Camp near Sharpsburg, Md.

Oct. 14 1862

 

My dear Sisters,

I find I omitted the slips I had cut from the paper to enclose in my last letter to you.  I send them now that you may enjoy the outpouring of wrath to come from the Militia as I did.  They had better not boast too much—they may have a chance to show their desperate courage yet without going over the State line.  Stewart may pay them another visit soon in some other direction—before they know it, but I must say that their escape in the way they have has given me quite a shock.  I did not expect they could perform such a feat in our own country.  On the Chickahominy it was different.  The very audacity of the thing was the secret of its success.  I was not consulted in the least by the Governor as to the disposition of the Militia after their return to the state nor did I make any suggestions for I thought the Governor was fully well convinced that they were not to be depended upon.  In any case, I was only glad to get them off my hands and no doubt he was too, but the state should have an organized force. 

I think it probably just as well for the [securt?] of the State that there were no Militia at Chambersburg as I do not think from what I saw of them they would have been of any use in preventing the raid of Rebel Cavalry—unless a more courteous commander could have instilled a proportionate amount of courage into them than I was enabled to elicit.  I saw when I heard that the enemies' Cavalry had got into the State that I would rejoice at it if they could only be caught before they crossed the River frontier of Cavalry, Infy and Artillery to be posted at these exposed points and which could be [moved with?] something like rapidity in a body.  This might have been done by this time if our people were of any account at all.  If there had been 10,000 Militia there without Artillery, they would have been there only to be paroled I think.

With much love to all believe me.

Your affectionate Brother

John F. Reynolds