• PA Militia Invade Virginia; Master Claims His Slave; 60 Rebels Killed

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    Private IRA F. GENSEL of Doylestown, PA, enlisted on April 28, 1861 as a Private and was mustered in to Co. I, 25th Penn. Vols., [2nd Lt. 4th United States Regular Infantry. He was wounded at Fredricksburg, Va and died of wounds on 12/28/62].  He writes a superb and beautifully penned 4 pp, 7 ¾ x 10, letter to his friend Miss Annie E. Robinson of Rock Island, Ill, from Camp Monocacy on the Banks of the Potomac. Original stamped cover included.

     

    In part: "…We took up our line of march and reached this camp about 6 P. M. The country through which we passed is well cultivated and the farmers are busily engaged making hay and harvesting. The crops in this part of Maryland, I am told, are remarkably good…We saw one or two American flags which were heartily cheered by our boys. At one farm house an old farmer came out to see us. He told us that he could procure no flag…that his heart was with us and that he would do the best he could for us if we would halt. The command was given and his slaves were sent into bring us provisions which consisted of pies, cakes, milk etc…before marching on the band played several tunes and the old farmer proposed three cheers for the Union. May he live to see all our National difficulties settled and peace restored to our land…Before we started the master of our slave came after him. The poor fell was ready and willing to do anything we desired…and we were sorry to see him go. His master professed to be a Union man…The Secessionists here are bold and imprudent and don't appear to care much for us soldiers. The regiment encamped here before we came and which started for Harpers Ferry…killed about 60 of the rebels…a few days ago…I went down to the river and on the opposite shore I saw their picket guard parading…A secret expedition is getting ready to start out and prevent a surprise of our camp. The Capt. [William Watts Hart Davis, colonel 104th Penn. and brevet brigadier general] is the officer of the guard tonight and is away attending to his duties and left me alone in his markee. I cant sleep. I have laid down and tried but there is no use…[Jul 3d, 1861]…all quiet in camp. We march this afternoon to Point of Rocks from there we expect to go to Harpers Ferry when we will invade Virginia. Stirring times are ahead for us. The Rebels must now either run or fight…Ira F. Gensel…".

     

    Folds, expected light toning. Else excellent condition.

     

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