In Camp on Loudoun Heights
2 miles from Harper’s Ferry, Va.
October 10th 1862
I will now try to write a few lines to let you know that I am still alive and well—no, not quite well, for my side is some sore yet but it is better than I expected it would be at this time when it was hurt.
It is quite warm here. We are on a mountain and a tall one it is too. Harper’s Ferry is at the foot of it. I can look down on the village and the men look like children. I went out on a scouting party night before last and we took one prisoner and got a sight at some more but we couldn’t catch them as they were cavalry.
We were paid this forenoon. We got $52—that is 4 months pay. The regiment was paid once while I was in Baltimore Hospital. Lieutenant H[iram] L. Blodgett drew my pay and he was sent to the Hospital in Washington before I got to the regiment so he has got 26 dollars of my money when I see him and he is on his way here.
Mother, I was owing a great deal but have paid my debts and have 20 dollars left. This I would send to you but I fear that I need it as bad as you do. As soon as the Lieutenant comes, I will send you 25 dollars. If you want this that I have now, you can have it. Mother, I have a fear that this is the last pay day for the Old 111th that I shall be present at. I don’t know why but I feel so.
Mother, you keep asking me where Sol is. I have tried to save you the shame and mortification of knowing that you was related to the most detestable of beings—a DESERTER. He deserted in the face of the enemy just before the Battle of Slaughter Mountain [on 9 August 1862]. If he shall come home, get him to go to Canada for he will be shot as he deserves if he is caught.
There is no more to write that I can think of at present. I should not have told you about Sol if you had not asked me so many times.
My side is getting better all the time. Mother, you must write oftener and do not wait for me to write. The 145th P. V. is right yet. I believe Jim has not come yet. I can look down on them from where I sit. I can see a little village 70 miles away—a good view is it not? Goodbye mother, — E. M. Whipple
Direct to the 2nd Brigade and 2nd Division. I had a letter from John Mustart a few days ago. I will send his letter to you.
[enclosed John Mustart Letter]
September 21st 1862
I take the opportunity as it is Sunday of answering your kind letter. I would have answered it long before this time but we had so much marching to do lately I could not do anything. I left home on the 1st of August with the Athens Company. We joined the 141st [Pennsylvania Volunteers] under Col. [Henry J.] Madill “Robinson’s Brigade,” Hentzleman’s Corp.” I have a great notion that I will see you before long. I hain’t had a letter since I left home. I think my father & brothers are in the army too so both our homes are stripped. But dear Edwin, God knows it is necessary or it would not be so.
If you ever go home, you must go and see my folks. You have only to tell your name and you are at home for I have prepared the way.
We have a very good company & officers. Our guns are the Austrian Rifle. They ain’t as good guns as our last. I saw by the Baltimore Clipper your regiment was at the Battle of Slaughter Mountain. I expect we are marching towards Harpers Ferry but I could not tell for certain to reinforce Gen. Banks. We expect to have a rip at them very soon. General Sigel is in their rear. We will give them fits this time.
I think that is all I have got to say at present. I was sorry to know that you had been sick for I know how to pity a man that is sick around camp.
Ever your affectionate friend, — John Mustart
Care of Capt. Reaves
Co. E, 141st Regt. Pa. Vol.
Washington D. C.
Our position now is right between Fort Scott & Fort Albany. Please write as soon as convenient. J. Mustart
My mother got your letter & read it. It were sent to Athens & she sent it here. — J. M.
¹ John Mustart (1843-1863) was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1857. He enlisted in the 23rd Illinois (Mulligan’s Irish Brigade) early in the war with Edwin and was wounded and taken prisoner in the First Battle of Lexington (Missouri). Once paroled, he returned to Athens, Pennsylvania, where he enlisted in Co. E, 141st Pennsylvania Volunteers in August 1862. He entered as a private and rose to the rank of First Sergeant. He was wounded in the arm and chest and left on the field at the Battle of Chancellorsville on 3 May 1863. Paroled by the Confederates who controlled the field after the battle, Sgt. Mustart was sent to Washington D. C. where he died on 23 May 1863.