Benjamin Jones , 1768–1828 (aged 60 years)
This is a note written to son, Jabish, by a nephew, who was sharing a Civil War experience:
Much respect,Uncle Jabish Jones,
When I received your letter I was fixing to start the next day to Va. to see my boys,when I started they were in camp at Charleston,where the old Herb,John Brown was hung,but they had left and gone near Winchester,Va. I got to Harpers & Ferry within 22 miles of their camp and they called us to halt on account of the most wicked and heathenish murder ever committed,that was the killing of our president,Abraham Lincoln. This was done on Saturday morning,we landed at Harpers Ferry on the next Monday and found all things closed from there on;Uncle this was one of the trying times with me sure,to think Rebs to shoot at then be within twenty-two miles and cars running within one and a half miles of their camp and could not get a pass for neither love or money. The news of the assault of the President,it came pretty near getting me down for a bit,but when I studied the matter a bit,but when I studied the matter ever a little,military poser is very close and should be obeyed and I supposed it is all right,that it should be so. I would have had no trouble of getting through if it had not been for the wicked assault on the President. Well Uncle,I must tell you I saw some of the effects of war in my travels from Cumberland to Harpers's Ferry. I saw piles of railroad iron every once and a while lying by the roadside where the Rebels had tore up the track;rail fires heat the iron and bent it so as to spoil it from ise. Fencing gone,houses burnt,whole farms turned out to destruction. I saw some men,plowing and no fences around their fields,but there was one consolation they had no stock outside to trouble them. From Grafton on east there were squads of soldiers placed at every bridge or trestle works of any amount to guard them. This is one cause of us having to have so many men out,we have to guard so many places and the Rebs nothing to guard,but I think the Rebellion is now played out for the want of men and in fact everything else. There's one of their big men say so,he said they had no men,they were all killed and crippled and what was left was out of hear,would not fight,for it was no use,they were badly whipped,they had no means,their money was no accout and worse than all their credit was gone to never return. He had been taken prisoner at or near Richmond,Va.,and took the oath and was on his way home. He said he would stay there,he had been out nearly four years and had done his best for the southern Confederacy. There was one man in Grafton,said when he heard of the death of our President that he orto been killed six years ago. He was took up immediately and put in iorns and shipped to headquarters and I believe this the right way to serve such scamps.