107th Illinois – Letter by Elias Brady – Subject: Chasing Rebel Raider John H. Morgan – “WE SENT THEM BACK THE ROAD THEY CAME WITH SHELLS AND GRAPE SHOT FOLLOWING AFTER THEM”
This 2-page letter in ink was written November 18th, 1862. Elias Brady, a resident of Monticello, Illinois, was mustered into Company E of the 107th IL. Infantry on September 5th, 1862. On September 30th, they headed out on their first assignment: Stop John Hunt Morgan.
Here is the content of that letter Elias writes to his wife:
• “We are in camp at a place called Laurel Hill, 8 miles from Silver Spring. Our brigade is camping here alone. What they sent us here for I do not know. We are troubled very much with the enemy here. Our pickets are fighting all the time. We are called in line of battle every once and a while but we do not get to fight any. We have to sleep on our arms every night.”
• “IT IS MORGAN’S BAND THAT IS TROUBLING US. HIS FORCES IS ABOUT 15 HUNDRED. WE CAN WHIP HIM IF HE DOES NOT TAKE US ON SURPRISE. I THINK THAT IS THE REASON WHY WE HAVE TO SLEEP ON OUR ARMS. IT IS HIS INTENTION TO CATCH US SLEEPING, BUT I THINK IT IS NO USE FOR HIM TO UNDERTAKE TO PLAY THAT GAME.”
• “It is rainy bad weather at this time. It is the first time we have been bothered with bad weather for a long time. The mail came in about dark last night. It was the first mail that we have got for three weeks. The mail is going out at 8 o’clock this morning. It is just 5 o’clock now and I am writing by the light of the fire.”
• “I expect you cannot read this very well. I received five letters last night, two from you and one from Pap, and one from Adaline, one from William Lee. I must drop my letter and run and get a gun. The pickets are firing in every direction.”
• “WE HAVE HAD QUITE AN ENGAGEMENT WITH THE DARNED REBELS. THEY MADE A DASH ON US WITH THEIR CAVALRY. AFTER FIGHTING FOR NEARLY HALF AN HOUR, WE SENT THEM BACK THE ROAD THEY CAME WITH SHELLS AND GRAPE SHOT FOLLOWING AFTER THEM.”
• “I am considerable excited so that I can hardly write. It does not scare me to get in an engagement with the cursed Rebels, but I cannot keep from getting excited a little.”
• “The rest of the boys is standing in line of battle, yet I am not compelled to take a gun and fight, although I took one of the sick men’s guns and went out this morning. I must bring my letter to a close as it is getting late and the mail goes out at 8 o’clock.”
• “I will just say that the firing has commenced again. They are throwing shells at us, and we are returning the same. I want you to write often. I will write as soon as I can and give you the particulars of our present trouble. Write soon. No more at present from your husband. Elias Brady”
Condition is fine with minor ink stains. Left edge is uneven. A good letter for the Illinois or Morgan collector. Poor Elias mentions that he was “considerable excited”. Records show that he died a year and a half later!
#L736IL.11.15.62 – Price $195