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Letter (#18) from Private John F. McClelland, Co. B, 16th OVI,
to his wife, Rachel Lockhart McClelland in Millersburg, Ohio
Cumberland Ford, Kentucky - June 5, 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 date on the envelope is June 5 (1862) so the letter is believed to have been written on June 5 or a few days earlier, while the 16th OVI was massing troops around the Cumberland Gap area, awaiting the assault and taking of The Gap from the Confederates. Bob and Judi believe the letter also included two maps of the Cumberland Gap area as drawn by William Buchanan, a sergeant in the Company and apparent friend of McClelland's.

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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Cumberland Ford Jun 1 1862

Dear Wife I take this opurtunity to inform you that i am well. I received your letter with [?] and [?] in it. I was very glad to learn that you was all well. You beter imagine than i can discribe it to you. i am geting along very well for grub. Since we left the Reigment you complaind a little abought
the lenth of my letters, but I can not help it. I will rite them as long as i dare under present circumstances. I have a goodeal to do both night and day by times. I must tell you something

abought the scout we had. one morning the general informed me that (?) i must b mounted at 4 oclock to go with him on a scout. a(t) the time mentioned he (and) 6 officers and I started ought and you better think it was the greatest ride i ever hade. We went five miles towards the gap and then turned to the
left. we pushed on towards the cumberland mountains under full galop. my horse was so hard in the mouth that I nearly cut my hand off holding him. We wrode on till we came to a [?] house. when wee came up to the house wee jumpt-off and sirounded it. and what do you think wee
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captured. nothing but a Kitten. the General keeps it in his tent now. But i must tell you where i go
for milk. I go 5 miles towards the gap every evening. And some-times the [?] comes ought to our pickets. and i go be-yond the pickets abought a mile and while the woman is milking i generly sit on
my horse. sometimes i get get off. But i hardly ever rest-easy when i am on the ground. But enough of thiss I sent you 5 dollars in the last letter i wrote to you. I hope you will write as soon as you get it. I want to know how soon you think this war will be over.

I have nothing more to write of importance, without telling you things that is to teadious(?). Now write soon and often. I sill Remain

Your Afctionate


John McClenand

This is the original envelope which contained the above letter sent by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel:
Envelope for McClelland Letter #18

Flat Lick Ky
Jun 5, 1862

Mrs. Rachel McClellan
Holmes County

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