11th Pa. Cavalry – Sgt. Edgar J. Pierce Writes from Hagerstown, Md. Concerning the Confederate Raid on Chambersburg, Pa. & Capturing the Invaders – “WE HAD A FREIGHT TRAIN OF 21 CARS LOADED WITH THE WRETCHES. THEY HAD STOLEN EVERYTHING YOU WILL FIND IN A COUNTRY STORE”
Edgar J. Pierce enlisted in October of 1862 as a Sergeant into Company I of the 14th Pa. Cavalry. In this 4 page letter written in pencil, he is writing his brother with a graphic description of capturing the Confederate invaders of Chambersburg.
• Dear Brother, It has been some time since I have written to you, but communications have not been the most perfect this summer, besides I have not had much leisure time & I have been soldiering this summer in the first degree. We have been up the Shenandoah Valley across the Blue Ridge to Lynchburg, back through the Shenandoah Valley to Parkersburg, back to Martinsburg, up the Valley again as far as Winchester from which place we came back in somewhat of a hump.
• WE PASSED THROUGH CHAMBERSBURG WHILE IT WAS BURNING, followed the perpetrators of the outrage and finally overtook them at Moorefield, Va., where we settled accounts with them.
• That affair was a little, the nicest thing that has occurred this summer. They had force enough to have whipped us if we had not come before breakfast. They numbered 3,000. Our force was 1,300.
• Our worn out horses and men being left behind as fast as they tired out. IT WAS SPORT TO SEE THE BEWILDERED LOOKS THE POOR D — IS WHEN WE WAKED THEM UP.
• “I wasn’t at Chambersburg,” was the cry of all of them. As fast as we overtook them, THEIR PLUNDER WAS SCATTERED ALONG THE ROAD FOR MILES. Some of the boys made a good thing of it. I did not think of the plunder until after the fight. Then it had been picked up.
• Our Regt. led the advance. Our Co. forming part of the advance guard. We picked up letters written the day before telling their friends of their summer’s work, that they had got back to Moorefield safe and would be home in a few days with new dresses and so forth.
• Poor things, twill be a long time before they see their friends or dresses either. WE HAD A FREIGHT TRAIN OF 21 CARS LOADED WITH THE WRETCHES. THEY HAD STOLEN EVERYTHING YOU WILL FIND IN A COUNTRY STORE as country advertisement read. They had silks, calico, ribbon, needles, and thread, pins, fishhooks, baby shoes, lace window curtains and hoop skirts even.
• They did not carry much of it beyond Moorefield, though we could have taken half of them prisoners if we had had men enough to guard them. I made three or four of them think of their sweet home.
• My horse was wounded in the side, the ball just clearing my leg. My little horse is almost well again now. We have been resting for a few days at this place. Expect soon to be on the move again though, perhaps before tomorrow.
• I have had no letters for a long time from anyone. Send me one please on receipt of this. I am well, but almost worn out by hard marching, fighting, and so forth. Our Capt. has not got back yet, but we expect him soon.
• I have had command of the Company since the first of July until two days ago when our orderly Sergt. came back. Excuse my writing with pencil as ink is scarce here. Accept my love, Affectionately yours, E. Pierce
Letters regarding the 1864 raid on Chambersburg, Pa. are quite scarce, and this one does not disappoint.
#L758PA.8-24-64 – Price $495