Letter from Eben N. Ford, Co. H, from Camp Tenally, dated September 18, 1861

Sept. 18, 1861

Camp Tennally, D.C. –

Editor Warren Mail: The various correspondents that represent the numerous daily papers are reporting the progress, position and condition of the army so minutely that I considered it almost like superfluity to write heretofore. But, thinking that a letter from our Regiment directly might not prove altogether uninteresting to you and your many readers, I have concluded to trouble you with this epistle, giving our situation and other particulars respecting the Regiment.

Our Regiment, together with the Pennsylvania 1st, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th and a portion of the Pa. Regiment of artillery are encamped in and around Tennallytown, a small village 2 ½ miles north west of Georgetown Heights. The country around us is the most beautiful, or would be so if it were properly cultivated, but much of the land is lying waste and uncultivated. The surrounding scenery is delightful to behold and everything in nature has a tendency to charm the eye, and make on feel lively and happy in the midst of war and danger.

Close to our camp we have erected an extensive fort, built upon the strongest and most improved style, containing thirteen guns, large size, commanding the country for three or four miles around it. Other extensive entrenchments are also thrown up all around us, and our position strengthened, and especially at the Chain Bridge where they are strongly fortified. The rebels have advanced to within a short distance of the river opposite the Chain Bridge, and are seen entrenching themselves, but will, I expect, be driven back before the end of the week.

Yesterday, the Regiments encamped here were formed into Brigades. Ours is comprised in the third. Col. McCalmont commanding our Regiment, has been ordered to act as Brigadier General until one is appointed and he will very likely be appointed to fill that station, finally. We are under marching orders now, with two days rations in our haversacks, and no doubt some demonstrations of an extraordinary nature will take place here before the week is ended.

We have been quite healthy since our departure from home, not one man having died in the Regiment since its formation, save on who accidentally shot himself. The name of the unfortunate man was Robert Perry of Company K, a resident of Pittsburg, Pa. There are also very few sick men, and intemperance is not to be found among us, in fact we are reported as the crack respecting health, cleanliness and good discipline.

The most cheering news greet us from every portion of our army, and great anxiety is expressed by the boys here to share in the good work that is going on, and the glories that are obtained by other portions of our troops. The secessionists in our midst who were lavish in their sarcasm on the Bull Run affair, have considerably quieted down since the victory of our troops in North Carolina, and the glorious success of Rosecranz in Western Virginia.

The weather at present is fine, very warm but as a general thing quite changeable, producing in some of the Regiments a great deal of sickness.

With many kind regards for our friends at home, I close with the promise of giving you something more interesting next week, Providence permitting.

Yours truly,

E.N. Ford.1

  1. Letter from Eben N. Ford, of the Warren Guards, Company H, 10th Pennsylvania Reserves featured in the Warren Mail, September 28, 1861