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Harper, William. 'Letter From Will. Harper' in the 'Rock Island Argus, 19 October 1861' . Rock Island Argus, 1861. [format: newspaper], [genre: article; letter]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=riargus10191861.html


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Letter From Will. Harper.

A letter from our townsman, William Harper, to his brother, dated "Camp Advance, Fairfax county, Va., Oct. 11," says:

"By the heading of this you will see that I am in Virginia at last.

On the 9th all the Pennsyvania reserve corps, with other regiments, left our camp on the other side of the river, in a solid column of 40,000 strong. Our brigade, McCall's division, is the most advanced in this direction. We are now just in the rear of the rebel Johnston, who is at or near Harper's Ferry, and above the force at Manassas. Besides the heavy infantry force, we have a large and formidable force of cavalry and artillery. A general advance is being made, but the rebels are retreating, so far, before us. Yesterday morning, their cavalry, of which 300 were seen, left these parts very suddenly.

Some of the officers of the 49th Pennsylvania had a conversation with an officer of the rebel army, who says that they are suffering and unless a battle comes off soon the army would leave Virginia, and if they do, they will not return. A battle must soon follow. We only expect to remain in this camp a day or two longer, perhaps before this reaches you we may be marched further into Dixie. We expect to have hot work, but are determined to give the enemy our very best — if they win, it will be because they have more soldiers than we — but no such idea is entertained. We have a force here much larger than any of us really know. As far as the eye can reach nothing but camps are to be seen. Gen. McClellan is with us most of his time, and is very active — always on the go. Gen. Geo. C. Mead has charge of our brigade. Gen. Geo. McCall is our major general. Our division is called McCall's division. By persons whom I have seen from Washington to-day, I hear that great secresy in maintained, but everything is bustle and stir — certainly a decisive movement is at hand.

But I must close, as the most interesting hour of the day is at hand — I refer to the hour for supper.

By a copy of the Argus received a few days since, I see that great efforts are being made in Rock Island county to get up more companies for the war. That's all right — hope they may soon be in the field."

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Harper, William. 'Letter From Will. Harper' in the 'Rock Island Argus, 19 October 1861' . Rock Island Argus, 1861. [format: newspaper], [genre: article; letter]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=riargus10191861.html
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