This letter was written by Norman Oman Kline (1840-1916), the son of W. Abram Kline (1812-1875) and Rebecca Oman (1815-1889) of Greenwood, Columbia county, Pennsylvania. Norman enlisted as a private in January 1862 in the 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery and served with Co. F, “Provisional Heavies” during the Overland Campaign in 1864. He was promoted to corporal in January 1865 and mustered out with the battery in January 1866.
Norman wrote the letter to Iram Benton (“Bent”) Ikeler (1844-1916), the son of Johnson H. Ikeler (1813-1889) and Maria Lemon (1814-1887) of Greenwood, Columbia county, Pennsylvania.
Addressed to Mr. Benton Ikler, Millville, Columbia county, Penn.
Postmarked Old Point Comfort, Va.
February 7th 1865
As Jake Latshaw ¹ and I are a sitting in our little shelter tents a talking about some of the Greenwood boys, amongst the rest your name was brought up so we thought we would write. Jake is going to write to Al Haycock and I am going to scribble to you.
We are all well and in good spirits. Everything is quiet along our lines. Last night there was a flag of truce went from our side over to the johnnies. The johnnies got up on their works and swung their hats and yelled like all forty.
There is a great talk about peace here. I am afraid it is all talk and no peace at last. If it should happen to come, there will be a big time in Virginia. Our company is in a little redoubt betwixt the main line of works and the picket line. We have good times. We come on guard every four or five days. Our pickets and the johnnies meets halfway betwixt the picket lines and trade. Our pickets trades coffee and sugar for tobacco.
We have had nice weather here for the last week back. Last night it commenced raining and it is at it yet.
Well, Bent, I expect you have plenty of snow up in Greenwood. I expect you make good use of it too. I did think I would get a furlough this winter but it is played out. I will have to bring my scribbling to a close hoping these few lines will find you as they leave me.
From your friend, — N. O. Kline
To Benton Ikler
Direct [to] Battery F, 2nd P. V. Artillery, 24th Army Corps, Washington D. C.
¹ Jacob (“Jake”) Peter Latshaw (1844-1917) enlisted at the age of 20 on 31 March 1864 at Troy, Pennsylvania, to serve in Co. F, 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Arillery (112th Penn. Vols). He was assigned to the “Provisional Heavies” and served with them throughout the Overland Campaign in 1864.