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Letter (#10) from Private John F McClelland, Co. B, 16th OVI,
to his wife, Rachel Lockhart McClelland in Millersburg, Ohio
Encampment on the Cumberland River, Kentucky - February 25, 1862
Web Author's Notes:
Images of the following letter were provided by Valerie Davison, great great granddaughter of John McClelland. The letter was written by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel, from an encampment on the Cumberland River in Kentucky. The 16th OVI was preparing to assault and take control of the Rebel held Cumberland Gap.The letter was addressed in care of Mrs. A. Lockhart, believed to be the mother of John McClelland's wife, Rachel. The letter also contains a brief entry by another soldier, Josiah Martin, who was asking Rachel to forward money he sent to an individual at home. Josiah was also a Private in Company B.

Additional history tells us the letter's author, sadly, was later captured during action at Cumberland Gap and died of disease on September 20, 1862, probably as a Confederate prisoner. Below the images of the letter are transcriptions made by the donor, Valerie Davison. Thanks to Valerie for sharing these precious artifacts from the colorful and poignant history of the 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the American Civil War.

Please note the contrast of the letter images has been enhanced to make them more readable. Spelling is transcribed as near as possible to match the original author's and end of sentence periods were added, when necessary, to make reading easier.

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McClelland Letter 10 page 1
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McClelland Letter 10 page 2

February 25th 1862
Cumberland River
Dear Wife:

I take this as an other opertunity of writing you a few lines to let you that I am well and all the rest of our accuaintence that are hear we are still on this side of the gap where we were when I rote to you before. Thear was awful high waters hear Saturday night and Sonday. Our camp is situated in a flat some distance of 150 yds from the River and between the camp and the river thare is a considerable rase with a flat all around it. Well now I am going to tell you what a time we had Saturday night. It rained all day Saturday and the river raised fast all day.

Night came and we went to bed as usual about 11 oclock we were aroused by the cries the water is in our tents it was not long till we ware out of our tent it being considerable hier then some of the rest we stood and watched the rest move thear tent but it was not long till we had to pullstakes to we hadent got it toren down and pitched again on higher ground till the water was over the spot whar it stood but I must stop this story for this time we drawed our money to day I drawed $47.20 and I send to you thirty dollars. The boys of our tent are putting thear in a package and sending it to the millers burg bank the pay master caries it to the first Express offace and then it will go threw by Express

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McClelland Letter 10 page 3
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McClelland Letter 10 page 4

your name is among the names on the package and the amount you will draw out of it I want you to use as mutch of this money as will make you comfortable and save the balance for fear something happens me that I might need it we will start for the gap to morrow and will probily have a battle in a few days if I survive it I shal write to you a gain if not I hope that god will bless you all write me soon after you resieve this money and let me know all about maters and things let me know who is going to farm for you if Alabers had to pay for that cow it will be well to give him some of the money write a letter to Joseph and give him my best respects

and all in quiring friends be carful and not let evry body know a bout you drawing money for I live to get home I shall pay all my little dets kiss the little girls for me Now more at present I remain honest and trew husband John McCleland.

Rachel as John did leave a spase in the sheet I want to say a few words I send $10 to Henry Johnston and I want you to let him know and tell him to make the best use of it he can and keep an account of what he spends and what he spends it for and oblige me

Josiah Martin

Direct to London
Laurel Co

This is the original envelope which contained the above letter sent by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel:
Envelope for McClelland Letter #10

In care of Mrs. A. Lockhart

Flat Lick
Ky (28?)

Mrs. Rachel McCland
Holms Co. Ohio

Post hast

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