COMPANY K, 208TH REG’T. P[ENNSYLVANIA]. V[OLUNTEERS].
NEAR PETERSBURG, VA, Jan. 15th, 1865.
The grand army of the Potomac is now lying inactive in front of the rebel lines, with an occasional rumor of peace negotiations to cheer the monotonous hours of camp life. The late victories of Sherman and Thomas has given a silvery lining to the tempestuous impending clouds that hung with such threatening aspects over our martial horizon.1 Mars and his satellites now seem to be superseded by the onward march of Luna, and ere long we hope to see the olive branch gracefully playing in the breeze of tranquility. In anticipation of this result the Bedford County boys-of whom there are many in this army-will once more rejoin their friends in their old Hillside and valley homes, and return to the peaceful pursuits of life.
It will be interesting to the friends at home to learn that Company K [of the 208th Pennsylvania] (all Bedford County boys) enjoy their usual good health and buoyant spirits. Captain Weaverling and Lieutenants Bessor and Sparks are constantly exercising a vigilant and scrutinizing care for the morals, health and general welfare of the company; in consequence of this supervision have become warmly attached. The sergeants are also very attentive to every duty enjoined upon them, and are ready for any emergency that may present itself in the course of war’s vicissitudes. We all have our times of mirth and gaiety and spend these long winter evenings with as much satisfaction as is possible for men who are separated from friends and home. It is also gratifying to us to know that we are not forgotten at home, as someone is constantly in receipt of large boxes of provisions and luxuries.
We still occupy the front of Petersburg within one and a half miles of that rebellious city. Very heavy forts are situated all along both sides of the line, and makes it very difficult for any person to pass, except those who lay down their arms and come over to us “without leave of absence” from their commanders.
I will take the liberty to mention the good condition of Captain Wishart’s company, (H). They seem to feel that the war cannot be successfully prosecuted without having something to do in the matter themselves. The captain enjoys good health and feels at home in the army. More anon.
HENRY C. STAILY.2
SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Roy Gustrowsky.
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- SOPO Editor’s Note: These victories are of course Sherman’s capture of Savannah, GA on December 21, 1864, the culmination of his famous March to the Sea, and Thomas’ smashing victory over John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee at Nashville on December 15-16, 1864. ↩
- “Army Correspondence.” The Bedford Inquirer (Bedford, PA), January 27, 1865, p.2, c.5. ↩