25 June 1864: “I believe we shall find in the end that our re-enlistment was not legal. I do not care, anyhow.”

Item description: Letter, dated 25 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, to his wife Esther.

[Item transcription available below images.]




Item citation: From folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Saturday, June 25.

A great change has taken place on our front. Night before last the rebels moved all their cannon from our front and during the whole of yesterday nothing was visible but a strong line of skirmishers. Col. Noyes was anxious to make a charge up the mountain, but Gen. Fuller feared some trick. Some of the flanking skirmishers reported that they gained a position whence they had a view of a part of the area of the mountain, and reported the rebels as thick as flies on a sugar barrel. They had withdrawn out of sight, hoping we might make a charge, when, on account of the nature of the position, they could destroy us in detail, for we never could form till we got to the top, if we ever got there. The general impression now is that we must either flank them out or siege them out.

There is another stir in camp about the veteran business. There has been another order from the War Department on the subject, and I believe we shall find in the end that our re-enlistment was not legal. I do not care, anyhow. One thing is certain: in that case I have not much over a year to serve, as I shall never enlist for I do not think my constitution would stand it. Another thing: I am gradually getting a dislike for it and long for the comforts of home.

I have no news for today, and must close till tomorrow. Give my love to the children, and when you write, send me all the news. Two or three letters back, I asked you to send me a little money in 10c shinplasters. Don’t know whether you received it.

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