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    "I believe that nine tenths of the news you hear from the army is lies."

    Archive of Civil War Letters from a Private in the 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Eighteen letters written from June 30, 1862 through March 10, 1864 by John W. McLaughlin. McLaughlin enlisted on October 12, 1861 and served in Company "F" of the 78th PA Vol. Infantry, sustaining a wound on May 31, 1864 in actions around Dallas, Georgia which ultimately caused him to muster out of the army on November 4, 1864. These letters, mainly written to his brother James and cousin Mark, are full of interesting content. There are many observations regarding the campaigns in Tennessee and Georgia. In a letter written at Nashville dated November 13, 1862 McLaughlin writes "You are aware, I suppose that we had been completely blockaded & threatened by the rebel forces under Breckinridge for sometime past. We were awakened at 3 A.M. on the morning of the 5th by the roar of artillery & musketry on the south & east side of the spread that Forrest...had attacked the pickets on the Franklin & Murfreesboro pikes & [General John Hunt] Morgan on the north, heavy skirmishing continued during the entire day, which resulted in a skedaddle of the southern chivalry." He writes of food shortages in a letter from Chattanooga, dated November 10, 1863, "We have been hard pressed for want of rations for sometime, and have been drawing only half rations of bread (5 small crackers per day) and very little else." In the same letter he writes "I was on picket on the 6th and exchanged papers with a rebel picket belonging to the 7th Texas." In an undated letter McLaughlin writes at length of seeing General Rosecrans for the first time "He rode twice along the lines slowly, talking pleasantly to the soldiers, examining their shoes, clothing &c. and telling them that they must be provided with everything they need and, said he, "tease & worry your captains, till they get them for you". Captains do you hear me"...In appearance his is a fine manly looking officer, of medium size, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, sandy whiskers, aquiline nose & middling long face." In one letter he writes "I believe that nine tenths of the news you hear from the army is lies." Certainly a complaint from soldiers since the beginning of time. And, contrary to all common sense, he also has made lists of reenlistments in the 78th as well as a detailed list of regiments in Camp Wood, forming the 2nd Division. These letters will provide many hours of pleasant reading and will be invaluable for research. All letters are quite legible and with the exception of a few minor tears and splits at the folds, are in very good or better condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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