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Letter (#14) from Private John F McClelland, Co. B, 16th OVI,
to his wife, Rachel Lockhart McClelland in Millersburg, Ohio
Encampment on the Cumberland River, Kentucky - April 25, 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 2 page 1
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McClelland Letter 2 page 2

April 25th 1862
The same old camp
Dear wife I set down to write you a few lines this morning to let you know that I am well and in good hart. it is very pleasant forme to sent you such muse and it is no less pleasant to recieve such muse from you. nothing of importance has occured since I last rote you. we run out of provitions. the waters over flowed the road and we was like Mrs Canida when she got her hed fast under the flore in a bad fix. we sholdered our knapsacks and we set out for flat lick a distens of five mile but returned with out a cracker.

So you know wether we were mad or not. if you dont I do. Well I must tell you that our colonel has been promoted to Gen and has chosen me for a dispatch courier but I suppose I can sleep with the boys and eat with them and I dont know wheather I will have to give up my gun or not but I will do the best I can. I will have a great deal to do. I will write to you as often as I can. I am looking for a letter evry day. our forces are moving up as fast as posible. I am still of the opinion that we will do something after while. I have resieved no paper yet. write soon. I remain your affectinate husband John McClelland. I can read your letters in my head.

Note: The Colonel of the 16th Ohio at the time of this letter was John F Decourcy. As of 9/24/11 no record of such a promotion has been found, however, some anecdotal evidence exists indicating Decourcy was brevetted a General but that formal promotion did not follow.

The following was added by Josiah Martin, a fellow private in Company B and friend of John McClelland:

I am in good health and all the rest of the boys. tell our folks I have been looking for a letter from them for some time and have got no answer yet. that is all at present J. Martin

This is the original envelope which contained the above letter sent by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel - postmarked Barboursville, Ky, April 29, 1862:
Envelope for McClelland Letter #14

Mrs Rachel McCleland
Holmes County
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