Hie Bentz? I heard that he was engaged to be married. That will be a “big thing on ice.” I did not know that he was alive anymore (i. e.) ____ as I had not heard of his whereabouts for a long time. What regiment did he belong to?
I suppose I have scribbled enough for the present as I feel dull and sleepy on account of losing so much sleep for the last four or five days. Give my respects to Father, Mother, Mary & Emma, as also all the rest of the folks around town. Good night. I beg to remain your brother, — Anthony
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY-THREE
Addressed to William Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Penna.
Headquarters Post of Pittsburg, Pa.
August 7th 1865
I have this day sent by Adams Express seventy (70) dollars to your address as you will see by the enclosed receipt. You will please have it deposited in Father’s saving bank in the Chamber for the emergency or if you or any of you can make use of it, you are perfectly welcome to it. I am perfectly well again and as busy as a bee. Have not heard anything from George for a coon’s age or more. I must close. my respects to all at home. I remain your brother, — Anthony Fraser
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY-FOUR
Addressed to William Fraser, Lincoln P. O., Lancaster county, Penna.
Headquarters Post of Pittsburg
August 15, 1865
With haste I again inform you that we were relieved this evening by two companies of the 6th Reg. U. S. V. Vols. (Hancock’s Corps).
We will leave tomorrow for Philadelphia to report to the Commanding Officer of our regiment for orders which I think will be to get ready to be mustered out—at least I hope so, I do not know when we will pass through the town of Lancaster.
Muchly yours, — Anthony