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    [Gettysburg Casualty]. Union Private George W. Fernald Archive comprised of nine letters spanning the months October 1863 through August 1864. George Fernald, a private in Co. "C," 82nd New York Infantry, had served the Union cause for just over two years when he was wounded in the chest at the Battle of Gettysburg. Having not fully recovered from his injury, he was "pronounced unfit for active service, but they will not give me my discharge. They wanted me to go into the invalid Corps, but I would not do that, so I have been detailed & attached to the Pay dept under Major Elliott." Posted in Baltimore, he gives a wonderful look at daily life in the city including fires, the Chesapeake Affair ("most of the Pirats escaped, but I hope they will hang those they have caught"), the ravages of small pox ("there was thirty died in one week . . . the people are getting afraid of it"), etc.

    In a letter of July 18, 1864, Fernald describes a raid on Baltimore by Confederates, in part: "the Rebels were prowling all about us . . . we wer besieged for a couple of days for the Rebels had cut the Rail Roads & telegraph wires . . . I was one of the Elliott scouts to watch the enemys movements. I traveled a great deal of country following them up & retreating from them as circumstances permitted. . . . The Rebels have all left Maryland again they stole a great many horse & cattle from the farmers . . . it was nothing more than a thieving raid, but the people of Baltimore wer very much frightened." By mid-August Fernald was back in the field, though not in a combat capacity. Reenlistment did cross his mind, however, as stated in a letter of August 18, 1864: "We have been out with Sheridan's army paying off the troops . . . Sheridan's army crossed the Potomac river in two places . . . We followed the army as far as Kelley's Ford on the Shenandoah . . . I have a very strong mind to enlist again for I think my country still needs me . . . I want to see this Rebellion put down & I think fighting is the only way to put it down." Fernald did not reenlist as he wanted. He mustered out of the army nine days later.

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    9th Thursday
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