Writing From Embattled Winchester, Va. Dec. 29th, 1862, Joseph W. Brownlee Co. C 22nd PA. Cav. writes home on the leaf of an old blank book made in 1786!
Winchester, Va. is the town that changed hands as many as 72 times during the course of the war, 13 times in one day! Brownlee and the men of the 22nd PA. Cavalry had left all their things in Romney… which now the Confederates occupied.

“You will see that I have to tear a leaf of an old blank book made in 1786.” – This paper is almost like a parchment that he is writing on there is some staining and he writes in pencil… but the letter has a great look to it, showing that soldiers had to use whatever they could find to write on.

“We are encamped in the outskirts of the town in some lots without any covering, but one blanket and the canopy of heaven. Some of us pull boards off the fences to protect us from the damp ground. The enemy drove in our pickets night before last, but were driven back with small loss, no loss on our side. I stood picket one night on the old battlefield of Jackson and Banks when the latter was forced to retreat back to Washington City. Shells and ball are to be seen lying around on the ground, and the graves of our brave soldiers mark the place.”

“There is some fever and a good deal of small pox in the town, so that we keep pretty close to camp. From this place we can see the Blue Ridge Mts. 30 miles off. The range is distinctly visible for about 10 miles. The gap at Harper’s Ferry can be seen; Snicker’s Gap, where there was a hard fight and which the Rebels still hold. Berry’s Gap and London Gap are also to be seen.”

Brownlee then tells a little about the inhabitants of Winchester, “I would think the people of this town must be in a starving condition. Everything is very scarce and dear. Eggs are 50 cents per dozen. Butter $1.50 per pound, flour 25 to 30 cents, coffee and sugar could not be obtained before we came here. We could almost get a meal’s victuals with our spoonful of coffee.”

A letter with lots of character from one of the Civil War’s most interesting cities.

#L465PA - Price $135