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2nd U.S. Cav. - MOH Winner Capt. Theophilus Francis Rodenbough Writes of his Capture at Centerville - "The bullets flew around our heads thick as hail"!

Rarely do we find war-date letters from Medal of Honor winners where they describe their capture and battle action!  This letter is two pages in ink written to his mother.  At the bottom of the letter written in pencil Theophilus’s mother sends the letter to Brother Joe to read and says please return. 

It is dated September 7th, 1862 from Ebbit House, Washington D.C.  Rodenbough won the Medal of Honor for his gallantry at Trevillian Station, June 11th, 1864.

                                                                                                                                “Ebbit House Washington D.C.
                                                                                                                                                              Sept. 7th, 1862

My dear Mother,

      We have been mutually disappointed in not seeing each other before this.  I had
expected to be at home by Saturday at the latest to have given you a piece of news –
by word of mouth – that you must now hear in this way.  Know then that last Sunday
afternoon in a skirmish near Centerville I was taken prisoner by the enemy and am
now on parole.  It is probable that an exchange will be affected very soon and it is
necessary that I remain to attend to it – may however see you in another week.  I
was not injured in any way although the bullets flew around our heads thick as hail. 
I saw Parke Porter yesterday – has been made a Lt. Col. on Fitz-John Porter’s Staff.

      Very sorry to hear of Uncle Elijah’s death.  He was a good husband and father.  I
cannot write much as I am very busy this morning with some papers.

      If at any other time would like to see some of you here but Washington is in such
an unsettled state consequently as the proximity of the Rebels and withal to crowded
and uncomfortable that nothing but business could keep me here a moment – and I
trust that I will get thru with that very soon so as to see old Easton again.  Give much
love to Pa and Joe.  Hope to see them soon.

                                                                              Yours Affectly.

                                                                                                      Theoph

Address me at the

      “Ebbit House”

                  “F” Street

                              Washington D.C.


Thursday evening – You will be surprised dear Joe as we all have been to find from
Theoph letter his being a prisoner on parole which I find prevents him from taking
up arms against the enemy but leaves him free to go where he pleases which your
Father says is a relief to him as he feared he might now be encountering a battle.  I
wrote this morning begging him to write before he leaves Washington that I may
send for you as I hope mountain air will be of benefit & if you can employ your time
remain over Sunday or as long as you like only letting me know where you are.  I
feel so thankful he has been spared thru so much danger & I’m sure we should all
thank God for his deliverance.  Return this letter when you write.  I was surprised
to find Hal Michen in M Church.  Pa will write you.   
                                                                                        
With love your affectionate Mother.”

 

Rodenbough continued serving throughout the entire war earning the rank of Colonel by March of 1865 and Brigadier General by Brevt.  In addition to his being captured at Centerville, he was severely wounded in the right arm at the battle of Winchester in September of 1864 and had his arm amputated.  After the war he served in the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  The letter is in fine condition and an excellent piece for the Medal of Honor or Cavalry collector!

#L268 - Price $750 - New Price $550