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Letter (#9) from Private Oscar Derostus Ladley, Co. E, 16th OVI (90-day),
to his mother, Catherine and sisters, Mary and Alice in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Camp Belington, Laurel Hill, Virginia - July 16, 1861
Web Author's Notes:
This letter was written from Camp Belington, near Belington, (West) Virginia, where the 16th Ohio was stationed for a time during the various maneuvers of Union General George McClellan and Confederate General Robert Garnett as they each attempted to secure control of western Virginia (soon after West Virginia). The 16th Ohio participated in several of the associated battles of Laurel Hill (July 8 - 11), Rich Mountain (July 11) and Corrick's Ford (July 13), the latter at which Confederate General Garnett became the first general officer killed during the Civil War.

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

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(Laurel Hill) Va

Camp Bealington

July 16, 1861.

Dear Mother & Sisters,

Last night

we returned here tired hungry and sleepy from Cheet Mountains where we have been chasing the rebbles. They left their camp and fortifications on last Thursday night with all their baggage. On friday night we had orders to prepare one days rations and march. we did so and started after them quick time. we followed that night until 12 o'clock and then lay down on the wet ground to sleep and rest, and there it commenced raining very hard. at daylight we put after them again. here they left the main road to elude us, but

they were not quite sharp enough for us. we got scent of them and gave chase. The rain now falling in torrents, as it had been all morning. about 9 a.m. we could see signs of fatigue every once in a while. we would see Knapsacks and blankets and all such stuf laying by the side of the road. In about an hour more they begun to throw things of more weight such as cotts, tents, trunks, letters, mess boxes, camp chests, and such like. in going up a long hill we found a large six horse wagon upset. it had been loaded with corn. we found several wagons broken down. At noon the advanced guard of the 14th Regt OVM came up with the enemy. Two Regts of

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Georgia troupes were drawn up in line of battle on the right bank of Cheet river. They had an iron six pounder unlimbered for action. our boys came on to them before they could see any signs of any thing, but when we got in range of their guns, they let [?????] at us with lead and iron hail killing two men and mortaly wounding two more. there were several slightly hurt. about as soon as they fired they all took to their heels. Gen Garnet was shot trying to rally his men but they were too badly scared to fight. I seen their dead and wounded after the fight. they were a horible sight to look at. all most all were shot through the head. their firing was all to high to hurt any one. We captured

about 60 wagons and a great deal of valuble property and took about 30 prisoners, mostly from Georgia.

We have marched in the three days that we were out about about 80 miles with onley one days provisions, but that is nothing when one is used to it. I could have got any number of muskets if I could have carried them. I have a bayonet scabbard and a few other little traps that I picked up on the battle field. If you get Frank Sislies paper you can see some scenes that I have been in. I picked up a cap that was on the head of one of the Georgians that was killed. the ball went through the cap in to his head.

A great many of the boys are going around with secessionists uniforms on.

I believe there is nothing more this time. Give my love to all.

Write soon!

I remain affectionately

O. D. Ladley.

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