Letter from Martinsburg.
November 2, 1864
Letter from Martinsburg.
Martinsburg, West Va., Oct. 31, 1864.
Expecting to move to the front this morning, I send a brief resume of operations since I last wrote. Another large train of sick and wounded came in on the evening of the day on which that letter was mailed. They were bestowed in three trains of cars, and again, until late at night, you might have seen your humble servants, A and B, with two other volunteers in the same errand of mercy, distributing tea, crackers, preserves, and such other refreshments as were at hand. B[e]fore the trains started for Baltimore we had gone through all the cars, and through some of them the second time.
The government provision, so far as we could see, was simply loaves of coarse bread, apparently baked and broken in two about a week before being used, and thrown in by the handful into the cars.
To the list of wounded already sent from West Virginia, we have to add only the names of J. V. Porter, of Pendleton county, wounded in the left breast and arm, and Addison Rexrode, of Highland county, right arm off.
There have died between this place and Winchester, and been interred here with Christian burial, among others the following from West Virginia: Levi G. Griffin, 10th Reg’t., Co. F, of gunshot wounds; Benjamin Rhodes, of the 15th West Va. Infantry.
During the day, supplied with tracts, stationery, &c., we visited the various camps around the place and also hospitals, write letters for the wounded soldiers and act the good Samaritan generally.
It should be said to the credit of the truly loyal of this region, that of their ability and beyond their ability they have been forward in this work. Those however, who are able to do much, have been heavily drawn on, and it is wrong to let them bear the burden. Next to them stand the “Christian Commission,” of these there are four here, four at Winchester and four at the front.
These all labor without money and without price. The “Sanitary Commission” is also in the field and is a good institution, especially for the officers.
Incidents of thrilling interest, enough to fill a volume, have been witnessed by us already that neither your space nor my time admits of their recital at present.
The friends of Rev. J. B. Feather, will be pleased to learn that he is laboring here with great efficiency, as is also Chaplain Wallace of the 12th regiment, and G. Martin of the 14th. The latter we have not yet seen, but were informed by the soldiers that he made his escape unharmed from the rebels, though they rained a shower of bullets around him. Rev. J. L. Irwin, Chaplain of the 15th regiment, has been taken to Richmond.
The 1st regiment came in here last night and is said to be on its way to Wheeling.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: November 1864