1864: Reuben B. Stover to Lafayette Yost

How Reuben Stover might have looked
How Reuben Stover might have looked

This letter was written by Private Reuben B. Stover, Co. G, 54th Pennsylvania. The 54th saw limited duty until the summer of 1864 when they participated in the Battle of New Market and then in Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. In the letter, Pvt. Stover mentions the battle of Fisher’s Hill near Strasburg where the 54th participated in flanking and routing General Jubal Early’s army which opened the valley to a Union “scorched earth” invasion. The burning of mills and barns that followed, from Staunton to Strasburg, came to be remembered as the “Red October.”

Reuben B. Stover (1839-18xx) was married to Mary _____  (1843-18xx) about 1866 and took up farming in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, after the war.

Reuben wrote the letter to Lafayette Yost (1824-1880) of Bedminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Lafayette was married to Susanna Fretz (1831-1873 in 1855.

1864 Letter
1864 Letter

Addressed to Mr. Lafayette Yost, Bedminster, Buck County, Pennsylvania

Mr. Lewis [?] Yost

Camp near Harrisonburg
the 28th of September 1864

I am well & hope that these few lines may find you in that same state of health. I like soldiering very well but I saw this summer very hard times. I don’t like home where there so much Democrats (loco foco).

We drove the last week the rebels out of Winchester [on 19 September]. We took 5000 prisoners there. Some more was going to death & wounded laying on the field & yesterday got our cavalry into a fight by Port Republican & took one train 4 miles long with 3,000 barrels of flour & makes 5,000 prisoners.

Battle of Fishers Hill
Battle of Fisher’s Hill

Our regiment got in a fight near Fisher’s Hill — the best & hardest place & position of the rebels. We took 22 guns of artily & make 5,000 prisoners.

You can write me in your next letter which I expect from you so soon as you come this letter to hand if your brother had building his house.

Your friend, — Reuben Stover

You write, if you can write to me.

Mr. Ruben Stover, 54th Regiment, Pennsylvania Vol., Co. G
Care of Captain Franklin B. Long, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

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