Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Patriotism Only A Soldier Knows
A Patriotic Envelope from the Civil War, Major Ellsworth
Found This in the Miners Journal July 28th, 1864. I love a patriotic soldier; this guy would roll over a hundred times in his grave if he knew what the patriotism in the country has come to today. Seems we still have these types of defeatists.
Messers Editors: Today I visited your town to transact some business. While here I conversed with different persons on the topics of the day. One of these persons I talked to was John C, Conrad Esq. The conversation was as follows; Conrad said, “The Rebels are coming,” “Are they “, I asked. He replied, “Yes, Oh it beats all. We are ruined.” “Why ? I asked. “Oh he said we can’t pay our taxes. Let them take all I have and go to hell. “ “Who?” I asked, “The government, “He replied.
”Why, we should not think so, “ I said. “O they may be dammed he said. “Why” I remarked, “you should pay your taxes like anybody else.” “ Yes” he replied but I can’t have no income.” “Then rent your property to some one who will pay the taxes for you.” I said. He said
he would have nothing to live on then.” “Well”, said I “I will give you my sentiments. “, “I was in the Army a long time, enduring the hardships and privations of a soldier’s life. I forsook all that was dear, and was where my life was every moment in danger. I lost my health so that I was unable do to duty any longer; but as soon as my health is recovered I shall re enlist and shoulder the musket once more for my country, but will also sacrifice the little property which I have, if it would assist in putting down this rebellion and restoring peace and prosperity once more. Liberty is a sacred law, said I and we should sustain the Government at any expense. As long as I retain my life and health, the sacrifices of property is nothing to be compared with the loss of liberty. I and other soldiers, who have lost our health and our limbs, should have more reason to complain and be tired of this war than you; but sooner than submit to the wrongs attempted to be imposed upon the Government, and have justice and liberty destroyed, we uphold the Government in any measure that will settle the war satisfactory to the nation, and secure the entire overthrow of traitors.”
Mr. editors, you will do me not only a favor but justice, by inserting this in the columns of your worthy Journal, and attaching my name, for it is hard for a soldier to have such language as Conrad used spoken to him, after his health is ruined for life while standing as a wall of defense between such a man and our enemies.
I am, Very respectfully, Your Ob. Servt.
Oliver was a member of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Company H. having served for three years until broken down and was assigned to the Veteran Reserve Corps.