Henry A. Smith to Family

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StrasburghMay 16 1862Dear Mother Sisters and Brothers

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I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear from you and to hear that you are all well and geting along with the work you must have got most through by this time General Banks Division have fallen back to Strasburg for some reason or other the rebels are scarsely seen except Ashbys Cavalry whom we frequ ently have skirmishes with. A party of the fifth NY Cavalry had a fight between New Market and Harrisonburg with two Companies of Ashbys men our men killed 14 of them wounded a nu number and took several Prisoners our men lost one man killed two wounded and one Prisoner they done most of it with their sabres which were not sharp one fellow said that they wilted right down when they struck them

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our Company have never had but one fight and that was at Harrison- burg we charged through that place and exchanged shots with them killed one man and wounded a number none of our men were hurt we get all the news here I presume before you do we heard a short time since that the Merrim ac was sank blown up you ought to hear the bands of music and the cheering of the troops when good news comes. we have plenty to eat now all the Pork Beef and crack ers and Coffee we want to eat. the Sold- iers are allowed three and a half doll- ars a month for clothing and they have to pay for all extra clothing we have just drawn new Blouses pants drawers boots and stockings. if we do not draw take up all our clothing money it is paid to us when we are discharged. you need not be afraid of our being in a fight

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I have sold my Watch for 10 dollars for we cant get near enough to them you will hear the report of a gun a bullet whistle see a little dust fly and that is the last of them I must tell you about a fellow in Co I that shot a rebel - one of Ash bys men was at the top of a hill in sight of our pickets waving a signal flag as soon as he see any body coming he would run. one night just before morning this Co I fellow had courage enough to go up within 20 rods of him and waited untill daylight the he saw him and shot at him and he fell. on going up to him he kept hollowing murder he saw he had shot him through the shoulder and fearing other rebels would soon be there he knocked him over took his gun and watch and left I got a sabre cut in my hand about a week ago which has kept me from duty since

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John Morse done it carlesly playing with his sabre. When we were camped at Harrisonburg our company went out on a scout and went within twelve miles of Staunton but saw nothing When the rebels retreated they undertook to draw two Engines on the turnpike from Mount Jackson to Staunton but one run of the track down the bank and the other broke down a bridge Where is Father what is he doing and what news did he write Oliver Cushman of Hartland who was a Sergeant in our Company has been promoted to second Lieutenant Grand Father knows him well they are enlisting regulars out of this Cavalry Brigade every day any one can enlist have 30 dollars boun ty 30 days furlough Write soon and direct to Strasburg Gen Banks Division

so good bye H A Smith