Harpers Ferry, [Virginia]
Friday, October 3, 1862
Dear Sister and more,
I take my pen in hand to inform you of my health which is good at present, hoping these few lines will find you the same. I left the hospital so I thought that I would write you a line to see if you was alive and how you got along and the rest of your folks. I got a letter from Ellen [on] Tuesday. They was all well when she wrote. I have gotten 3 letters from her since I come from home. I don’t think she writes much for I have wrote about 18 since I come back. I had one from ____ since I come back. Phebe, where and how is Ed? Tell me when you write. I have written to him [and want to ] hear from him. You must write and let me know where he is and how to he gets along.
I had a good time at home. I wished you was there but you weren’t there so I had to do without you. I would like to come up there but I could not. But if I get home again, I shall come.
I had another letter from Ellen tonight. They are all well. Cal’s folks had gone up to Jamestown to see the soldiers start from there. He said he wanted to see how so many men did look. If he wants to see men for there is lots of them. I see more dead men than he will see there. After the Battle of the 17th [Battle of Antietam], there [was] lots of them. I counted one pile that had 56 in and the pile lay all over the ground just so. They was Rebs. Our men was buried before I saw them. I was most with doctors [?] so I wasn’t in the fight. I was with them a month now. I am back for the company just lays here about sick. I don’t know but he is going to be sick again but I hope not. I am tuff and hearty and feel thankful for it. I never was more tuff in my life than I am at the present time. Ain’t that a blessing to me and the rest of your folks. I think it is, don’t you Phebe?
I would like to see you and have a good time and I think I shall sometime. Phebe, we had a hard fight in Maryland. I presume you have read all about [it]. We had the pleasure of having a call from Old Abe and Little McClellan yesterday. Old Abe looked like a shark more than like a man. Mc[Clellan] is the one that looks the best to us. The boys like to see him. He looks good to them. ¹
Well Phebe, I don’t know as I have any more to write at present. Write soon. Direct to Washington D. C.
So goodbye for the present. This from your brother and ever true friend, — Wiley Lafferty
to his sister Phebe B. Edy
Give my respects to all and if you hear from John, tell him to write to me and I will answer it when I know where to write.
My pen is poor
My ink is pale
My appetite does never fail.
¹ According to the Lincoln Log, on 2 October 1862, Lincoln did pass through Harpers Ferry. “In morning, the President and Gen. Sumner reviewed the troops at Loudoun Heights and Maryland Heights. The President left Harper’s Ferry at noon and arrived at the headquarters of the Army of Potomac too late in the day to review the troops. He occupied a tent for night next to Gen. McClellan’s headquarters.