Franklin County: James A. Harman to Martin W.
Carman, July 18, 1862
Lt. James A. Carman writes to his father, Martin W. Carman, regarding expectations of an upcoming approach to Richmond, the conduct of the war, his recent illness, his decision not to resign from the army, changes in furlough application procedures, the alcohol-related death of Colonel Zeigle of York, Pennsylvania, the agricultural difficulties of Virginia, buying food from local citizens, and differences in attitudes toward the war between urban and rural Virginians.
Martin W. Carman, Graham Ville, York County, Penna
wJuly 18th" 1862
Head Quarters 107th" Regt P.V., Camp At Warrenton Va
I received Your letter I expected it the verry day I received it, at least it was about the time if You was prompt in answering my letter, I was glad to know You were all well. I received a letter from Frank Since his return to his Regiment. I wrote to Margaret Yesterday She told Frank that She wanted me to write, I was not aware of her husband runing on the road so near me last Spring we guarded that part of the rail road. now we have gone 26 miles further down. the road is now being repaired to Gordonsville which is about 50 miles from here, then from there to Richmond the road is good, a distance 46 miles but I think if the rebels have the Knowlledge of our army coming they will destroy the road.
Farther there is an army in this valley 80 thousand Strong good troops Genl Pope at their head. we fear nothing if Genl McClelan watches his time as we approach to richmond. he will be able to whip them and go into Richmond. he will be able to whip them and go into Richmond. as you See they will have to Send out of the city a large force to watch us on the north Side while McClelan can go right into the city.
This war must be conducted on different principals than what it has been or our
cause will be in danger, the abolitionists must be put down Slave holders must not look for their property or
negroes to be protected they must either be for us or against us, that is they
who are loyal must come out. and them who are rebels must Swear Allegiance to
the country or be taken as prisoners of war. Such I believe
is the orders that has been issued lately. We cannot Succeed if we alow rebels to run loose carry all information to the enemy they can, we must Stop this thing, and Start out on the new. I fear verry much wether pennsylvania can make up her quota of troops without drafting I only hope She can for her own credit. if things are as dull as Reid Says they are in his Section, the State will have to draft the men.
Farther You Speak of the great loss at Richmond. Yes it was dreadful, I had heard nothing of Capt Hess or the Regiment he was in I could See nothing in the papers about the first reserves. I thought prehaps they were not in the fight.
You also Say if You was in my place You would resign and come home, well Farther it is not that I have not been tempted to resign before this when I look and See how things are going but, I have taken an oath to Support the Constitution of the U. States and obey the President and assist him in carrying out and admistrating the laws.
I do not like the idea of resigning when I am well in facts there is, according to late orders a difficulty in a Officer resigning without a good reason Such as bad health or Severe illness.
I would be Satisfied now with even a furlough for ten days or two weeks. but all applications for furloughs now must be made to the war department instead of the Brig General.
Farther we have met with a severe loss in our Regiment, this week in the Sudden Death of our Col (Thomas A. Zeigle) of York Pennsylvania. he was a fine man a good Col and a brave Officer. but he fell a victim to that one vice which men in the army get into that is drinking too much Whiskey he died with " delyrium Tremens " His body was embalmed here in camp taken up to Washington from thence to York to be burried "Peace to his Ashes"
I have been unwell Since I wrote to You but only Slightly I have had the Yellow Gaunders they made me right Sick for a day or two. To day is a wet day it has rained all last night all day to day with the prospects of a wet time generally, the weather has been verry hot down here verry heavy gusts, come up.
I am pleased to hear of Such excellent crops this Season, down here in Virginia where there is corn Potatoes beans peas &c planted they all look well there is fine land in this neighbourhood but it needs tillers What Wheat has been Sown last fall is harvested but never gathered in there being no horses own by the farmers they all being in the rebel army. it Serves most of them right had no business to seceed.
Us Officers have to find our own rations, in the city [added: near] where we are encamped the white citizens will not sell us enything the collored population Sell us vegitables, pies milk cakes &c When we first came here the men in business did not want to take our money for Grocerys &c but that was soon stoped they were all arrested and brought before the Provost Marshal who ordered them to take the oath of allegiance or they would be taken as prisoners of war and all their Stores taken they came down to the "dots" Preachers was Served the Same way, the Citizens of the town are big bugs with plenty of negroes and were strong secessh, but the people living in the country are different Some are verry Strong Union and voted against Seceeding.
I will now Stop tell Cornelius to write my love to all the family write soon again direct as before. no more now
From Your Son
J. A. Carman, Lieut, Co. E. 107th" Regt, P. V.