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    Civil War Archive of Letters of Thomas N. Ghormley, 81st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. A group of eight letters from Thomas N. Ghormley (1838-1864) of the 81st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and one from his cousin, William Wilberforce Dickey (1838-1910) of the 20th Ohio Infantry Regiment. The letters date from December 31, 1862 to March 23, 1864 and include letters to his parents and siblings in Greenfield, Ohio. The original transmittal envelope accompanies each letter. Ghormley mustered into service as a private on August 15, 1862 in Company I. The letters record camp events, the state of rations, his health, and the Copperhead faction.

    On July 8, 1863 he writes to his father, William, about Grant's capture of Vicksburg and Lee's defeat at Gettysburg. It reads in part: "...the news came to us by telegraph that Vicksburg was surrendered to Grant on the fourth of July also...had taken twelve hundred prisoners besides many killed and wounded; and on yesterday we had the same news...that our forces had captured part of Lee's army in Pennsylvania. The news at the present is very encouraging as far as we have it here. I think General Lees Raid into Pennsylvania will have a good affect on our Government and on the Copperheadism of the North. If the Copperheads of the north have no regard for God or their fellow men, when it comes to having their own property destroyed and their own lives endangered it will bring them to their feelings and if it does nothing more it will calm them down for the present. And if Vicksburg has fallen into our hands with 25,000 prisoners it will rather have a cooling influence on them..."

    By December 21, 1863, he writes to his mother, Hannah, to reflect on the past year. "...One year ago we was stationed at Corinth. Many changes have taken place since that time. Many bloody battles and decisive ones have been fought since that time. Many have been called to their long homes. But we are still spared. The living monuments to God's mercy..." In February 3, 1864 Ghormley's cousin, William Dickey, writes to his uncle from Vicksburg about Sherman's arrival in camp. "...Our division have orders to march in an hour, or as soon as the road is clear of troops. Sherman passed this morning and I suppose he will command the expedition. Where we are going the wisest of us (privates) cannot tell; some say Mobile, some Atlanta. It is not the practice of Western Generals when they are going to make a raid, or go on an expedition to tell the boys what rebel works we are going to assault or to publish in our Northern papers their plans as to show when and where they intend to strike, and the results is the rebs never know when, and where to look for us, are not prepared to fight much less to make a successful retreat, subsequently they almost invariably suffer a defeat and the capture of part of their army..." Dickey would be part of the Atlanta campaign and fight in the Battle of Atlanta.

    The final letter from Ghormley dates from March 23, 1864 where he writes to his sister about breaking in a horse for a Doctor Bennette. The History of the Eighty-First Regiment Ohio Infantry Volunteers: During the War of the Rebellion by William Henry Chamberlin mistakenly lists Ghormley's death on March 9, 1864, however he died of disease on November 9, 1864 in Greenfield, Ohio at the age of 25 or 26. William Dickey mustered out December 17, 1864. All items are stored in a three-ring binder.

    Condition: Lightly soiled and toned. Smoothed folds.


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