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    [Battle of Gettysburg] and [Marcus Reno]. A Letter From Reno's New Sister-in-Law Describing Reno's Wedding and the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. Six pages, 5.25" x 8". No place, but likely Harrisburg; July 6, 1863. Letter is unsigned, but based on the content, it was likely written by a sister of Reno's new bride, Mary Hannah Ross. In part: "...I suppose long before this you heard of the invasion of Pennsylvania...! What a daring set they are. We have just returned from New York where we had been for a week expecting to hear every day that they were in Harrisburg just to think of the horned, hatful things (I cant call them anything else) being in Harrisburg...makes me sick. We went to N. Y. twice on account of them and I hope will not go again. I must of course tell you about Hanna's wedding. It was to be on September 2nd in the evening at 8 o'clock p. m. A very large one too as three hundred people [were] expected but that was all knocked in the head by these darned Rebs so they made it earlier and fixed the day for first of Jul. They were to have a very quiet wedding, only a few people invited. Everything was [?] at Felix's for Wednesday the first when on the Sunday before the Rebels were at Shiremanstown (only 4 miles) from Harrisburg and a battle expected hourly. Nearly everyone had left for Philadelphia, Reading and other places and we were the last at home. Mother was afraid to stay any longer so we put off on Sunday morning for N. Y. (our place of refuge) and left wedding and groom behind. I've not told you his name! It is Marcus Albert Reno, Captain 1st Cavalry U. S. He has been here since winter recruiting and mustering troops, met Hanna and both lost their hearts. He made her his recruit and all was over. He is a very nice brother-in-law...as we were going away that night he said he would not give up the day and would come on to New York which he did. We stopped at the Astor house because we knew the proprietor sons & daughter. One of the Ross has been in Harrisburg a year...went to West Point the next day. The Stetson's gave them a very handsome entertainment...we came from New York Saturday evening. It was only the second time in three weeks we had been there on account of the rebels. Reno is chief for General Smith's staff and is very busy...Smith commands the forces on the Susquehanna. We have had a terrible battle at Gettysburg so many on both sides killed & wounded. They are brought here daily. Lee, I believe, is retreating. It was in the papers this morning that we captured 118 pieces of artillery and fifteen thousand rebels. If it is true it is wonderful...Ed Hickok is expected home home every [?] He is going to resign. He has been down here two years and hasn't done any fighting yet and says he cant stand it...Will Worth joined the militia and is going to defend H. Will Boas, [?] Gilbert...returned from college a week ago. Hanson is the only one of the family in town. They left on account of the Rebels too. I have not been down a street since I came home. So I don't know who are in town. I only know the town is alive with soldgers (as Bob spells it) and handsome ones too. Right opposite...there are nothing but tents and soldgers all day long and Market street is awful for them. Everybody's crops and things are spoiled for this year by armies over on the other side of the river. Uncle Jake suffered terribly...just think three or four farms their wheat, oats and sick like all trampled on. The government can take anything they want and you cant make a fuss or you'll face [??] All our forces skedaddled when the rebels made their appearance and we don't expect...Reno has been up to the capitol and heard that Lee had surrendered tuesday. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!!" The original transmittal cover is present, and is addressed to Miss Lizzie K. Haldeman in Sweden. Multiple postal cancellations, the first one being in Harrisburg, July 7, 1863.

    Marcus Reno met his bride-to-be in Harrisburg in November 1862. They married the following year on July 1, 1863, with the battle of Gettysburg as a backdrop. The letter offered here offers the back story to his courtship and eventual wedding.

    Condition: Ink has faded and difficult to read, as the text is cross-hatched. Wear at folds with a bit of paper loss at center affecting a few words.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
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