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Letter (#5) from Private John F. McClelland, Co. B, 16th OVI,
to his wife, Rachel Lockhart McClelland in Millersburg, Ohio
Camp Clay, Lexington, Kentucky - January 10, 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 Camp Clay, located in Lexington, Kentucky, and where the 16th OVI and other regiments were staging for battle.

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 5 page 1
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McClelland Letter 5 page 2

Camp Clay Jan 10th 1862

Dear wife
It seems neceesary to write A few lines to you to let you know that I am well and hope that you and the we ones are enjoying the same Blessing. we have received orders to be ready to march at A moments warning. we have placed within our [????] forty rounds of Cartridges. their expecting a battle at boling green in A week or so. whether we go there or not I do not know. we will probaly be some distance from the railroad and probaly it will be harder to send you A letter as often as I have sent but you may rest asured that I will send them as often as I Can. we will have about one hundred and thirty miles to march

if we go to bowling green but we do not know where we are going but as soon as we get settled I shall write to you but write to me and direct them to where you have been and they will follow me where ever we go. I merely write to you so as that if you dont get A letter soon you need not think strange of it. I received A dollar in your last letter which will help me to lay in A stock of paper and envelops. tell [nash?] that I have not received any letters from home but I wrote one to Father and would like to have an answer. be Cheerful and do not study to much about war matters because we can neither make it better nor worse. I get to studyin how I would like to see you all and hope I shall unless God so orders it that I

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McClelland Letter 5 page 3

shal fall in the battle field but let us all look at the bright side of the picture and be prepared to take whatever Comes. I have not much to write you now. I have has A very favorable time since I Came here standing guard. I stood guard one day and one night and the remainder part of the time I was Called to act as orderly. I was orderly for the quartermaster once and the Adjutant once and once for the Colonel and it rained every day at night. I got my rest where the guards didn't. the orderly duty is to Carry Word to any person in Camp that they have business with. No More at Present. hoping that god may spare me till I get home. then I shall take pleasure in telling you about all my Travels. Write soon. John McCleland

This is the original envelope which contained the above letter sent by John McClelland to his wife, Rachel:
Envelope for McClelland Letter #5

Rachel McCleland
Holmes Co
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