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Letter (#4) from Private Oscar Derostus Ladley, Co. E, 16th OVI (90-day),
to his mother, Catherine and sisters, Mary and Alice, in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Fairmont, (West) Virginia - May 29, 1861
Web Author's Notes:
This letter was written from or near Fairmont, Virginia (now West Virginia) after the 16th Ohio had been deployed, being the first Federal regiment to cross into Confederate territory.

Images of this letter courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University.

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Fairmount, Va.

May 29th / 61.

Dear Mother and Sisters


are now in the enemies country and secessionists are all running. This part of Va. is pretty much all union but they have no arms and cannot do any thing to defend themselves. I never saw people so glad to see any one as the Virginians were to see us soldiers. they are furnishing us with all the provisions that we use all ready cooked. Yesterday we had a forced march of fourteen miles from Mannington along the Balimore & Ohio R.R. where two bridges were burnt

night before last. we are now guarding a long R.R. bridge over the Monongahala river. There were thirteen hundred Secessionsists at Graftion about twenty miles from here but we heard this morning that they had left but we cannot tell where they are.

James Swope and I boxed up our things at Bellair and sent them home in care of John Lawrance. this may reach you before the box does so that you can look out for it. We have picket guards stationed for about two miles around on the hills and there are scouts out also.

We all laid on our arms last night on the side of a hill near the bridge, and

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it rained all night. there were none of us asleep as we expected an attack and wanted to be ready for them. I have not slept any for two nights and am very tired and sleepy.

The people here tell us that they would have been attacked if we had not come.

I supose the paper have stated where we are.

This is the first chance I have had of writing to you but I hope not the last. While I am writing the men and women are coming in to our camp. we are honored like lords, and shown as much respect as any one could wish.

In closed I send you a proclamation of Gen. McClellan to the

soldiers and also to the citizens of Western Va. There are troupes coming in all the time which makes it safer for us. There are very few sick in the Regiment at present.

I have only received two letters from you since I left home. There has been no mail in this part of the country for several days as no trains have been running in this road. The secessionists have had us in their controll.

I must stop for my paper is running short. Remember me to all my friends.

Give my love to Anne and those that you think best.

Nothing more this time but am affectionately your son O. D. Ladley.

envelope that contained above letter
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