Enclosed is a copy of one of my most cherished keepsakes – a Civil War letter. George Wineman wrote it to his little sister Margaret (later my mother) when he was a Union soldier during the Civil War. George made the supreme sacrifice July 2, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg.
At the top of the Union stationery, on which the letter is written, is an appropriate illustration in colors: in the left background, the sky is dark and ominous over tempestuous waters; fierce barbs of lightning pierce a sinking Confederate ship, flying a pitifully tattered flag. In the right background is a Union ship sailing smoothly in tranquil waters under a clear, calm sky. In the center foreground are the Stars and Stripes and a dauntless eagle firmly established on a firm, huge rock.
I have typed the letter just as it was written, with misspelled words, no paragraphing and very little punctuation.
Camp near Warrington July the 10th, 1862
I take this favourable opertunity of informing you that I am well, and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same and all the rest. I was looking for a letter for three or four days, for it is a good while since I wrote Dave and Paps, but I received your letter today with the thread and neadles and a good bit of writing. You want to know what them hooks are for, well, for my part I never saw any use made of them, but I think if you look right you will see a couple of eyes on the front of the coat tail and them hooks can be hooked into them and made a kind of shad belly of it, or whatever you may call it. Well, I know nothing about Harrison Wetherow, yet you say the cherrys are getting ripe. Well, they are about done here. I eat a great many cherrys and a wonderful lot of blackberrys, that is the low ones, it beatz all for fruit in Virginia. You ought to see the peaches, the trees just hanging full, and pears and apples are plenty. Butter is cheap in our valley, I must say if you had it here you could make money. It was 30 cents a pound when I bought. mine and I heard it was 50 cents now. We are a good piece in Virginia now and we are under martching order. We may martch tomorrow. We need not buy that funy kind of supe, we get meat three times a day. Today we got pork salt beef and good fresh beef and got sugar and molasses. I bought com bread today for only 10 cents - worth it, it was a good bit and it is good. I bought a good big thick peach pie one day for 25 cents. We will be paid soon and then I am going to send by expres forty dollars for old dad to make use of. I'll trust him, I don't care how long. Well if I get a chance to get my likeness taken I will, but I am too far away from Washington to go there. What is the reason that unkle samuel did not get his letter? I don't know for I wrote it before yours. I must bring my letter to a close, no more at present but remain your loving Brother, G. B. Wineman. Direct the same as before (we gained great victorys at Richmond).
Mrs. J.F. Neaderhiser