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Augusta County: James R. McCutchan [?] to Rachel Ann McCutchan, June 28, 1861

In this letter, McCutchan lists the towns his company has marched through in northern Virginia near Harper's Ferry, and he describes their current camp at the Virginia-Maryland border, just across from Union troops. He also writes of the town of Martinsburg and the military hospital there.

June 28, 1861

Dear Rate.

. . .I am not disposed to censure any body for not writing I know that I don't get more than half the letters that are written to me. [illeg.], probably you don't get half of mine.

The last time I wrote to you I was at the Ferry, but since then we have been on the march a good [unclear: bit] & have been shifted about from one place to another right often. - We have been in Shepherdstown, Charlestown, Brucetown, Winchester, Bunker Hill, (Buckleburg), Martinsburg, & now we are encamped near Hanesville, about 5 miles N.E. of Martinsburg - We have a very pleasant encampment in a beautiful grove, cool & shady & here beneath these old oaks of the forest I love to stay & when night comes, to root myself in my blanket & lay down with the earth for a bed & the blue heaven for a cover. - There are about 4,000 troops here & a number more within a half days march of this place.

It is not more than 6 miles to an encampment of Yankees consisting, (according to report of 6,000 men). They are encamped near Wm's Port. This is the lowest point down the river than can be crossed, all the bridges along the river have been burned, & they have encamped there in orders to prevent us from going into MD.- Well we don't want to cross over, but we will be very apt to keep them from crossing over here.- They had been crossing over before we came here & had destroyed a quantity of property belonging to secessionists, had entered the house of a widow lady & destroyed her fine furniture.- Our scouts are along the river everyday, & have been fired on twice this week by the blue bellied Yankees on the other side. One of the Waynesborough Cavalry was dangerously wounded in the brest yesterday while on duty near this river, but we got a yankee to pay for him.

Martinsburg is a beautiful town, though there are a [unclear: maj] of unionists there, though the secessionists that are there, are just as kind as they can be. I was there yesterday to see some of our men that were at the hospital, & there were about 20 young ladies, the [unclear: pride], beauty & aristocracy of Martinsburg there in that dingy old hospital laboring to [unclear: promote] the comfort and welfare of the sick soldiers. - Who would not fight when there are such women as these to fight for?

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