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1862 Civilian Civil War Letter From Carlisle Pa Area- Smallpox, Kernstown Battle For Sale
1862 CIVILIAN CIVIL WAR LETTER FROM CARLISLE PA AREA- SMALLPOX, KERNSTOWN BATTLE
A good civilian 2-page Union Civil War letter (about 7 ½ x 7 ½”), written in attractive blue ink on lined white paper. The letter is written by John Lefever to his son Henry Lefever who is apparently living in/near Fort Wayne, Indiana. The letter is written from White House, Pennsylvania (near Carlisle) and mostly concerns renting & leasing land, collecting debts, taking funds in “Western Paper” money, the price of grain in England, and other business affairs. There is some description of SMALLPOX, measles and other diseases raging in that area of PA, getting VACCINATIONS, etc. Toward the end of the letter, there is mention of troop movements in the Shenandoah Valley and that the ARMIES FOUGHT A HARD BATTLE TWO WEEKS AGO TODAY AT KERSTOWN 3 MILE BEYOND WINCHESTER. SECESH HAD TO RUN.
The letter has NO COVER / ENVELOPE. It is in quite good condition as shown in scan of front and reverse.
A full transcription of the letter follows:
April 6th. 1862
Mr. Henry Lefever
My Dear Son
Mother and I are in our usual health. Joseph [dog] still wishes to be petted. The rest are well at Davids. THEY HAVE BEEN VACCINATED but are pretty well over the consequences. There have been 40 SOME SAY 80 CASES OF SMALL POX IN CARLISLE, and a child of the blacksmith on this side of Renyan’s died of them. The Measles are prevalent also, both at Plainfield and Greasonville.
We have moved with about half our furniture. The roads were very muddy till the 2nd. Negly and Stine moved on the 31st. Melester(?) and Sinnot (?) on the 1st. Thomas the 2nd. Evans the 3rd , when we began to whitewash. The weather is cold, ground frozen this morning and the old sleet crust only disappeared from the Mountain yesterday.
Evans left the house in very bad order. Thomas worse. Negly yet worse and Stine worst of all. David was in town settling with Thomas yesterday. He still fell over $7 in debt besides a note of $27 not yet due, which he refuses to pay but Wm Miller took an assignment of it and says he will work it out of him. He is staying at Depper(?) down the creek and says he will move to Lee County Illinois.
Carothers paid $111 to which I added $39 making $150, which you will find enclosed. Take care of it. I expect to want the rest to put things in order on the farm. Pay tax which has been raised $3. Carothers owes me 30 cents yet. I paid a quarters rent on the 2nd. Rachael was still at John Bear’s(?) and I don’t want you to write anything to her that would cause her to leave that.
The draft on New York cost 50 cents on the $100 or 75 cts in all. I don’t like the express and Fort Wayne Merchants ought to cash the draft and give you five times as much advance in Western Paper. You left your Concordance at Isaacs. When I get it I will try to send it by mail. It will cost half as much as by express. There appears to be no demand for (?) and I have not succeeded in selling them down at Thomas. David wants you to let him know if you desire to have your Carriage and harness sold, and if so at what price? John Wise got your little tax exonerated on account of your absence so I need not pay it. Nothing from Dr. Hammond yet.
THE ARMIES FOUGHT A HARD BATTLE TWO WEEKS AGO TODAY AT KERNSTOWN 3 MILE BEYOND WINCHESTER. SECESH HAD TO RUN AND BOTH ARMIES WERE AT LAST ACCOUNTS PASSING UP THE VALLEY AMONG OUR GOOD BRETHREN.
Grain has declined in England lately and I don’t know the price here.
Our love to Aunt Fanny Uncle George and all the friends,
Your affectionate father,
John B. Lefever (1799-1864) was the son of Lawrence and Veronica (Alter) Lefever. John married Rebecca Rine. He was a farmer by occupation, was appointed associate judge by Gov. Ritner about 1835, and served as a minister in the Church of Christ.
His children were:
--David Lefever (1823-1904) [mentioned in letter].
--Margaret Lefever (1825-1850), married Henry Bear [Bear family mentioned in letter].
--George Lefever (1828-1830).
--Maria Lefever (1830-?).
--HENRY LEFEVER (1833-1868) died in Indiana [letter recipient].
--John Lefever (1838-1840).
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1862 Civilian Civil War Letter From Carlisle Pa Area- Smallpox, Kernstown Battle: $65