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Letter (#11) from Private John F McClelland, Co. B, 16th OVI,
to his wife, Rachel Lockhart McClelland in Millersburg, Ohio
Encampment on the Cumberland River, Kentucky - March 6, 1862
Web Author's Notes:
Images of the following letter were provided by Bob and Judi Hill. They were found in a box of papers owned by Judi's mother. The letter is from Judi's ancestor, John F McClelland, a private in Company B of the 16th OVI, to his wife, Rachel Lockhart of Millersburg, Ohio. The letter was written from an encampment on the Cumberland River, just west of the Cumberland Gap, where the 16th OVI, along with other Union forces, were staged, ready to assault and take The Gap.

Additional history tells us the letter's author, sadly, was later captured during subsequent action at Cumberland Gap and died of disease on September 20, 1862, probably as a Confederate prisoner.

Below the images of the letter is my attempt at transcription to the best of my ability.

Thanks to Bob and Judi Hill 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 11 page 1
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McClelland Letter 11 page 2

Camp Cumberland Mar 6th 62
Dear Wife:

I attempt to write a few words to you and to let you know that I am well and that we have moved up the Cumberland river a few miles from the place where I wrote you the last letter. we cross the river where we now are camped. I calculated when I wrote the last letter that we would be in a battle before you would here from me again but circumstances very often alter (?) but after we crossed the river it rained and raised the river. the general ordered the regiments on the other side of the river to cross. they commenced crossing early in the

morning but the river raised so fast they had to stop and go back to their camp and during this delay the rebels was rapidly reinforcing the gap. they were only fifteen hundred at firs and now they are about nine thousand. It is a poor [cerin?] to live in. write to me and let me know whether if the war continues till (?) whether you want me to pay you a visit or not before it over. I have said I would not like to travel the same road over again. if we get to Knoxville there will be some chance of going another (?). Josiah Martin has got the measles. he was very sick a few days but the doctor says he is doing fine now.

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McClelland Letter 11 page 3
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McClelland Letter 11 page 4

write and let me know whether you take the paper or not. I have faith to believe that we shal some day meet on earth again. we have had two buriings this week. one died sudenly and the other was shot accidently. life is uncertain but death is very certain. I hope that your prayers will be answerd in our behalf. write to me often for there is no letter does me so much good as one from you. tell the little to be good and if pa gets home he will have a big time of it. nothing more at present. I remain your affectionate husband

John McClelland

I sent you thirty dollars by express and you can get it at the bank of Millersburg if it does not get misscaried. it was some risk to send it but I thought that you would need it and therefor I sent it to you and you can use it is best. yours truly

John McClelland

This is the original envelope which contained the above letter sent by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel:
Envelope for McClelland Letter #11

Mrs. Rachel McClelland
Holmes Co
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