Tuesday, July 29, 2008



Sparks Around the Campfire
The Story of Schuylkill County in the Civil War

Patriotic Rally
Wednesday, September 3, 2008—7:00 p.m.—Sovereign Majestic Theater
Admission—5 cents. Call 628-2833
Join us at the Sovereign Majestic Theater and relive the sights and sounds of a Patriotic Rally during the Civil War Era. Speeches, music, lectures and more.

Civil War Show and Tell
Thursday, September 4, 2008—5:30 p.m.—Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Admission—Donation Accepted. Call 622-7540
Bring your Civil War artifacts for appraisal or to discuss with other Civil War aficionados. The Civil War Exhibit in the Historical Society will be open for tours.
Marty Hupka will be in attendance with several Civil War Era photographs…he is offering a reward of $50.00 for the positive identification of specific people in the photos.

Meet General Meade, Victor of the Battle of Gettysburg
Anthony Waskie, Philadelphia - Professor of Languages & Member of the Civil War & Emancipation Studies Forum, Temple University
Thursday, September 4, 2008—7:00 p.m.—Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Admission—Donation Accepted. Call 622-7540
Using Meade's own words and extensive background research, Anthony Waskie, speaking as General Meade, will recount the General's career and services to the nation. From his work as an engineer and lighthouse builder, to combat in the Seminole and Mexican Wars, to his assuming command of the Union Army on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg (where he handed Lee his first defeat), Meade was integral to the survival of the Union. Not only successful in war, Meade also designed Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, founded two schools for orphans of Civil War veterans and helped integrate surviving veterans back into peacetime pursuits.
Participants are encouraged to ask “General Meade” questions about his life and work.

Torchlight Vignettes
Friday, September 5, 2008—Schuylkill County Council for the Arts
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. – Mingle and Dine
8:00 p.m. – Till? – Torchlight Vignettes
Admission—$8.00. Call 622-2788
Enjoy a Civil War Era evening featuring strolling musicians, choral groups, living historians, food vendors followed by Torchlight Vignettes where various Civil War scenes are brought to life by living historians.

Grave Tours
Saturday, September 6, 2008—10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.—Meet at Presbyterian Cemetery (Howard Avenue and 12th Street)
Admission—Free to all
Tour Presbyterian Cemetery led by John Hoptak, Author and US Park Ranger and Tom Shay, Local Historian, to see the final resting place and hear the stories of the lives of Civil War Notables, including Brigadier General James Nagle, Colonel Daniel Nagle, Medal of Honor Winner Colonel Jacob Frick.

Saturday, September 6, 2008—12:00p.m.-1:00p.m.
Admission – Free, Donations Accepted
Barry Berkey - Historian, Weapons Expert - “Weapons of the Civil War”—Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Jim Corrigan - Author, Historian—”Schuylkill County Coal Miners and the Battle of the Crater”—Sovereign Majestic Theater
Danielle Richards - Historian, Educator - “Arrest the Women at Once and Dispose of Them” - The War & Schuylkill County Irish Women—Historical Society of Schuylkill County.

Saturday, September 6, 2008—2:00p.m.-3:00p.m.
Admission – Free, Donations Accepted
Stu Richards - Author, Historian. - “From the Prison Pen, Schuylkill County Soldiers and Civilians in Rebel Prisons.”— Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Mark Major – Historian, Author - “Schuylkill County in the Civil War: A Collection of Highlights, Unique Stories and Random Insights—Sovereign Majestic Theater.

Saturday, September 6, 2008—3:00p.m.-4:00p.m.
Admission – Free, Donations Accepted
John Hoptak - Author, Historian, Park Ranger Antietam battlefield. “Schuylkill County's Veteran War Horse: The Life and Forgotten Service of Brigadier General Nagle.”—Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Tom Shay - Historian, Antietam Battlefield guide. - “The men and the Units from Schuylkill County and the battles they fought in”—Sovereign Majestic Theater.

Book Signing
Saturday, September 6, 2008—12:00p.m.-4:00p.m.—Historical Society of Schuylkill County
Admission – Free, Donations Accepted. Call 622-7540
The Research Room of the Historical Society will be open for meet and greet and book signings by authors John Hoptak, Jim Corrigan, and Stu Richards.

Premiere of Movie “The Color Bearers”
Saturday, September 6, 2008—7:00 p.m.—Sovereign Majestic Theater
Admission—$5.00. Call 628-2833
The Color Bearers is an enlightening, entertaining look at American Patriotism’s evolution as embodied by its iconic symbol the American Flag.
While the film explores the familiar themes in that great American Story – Francis Scott Key and the flag planted atop Iwo Jima – it also explores lesser known but no less deserving subjects such as Mary Pickersgill, maker of the Star Spangled Banner that flew over Ft McHenry and inspired the Star Spangled Banner – Sgt William H Carney, the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant bravery and defense of the flag with the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner, and who later inspired the film “Glory”. Alongside these heroes of America’s past, the program features modern day patriots – common Americans doing uncommon things to honor their flag and their country – such as NY Artist Scott LoBaido who traveled the United States painting one large American Flag mural on one rooftop in each of the fifty states. This he did with no corporate sponsorship, and as he put it –”I’ll get back to New York with about a hundred bucks left to my life.”
We meet a descendent of Sgt William Carney – and also the descendents of two other Civil War Flag-bearing heroes – and hear how the bravery of their gallant ancestors has affected and helped shape their lives today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008




My Favorite Painting "GOOD-BYE OLD MAN"

I found this story in the New York Times for September 15, 1918,an article written by a Blue Cross worker on the Western Front during World War 1. It has nothing to do with any Schuylkill County soldier, but I am sure many of the men who were in the ammunition trains of our various regiments, like the 103rd Engineers would have felt the same way about their horses. It also reminds me of my favorite of all paintings; a painting entitled “Good-Bye Old Man” . It was painted by Fortunio Matania famous artist who painted and made drawings of World War 1 scenes. It depicts a soldier's love and sympathy for his injured, even dying, horse. It is a haunting and emotional picture of a sad goodbye. The image was a bestseller and first shown in the magazine “Sphere”, because it illustrated the real distress that soldiers faced when their loyal horses were wounded and killed.

I was very fortunate to have owned a horse. And for 15 years used him in various living history programs depicting a member of the 5th U. S. cavalry, Company C. He was a wonderful horse and a great companion that I shared many a hot and tiring march with. Though we were never in a battle and witnessed the horrors of the campaigns, he made me realize how hard it was to be a member of the U.S. Cavalry and the responsibility of taking care of a horse in the field. We went on many, many rides, some over 7 days long. I really miss him. By the way his name was “Savage”.
The Blue Cross was set up to assist animals during the Balkan War. Animals were to be helped in future conflicts, including the first (1914-1918) and second (1939-1945) world wars.


Early in the retreat from Mons a shell crashed right into the midst of the section with which I was moving. Our gun was wrecked and the driver in front was blown to bits. As I mounted a fresh horse I turned and saw my other two horses struggling and kicking on the ground to free themselves, but was unable to go back and help them. My feelings were indescribable. A French Chasseur dashed up and cut the traces, and although their driver was a long way off, the horses galloped after him, and followed him for four days. They were not needed, but they kept their places in the line liked trained soldiers.
After every engagement at the front rider less horses are always rounded up and brought in. Often they are found near their dead masters, or following other riders. It was one of the Coldstream Guards who told how, after the fierce fighting at Loos, a horse was seen standing between the firing lines. For two whole days he remained there, when some of our men crawled out and found him he was standing by the dead body of his rider, the horse himself unharmed. It was with difficulty he was induced to leave the spot, and only by blindfolding him could he be persuaded to leave his dead master and return to the British Lines.
During the many visits I have paid to the hospitals at the front I heard several remarkable stories of the faithfulness, sagacity, and tenacity of our army horses.
“Many of them, “ said an officer to me, “have very retentive memories and display great aversion to go near or pass any point where they have been frightened or injured. A very striking instance of this came under my personal observation just before our great offensive at ________. Being in want of a fresh mount, I had acquired one from a brother officer who was returning to England suffering from shell shock. He assured me that I could have no better charger on which to ride forward when we advanced. As strong and brave as a lion, yet as mild and obedient as a lamb when answering the reins, an absolutely trustworthy steed.” “Were the owner’s words as we concluded our bargain. And, truth to tell. I found nothing to complain of in the behavior of that mare until one afternoon when, riding out of the ruined village of ---------- in Flanders, I came to a long road where, but a short time before, there had been a beautiful avenue of poplars, now mere stumps.
I had no sooner got half way down than my horse stood stock still, began to tremble all over, and, with dilated nostrils refused to go a step further, until I applied the spurs. I put this incident down to a sudden caprice, and, forgiving her dismissed it from my mind. But when the same thing happened again a few days later I made a mental note of the fact, and as soon I got back from the reconnaissance wrote to my friend. His reply solved the mystery. “Poor Dolly ! I had no idea that she was also suffering from shell shock,” He said, in substance. “But she’s really not as bad as her old master. The fact of the matter is it, was on that very avenue, near the village, that a shell fell which led to my return to Blighty. She evidently remembers it as keenly as I do. But take her anywhere else than there, and I think you will find she will behave like a thoroughbred lady,” C.W. Forward (Blue Cross Worker)

By the autumn of 1918 the British forces in France had over 475,000 horses and mules. By the end of the war over 1 million horses saw service with the British and Commonwealth Forces. Just on the western front over 256,000 horses and mules died. Credit must be given to the veterinary services of the time or the total would have been worse.
Though no one will ever know the true figure it is estimated that over 1500 horses were killed in the battle of Gettysburg, to include artillery, Cavalry and officers mounts. One artillery battery the 9th Massachusetts, lost 80 of its 88 horses near the Trostle farm. A rough estimate is that the Union Army lost 881 horses and mules and the Confederacy lost 619.
More than one million horses and mules were killed during the Civil War 1861-1865

To read an excellent article on the horse in the Civil War Google The Horse in the Civil War, by Deborah Grace.

A few photo's of me and my WAR HORSE Savage..Two Socks

Me and Savage at Gettysburg doing some living history and C company 5th U.S. Cav at the charge!

He was a great horse and I had 15 years of fun with him. I really miss him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

7th Pennsylvania Cavalry He Fell In A Glorious Cause The Francis Reed Letters

Lieut. Francis W. Reed




Francis William Reed





Francis William Reed, Orderly Sergeant of company L, 3rd Bat, 7th Pa. Cavalry, who was recently killed at the battle of Duck River, Tenn. Was the son of Obediah Reed, of Port Carbon, in this county, in the 24th year of his age and unmarried.
Immediately after the bombardment of Fort Sumter by the Southern traitors and rebels, Mr. Reed was one of the first patriotic young men of Port Carbon who enlisted in Capt. ( Now Col. ) Sigfried’s company, and served faithfully during the three months service. Soon thereafter he joined the 7th Penna. Cavalry, although he was not in very good health at the time, remarking, that being a young man it was his bounden duty to go to war and defend the flag of his country, and if in the order of providence he should fall, he could not die a more glorious death, and as long as he saw old gray haired men shouldering the musket in defense of our liberties he could not bear the idea of remaining at home.
Sergeant Reed was a sober, moral, intelligent, honest strictly religious young man, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Carbon, a brave soldier, highly esteemed by all who new him, and his death at the hands of the enemies of his country, is deeply mourned by his companions in the army, and a large circle of friends and relatives. His remains were interred near the battle field-Peace to the gallant young hero’s ashes.

Francis W. Reed was born in the year 1839 to Obediah and Catherine Reed of Port Carbon, Pa. He was the oldest of four children. Charles born in 1842, David born in 1853, Thomas born in 1862 and Emily born in 1859 Charles was born mentally handicapped and had to be taken care of by the family. Francis worked as a carpenter in his fathers business up until his enlistment in the army in 1861. His parents were Dutch and spoke very little English. When Francis enlisted in the Army his farther Obediah had to sell l out the family business because the labor and work depended upon Frank. Obediah sold his business for 240 acres of land in Minnesota. Frank told his father that he should look for a piece of property in the local area and he would help his father on his return home from the Army.
At 4 a.m. on April 12th 1861 the bombardment of Fort Sumter by Confederate artillery was begun. And the start of the American Civil War, American killing American. It was feared by the Federal Government that confederate forces would march on Washington. President Lincoln immediately issued a proclamation and the call for 75, 000 troops to defend the Capital for a period of three months.
The call went out to every loyal state and every village and city responded with the utmost of patriotism. In Schuylkill County the news of the bombing of fort Sumter was taken with the greatest of alarm and the patriotic fever swept over the whole county. On April 15th the presidents proclamation was received by the officials and on April 17th the two old militia companies of Schuylkill County numbering 250 men were ready to march to Harrisburg and then on to Washington were they would write their name in history as two of the five companies that were first to arrive in that city in defense of the government and would forever be known as the First Defenders.
As the war fever spread throughout the county new companies of volunteers were being raised daily. Their compliments were rapidly filled by old gray haired men and young boys who were immediately rejected because of their age and were only taking the young volunteer. Flag raising ceremonies were held daily in every little patch town or village or larger city. Citizens were forming organizations that were going to take in donations for the help of families that a father or son who was serving. The women of Schuylkill formed various Ladies Aid Societies, for the help and comfort of the soldier boys.
It is with this patriotic fever that Francis W. Reed felt compelled to join with 76 men in the local company being raised in Port Carbon, Pa. The Marion Rifles. Led by Captain J. K. Sigfried. Port Carbon would have the proud distinction of having the most men serve per capita in any other town in the United States during the Civil War. The Marion Rifles were immediately heralded into the newly formed 6th Pennsylvania volunteer Infantry regiment and signed up for a tour of duty for three months. The 6th regiment moved to Harrisburg by way off the rail road and rendezvoused there on the 22 April at Camp Curtin. The men were mustered, by companies into the service of the United States for a period of three months. By 9 p.m. the regiment was on the move once again and proceeded to Philadelphia. Their first taste of military duty came with a guard detail of the Baltimore Rail Depot. The men drilled and had regimental parades both in the morning and evening. On the 7th of May the regiment was split up and the different companies were assigned guard duties along the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore railroad.
On the 28th of May the regiment was reassigned to the Brigade of Col. George H. Thomas. On June 5th the men were readying themselves for another toward Greencastle. At six o’clock the next morning the Brigade moved and settled into camp.
This is were the Francis Reed story begins, with the 6th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment at Greencastle Pa, with a letter to his parents in Port Carbon Schuylkill County Pa. And will end with one of the most gallant and heroic charges ever made by a cavalry regiment in the American Civil War, the Seventh Pennsylvania’s charge through Shelbyville Tenn. June 27, 1863.

Authors note: A lot of the spelling errors within the letters are left in to give authenticity to the way Reed wrote.

Earlier I had published a post dealing with the Charge of the 7th at Shelbyville Tenn. In June of 1863. This is the complete look at Francis Reeds letters from the time he was in the early war 6th Pennsylvania Infantry until hs death at Shelbyville Tenn.
These letters were transcribed from copies at Schuylkill County Historical Society and some I found in Reeds personal files at the National Archives.

Chapter 1.

The 6th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry



Green Castle, June 7, 1861

Dear Father and Mother,
Yours by J.B. Sesinger came to hand and I haste to answer by the same person, I am right well never enjoyed better health than I do now, I also received your cakes and my pantaloons, and the needle case from Miss Phoebe Freed, I can not write it on paper how happy it makes me feel to get something from home. My best respects and sincere thanks to Miss Pheobe for her present. It comes very handy to a soldier to have something of that kind about him. The cakes I share out to the boys in our mess and gave some to the officers and Mr. Sessinger and Holder for their super and breakfast, the pantaloons I put on this morning to go down to town. The Captain gave to Paul and James Glaspel and myself a pass to come down town. We came down to the entrance of the town then were stopped by the gard as the Captain did not give us a pass to go into town. No soldier is allowed to go around town without a pass from his Captain, if he does get slip past the guard he will be arrested by the patrol gaurd that goes all through town, I am writing this letter on the door step of a house, while James Gelaspie has gone back to get a pass from the Captain. Charles Paul is lying under a shade tree taking a snoos. The boys are all in good spirits. Mr. Holan and Mr. Sessinger can tell can tell you all the particulars better than I can write them to you, Mr. Holder sleep in the tent with George last night. We were all very happy to see our Port Carbon friends. I should have been very glad to see you here father. You woulda have seen nice sight if you woulda have come along. A splendid country and the soldiers are worth a great deal to see. I wrote you a letter from Chambersburg and mentioned that I only received one letter with postage stamp on, I have not secured any letter from Mr. W. H. Lawrence , but have looked continuously for one but all in vain so far. I write a letter about every week Mr. Shaple and Seleghman have more time to write than I have I am a regular cook, all the time and that keeps me busy. I will bring all my things home that I have, if I can, ----------is right well at present, nothing the matter with him, only wishes the three months were up. Then he says he will never play soldier again. Mr. May sends his best respects to you and all and Mr. W.H. Lawrence. I have wrote several letters to Mrs. West and also invited her to Port Carbon when I come home and she has excepted my invitation to come. I read my bible pages as much as I have time every day. I am glad you remember me in your prayers. Still continue to pray for us all for all need the prayers of the neighbors more to sustain us. Tell Mr. McQuade I do not know exactly wether our prayers had made eny inpisen on him particular, Sam is right smart and the tales told up then about him are not true. He has been sober and conducted himself like a man since we left home as far as I know of. I should like very much to see Emlia also David and Charles . It is only six weeks more tillour time is up than if God spairs our lives we will return home and all and never again play soldiers. Mrs. West in her last letter wished to be remembered to you and Mrs. Turner. While writing this Daniel Paul and I are inmates of the Gaurd House in Green Castle. But you must not for the moment think that we did anything bad to merit this. I will tell you the whole for I suppose there will be some that will make a tale out of it, as stated before James Gelaspie, whent back Lieut. McWeand came along he gave C. Paul and I a pass which we thought would do, we walked down town with him to the Franklin House where he steped in and we passed on. We had not left him three minutes before we were arested by the Captain of the day, we showed him our pass, but he said a pass from the Lieutenet would not do so we went for half an hour when an officer came around and told Charles and I to sneek out of town by the back road we did and arrived at camp safe. Then we all had a jolly laugh over our adventure but we will not risk to go to town without a good pass.
No more at present, I remain your son
F.W. Reed

Direct your letters
Greencastle Franklin
County Pennsylvania.

On June 8th in a letter to the Pottsville Miners Journal William W. Potts a Lt. In the Nagle Guards gave a description of what the daily life in the regiment was like.

June 8th. We have thrown out a picket guard some 6 miles in front of us, to prevent a sudden attack in case the enemy should feel disposed. Our camp is visited daily by thousands of strangers who came from every direction, some of them many miles.

June 9th. There is no Sunday for a soldier there duty being the same as on the other days, which is revile at half past four, company drill at 5, surgeons call at 6 breakfast at 7, regimental parade at 8 guard mounting at 9 inspection at 11, dinner at 12, target practice and company drill at 3 p.m. regimental parade at half past 6 tattoo and roll call at half past 9 and taps at 10 o’clock, which finishes the day.

June 10th, Nothing of interest here today but visits still on the increase

June 11th, This morning the Rhode Island Regiment with their battery of rifled cannon passed here and went into camp about a mile below us. They join and complete our brigade

On June 15t the regiment advanced and crossed the Potomac river, the regiment went into camp near the town of Williamsport, from where the enemy cavalry was visible on the opposite shore.
Francis writes home about his further adventures in the army and the seeing of many new sights.

The camp Falling Waters, June 17th, 1861.

Dear Mother and Father,
It is with the greates of pleasure that I now haste to write to you a few lines to inform you that I am still well enjoying very good health. Since my last we have traveled over considerable country, at present we are in Virginia at a place called Falling Water. About ten miles from Martinsburg. So far we have not had any engagement with the enemy but this morning our picket gaurd that is stationed about 4 miles in advance of our army were chased in by the Secessuals and our army was drawn up in the battle array for the first time. Since we are out the Secessonest did not come up to our main army but we expects before many days to have a battle. Our boys are confident of victory and they were very anxious to go and meet the enemy. All the members in our company are all right well and in very good spirits. This morning James Kane, William Shaple and myself whent over to Col. Leigh House. It is quite deserted, he is commander in Chief of the Virginia forces and left his house with all his famile and his negros last week for Richmond. This Afternoon C. Paul, Joseph Selighman went over again. In the morning the Germans of the 23d Regiment whent over brock open the doors in the house and cleaned it of everything they could get, in the shape of bread wine of which there were large quantities stored away in the pantry and also hams of which there must have been 5 hoggsheads, I have got a few small relicks which I will bring home from his house if I come home again. I have also got the likeness of Lieut. William Cunnigham Commander of a large body of cavelry in the Secessinest Army, he with his father and their families only left the night before we come here, they left their blacks behind them. The blacks say there is a grand change in Virginia. The time was when the blacks run away from the whites but now the whites run away from the blacks. We expect to follow up the secesinest perty smart. I often read account of the Patomack river but last Sunday I saw it for the first time. It would have been amusing to you to see us forde the Patomack the water whent about up on the middle of the men they had to put their guns on their heads but they all thought it sport to wade through the famous river. It took us from eight o’clock till after six o’clock in the evening before the whole army had crossed over. I was licky I got a chance to ride across the river in an old bataux, I received a letter from B.T. Fry and also from Bob Lumer but I had no time to answer them ever since that time we have been moving not staying at one place more than over night. I do not know when I will be able to answer them now for we are now in swamp country and the only way we have of mailing letters now is to send them by teamsters who go back to get provisions, as all mail communications are cut off from this old Dominion, but my best respects to them both I will try and write to you as often as I possible can I also intend to writing Mrs West soon and I have an idee of inviting her to Port Carbon about the time our company comes back to old Port, if you will fetch her from the depot with horse and carrage at Pottsville or maybe one of her girls may come for they want to come up in old Schuylkill county . Father please send Mr. And Mrs. West and daughter a invitation to come up about the 1st of July and spend the warm months there. Mr. West I dont think can leave his business but Mrs. West and daughter can come up there I would be very happy to see them their when I come home. You can get Mr. Lawrence to write your letter for you, tell Mr. Lawerence if I get time I want to give him a long letter, a full account of our crossing the Patomac and some of my scouting expeditions in old Viriginia, with all the flurishings and also our strawberry party. I will send you a few cards that I took out of Col. Leigh House give one or so to Mr. Lawrence the rest you may give to some one else. If I come home I will have a match box for father and a silver sugar spoon for mother and a gold breast pin for Emlia and I have some other things that I got hold of. I have nothing more to write at present. My best respects to all my friends. I would like very much to see my little sister only five weeks more then we can go home if we live.

I remain your Son,
Signed F.W. Reed

If you write to me send your letter to Williamsport, Washington County Maryland there our teams go for Provision they will bring them along.

On June 30, 1861 Francis wrote an interesting letter to his family describing the daily life and times of the common soldier. Although a religious man Frank was concerned about the lack of religious devotion on Sunday, yet he adapted very good to the life of a soldier.

Camp Dounvil , June 30th, 1861

Dear Father and Mother,
Yours by one of our men came to hand. I now take this opertunity to write to you an inform you a little of the news as much as I know of. We are all well at present, and in very good spirits. We sure can not enjoy Sunday, as we would like our duties on Sunday are the same as on any other days, in the morning at 4 1/2 the revelle, at 5 breakfast, at 6 1/2 regimental parade, at 10 gaurd mounting, at 11 inspectin of knap sacks and arms, at 12 dinner at 3 company dril, 5 1/2 supper, at 6 1/2 regimental parade. At 9 the tattoo, at 10 the tapes after which all lights in the camp must be put out. Then silence reigns, in the camp, religious devotion is little thought of by military men and mutch less practiced by meny but Paul and myself often think of the prayer meeting and church. And which we could set under the sound of the gospel on Sunday. Meny of the regimints of Penn. Have chaplains with them, and have servis on Sunday. I do not know why it is that our Reg. has not been supplied with one, but religious devotion are not forgotten by us, we read our bible and also have prayer among ourselves. Yesterday Col. Nagle recived quite a lot of tracts to distribute among the soldiers. While writing the rain is pouring down in torents. And all drills are suspended while it rains. Our houses are prety good water proof. We can keep ourselves as nice and dry almost as you can in the brick house. Our accommodations for setting and writing are not as good as yours are, but we have become so accustomed to setting on the ground and using our knap sacks as writing desks, that it will be some time again after we get home to use ourselves to all the convenience, the picket gaurd came ion this morning with four prisoners, they were brot before the Col. Who sent them to Col. Thomas, who has comand of this brigade. He could not find any thing against them, they were releesed. Last Tuesday I wrote a letter to Mr. John Medlar. I did not think that we would move from that camp then for some time. I had not mailed the letter ten minutes till we got orders to march. We marched till about 11 o’clock to the camping place we are now. But expect before you get this we will be shifted again. We have receved orders to have three days provisien cooked by the time it is cooked we expect their will be orders to march. We have no idee where our next plase will be, it is reported that Gen Johnston with 15 thousand secesionests are laying oposite Williamsport on Bunkers Hill. It is quite likely their will be something done soon by Gen. Pattersons brigade. This mornig two more regiments encamped here. I suppose the whole number of soldiers laying here must be in the neighborhood of 15 thousand. The 1st Wisconcin Regement and the 11th Pennsyl Regement arrived here last night. It is not likely that so large a force would be concentrated at this plase if something was not intended to be done. We have news here that McClelelen is coming in from the west, and the western Virginians are also coming on and Butler from Norfolk. They are driving the Seceseonests before them, and if we cross the Potomak we will soon have them fenced in so they will have to show fight or give up the game. As to our futur movements we know no more than you do. But do not belive every report that you may see in the papers the most are fictions, not to be relied upon, if any our company should be unfortunate we will send you word. All report that concern our company do not believe them till you here it from one of the company. It has also been report by some in Port Carbon that we have not had enough to eat. That is not so we have plenty to eat and drink such as it is. Crackers, beef, Pork, rice, buns and coffe. It seems that some glory in circulating fals reports. I have also seen a letter that it was stated in that I had a silver snuff box and other things I did not write such things. I have a few small articles but no silver snuf box, I dint care for my part but those things come back to camp men and they all know about it, and know that I havent not got such articles than they think I write such things home. I makes one feele a little ...... to have such things poked at him. We have also heard that some one wrote home that we seen the enemy in our retreat from Virginia that was also false. We did not see the enemy but it was reported that they were in our rear. I wrote a letter to W. H. Laurance from Williamsport I have not heard wether he received it.
I should have been very glad to have been at home to diner on Sunday to eat diner with you. What we have for diner you would not call very good, crackers and beef and water but we are getting fat, I am healthier now than I have been for years at home I never was so healthy as I am now, I like the living part of soldiers life but the traveling part I do not much like, with forty pounds on my back. Mr. R. May sends his best respects to you all and to Mr. W. H. Laurence and all enquiring friends. Remember me to Charles and David and little Emelie, my best respects to Mrs. Matesen to Bob Lume and Sister Lume, Bob Fry, Mr. Medlar and Mrs. Medlar and all enquiring friends I cannot remember them all. I wrote a letter to grandfather this other day. Our time is fast drawing to close three weeks from to day we expecs to start for home. You said I should let you know two weeks before I come home, when I was coming but that is impossable for me to do for we cannot find out anything before we must march. You had better invite Mrs. West she can stay a month and longer if she wants to.
I remain your son,

F.W. Reed ( signed)

On July 1, 1861 the 6th Regiment again crossed into Virginia, marching toward the Falling Waters area, the advance of the regiment made contact with the enemy on the 2nd and a sharp skirmish took place. The regiment began a hot pursuit of the fleeing rebels until they were ordered to halt. Finally after two days the regiment went into camp at Martinsburg were they found fifty four locomotives and railroad cars destroyed by the rebels.

Martinsburg, July 9th 1861

Dear father and Mother,
Again I take the profered opertunity to write you a few lines. I wrot two letters to you in the course of the past week. But we are on the eve of moving so I thought I would write again. I have no receipts of letters to acknowledge this time, as I have not receved any, last night orders came that we were to have two days cooked provisen in our haversacks and be ready for marching this morning at 4 o’clock, but this morning the order was again countermanded on account of some New York regiments that came in yesterday they are not able to move their feet are to sore but we move tomorrow morning. Where to is not exactly known but it is suposed towards Winchester, where we expect to have a little brush with the enemy. We are satisfied that they will not stand for they are unwilling soldiers, every day deserters from the enemys camp come in. Some that came in the other day asured us that their are over one thousand soldiers that will desert or give themselves up as prisoners. We will soon have Gen. Johnston hemed in so that he cannot get out McClellan is coming from Ohio, the western Virginia are coming on him, Butler is coming in by Harpers Ferry, Gen. Patterson going by Martinsburg the only place that Gen. Johnston holds here now is Winchester.
Cooking seem somewhat to interest you. Their is generally two or more apointed to cook, for a certain time then some one els takes it. James Boyd and John Lang are doing it now. Yesterday I believe I seen all the Port Carbon boys those that did not go with the Port Carbon companies, Thomas Bull, John Bull, Edward Whirtly, Henry Huber, Thomas Bly, Alexander Smith, Abraham McIntire. Thomas Bull and Abraham McIntire and A. Smith left the city of Washington on last Sunday and came by the way of Harpers Ferry, Thomas Bull says Harpers Ferry looks foresaken the whole town nearly burnt to ashes. Gen Butler had a little engagement somewhere down that direction a few days ago their were about two hundred wagons dispatched from here to go and bring some grain and flour that we had taken.
The grain in this part of Virginia seem to be very good the farmers since we come are reeping as fast as they can, but the men are scarce. Their is a great deal of grain in the valley between here and Williamsport, that is distroyed, while encamped at Hainsville we took sheaves of wheat to sleep on.
I was very glad to here that the ladies had a notion of coming to meet us at Harrisburg. May be will not get to Harrisburg some think that we will go to Harpers ferry and from their we have only one mile to the Phila and Willminton and Baltimore R.R. from thense to Phila where we would get our discharge. I dont think that we will be able to let you know when we come home to the day, for some regiments that have only eight days to serve yet have been sent on from Lancaster Co. Pa. Yesterday. Since we have left Williamsport I have not slept in a tent we only have four tents to each company. They are for knap sacks and ammunition and guns, we take our blankets an lay out on the hill, we sleep very good. Yesterday it was a little unpleasant as rained tremendious. Some of the tents came near being washed away by the flood. Thro some of the tents their was a stream of water running like the stream at old Shepards. As meny as could get in the tents, the rest had to do the best they could, but such an only jokes for a soldiers getting wet and mudy is nothing when the boys were chasing the rebels on the 2nd some were mud up to their eyes almost. I do not know wheter I will be able to write any more. If I get a chance I will my best respects to Mr. Laurence tell him I am still waiting for that promised letter to Mrs. Matisen, Mr. And Mrs Medlar. Bob Fry, and sister Fumer, Rev. James McCarter preached in town last Sunday but I did not here him, he is chaplain of the 14th Penn. Regiment.

I remain your son,

F.W. Reed ( Signed)

With his time as an infantryman drawing to a close Frank wrote one more letter to his parents while still a member of the 6th Pennsylvania. On the 15th of July the 1st Brigade which the 6th was a member of was sent in pursuit of some rebel cavalry. On the 17th the whole brigade marched to Charlestown, and the regiment encamped on the spot were John Brown hung. Their term of service expired and the regiment was mustered out with a stiring speech from General Patterson. After one week of marching the regiment was paid and mustered out of United States service on July 26, 1861 having served for 109 days.

Charlestown Virginia, July 18, 1861

Dear Mother and Father,
I receved your letter yesterday morning about 4 o’clock in the morning just as we were ready to march to Winchester as we thought, but after marching about 1/4 mile we soon found out we were not going towards Winchester. A report came that the rebs had burnt down the town and were retreating towards Richmon, this morning the report is confermed in regard tot he burning of Winchester by the rebs our whole divisun of the army is now at this place, to cut off their retreat by Harers Ferry. We are only 8 miles from Harpers Ferry. From this position where we are now we have a good view of the field were Gov. Wise hung John Brown. The hole is also to be seen on the prison where Cook made his escape. The people of this place are all secesunests the female part of the [population are very insulting to our soldiers, the 17th regiment got one cannon 4 box muskets that where in a house when a secesun company had for a drill room. A lady in town took out a large secessun flag shook it in the face of some of the soldiers and said that was the right flag. The flag was taken from her and taken to General Patterson. Capt. Doubleday also took a secesion it was on a pole. When he was taking it down the man of the house asked him what it was about, the Capt. Told him he wanted that flag, he said you have no buisness with it at the same time pushing him away with his hands. The Capt. Caught him by the throat and pitched him over a fence and took down the flag it was torn to pieces by his men. He has the man in prison now. This morning we have orders again to have two days privision cooked and be ready to march at a moments notice, without any baggage. Where to we have no idee. But it is suposed to some point up towards Winchest to cut off the retreat of the enimy we all expected that. To day would march to Harpers Ferry and lay their until our time is up but I do not think that we will get their now for a day or two. The 25th regiments time is up today, some of the men say their Col. Has their discharge in his pocket, they expect to go to Washington this afternoon and from their go home. Their is a little talk of us going around to the city of Washington and from their to Phila or Harrisburg to be discharged, as to when we start for home, no one can say we are kept ignorant of all things. We find out nothing till we get orders to go. Then we never find out were we are going till we are almost to the plase. We would all like to shut of Jeff Daivs before we come home, if Gen. Johnson will be taken I think the war will almost be over, but it will be necessary to keep a standing Army in diferant parts of the state of Virginia to keep the hot heads down.
Mr. Philip May is right well he wants you to tell his folks that he will be home with the compoany as soon as they come. He sends his respects to you all and to Mr. Laurence.
I will close by sending my best respects to you all to Mrs. W.H. Laurence, Mrs. Matisen and all Inquiring friends.

I still remain your son,

F.W. Reed ( signed)

He fell In A Glorious Cause Francis Reed Letters 7th Pennsylvania Cavlary






After the return and muster out of the three month regiments a majority of men from Schuylkill County would sign enlistment papers for regiments that were being raised for three years, such as the 96th P.V.I recruited in Pottsville and the 48th P.V.I. another Schuylkill County regiment. What compelled the men to enlist again and in different regiments has been well documented in letters and diaries. Some men enlisted for patriotic reasons others for the chance to prove themselves a man, a taste for excitement and adventure, to get away from the poverty of their home towns, especially in the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Francis Reed never outwardly stated what his reasons for enlisting were but I am sure that coming from a small community like Port Carbon were the war fever was high certainly had its effect. Sometime in late November Francis Reed and his friend Henry. H. Snyder traveled to Harrisburg in search of a regiment to enlist in. They arrived at Camp Curtin and planned to enlist in a regiment that a friend was a Lieutenant in. Finding it not too their taste they moved on to Camp Cameron ,located about a mile east of Harrisburg and found a newly formed company of prospective cavalry men being lead by Capt. Charles C. McCormick and under the command of Col. George C. Wynkoop a fellow Schuylkill Countian..
Authorization for the raising of the 7th Regiment was granted in July of 1861, under the care of William B. Sipes of Philadelphia . At the same time George C. Wynkoop, of Pottsville who had served as a Col. During the Mexican war was also authorized to raise a regiment of Cavalry. Lacking any military experience Mr. Sipes was ordered to turn over the companies that he raised over to Col. Wynkoop and on the 21st of August the regiment was formed. On the 26th of August the regiment moved to Camp Cameron, east of Harrisburg, Pa. Between the 26th of August and the 20th of November 12 companies were mustered into United States service.
The first two letters of Francis Reed while in the service of the 7th Pa. Cavalry are recorded from Camp Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa. While at Camp Cameron the men were first supplied with shelter and blankets and some camp equipage. While at this camp the men would also be given their first physical examination of which any rejection was very low.

Harrisburg December 3, 1861.

Dear Parents,
Knowing you are anxious to here from me I now take this opertunity to write a few lines before going to camp. So far I have not been in camp yet. Harry and I have been staying in town. We have left Lute I. W. Rank and we are going into Wynekoop’s Cavelery Regiment. The regiment Luite Rank belongs to is nothing but raw Irish. The officers of the companies all drink excepting one captain and two lutints. The officers have no controle over their men. The men are fighting all the time, half of the regiment have eather black eyes or cut heads. The first night they were in town 19 were put in the lock up by the police as soon as Harry and I saw what the regiment was composed of we were sick so we would not go along with them. Camp next day but waited a few day there thinking there might be better we whent to the camp to see them but they were the same old party yet
If we would have been half an hour sooner yesterday morning we would have got in General Anderson body gaurd but we did not find the captain till the cars started of he said it was then to late to make arrangements. Now we are going Captain McCormick he is of Tiago County, the two Lutens are from Berks county the non comisioned officers are not yet appointed I think I will yet be able to get a Sargency in that company, I am accuaitnted with the Adjuat and two of the Majors of the regement who promised to use their influance for me. Chaplan is a fine young man a Methesdist from the Baltimore Conference, I have been introduced to him by Capt. McCormick but do not recolet his name. Harry Whent to Lancaster this morning he will be back on Friday maby he will come up ther before he comes back to camp . I am going to camp this afternoon to stay, if you see D.D. Bauns or James Henderson and they still entertain a notion of going the army tell them to come on they can’t find a nicer sett of men than in this regement. A great many church members and all are moral young men. The swearing is tolerable in camp it is reported in town that Wyankop regiment will leave here Munday or Friday, McCormick think it will not leave here Munday. When we do leave we go down to Frankfort Ky. Where we get our horses.
I will be able to give more of the camp life in a few days. I shud like to here from you but we may move before a letter could come from home. If you do write direct in the care of Capt. McCormick Wynekops Cavelry regement. My best respects Mr. Laurence, Mrs. Matesen and fred And Phoeby.
I remain your son,
F.W. Reed ( signed)

Camp C , December 9, 1861.
Dear Parents,
It is with pleasure I Acknowledge the recept of a letter from you on Saturday. I was glad to here you all enjoying good health. Today all is bustle in camp the difrent companies are getting there sabers . In all the streets squads are standing practicing the difrent cuts that must be learened by the cavelry man, some whoe brofess to be a little posted in sword exersise are giving instruction to others that arte yet unlearned. The carbines are expected to day . Our company is filling up fast, to day 15 men are coming in our company, the Col. Sayed this morning we would go from here some time between this and Thursday next. We go on rail road till Pitsburg. When we take our horses and go on to Cincanata on horse back, that will be a rather long ride for green hand. I think there will be some sick boys before we get to are destination. Yesterday was the 1st Sunday I spent in camp the chaplain of the regiment preached a good sermon from St. Johns the 14th Chap 24th verse. He is a good preacher, the whole regemet formed into a square, he stood in the center on a box. When we get our [uniforms] I will send my [Likeness} home by express. The weather is very warm the last few days, we are walking about in our shirt sleaves. Our camp is very healthy we have no sick. Harry and I are right well, Harry was up in [Tamaqua} last Thursday night, he whent up in the morning and came down at 3 oclock at night he had no time or he would have come to Port Carbon. My best respect to Mr. And Mrs. Geutemier, Mr. Sesinger, Mrs. Matisen and friends.
Mr. Laurence ile give you some of my adventures when I get down amont the canebreaks of old Kentucky.


On the 18th of December 1861 the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry was issued its first stand of colors, given to the regiment by Governor Andrew Curtin, in front of the State Capitol. The 7th was the first regiment to leave Harrisburg for the western theater. On the morning of the 19th the regiment departed Harrisburg by train and headed for Pittsburgh.
The regiment arrived in Pittsburgh on the evening of the 19th being meet by a committee of the local Christian Commission, apparently this left no impression upon Reed because he made no mention of it to his parents. The next day the regiment marched to the loading wharf for their loading on board seven steamboats for their journey west. The names of the boats which transported the regiment are, the steamboat, “Commercial” Capt. George W. Near, the steamboat “Shenango “ , Capt. Samuel B. French, the steamboat “ Sir William Wallace “ Capt. Hugh Campbell, the steamboat “ Angl Saxon” Capt. Robert Dalzell the steamboat “ Prima Donna” Capt. George D. Moore, the steamboat “Denmark” Capt. J.J. Robinson and the steamboat “ Moderator : Captained by W. Haslett.
The steamboats were commissioned to transport the entire regiment and horses and all equipment, with baggage and forage for the horses paying for all expenses and furnish full crews and officers from the Port of Pittsburgh , Penna. To the Port of Louisville, Ky. There was also an agreement that the officers of the seventh would be furnished with cabin passage. Non commissioned officers, musicians, privates and laundress with servants with cabin accommodations, with facilities for cooking on deck with fuel included. All the camp equipage and horse equipment’s and horses were all on board the steamboats when the regiment arrived at the wharves. The order also included the following terms, that said steamboats will proceed from Port to Port with out stopping except to take on fuel and unless ordered to do so by officer in command, and will not take on passengers or freight and shall stay with in hailing distance of each other. The steamboats will be paid by the Quartermaster U.S. Army one thousand dollars each on presentation of contract. On the 20th the regiment boarded the boats, company L was assigned to the Sir. William Wallace and set way for Louisville, Ky. At one point on the voyage Capt. C.C. McCormick noted that one of the horses fell overboard, when they got him on board again he was covered in ice, and he detailed a few men to rub him down so as to keep him warm. On the morning of the 26th the regiment arrived at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
As a small note it is recorded that on debarking form the boats the 7th made a spectacle of themselves while trying to mount horses there horses who had been corralled on board a boat for over a week and were wild with anxiety. The men having no experience with horses, mules and wagons went into camp in a wild crazy frenzy.
The first letter from the field would come on January 12th, seventeen days after arriving in Indiana, and Reed sheds no light on the journey west.

Camp Crittenden, January 12, 1862

Dear Father and Mother,
Yours of the 3rd came to hand, and I was glad to here from you and that you were all well. I am right well at present and hope these few lines may find you same. The weather down by us is very mild like April with us up there. The grass seems to be coming out it is awful mudy, the mud is six inches deep. It is almost most impossible for us to get along, the horses have it very hard they have to lay out in all kinds of weather and no covering . I was very glad to here that the divisin was going to have a lecture and the cause is still alive. Fore here we have some awfull examples of disapatins, men drunk , Harry Snyder and I would like to participate in the pleasures. Dr. Bowers better stay where he is, his desire to join us is only talk. If he waits [he will get] a letter from me, hel never join the army. Danial Paul and Garret have both wrote home a few days ago. They are both well and desire to be rembered to you. You need not trouble yourself to send eny[ ] for we do not know what day we may move, for we are under marching orders for the last week. I think it very small of any person to go around and cackle and crow over one who was worn out and [ ] and standing guard. I know the person who is circulating that report. It is Michael Weavel he knows well that it is not so for I was up before he was nearer than twelve steps. But I was laying down on the ground and would maby have been asleep if he would have come 5 or 10 minuts later. It was when we marched from Martinsburg to Bunker Hill, I had been on guard all night at Martinsburg. Then marched 17 miles than whent out on picket duty, it was the 1st time that I was so overcome. If I would have been asleep he would have had me court marshaled. But you need not be concerned about me now I am so situated that I need not be on guard duty. I need not be out my tent after candle light on duty. And Wednesday I expect to have it better from than I have had it so far. Our regiment has been devided into battalions and each battalion must have an Adudant, and QuarterMaster Sergeant. I have been appointed Quarter Master sergeant of the third battalion, I will give up my position to morrow as Quater Master of our company and Wednesday I am notified to report myself for duty. Fish of Pottsville is Quatermaster of the 3rd batalion and Dr. Warfield, Col. Wynkoops son in law is our Ajudant. Harry Snyder, we are trying to make him Quater Master of the company. I received the 3 postage stamps and was very glad to get them. I will leave some of the folks pay for letters, but some I must pay, you will oblige me by sending me three or four more and when you write, always send me a few . I also recevied the two papers, I would be very glad to get some of our Schuylkill Count papers whenever you can get a hold of one. I am very glad that both Fry is improving and hope he will soon be well altogether. I was sorry when that beauty was dead. It will be time enough when I come home to start a famile of my own. We have plenty to live off, fresh beef two in five days. Fresh bread three days in five, coffe three times a day, port salt or bacon three times in five days, crackers, rice, beans, sugar, potatoes, onions, pepper and salt and everything that is good. But I must close as it is getting late, with my best respects to Mr. W.H. Laurence, Mrs. Mattsen, Bob Turner and [ ] Fry. H. Snyder sends his respect to you and Mr. Laurence and to Hillapasses.
Write Soon
I remain your son,

(signed) F.W. Reed

According to a member of the Seventh who went by the Pen name “ 7th Penna. Cavalry”, he wrote “ The regiment made a fine display while passing through Louisville, and was highly complimented by the inhabitants, for their gentlemanly appearance. I must say that in the large number of men, there was not one intoxicated “. During the march to Bardstown the regiment was subjected to many hardships due to exposure on their marches. Many of the men became sick. By the end of the month over two hundred men were left in hospitals in Bardstown and Louisville. The spring rains created some of the most miserable conditions imaginable for men and horses. As Reed describes some days the march was so hard they could only travel one or two miles at a time.
When they finally reached Camp Thomas the regiment spent the remainder of the month in training both mounted and dismounted. According to Charles Dornblazer co Company E, “ The day was literally crowded with calls to duty from revile to tattoo. The forenoon was occupied in sword exercise and company drill, the afternoon in battalion and regimental drill, under command of Major Wynkoop . Any one failing to turn out on drill or dress parade without a doctors permit was without trial, at once remitted to the guard house.”

Camp Thomas , February 1st 1862.

Dear Father and Mother,
Yours of Jan 18th came to hand and I was happy to here from you, and to here that you were all well. I shall always write to you when ever I can. Since my last letter we have marched a considerable distance towards secession. We are now encamp at Bartstown Ky we were four days coming to this camp from Louisville. We only marched 16 miles a day. We expect to move here in a few days but what direction. Some say to Cumberland and some say to Bowling Green. The men from this part of the country are all in Gen. Buckners Army. The people as we passed along looked daggers at us. They don’t favor Union mutch. But it is not mutch wonder for their husbands and sons are there. A person having friends there cannot be blamed for sympathising with them. We have the awfulest weather here that ever I saw, we have rain every day, the 1st day that we marched we had rain that was impossiable for us to march to this plase, it rained from the time we started tell we got here every one of us were wett to the skin, and no change to put on, and the ground was so wett that we could not lay down all night. To day we got ourself some straw to sleep on which will make us more comfortable as long as we stay, which will only be a few days at the farthes.
My wages are only seventeen dolls a month. But I only drew 13 dolls for the month of December. In about six week we will be paid for two months which I will send home. I have not been giving my money away for eny unneccary trifles, but there was some thing which were very necessary for me to have and it straped me clean. When I do get paid Ill send it all home within two or three dollars.
Yesterday Harry Snyder was taken to the hospital at Bartstown, Harry has been very poorly for the three weeks, but would not consent to go to the docter till he could not stand it weny longer. I read this letter to him and he whiched to be kindly remembered to you and Mr. Laurence and friends and Hillajasses. I could not fined out from the doctir what was the matter with him, but I think all the boys think that he has consumption, he looks so and has a very hollow cough, he has no pain but is very weak noty able to walk hardly. If we stay here to Sunday Robert Huntzinger are going to town to see him.
Thomas Rickerts our regimental Quater Master and ranks as 1st Luitenent and receives ten doll a month more pay than a Luitenent. Than he has a chance to make about 10 thousand dollar a year. Of the men and Uncle Sam his duties are laborous he has to get transportation when required, has to get provisen forage for horses, wood and everything that is required, but he has nothing to say in the regement.
I still read my bible and pray as usual which I wilnot give up. We have not had eny preaching sence we left Harrisburg. The weather has been so unpleasant that the minister could not preach. As we have no tent large enough to whold the men. I did write top Mr. Freed and to [ ] Turner some time ago and will write as asoonas I can again.
To Mr. Laurence I will write soon and give some news and a little of the news of camp as they occur. [ ] The day before we left camp Critenden one man had his head shaved before the whole regement than lead through the camp without a hat and that put out side of the guards .
I was bery glad to here that Bob had got well, but I guess the small pox have not had the effect to make him hid his face. But I must close for this time with my love to you all, to Charles Dav and Emlia, my best respects to Mr. Laurence and all the friends. Direct your next letter to Bardstown Kt. I did not get the papers yet, But I supose they wil be here tomorrow, I receved the postage stamp.

I remain your respectfully

( signed ) F.W. Reed

PS I shall not write eny thing but what is true as far as I know.

Lieut. Bernard Reilley of Company F stated that the regiment was progressing very fast in becoming the best drilled regiment in the division. Francis Reed states in his letter that the turkey he was enjoying was bought by a member of his company, Reilley although claimed, “ Our boys generally lived high along the road, as soon as a the tents were pitched, they would make for the pigs, poultry of known Secesh and I pitied the poor porker that was running loose, for he certainly would be in the haversack of a hungry Pennsylvanian the next morning.”

Camp Thomas, February 3, 1862

Dear Father and Mother.
It is with pleasure that I now write to you to let you know how I am coming onin camp. I am right well now. Harry has been sick for some time, he was taken to the hospital at Bardstown. Since he has been taken out there I have not heard from him, but think he’s getting better or I should have heard from him. The weather continues to be very unplesent with us. Today was to have been inspectun. But it has been so bad that so far the inspectun was postponed. Today I was helping to finish up a turkey which one of the boiys in the company bought. Game is very cheap. Stufed turkeys that weigh 6 or 7 pounds for 40 cts. As long as the money last we live good. When that is all we fall back to the old style.
Enclosed is an allotment roll with which you will draw my wages at the military relief board of Schuylkill county. I think about the first of March. We get our pay the last of Febuary. At least sowe expect. I recceivced a letter fom Uncle Emanuel last week, he is right well. I also got a letter from Mrs. West, they all which to be rembered to you. I must close writing, Love to you. All my best respect to Mr. W.H. Laurnece and Mrs Guterman.

I remain your son.

(Signed) F.W. Reed

On the 1st of March 1862 the regiment arrived in Munfordsville, some foragers of company L and K would have their first skirmish with the enemy. Francis gives an interesting description of the town of Munfordsville in his March 6th, letter. The regiment marched on the 13th of March and arrived at Bowling Green, then visited Nashville on the 17th and camped on the outskirts of the town a place they called Camp Worth on March 22. When marching through Nashville the regiment presented a fine sight, over seven hundred strong in columns of fours, with sabers drawn. The March through Kentucky took over 50 days and now the Seventh Regiment was on its way to the heart of the war in the West, Tennessee.
The city of Mundfordsville left a lasting impression on all the soldiers, Capt. C.C. McCormick, Company L in a letter to his sister stated, “ I only wish you could see the place and country, Around here we begin to see the horrors of war. The desolation it leaves behind.
Our camp is on a hill near the town. We can see for two or three miles in different directions, there is scarcely a fence to be seen any where, even the yard fences about the houses are, or have been torn down. Beautiful groves have been moun down, entrenchment’s thrown up etc. The dead horses of the Texas Rangers are still lying on the ground. I rode over the battle ground and saw where the Rangers attempted to charge on our men but were driven back, leaving quite a number of dead horses in their tracks.”

Mundfordsvill, March 6th, 1862

Dear Father and Mother,
My last I wrote to you from the hospital. I told you that I should be out the next day as we are going to march. We have come to Munfordsvill at last. It took us 7 days to march 40 miles the last 4 days of our march we could only make two and three miles on account of the mud. The last day of our march we had to carry the tents, stoves, camp kettles and provision on the horses. It was imposiable to get their teams along the wagons would sink into the mud up to their axels, sometimes they had to hitch eight and ten mule on one team.
Our team and some 14 others did not get into camp till 24 hours after the regement. I and the teamster had good quarters in a farm house, good super and breakfast, Munfordsvil, I read so mutch of the plase I thought that it was a large plase and Green river I thought was a river like the Ohio. But I was very much disapointed when I first saw the town of Munfordsvill. There is a log court house, one story high, sherif office, one shanty with a sighn on a post in front of the house, Union Hotel, 5 private shaties all of which are now used as hospitals. With all the stables and out buildings and farm houses near it is said that two thousand sick are in and around Munfordsvile. The sight is awfull some look as though as if they were dead, while others are flighty and some sighing to be home or some kind hand to sooth their aching brow, but are near here. We dont expect to stay long at this plase very long when we go the next march I cant say some thing that we go towards the missipici river, down to the gulf and around that way home. We expect to at home about September. Green river is a creek like mile creek. I saw the ground where thay had a small skirmish with the sesses accros the river in a big woods.
I saw Harry Snyder a Bardstown, he is improving asnd is expected to join regement at this place. I am right well now again, Dan Paul is well so is Garhart. I must close with my love to you and all friends. Direct your nrext letter to Munfordsvile Harts County Kentucky.

From your son

(signed ) Francis

The Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry was armed with a variety of different types of weapons throughout their term of service. Company L was armed with the Smith Carbine, and the Savage Army which fired a 36 caliber ball, also their ordnance returns for the month of December show the company receiving Colts pattern 36 caliber Navy revolvers. There were also a number of Adams Cal. 44 pistols issued to the company. And all me in the company carried the model 1840 saber, better known as the “ Old Wrist Breaker”.

March 24th, 1862

(No Heading)

Twenty six miles down the river. The second battalion leaves to morrow morning where they are going is not known. We expect to be sent off soon in some direction. Day before yesterday we were put into Gen. Neglys Briggade yesterday we recieved our pistols they are quite a fancy article, Colts Paten revolver six shooter. We are all proud with them, and are anxious to get rid of those detesteable muskets that we have.
We are closing the enemy in to a small plase now I dont think it wilkl be very long till this war will be brought to a close. It was rumored through camp that Jeff Davis had committed suicide but its not generaly creditid. We have smal skirmishis within 4 and 5 miles of our camp, once in while. Morgan is a kind of a partizan warrier, he has no organized Army but goes around 30 or 50 men and where ever he can catch a team or a few men, he falls on them and takes them A few days ago he burned two small ferry boats and tore up a piece of rail road and took 5 wagons loaded with provision for the 77 Penny regements then was a party sent out imediatly in persuite, they got 4 wagons and took six of his men prisoners.
He came into the city of Nashvill so disquised and gets all information that he wants, then goes out a gain a day or two ago. One of our captain was arrested on suspisin of being Morgan. Yesterday Morgan made one of the boldest dashes that I have heard off. He come out of the city a few miles fromthe city, he met a telegraph opporater, he got into conversaten with. Morgan he asked him what he would do if he met Morgan. I would shoot him like a dog, well then you better do it, for I am the man. And [ brought } out a pistole at the same time, and marched the man off, but he escaped the next day. Again the city is infested with a lot of secesionist who make a practice of shooting guards through the night. They carried it on so long and got so bold that General Bull threatened to burn the city if that should be repeated again. But I must close with these few lines. We have no mail here regular but expeck to have in a few days. Direct your letters to Nashvill whenyou write, I send this penny by a Lutenent who is going home not able to stand the preasure. We have not receved eny pay yet nor do we know when we will getr any, are pay rolls are not made out yet. The allotment rolls I sent home I supose will not do you eny good as Rob Henry tryed and fatrher wrote to him that they refuse to pay any of Wynkoop Regement. I am very sorry that it isso for I dont know what to do with my money when we get paid, for it is not safe to send it by mail express. This is [ ] safe in this part of the country. Give my best respect to you, Mr. Laurence, Mr. Matsen, P. May and famlie to Mr. G Guertemeir and to all inquiring friends.
Your Obedient son,

(signed) Francis

He Fell In A Glorious Cause Francis Reed Letters 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry



APRIL 1862-JULY 1862

Lebanon Tennessee April 1st 1862

Dear Father and mother.
Yours of the 15th of March came to hand and I was very happy to get it some time since I heard from home last. since my last which was wrote from Nashville we have moved again 30 miles further into dixy. We are right into secesia. I never saw anything equle the fealing that has been disiminated through the country by secesion leaders. We where the 1st union troops that came into this part of the country. The people heard that some troops where to be sent down this way, they left their homes unprotected where there was any one at home. If we atempted to speak to them they would run as if we were going to eat them. The stores and all business and private houses in the town were all closed ready to fly and some families had left the day before we came we are attatched to Col. Munday, 123d Ky. regement of Infantry. we raised the stars and stripes on the court house and of that time some of the more bold men of the town who seeing that we did not rush into the houses, came out. The Colonel made some remarks to them and told them he did not come to destroy, but to protetch and save, and said he hope the citizens to open their business houses as they were before. He said he would give them his word that not a soldier under his comand harm or destroy any one, but they were very shy for one or two days refusing to open their stores, but on Sunday the reft whent down town on dress parade and the streats were perty welll filled with curious spectaters who had come in from the country. I with 3 other men whent out in the country some 10 miles from camp to some good Union mans house where we were very hartely welcom by them it was the first Union troops they had seen but along the children would run away from us as though we were a pack of ravanous wolfs. The people seem all to be frighten. We had a very sumpatanous dinner, the bill of I supose would not be unexcepatable to you, 1st ham and egs stewed chicken, wheat cake, wheat hot bread, corn cake, sweet milk, buter milk, red beats and custards. We did ample justic to all returned to camp by 4 oclock in the evening. We [ ] all that we could get a chance to speak to Monday and today have been quite different from the first day. In Lebanaon our camps are visited by the Union ladies from the country from the north of us, all bringing something for the poor soldiers. I was the happy recepceant to day from two[ ] Mcclealner ( when we got our dinner) of two pound cakes and four sweet buskets which I assure are quite a treat. The country is beautifule it would be a pity if a large force should come into this part of the country. We only have above one thousand men 9 hunard infantry and 100 cavelry only our suquadron is here. Where the balance of the regts I dont know they are all divided among the Infantry regtments.
I have entirly recovered from my sickness it was a tutch of thyphoid feaver. I assure you I shall be careful of myself for their is nothing that I fear a muchaas the hospital. As to my money I dont know how to send my money. Our mails are uncertain and liable to all misfourtain of war. We have not receved any pay sence the 1st of January. I am in hopes they will not get paid till we get back to Harrisburg, the prospects of our regtment is [ ] at present that is to stay with this rebelion is cleaned out of our once happy country. You cantell Krebs that Garret and I are [seperated ] I know not where their battelion is the last I seen of him was on the morning when the regt was divided, he was well and whiched to be remered to you when I wrote to you. To day I receved a letter from Harry Snyder, he says he expected to rejoin the company in the course odf a week or two, he says he is right well now with the exception a little neuralgia in his bones. The captain has received a number of papers by wher we see that the rebles are in reatreat in every direction, and some sighns of this soon coming to a close. but we have the ball roling and we intend to keep it going.
Let me heare from home soon again, direct to Nashvill in care of Col. Wynkoop regiment and an ocasional Miners Joournal would be very excepatable. My best respects to Mr. Laurence, to Mr. Freed and families, Mr. And Mrs Matsen, Mr. and Mrs Medlar and all friends. I must close taps have blown and lights must go out. I woulde be kindly rembered to Emly, Dav and Charles.

I remain your son.

(signed) F.W.Reed

Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro, April 4, 1862.

Dear Parents.
It is with pleasure that I know write to you, but I cannot give any idea as to where we are going to or what the prospects of the regiment are for the future. Since my last letter to you we left our pleasently situated camp at Lebanonm for our present one at Murfreesboro. when we left our camp at Lebanon it was the general impression that we where going down to Corinth Miss. but when we got to Murfreesboro we heard our regement was to be mustered out of service. All the talk in camp now is about going home.
Yesterday was an exciting day around Murfeesboro. Saturday night two negros into came camp and said that Morgan was encamped 7 miles from our camp with 12 hunred men. No attentun was paid to that and on Sunday Morning some four or five negros came in and said Morgan was passing our camp some 5 miles to the east of us. Then was the first any attentun was paid to the report. Some of the cavary were sent out to reconorter. They rode on to the pickets before they were aware of it. When they came in and reported, some 15 thousand men where sent in pursuit of him. I had quite a fine time. I had six men and had the leftt side of Nashvill and Shelbyvill pike to scout. we where out all day, it was 7 oclock before we got back to camp but did not get anybody[ ] to late. we searched quite a number of houses where men of Morgans had stopped for the night but we could not find any. The last message that came into camp reports that Woodfords 1st Ky Cabalry was with in one and a half mile of Morgan. The orders of General Duffuld are that they shall persue him for two hunard miles. Col Wynkoop is also in ppursuit with the 2nd battalion. They left camp yesterday afternoon at about 4 oclock. Col. Duffuld got one of the flags which they lost in their haste, it is a very large flag made out of some kind of red and white flanel. They only have the red and white blue Union and ten stars. The Lieut. Col. had a tide to his horse, thus dragging it around in the dirt. Then he would spit on it and tramp on it. It was amusing to see the maner in whic he treated the flag. And while writing they brot in one of Morgans surgeons who was sick and had to be left behind. we have orders to keep ourselves in readines to move in a moments notice where ever we may be needed.
On the 28th of April our officers presented the Major of our battalun a hansome sword. The Govinur of Michigan was here. He presented it for the officers. He accompanied it with a fewe remarks. He is a good speaker. He came in here to see how his men where treated, to see that they were comfortable.
I sent thirty doles home between the 17 and 23rd of April. 5 doles in two letter and twenty doles in one. I am quite anxious to hear from you to know wheter you receved it or not. I have been looking for a letter some few days niow. I’ve expected to be paid this month again and I may want to send more home if you receved that.
Gerhart Hasken was here yesterday. You can tell Mrs. Knobs he is right well. So is Dan paul. He was not along with the squadron. He was left back in camp guard.
My best respect to Mr. Laurence to all inquiring friends.

I would close by signing myself your son.
(Signed) F.W. Reed

Direct your letter as usual to camp wood Nashvill in care of Capt. C.C. McCormick, 7th regt. Penna Cavalry, Col G. Wynkoop. I enclose a 10cts shin [ ] plant. The county is full of them here and also a confedeat electing ticket which I got from Union man at Lebanon. Keep them both

Camp Ceder Lebanon, April 18th 1862

Dear mother and father.
Yesterday morning I sent five dolls in a letter I thought it about as safe a way as any that I could do. We have express hear. And the paymaster of volunteers is not prepared to give vouchers, he was in a hurry he had to go down to Murfreesboro to pay the troops there the next day. We were paid up to the first of March. I received $ 34 at 17 doll a month. I want to send thirty dolls home, ill send it all by mail, five dolls at a time, so if one gets lost I will only be five dolls at most, you will plese let me know wheather you receved it. In this one find five dolls again.
I receved your letter dated April the 4th on the 16th and also 2 papers for which I was very glad. I wish you would send some whenever you can get them. For eastern papers are very scarce, the Louisvil Journal happens to find its way down hear once in a while.
The three letters you speak of before this last one I have not received. I was Glad to hear that Mr. Turner has been stationed so near to Port Carbon. I shall not forget him to write him a letter some day, but I dont think Walters is the man for Port Carbon station.
Our Chaplain of the regement has deserted us he left while we lay at camp Thomas bardstown, he went to Louisville and never returned his health would not admit of his accompanying us any further. His plase has never been filled, nor I dont supose that it will since the regiment is so cut up. Old Col. Wynkoop only has comand of three of his companies. And thart it to many he makes them stand guard and work till they are almost dead he is an awful tyrant. The Col. That our squadaron is under is a fine man, if we want anything we can go and talk to him like a white man. But Col. Wynkoop would not listen to a private. Col [ ] is playing ball with his men every day.
The squadron that Garhart Hasken is in is under Col. Wynkoop they still lag at Nashvill not doing anything, Daniel Paul he is one of Gen. Negleys body guard, they as far as I know of are both well but I have not heard any thing of eather one for a long time. Our squadren has plenty of work to do around here but boys are willing to jump into the harness. Some eighteen whent out on Monday a week ago, they have not been back to camp since. They captured 15 hundred bushel of wheat 75 blls of flour 13 hundred bushel of corn which was intended for the rebles. We about 40 muskets that had been stored away in town here by the reble soldiers. They are of the enfield style since the battle at Pittsburge, they arte down in the mouth, they dont say mutch of their beloved idol Bureguard who was going to whip the yankees out of the coferacy, the reble generals are all good. If you take them as they run Doctor Seegraves, who was surgon in the reble army returned last week, he came and took oath of alegiance. He says the reble leaders are tired of secess as any person can but they are so situated that they cant give up now, but their only hope is to fight to the last. This morning it is rumored that our brigade is ordered down to Pittsburge Landing, so far I have not been able to learn wether their is any truth in it or not. In my next you will know whare we may be.
I have not heard any thing of Harry Snyder for some time, I cannot tell anything of him. I am right well and have a good time generaly the boys are of [ working] nearly all the time so their is not mutch for me to do.
Tell Mr. Laurence that I shall hasten the war tho is quickly as possible, but if he was here we might do a great deal soon, he would be a great help in making out the program of proceeding against the rebles, then this is just the plase for him, here he could have plenty of time and chances to argue the slavery question and the right of secessen with some of the secessonists. The girls at home shall be the means tho of making me hasten on with the work.

I am your son affctonty

(signed) F.W. Reed

To my mutch respected parents.
Give my repects to Mr. Laurence to Mr. May and Fanlie.

Camp Parkhurst May 7th 1862.

My Dear Parents.
According to promice I now will try to give you all the particulars of the battle of Lebanon. On Sunday our men chased Morgan keeping in site of his rear guard till Tuesday morning when they came within 4 miles of Lebanon, General Dumont got information that Morgan had taken the houses and was going to fight that way. So a charge was ordered and for 4 miles our men rode their horses as hard as ever they could go into town. Col. Wynkoop and Major Givin heard the charge as they got within about yards of the Coledge, they were greated with a volly from behind the building and fence. One hundred had taken refuge in them, but our men charge fearlessly on when within twenty yards they gave them a volly from their pistols which told on them for they scatred in every direction. Our men divided up and charged thro town and they say that hail never fell thicker and faster than did the balls while they charge thro town. They could not see a man to shoot at, they were all in the houses. Our forces were posteded on the difrent pikes then orders wher sent in that if they would not surender in 10 minutes the town would be burnt> Luet Col. Wood of the reble army with 75 men gave themselves up but Morgan with about 250 of his chose to fight their way out of town, they made a charge down the Cumberland Pike where our Majer was with a few men, they over runned him killed one of our sergeants, he was from Reading Birks County. John Riley, it was the only man that was killed out of our company. The [ ] they have taken along with them. Our whole loss was six killed and some 8 or 10 wounded mortaly, they look for his end every hour the reble loss killed is reported at 60 men 220 prisiners, this was a hard fought batles as has been fought since.
Since the rebelin the rebles had all the atvantage they shot from the windows on our men as they charged thro town our men at to shot at random thro the windows at them the numbers engaged where about equale. It was altogether a cavalry fight on our side no infantry was near. The rebles where routed and scatred in all direction Morgan made his escape. Col Wynkoop followed him to Cumberland which Morgan was just crossing, they shot after him, some say that he fell but their is no certanty about it, Garhart Hasken is all right he has come tho the fight safle.
I dont think the rebles willhold out mutch longer, Bureguard is dispercing his men on all direction and refuses to show fight this was quite a lucky thing that freemont chased old Morgan out of the Cumberland Mountyains for it gave the seventh Penny cavalry a chance to show its spunk. This is all this morning. I am right well at present but Harry Snyder I am sorry to say is still very poorly, he is still at the hospital at Bardstown. But I receved a letter from him the other day in which he said he was worse than he had been any time yet. He wished to get his discharge, he asked the captain to try and get it for him, the captain wrote back to him that he should not ask for it for a few weeks that the whole regement would be mustered out then he would get his pay and go home with us all.

Give my best to all friends.

I remain your son.
(Signed) F.W.Reed

Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro May 8, 1862

Dear Parents.
I wrote and mailed one letter to you to day already in which I told you all the news I knew I told you that our company and Col. Wynkoop with the second batalion was in persuit of Morgan who was going in the direction of Lebanon where we were statyioned for three weeks and put up the stars and stripes. Our with part of the 4th Ky and 1st Ky cavalry over took him in town this morning, he put his men in the houses where our men made a charge thro the town they were greeted with a volly from each side of the street, from the windows and house tops and every corner, but our men returned the fire gallantly making a charge thro the town till at last the enmy broke from their strong hold asand comenced to retreat in all directions leaving there horses, blamnkets and everything behind them. They threw away their arms in their haste to retreat. Corporal Willman and Private Jacob Uplinger of our company came back this evening with dispatches, they report that we have two hundred of Morgans men prisner one Luet Colnel and three ajudants and four or 5 captain, two wagon loads of guns and amunition. Jacob Uplingers horse was shot thro the head the first charge that was made. He brot with a shot gun cartaridge box that some of the rebles threw away in their retreat. Morgan was compleatly routed 15 of our men where reported killed and missing. Our Major is taken prisoner, he was taken twice but the first time mange to make his escape, but the last time Morgan took him along. General Dumont and General Dufield where taken but in retreate they managed to escape.
Gerhart Hasken was in the fight but I cannot say whether he was hurt or not as the men who came in did not know who the dead where. But in the course of a few days I can give you the full particulars of the fight who killed and wounded are. So I must close with the best respects to all and all that I am sorry of is that I was not with the boys in the fight.

I am your obediant son

(Signed) F.W.Reed

The killed and wounded on both sides are estamated at 100 men.

Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro June 8th 1862
Dear Parents,
It is with pleasure that I again write to \you to let you know I an coming on, I am enjoying tolerable good health at present. It is some time since I received and letters from you.
The weather is becoming very warm and this place is getting to be unhealthy. Something natural where so many solders are encamped, and for so long a time a great many of our men are sick and dying. We have buried last week out of our company two men one from Northumberland and one from reading and we have some 4 or 5 more in the hospital some of which it is very doubtful weather they will recover. The treatment that soldiers in the hospitals hear receive is such to cause them to die. Sometimes once it is not in these hospitals as in the hospitals in the good loyal states where a sick man has some sympathizing friends and nurses who do their duty diligently. But here the nurses are few generally the convalescent are generally as nurses till they are able to join their respective regiments. Our company can only muster now 25 men for duty, our whole battalion can only muster 100 hundred men. On last Thursday 121 of our men were surprised at Reedville about 12 miles from here while eating their breckfast, by some 400 hundred rebels cavalry under Col. Starns 5 of our men were killed 121 made their escape and the balance where taken prisoner. Out of our company their 5 men among them. The following is a list of their names. John H. Miller, from Ringgold, John A Smith from Tioga county, James Pattersen from Tioga county, Abraham Hains from Reading, Lindsley Newcomer from Fayette County. The rebels have played hob with our regiment this morning, we received word that Capt. Hiblers entire company with part of Cap Jenings company were captured at Manchester. I cannot say how mutch truth their is in this report but we will know in a few days.
While writing some our boys that were taken at Reedyville have come, they report all of our sent homeon parole they will be hear in camp in the course of the day. They say they were treated like gentlemen by Col. Starns comand. Those men will be immediately sent home as they cannot do any duty here.
I dont know what will become of our company I think it quite probable that we will be mustered out soon for at this rate we will not have any men for duty soon. I know I should like to be discharged for it is getting awfull warm down here. I supose you have heard of the success of Gen Pope in Missipia, Gen. Mitchel is chasing the rebles up this way, I think one of these days we can let you know of the capture of all those prowling bands who prowl around the country robing and plundering and falling on small parties of our men.
Yesterday tho it was Sunday the pay master paid us a visit and we were all glad to see him and the green backs that he brot along with him. Enclosed I send 30 dolls. You can use the mony if you need it and if you dont need it put it out on interest in some secure plase. Maby the conty would be the best this with the rest that I sent home.
If John H. Miller come in to day and he gets his discharge I will send home some of the clothes by him. I will let you know by mails as soon as I shall know when he goes. Please write soon and let me know all the news from home it is some time since I received the last I must close by signing myself.

Your son
(signed) F.W.Reed

Direct you letter to Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro Tenesse in care of cap C.C. McCormick Comp L 7th Regt. Pa Cabalry Col. G.C. Wynkoop.
My best respects to all my friends.

He Fell In A Glorious Cause Francis Reed Letters 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry



JULY 1862

On July 12, 1862 the 3rd battlion of the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry along with four companies of the 4th Michagan Cavalry were surprised by a day light raid of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s 2nd Georgia Cavalry and the famed 8thTexas Cavalry. Almost all of the men in the Seventh were asleep at the time and very few made their escape. The battalion was encamped on the outskirts of the town. Capt. McCormick, Capt. Andress of company G and Lt. Mooney A.Q.M. of the battalion wereon a scout about 28 miles from the city, and escaped capture Company L on the evening before the battle mustered 67 men and McCormick reported after the attack as only having 8 men fit for duty. The 3rd Battalion only mustered 12 non commisioned officers and privates, 2 captains and 2 Lieuts.
Fortunately for Frank Reed he was captured in the early years of the war when a prisoner exchange system was still being utilized. Reed would not suffer the depredations of being incarcerated in one of the south’s notorious prisons such as Andersonville located in the pine forests of Georgia, where men lived in an overcrowded open area exposed to the weather, unclothed for months or years watching their fellow prisoners die from exposure and disease. or the deadly camp at Salisbury, N.C. that was just as horrible as Andersonville. After Frank Reeds capture he was almost immediately sent to McMinville and then on to Nashville where the men stayed for five days and then were entrained for Camp Parole, near Annapolis Md.
Being sent to Camp Parole was a life saver for the men of Reed’s company, because they were guarded by Union soldiers and were relatively free to do what ever they liked with in the confines of the camp. The exchange of prisoners was supposed to take about three to ten days, but like everything run by a governmental bureaucracy things broke down and the wait lasted much longer. Under the provisions of an agreement made by the United States and the Confederate States, which the U.S. did not recognize, the men who were captured would sign an oath that they would not fight again until legally exchanged. The method of exchange was supposed to have been man for man, rank for rank, they even set up a scale of exchange when their were more privates than officers. If a lower rank soldier was to be exchanged for a higher ranked officer the scale went something like this. For one Commanding General you could exchange sixty privates, for one Colonel fifteen privates for one NCO two privates.
The exchange system was finally started on July 22, 1862 after both governments agreed upon the rules to be used. It would end about 307 days later and the horrors of the Southern and Northern prison camps would begin. As stated the exchanges were to take place within 10 days but often took more than thirty days, because of the enormous amount of paper work involved in trying to figure out who was exchanged for whom. The initial exchange took place on the field, but some officials thought some of the men were allowing themselves to be captured in order to go home or to get out of the service. This was the prime reason that Camp Parole located in the east, and Camp Chase located in the west were organized .
As the men first arrived they usually came in via the water ways, they were in detachments of a few hundred to a few thousand. Some came in a state of destitution with little or no clothing, covered in filth and vermin. They lived in wooden framed buildings 90 X 20 and one story in height with a cook house in the rear. They initially were formed and counted and muster rolls were made out for each individual. Then clothing was issued as Frank Reed states, but before the clothing was issued the men were taken to the river and made to bath and throw away the filth and vermin ridden clothing. Camp Parole was guarded by 30 infantry posts but discipline was very slack, parades were almost non existent except morning and evening roll call. The ground out side the camp was covered with old abandoned tents and rubbish every where absolutely not fit for human habitation. But all in all the men didn’t mind the camp’s until spending long and boring weeks doing nothing started to ware on them. Reed shows the disgust with the wait in some of his letters.
The first news of the capture of Major Seibert and his command including Francis Reed and members of Company L reached the Schuylkill County newspapers on July 26, 1862. In these two articles.

Pottsville Daily Miners Journal:
July 26, 1862.

We are pained to hear of the capture or destructtion of the command held by Major Seibert, of the 7th Penna. Cavalry, at Murfreesboro, in the last raid of John Morgan, especially as we have strong intinations of neglect on part of the superior officers of that post. The Major we belove, is safe, but a prisoner, and nothing has been heard of him since his capture. It was supposed that Col. Wynkoop was with the battlion of his regiment which is incorrect. A day or two after, Major John E. Wynkoop was orderd with an escort of fifteen men, to make a reconnoissance, if possible, from Nashville to Shelbyville, and report. He passed through Murfreesboro which was garrisoned by one hundred rebel cavalry, undiscovered, until he reached the opposite end, when sixty of them gave chase for four miles. He narrowly escaped capture, by tearing up the planks of a bridge crossing a deep ravine. On his arrival at Shelbyville, he made his report, and was orderd with his battalion to join Gen. Smith at Tullahoma.

The capture of Major Seibert: On Friday last, Mr. Seibert, formerly a citizen of this boro, but now a resident of Philadelphia, received a telegraph dispatch from Nashville, to the effect that his son, James Seibert, Major of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry, had been taken prisoner in the recent fight at Murfreesboro. He was not hurt. Quite a number of his men were also captured but subsequently paroled by the rebels. We are not aware that any of them are from this county .
Col Wynkoop of the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry, writes that four companies of his regiment were captured at Murfrresboro, with all of the officers, except Capt. McCormick, Capt. Andrews and Lieut. Moore. Major Seibert, Col. Duffield and Gen. Crittenden are prisoners. Fifty two men of the battalion, escaped capture and reached Nashville. The entire regiment started subsequently, under his command, to Murfreesboro. The loss to the command was 150 men, in killed, wounded and prisoners. The Colonel’s health, we are happy, to hear is good.

Nashvill Tenesse July 19 1862.

You no doubt by this time have heard of the battle at Murfreesboro and are uneasy in regard of me. But I have been fortunate enough to escape with out as mutch as getting a scratch. You no doubt will like to know all the particulars conserning the fight. I will try to give you them as near as posiable, as I was in it from the comencement till our General Surendered on Sunday the 13th at about half after 3 oclock in the morning. Gen. Forrrest made a dash on our camp. Discharging their guns into the tents and killing the men in their beds. We were not aware of an enemy near they compleatly suprised us. The most of our men had gone out on a scout about 12 oclock at nightor their would have been more killed then their was. 4 men out of our batalion were killed and 10 wounded. None of our company were killed 3 were wounded not dangerously. The 9th Michigan Regt. Was encamped behind us and they soon came to our relief the rebles had to scaddadle they took with them a great many prisoners, took the men out of bed and would not alow them to put on their clothes. Harry Snyder and eight men of our company were taken barefooted and bare headed and two were taken naked altogether. The rebles made them run for 12 miles over rough and stony turnpike and did not alow them to rest till they had gone 28 miles from Murfreesboro.
I should have been taken prisner the first charge if it had not been for the man that slept with me, he puled down the tent cover till they were leaving camp then I crept out and gave them a good by shot, the shots fell thick and fast around me for a while but none tutched me. The men had all left our camp excepting Major Seibert and I then went over to the Michigan their got a musket a piece and found skirmishers and folowed the rebles to town. One hundred men fought from 4 in the morning till 12 oclock at noon. When about 25 hundred surrounded us and demanded us to surendered. Col. Parkhurst conclued it was best to surrender as our force was to small to holde out. Major Seibert was very angry when annouced to lay down arms and give up our self as prisoners of war. He had fought all morning with a private uniform on. He escaped without a wound or scratch but it was very close, 8 buck shot passed tro his cap. After we surrendred the reble General said privat property should be respected we packed up our clothes and put them on our company wagons then the rebles burnt our tents and everything that was in them that they did not want. After they had plased us under guard and got us started of towards McMinvile the main body turned back and attacted the nine [ Michigan } and Hesites Ky battery which was encamped 3 miles from us. And by 4 oclock they made them surender, burnt their tents and all their clothes. We were marched 22 miles than put up for the night and the next morning taken to 3 miles beyond McMinvile. And the next day they paroled the whole party but the comisoned officers. They were to be sent to Atlanta Georgia. Then the night at McMinevile the men took all our clothes from us broke open the officers trunks and took everything away did not as mutch as leave us a shirt for to change. We got to Nashville on Friday night nearly dead, we had to foot the whole way and from Saturday night till Friday night we had only got 3 meals of viteuals. The whole force captured I dont think well exceed 9 hundred men, the killed on our side was some 20 and about 50 wounded and the rebles acknowledge a loss of 300 men, they destroyed an emence lot of stores. They burnt the depot sawed the stringers on the rail road bridge. Gen Duffield was wounded it is thought mortaly, he was wounded just as he steped out of his tent. One of the reble Col. Was wounded and two majors.

Give my best respects to all enquiring friends.

(Signed) F.W.Reed

Dan Paul is with us he was taken prisner and released with us.

Annapolis, Md July 31th 1862

Dear Parents.
You no doubt have received my letter from Nashvile after our return from captivity among the rebles. We lay arround Nashvile for 5 days then were sent to this plase to be exchanged, we arrived here yesterday morning since we have come here, we have heard that exchanging has been stoped, what will be done now with us I can not tell, we are all very anxious to be exchanged and to go back and square accounts with some of the rebls in the vicinity of Murfreesboro. I which you would send me a few dolls in money. We are intirily out of money. The rebles took all my clothes they did not leave me any thing except what I had on. I have no change of and I am pretty dirty now. Harry Snyder is situated worse than what I am he has no shoes, he has come about 800 miles barefooted and forty out of our battalion and in that fix. I was fortunate to meet with Samuel McQuade and Mrs. Mays brother here and I got a change of shirts from them, they are in 76 regt. Col. Staunton they both like soldiering at present, they’re guarding the Ohio and Baltimore R.Road and Annapolis. I dont know how soon we will be able to draw any clothes from the government. If you can do it I which you would send me several shirts strong white ones, direct to Annapolis Md. In care of Major Givin 7th regt. Pennsy Cavalry. This is a very fine plase right on the bay. Yesterday I was down at the warf and eat as many oysters as I wanted too. If we do not get exchanged I shall try and get a furlough from here to go home for a few weeks. Yesterday we heard canonading south of us, what it was for we were unable to tell. Some supose it was out towards Gordansvile where the rebles were in strong force, so reported I would close for this time by sighning my self your son.

(Signed) F.W. Reed.

Direct Your letter to Annapolis Md. In care of Major Givin 7th Zregt. Pen Cabalry.

Annapolis Md. August 6th 1862.

Dear Parents
Your letter came to hand this morning and I was glad to hear from you and to know that you sent the shirts. Tho we are not so mutch in need of them now as for some days ago. We received one shirt a pair of stockings and those that were barefooted got shoes. That is all that we received in the shape of clothes. A pair of pantaloons and a jacket will be about all that I will need. The rebles burnt about 40 doll worth of clothes and books of mine, they did not as mutcxh as leave blouse. I received the two stamps and two dolls. The bundle has not come to hand yet but expect them this evening. The best way to send a box will be by express to Annapolis, you must judge of the eatables which chose to send we have got so as to be able to live on anything, while with the rebles. Six days we had only two meals. Dan Paul is hear with us and is well he wishes that you would please go to David and get his brown jacket and light neck tie and send them along, and if he has some good thing good to eat he would except it. Garret is still with the regiment, Juleps Wrinkle was in the hospital sick when we were taken prisoner. I have not seen or heard since then, but I will write to the company to day to esquire after all the boys. Let me know who is the captain of the company in Port Carbon. I have not received letters from Mr. Meddler or Fred and have wrote several times to both. Major Lutes from Ringed is in the 67th Reg. He says he knows father well and wants to be remembered to you and Mr. Givens and Mr. Mays family. I send you a copy of our Paroled given us by Gen. Forest. This morning we prisoners have sent to the Secretary of War a Petition to exchange us immediately or send us home on furlough or discharge. What will be done remains to be seen yet I hope he will pay some attention to it, for if we are compelled to lay here in this camp we will all be sick. Give my respect to all friends, to Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. And Mr. Matinee and Mr. Guiterman. Send me a neck ties and also one or two pair drawers. I will close for this time by signing myself your obediant son.

(Signed) F.W. Reed

Paroled list of the 7th Regt. Cavalry.

The following is the names of the none comisioned officers and privates of the 7th regt Pennsy Cavalry in the service of the United States captured by Brigadier General N.B. Forrest, Murfreesboro Tneesee on the 13th day of July 1862, and now held as prisoners of war. Do except their discharge against these confedrate States. During the continuence of the war, nor to give information of any military movement of this brigade untile regulary exchanged.

Warren City July 15 1862.
Second Sergt. F.W. Reed 22
Third Sergt. H.H. Snyder 21
Third Corporal L.B. Husted 22
4th Corporal S. Milmore 18
5th Corporal F.S. Ebbing 39
Private John Hutcheniers 18
Private Merrick C. Seely 30
“ Isacc Marvin 18
“ James Patchin 23
“ John Smith 27
“ Abraham Bauer 22
“ Jacob Hartman 41
“ Linsley Newcomer 20
“ John Duffy 22
“ Augustus Sheet 21
“ Charles Coveney 21
“ Sebastan Delside 28
“ William Reader 22
“ Harrison Bechtle 23
“ Francis Hobsen 58
“ D.S. Irland 26
“ Jacob Upling 17
“ John Shaw 60

Camp Parole Annapolis Aug 18 1862

Dear Parents
Yours of the 12th came to hand today, and it caused quite a stir, the boys all in to see and of course, corteseys had to be extended to them, which soon run out the cakes. Everything was in good condition and all tasted better than any thing we have had since we have been in the service. The shirts came to hand some days ago. Danl Paul, H.H. Snyder, and myself have the bread and dry beef and catsup which we will keep to feast on for a week or so. The elder wine was excellent and all in the tent join in their respects to the giver. Mrs. Mattisen, H.H. Snyder is especialy anxious to be rembered to her. You can tell her I shall allways be under obligations to her for what she has done for me. I have not forgot my brother and sister. I often think of them and would like to see them. The clothes were all in good time, father must not thing that our captain C.C. McCormick is a coward far from it he was the bravest of the brave, at about 1 at night when we were attacked the captain with about 60 men of our bataliun whent out on scout towards Lebanon and was back within two miles of town. When we were attacked but he could not get in to us. So he retreated towards Nashvile. He is now with Col. Wynkoop at McMinevile, and I see by the paper that the Col. Has had a fight with the rebles at Sparta, he killed some thirty of the rebles than retreated to the main army. Our Luitenent from Reading,A.D. Bechtle played the part of a coward, in plase staying and fighting the rebles like his men he escaped by skadadling, and when he started of he called out run boys the rebles are coming, he started of but the boys would not follow him. The boys are all well, our camp is daily increasing Paroled priseners from Richmond. They all give sickning accout of their treatment while among the rebles, Danial Paul says you shal tell David he is very mutch oblige for all the thigns. To day the boys were mustered in for pay it is now almost four months since we received the last pay. I have a [ cyst ]on foot I am not able to walk or have not been able to walk for the last week. It is something like fellen it is very painful, but is getting better in the course of 4 or 5 days I’ll be able to walk again. I have right good bioys with me so no difficulty to get things done. Dave Pauls letter stated that it was reported that he had alowed the rebles to come in on us, and not fired a gun, he never was on picket in our neighborhood it is all false, give my respects to Mr. And Mrs. Matisen to Mr. Laurence and all the friends. I remain your obediant son.

(Signed) F.W.reed
To my mutch beloved parents

While still awaiting release from Camp Parole Reed would learn of the tragic death of Lt. Nicholas Wynkoop, the son of Col. George C. Wynkoop and also of the great heroic act by Col. George Wynkoop. the Seventh Pennsylvania was involved in a fight at Galatin Tenn. On the 21st of August with the Seventh Pennsylvania in the advance. About 8 a.m. a line of battle was formed by Col. Wynkoop on the Louisville and Nashville Pike. For nearly two hours the Seventh endured the rebel fire, close to 10 o’clock the 3rd Indianna cavalry arrived and formed their ranks on the right rear, and the 4th Kentucky formed on the left. The firing was intense between the opposing forces. Quickly moving the Seventh to the edge of a fence along the pike on the right side of the road, Col. Wynkoop ordered Lieutenants Vale and Greeno to make a saber charge. With the rebels falling back and in disorder Col. Wynkoop was orderd to stop the charge and fall back to the fence. The order to fall back was recived by the men of the Seventh with disbelief. The rebels seeing that they were not persued reformed and made an advance on the Union troops. Wanting to charge the advancing rebles the men begged the General Johnson for the order, but he orderd the men to dismount and lead their horses and attack the rebels with their revolvers, the attempt failed. General Johnson then orderd a retreat along the whole line, in falling back most of the wounded, dead and dismounted men were captured. While in this retreat Lt. Nicholas Wynkoop, Aide De Camp to Genral Johnson was shot through the head, falling from his horse he was left in the road. Falling back further the men reached the Cumberland River, about 5:30 in the evening Genral Johnson asked for a parley and drew up the terms of surrender.
With rebels in their rear and orders to surrender Col. Wynkoop and Col. Kline of the 3rd Indianna drew their sabers and sounded their bugles and charged the rebels before them, the rebels scatterd in every direction. Col. Wynkoop and Col. Kline crossed the river and rode into Lebanon that night and the next evening arrived in Nashville. Losing only 1 officer and 5 men killed and sixteen wounded.
General Morgan later sent a flag of truce to General Buell and demmanded the return and surrender of Col. Wynkoop and Col. Kline with their regiments stating that they were legally surrenderd by Gen,. Johnson.

Camp Parole Sept. 3 1862

Dear Parents,
Yours of the 23d Inst. You are anxious to here from me as it is now some time since I wrote you. Wy I did not write to tell you I was waiting to here what would be done with us. I was in hope we should know before this time, but still we arte kept in supence. And it looks from appearence to day that we are destined to stay for some time at this plase. The whole camp has been reorganized. New tents in plase of old ones, and all thro it has the appearance as tho we would winter here, which I hope I will not be the case, we are all heartly tired of this style of living. And are all anxious to be exchanged but no attention is paid to our petitions. I have wrote to our captain to go to Gebneral Comanding the western divisin to have us exchanged, but have no answer as yet. On last Saturday I wrote to governor Cartan in regard to us, I expect an answer today. I only which we could get out of this plase. Never have I been so discourage as since here. Ever one is dissatisfied all want to go home or be exchanged. So their is continual growling, we are being comfortably quarter now, the boys will all have blankets, and tomorrow they will get a new suit from head to foot. We have plenty to eat and drink coffee twice a day fresh bread every day, fresh beef three times awe, salt pork three times a week, bean soup three or four times a week, and salt beef at any time, so we dot suffer in the eating line, nor I do not think we shall suffer for anything to make us comfortable as far as clothing is conserned. All that we want is our pay. Watermelons and cantelopes and peaches are very cheap, and we would like to get some but the shiners arte wanting. I think that we fare fuly as well now as we did at Nashvile and while we were with our regiment. But then we cannot be so well satisfied, we have nothing to do here and time lays heavy on hand. The day before yesterday 25 of our regiment arrived from Gallitin Teneesee were they were taken by Morgan. They seen luit Wynkoop and one of them was with the Liut when he fell, he was asked surender 4 or 5 times but always said as long as he had a chance for his life he would not surender. He was entirly surounded by reble soldiers but fought til a bullet peirced his brain and he fell from his horse a corps. The men all cannot express how brave Col. Wynkoop fought, General Johnston surendered the whole comand, but Col. Wynkoop told him he should not surender to a gurrila, he would sooner wade knee deep thro blood, than turning around to his men he said follow me and I will lead you thro safe all of his men that had horses folled him and some Indiana troops, and he cut his way thro the rebles and 400 men with him. After he had got some six miles Gen. Johnston sent and ordly after him to tell him to come back that he surendred the whole comand, but the Col. Sent tje ordly back to tell Johnston that he would not come back, and if he did he should go back and tear out his traiter heart. He took his 400 men to Nashvile and a large number of prisiners. If all our men were like Col. Wynkoop the rebles would not fare as well as they do. He has sworen never to surrender to a gurilla as long as he has a shot in his pistole or cartdridge in his pourch. Three men that were taken at Gallitan were taken to hartsvill and their they were drawen up in the street to be made the laughing stock for the women of that town. The reble soldirs would point their fingers at them and say. Look ladies here are your pets, one of the men remonstrated against such treatment and they were going to gag him. They were not alowed to go to Nashvile, but had to walk to Bowling Green 95 miles from Gallitan. All their clothes were destroyed they came as poor as we came, nothing but what they had on their backs. Numbers are arriving daily from richmond and other plases from the south they all have the same sorrowfull tales to tell of their treatment while in rebeldena, our camp numbers now about 25 hundred men.
Last week and on Sunday we heard heavy firing towards Fairfax Courthouse, the rebles I supose are making one more effort for their cause, this afternoon we can here canonnading but it is more distant, but I think their is some fighting going on as the firing seem to be so regular.
Mrs Smith from Port Carbon was here a week ago. I was glad to see her it was a familiar face from Port Carbon. She I supose told you how we are situated, but our condition has been very mutch improved since then, my foot is geting right well and I think in the course of a few days I will be able to put on my shoes. In regard to sending a box it is not worht while. We have enough bread and meat and I would not ask to pay express money, I would sooner pay it myself [ than ] give it to them. Their is a rumor afloat in camp now that we are to report to Harrisburge, which I hope may be true, than I shall be able to get a furlough for a few days, here their is no use for apling for any I think I have answered all your enquiries and give you all that I can think of at this time. I would clos with my best respect to Mr. And Mrs Mattisen and to Mr. Laurence.

I remain your obedian son
(signed) F.W. Reed.

Camp Parole Sept. 9 1862

Mutch Beloved Parents,
I again take this oppertunity to write you. This is now the second that I have written to you. I am quite anxious to here from you, to know the state of the feeling in Port Carbon and the county. This mornings paper has very discouuraging news, the rebles are reported to be threatening our state if that should be the case you must not be suprised if you see me or here of me in the state, for we Pennsylvanians are not going to lay in camp here inactive while are friends and homes are in danger, I have wrote the Govenor asking to be exchanged, and to day we have sighned another petition to him asking to be taken to our own state. If he willnot do anything for us we are going to do it ourselves. We will not desert but go to our state and take up arms in spite of the parole given us, we will not go out of the state maby but if they dare to come into the state we will fight them there. The excitement is great here in camp all kinds of rumors afloat, some that we are exchanged and others that we are exchanged and others that we are going to be taken to Pennsylvania. We changed our camp yesterday, two miles from the city of Annapolis. On last Friday 1100 prisoner arrived here they were taken at the battle of Buls Run, some of Col. Seigfrredds men were among the number , they all praise the conduct of the Col. Thro the engagement, alsways at the head of the regiment cheering on his men.
The news you have there as well as we have here, nothing new is going here with the exception of the citizen are drilling daily, forming companies for the defense of the state. It has been rumored that some of the military stores from Baltimore were being removed to this plase for safety. Extensive military operation are going on at Baltimore. I am well with the exception of my foot, I am not able to put on a shoe yet. Daniel Paul received a letter from David, he was not very well pleased on not receiving no money, as he contracted some bills which he calculated to pay soon as he reveved his money. It is perfectly safe to send money as the rebles are not near any of the railroads leading to our part of the state. I should like to have a little money again those two dolls have run out and I have also run in debt for washing, which is a Negro woman of this plase, I should not like to go off without paying her. Send me a few postage stamps in the next. If you send any money send it immediately on receiving this for we may move in the course of a few days. Give my best respect to all inquiring friends, no more for this time I remain your affectionate son.

(Signed) F.W.Reed

Camp Parole Sept, 1862

Dear Parenets,
Your welcom letter came to hand this afternoon and I haste to answer. We have ashurance from our officers that we will be taken to Harrisburg soon, their to recruit up for our regiment. The general impression is that we are exchanged. My foot is not well yet vie been with the doctor several times, he burnt it with castic but it seem that it is determined not to heal up, now seven weeks that I have not been able to put on my shoe. Why Port Carbon must be entirely deserted at present. But I hope that have gone for State defense, may soon have the opertunity to return home. By acconts from the Patomac the rebles are geting the worset their the reble Long street is reported killed and Hill surrendered and nearly the whole reble army demoralized and beating a hasty retreat back to the sunny south. Danial Paul is not very well, he comended to complain on last Sunday. Since then he has been getting worst. I am afraid a fever is setting in on him and the poorest kind of provisin is made for sick in the paroled camp. The sick lay on the floor without any covering except such as the rebles choose to leave them have which they sent them from their prisin, the doctors have left them in hospitals for two days with out anything to eat. The fact of oit is if a man gets sick here he is left to live or die as the case may be. Danial Paul received a letter from Garet Hasker yesterday, they are still at Nashviile and are making preperations for battle. They have cut down all the woods in the neighborhood of Nashvile and are tearing down some of the best buildings in the city to build forts on the spot General Buel is their. The balance of our regiment is detailed as escort for the General. Garet is well was at the time of the writing of the letter. Harry Snyder has nuralguae in his face which makes him considerable face now. Several men of the 48 regt. Are here they were taken at bull run. One of Christ Kochs boys are among the number. Some more are expected to night or tomorrow morning from the Potomack, our camp numbers 11,350 men. My respects to inquiring friends, I would sign my self your affectionate son.

(Signed) F.W. Reed

Camp Parole, Septa, 12th 1862

Dear Parents,
Yours of the 12th that came to hand today. And I was very happy to here from you. I know that you are all well yet I was getting quit uneasy I had not heard from you for two weeks, I received two dolls and two postage stamps. Since Mr. Smith has been here we have improved our appearance and our camp is mutch cleaner than that one was. We all have new clothes all look like soldiers again. I am glad to here that people are aroused and preparing top defend the state. I do not think it will be nessary for many to leave their homes, this mornings news is that Jackson is retreating over into Virginia at Williamsport and also that the rebles were defeated with teriable slaughter at Harpers Ferry where they had the fool hardness to attacked our forces under General Franklin. I did expect that I should go home if the rebles attempted to invade our state, but have givin up the idee now, George Fraze r of Comp K of our regiment tryed to leave camp on Wednesday last, but was stoped and is now in jail for mutny in camp, he was going to take about hundred men with him, and if my foot would not have been sore I should have made the attempt with him.
My foot is stillsore I am not able to put my shoe on, which is very unpleasant. I can not tend to my duties in camp. Otherwise I am in good health. The whole camp is improving in health. H.W. Snyder is well and wishes to be rembered to you and Mr. W.H.Laurence. We have not received any pay yet but are promised from day to day, we know nothing about exchanged fifty diffrent storys are raised then the day to day a story has considerable sirculation that we leave to night for Pennsylvania to enter the state service, and a nother that we will be discharged from the service. Our camp increases every day, we number about 4000 men now. John Super was here today he wants to be remebered to father.
It shopuld become nessary for militia to come to the defence of the state it would drain Port Carbon entirely of men. Lett me know in the next who are captains of the different organizations. Then my love to all, give my best respects to all enquiring friends, to Mr. W.H. Laurenmce and to Mrs. Matesen and I remain your most obedient son

( signed ) F.W. Reed

It is certain that we are exchanges but you can write and direct here if you write imediately if not and we should move ill let you know.

Harrisburge Sept, 29 1862

Dear Parents,
We arrived at Harrisburg on last evening strain. Stooped at the park house this morning reported Captain Esington. We expected to leave for Cincanatia this afternoon but the boys are coming in so slow I doubt very mutch that we will get off for the next 2 or 3 days. Some of the men I am afraid will get themselves into some difficulty by staying away. We meet Mrs. Medlar, we had quite a plesent chat as far as Port Clinton, we where parted enclosed you will have a photograph of Harry and one of old Mr. Hobsen of Reading.
I am well at present and as soon as I can find out when we leave I shall let you know. Harrisburge is still as active as ever.
I remain your obedien son.

(Signed) F.W. Reed

Harrisburge Oct, 3rd 1862

Dear Parents,
We are now about to start for the seat of the war, I thought I would drop you a few lines so that you would not be uneasy if I should not write for a week or two. Father will see Mr. Robert Kean. I sent my watch back with him and the key I had forgot to winde it up last night so I had no time after all. I concluded it best to send it back. I am well so is Harry Snyder. As soon as I get to our company I shall write to you. You need not write till you here from me again. My best respect to Mr. W,H, Laurence. I hope he is well by this I am very sorry I had no time to go and see him before leaving town but the time was short. My respects to all friends I would close for this time by sighning myself your obedient son.

(Signed) F.W Reed