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Augusta County: James B. McCutchan [?] to Martha, April 17, 1861

This letter, possibly by James B. McCutchan, describes some of the confusion among the troops in Staunton following the succession crisis in April, 1861.

April 17, 1861 Wednesday


My Dear Martha

We all have been in a great state of excitement here nearly all day, + in great destress, poor Lgt Ewell, Nelson with all the other poor fellows have just started for Harpers ferry + they were not to be told till after they started, where they were going, but William Patrick came up on the [deleted: ] the enemy + told will Nelson, + he told us, you never saw such an excitement + such a [unclear: destressing] time as we have, it is said to be a secret movement [unclear: in] the Gov. having so many companys called out, from Augusta, this evening later no then dispatch came for a company of troops, + if they could not get horses in any other way to take them by forse, so [unclear: Legh] told us late this evening, + that Lincon looked on Virginia still as his friend + that he was going to send 20,000 men to Staunton + 30,000 to Richmond, this is the news that came late this evening, Legh says Lincon must be a old fool, how do you all feel, I wish we all could be together, we dont know what is to take place, I forgot to say Lencon intended

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coming to Staunton as a place of safety. I think he never intend coming as he is to have such a fourse, how true all this is I cant say. Nanny + the children were at well Nelsons when [unclear: Lyt] was called out today, he had to send for Len + Well Nelsons family all one at [unclear: Les] I feel so sorry for her to stay at Len house, I helped her to darn some socks, they were done in a short time two of James Calhoon's sons will go in the morning please some of you write + give much love to each + all at home as ever

your affect

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