Civil War

Mexican Operations

Post Civil War and Mexican Operations


      During June 1864, widely separated Union elements were assembling as General David Hunter continued to move south through the Shenandoah Valley in the direction of Lynchburg as a part of General Ulysses Grant’s combined offensive against the Confederate forces in Virginia.  Due to the lack of communications between the dispersed forces in the new state of West Virginia and Hunter’s army in the Shenandoah Valley, scouts were used as couriers.  In this letter to his father, Arch describes some of the difficulties experienced by two of his friends from Company K, 1st West Virginia Cavalry, Ike and J.R. Harris.
      The scouts had nicknames and Arch was called “Barefoot,” Ike was “Spike,” and J.R. Harris was known as “Lasses.”  Neither of the Harris brothers survived the war.


June 17, 1864.
Lewisburg, [West] Va. – Camp near
J.R. Harris captured.
To Father.

                                                                                    Camp near Lewisburg [West] Va.
                                                                                    June 17/64

My Dear Father

            Yours of the 15th inst., was received on Saturday last at this place.  I was very glad to hear from you.  I also received one from Mother and two from Ace.  He did not mention the names of my old cronies killed in the Battle of the Wilderness.  I wrote to you immediately on my arrival at this place.  We were here eight days before our mail came to us and received a month’s mail at one time.  I believe we will leave here in the morning.  Gen’l Crooks with his Infantry force started to-day.  I believe he will try and join Gen’l Hunter.  Two of his scouts came through from Strasburg in the Valley to-day.  Ike Harris of Co. K being one of them.  J.R. Harris, his brother and a sergeant in Co. K, was captured by the Rebels with the captain of Gen’l H.’s scouts.  Ike and Pardner had a rough time of it coming through being ordered to surrender twice, each time had to leave their horses and take to the woods.  On Friday last I was detached as a scout to Gen’l Averill one more of Co. K. was also detached there were six out of the regiment.  I returned from my first trip last night being out two days .  Had a good view of Reb pickets at Jenkins ford on the Greenbrier River.  My duty is a dangerous one I know, but a soldier’s life is always in danger.  Capt. McCoy of the Regiment returned to-day says Capt. Rowand is in Charleston will be with command in a few days.  I wrote Mother to-day will also write Ace.  Love to all.

                                                                      Yours affectionately


Related Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Reports

The Novel
Letters Home
Scout Accounts
Reports and Distpaches An Overview of the Jessie Scouts
Research Home Page
Mexican Operations

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