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Letter (#8) from Private Oscar Derostus Ladley, Co. E, 16th OVI (90-day),
to his mother, Catherine and sisters, Mary and Alice and friends in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Camp Philippi, (West) Virginia - June 26, 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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Camp Philippi.

June 26/61.

Dear Mother, Sisters and Friends,

It is with pleasure that I write to you and much more when I receive a letter from home. To day I have letter No. 1 before me dated June 20th. If I am not mistaken this is No. 3 but if you get more than on No. 3 it won't make much differance. You have by this time got the one I wrote a few days ago giving you some facts that have not been mentioned before. perhaps you will think that we have exadurated some in regard to some things but if you were here you would be satisfied of what I have stated. in regard to the "leather on our backs

making a set of harness", that is a little flowery, but there is too much never the less. Six or seven of the Company have been sent back to Grafton not being able to march.

I supose you have read or heard of a letter published in the Cincinnati daily Times slandering the Indiana troupes, acuseing them of cowardice, plundering &c. &c. It was said to have been written by a member of our Company (E) and I believe it was and so do all the rest of the boys. it has caused hard feelings between Ohio Volunteers and the Indiana Vols. so much so that we came near having a fight amongst our selves. they have offered a reward

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for the man who wrote the article, and they swear they will shoot him if they find out who he is. Yesterday evening an officer of one of the Indiana companies who was in the Central American war under Walker and who was there when he was shot, got drunk and rode around through the camp cursing the Ohio boys calling the[m] cowards &c. and that he could and wouuld fight any ten of them, rode up to our head quarters where some of the boys myself amongst the rest drew out a navy revolver and swore if we did not tell who wrote the piece he would shoot every one of us. none of us had any arms at the

time and could do nothing at all but take all he said. just then his Colonal came by and made him put up his pistol and go to his quarters. so ended that, but while we were out drilling, soon after some of the boys we left at the quarters to take care of things (this was at dusk) he came into our camp drew his pistol and shot twice at two of our men but did not hit any one. Lieut Wade was soon on the ground and loaded a musket and with four others of our men who were not out drilling took after him and would have killed him on the spot, but his men arrested him and put him under guard where he is a[t] present. When we came back from drill and herd what had hapened, it was as much as the officers could do to keep the men from

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going over and shooting him; since he has got sober he regrets it very much. I can't say what will be done with him. Capt. Kershner ordered us to load our guns and be ready at any moment to avenge a repatition of it. I forgot to mention in my letter that I have received your letter giving an account of the robery. I wish I had been there. I think I could have tracked the fellow or if I had seen him in the act and had my musket I think he would have stoped it or I would have droped him. the citizen were very clever to make it up. they have my sincere thanks for so doing. I am very glad the box

arived home safe. I had thought it was lost. everything is in it that I sent.

That black stuff you spoke of is soap stone. I got it in a coal mine about 3/4 of a mile under ground while at Bellair. it is what forms next to the coal seam.

I have not captured any thing as yet nor has any of our Company as we have not had a chance as yet. all the guns Milo has captured he could put in his eye. if he had he would not be alloud to keep it as it would go with the rest of the spoils and Uncle Sam would take care of them.

I have sent my vest home in a box that will be sent to Springfield and there will be a jacket and some Grafton papers along with them.

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We cannot tell when we will be home. perhaps in about four weeks but we cant tell. I have not enlisted for three years nor will more than half of the company go.

We expect to move to night or at least very soon.

Nothing more this time. write soon. My love to all.

I am affectionately

O D Ladley


Tell ann to

P.S. Give my love to Frank & Jennie and all the rest. I would [write] to them sometimes if I though[t] it would be reciprocated.


Tell those that are so anxious for us to go for three years to come and try it themselves then we will see who are the cowards.


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