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A Battle For Calhoun
Part 21; Letters Home
by Maricia Mlynek

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We continue our series with letters and stories from the Calhoun Historical Society’s book, “Calhoun County in the Civil War.” Through the Society’s efforts, we bring you information from your ancestors, the men and women who resided in the county during the Civil War.

The following letters were written by Jacob Poling and Levi and Francis Proudfoot, Union soldiers, while on their way to Camp Chase, Ohio, where they were detained as prisoners of war, having been captured by Confederate Gen. Albert J. Jenkins when Spencer was surrendered by Major J.C. Rathbone:

September 15th 1862

Dear wife: (Edith Poling)

It is with pleasure that I take this opportunity to inform you that I am well at present, hoping these lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. It is about eight o’clock at night. Myself and Levi and Francis thought we would let you know where we are. We are in Parkersburg tonight but have orders to start for Camp Chase in the morning. I want you to do the best you can. I would like to have come home and to have seen you and given you some money. I regret that I can’t. I drew $78.00, and if it is the Lord’s Will I will come home again as soon as I get the opportunity. The Rebels treated us very well and would not let the Rangers interrupt us in going to Parkersburg. The Rangers were thick in Mill Creek. There were 200 on Mill Creek where we stayed all night. Jenkins told them that he would kill them all if they interrupted us. They did not disturb us.

                                                                    /s/ Jacob Poling

To one and all:

A few lines. The boys are all well and we are both well and if these lines come to hand they will find you all enjoying the same good blessing. We would like to come home very well but are not permitted to come now, nor do I know when we will because we are ordered to Camp Chase until exchanged, and whether we will get a furlough or not, I cannot tell. We would have written sooner but thought that we would get to come home. We want you to write and let us know how you are and how things are there, and the state of things are here, so no more at present. Farewell and write as soon as these lines come to hand. Direct your letters to Camp Chase, Ohio.

Write Soon,

                                             /s/ Levi and Francis Proudfoot

Source: Original letters in possession of Buster Boone, Russett, West Virginia. Note: Levi Proudfoot died June 25, 1864, at Meadow Bluffs, Nicholas County, of exposure, age 24. Francis Proudfoot died at Richmond, Va., Aug. 12, 1865, of wounds received in the war, age 20.



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