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Letter (#6) from Private Oscar Derostus Ladley, Co. E, 16th OVI (90-day),
to his mother, Catherine and sisters, Mary and Alice, in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Philippi, (West) Virginia - June 15, 1861
Web Author's Notes:
This letter was written from Philippi, (West) Virginia, where the 16th Ohio had participated in one of the first engagements of the Civil War at the Battle of Philippi, on June 3, 1861.

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

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Philippi, Va. June 15, 1861.

Dear Mother and Sisters

I have been looking for a letter

from you for a long time. I have received but one since I came into this state and that was forwared from Bellair. I have written several to you but you may not have received all of them. there are a great many letters come into camp but none for me. You must know that our advantages for writing is very poor and we have very little time to write as there is a great deal of guard duty to be performed here, and as we are the best drilled company on the ground and of course we have the work to do. we have been the advanced guard so far with one of the Virginia companies under Capt. Fordice who led the advance when the attack was made on this place. he is a regular dare-devil, and cares for nothing. He was by the side of Col. Kelly when he was shot, and he with him me[n] arrested Simms the assassin. I supose you have read of the particulars of the skirmish. Last week myself and D. Laurance guards Simms and the Negro who killed one of his own color at the time, they both wicked looking fellows. they were shiped to Wheeling a few days ago. Last night about three o'clock we were aroused from our slumber by the cry to arms as the Picketts guards had fired

their guns and run in to camp reporting that we were about to be attacked from all sides by a superior force of Rebbels. we were under arms and ready in about five or ten minutes after the alarm was given. our company with 300 Indiana troupes were posted at the bridge that was occupied by the secessionists when they were here. we remained under arms until daylight and not hearing any further alarm we went back to quarters. We think there is no fears of them coming back. it would look more like them to see them making tracks the other way. This is the fourth time that we have been called out , and every time we expected a fight. Our company has held the post of honor all the way into this state so far and have been doing double our share of duty since coming here. I would like very much to hear from you oftener than I have. if we were settled I could write more frequent than I have. I heard through one of the boys that our house had been broken in to. There was no particulars about it and I did not know what to make of it. let me know the particulars. The boys are all well. Conklin is a little unwell to day. We have just got orders to move over the river this afternoon. Nothing more to day. Write soon and a good long one. Give my love to all.

P.S. Our food part of the time is past eating and we go half starved. It is no wonder that the men are so reluctant to enlist for three years. I would not go for any thing if I had to live as we do. I must close.

Remember me to all.

Your affectionately O. D. Ladley.

P.S. Tell an to write as she promised too.

Direct to Grafton Taylor Co.

Care of Capt Kershner Comp E 16th Reg.

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