Letters, 1860-1864
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Kagey, David F. to Henkel, Caspar Coiner, August 13, 1862

New Market VaAugust 13th 1862

Dear friend Casper

It has been a long time since I have heard directly from you. When we last met, and parted near HarrisonburgHarrisonburg (Va.), I think I promised to write to you first. I have commenced several letters to you, but from some cause never finished. Will try to get through this time. Whilst the ArmyConfederate Army was encamped near Mt MaredianMount Meridian (Va.) in Augusta co.Augusta County (Va.) I called at your Quarters, but was told by some of your friends you had gone up to Mr Koyners, & that you were expected back that day. I however left camp for home that evening. Having arrived here whilst the Yankee'sUnion Army were at "Rudes Hill" & Mt JacksonMount Jackson (Va.), and have remained at Home ever since. The YankeesUnion Army have frequently been close to us since they have ocupied the Page ValleyPage Valley (Va.). Our town has been the scene of frequent excitement, as we have often looked for them to cross the Mountain at Massanutten Gap at some unexpected hour. But last Sunday, they left our sister county, PagePage County (Va.), & I hope too, never to return into this section of our state. They committed many depredations, upon the people of Page for a while, arrested, & imprisoned every citizen, & forced quite a number to take their miserable oath → . Some were firm enough however, not to be intimidated by their threats, the consequence was they were released after a confinement of a week or ten days. I regreted to hear that any of them took the oath, from the fact that

Scan of page  2 it will give the miserable wretches some encouragement to continue their nefarious practice of causing private citizens to be arrested and their property pillaged, & distroyed in their absence. But it is said they left LurayLuray (Va.) in much haste, I suppose the fight which took place on Saturday evening, of which we have had a slight rumor, caused them to "sca-daddle." On Monday, quite a number of rumors were afloat here in regard to the fight, of Saturday & Sunday but we heard nothing which could be considered reliable- Yesterday, Tuesday, we thought surely we would get some news, but yesterday's mail brought us nothing. Today we confidently expected to learn something of the Battle, but upon the arrival of the stage we were again disappointed. We have now been four days without a mail. You may rest assured, we all feel anxious to hear the result of the fight. Some of our people say they have heard Cannonadeing every day since Saturday. I have little fear about the result, because I feel sure, unless the enemyUnion Army greatly outnumber our forces, our armyConfederate Army must prove victorious. yet my dear friend I know many noble "spirits" of our armyConfederate Army must fall. One of the reports here this evening is, that about nine hundred of our men were killed & wounded, & about three thousand YankeeUnion Army Vandals, quite a number of them taken prisoner, among them, four Generals - quite a number of other commissioned officers of lower grades, & that they were driven back some ten or twelve miles. I hope it may be true that so many of the rascals are killed & many more, but I shall feel sorry to hear the loss of any one of our men. God grant my dear friend that you may be safe

Scan of page  3 Unharmed, untouched, I fell fully convinced that a fearful Battle has taken place during the past few days & I am waiting anxiously to hear the result. I hope we may get full account tomorrow.

Our valley has been quiet for some weeks past. No enemyUnion Army this side WinchesterWinchester (Va.). A few are still "Sculking" about "Front Royal" Front Royal (Va.) & by the way 25 of our CavalryConfederate Army "dashed" into Front RoyalFront Royal (Va.) last Sunday captured the Provost Mashall, the assistant, & his guard, 28 in number. They were so suddenly surprised, they thought Jackson was right there with his entire forcesConfederate Army. Two regimentsUnion Army were encamped just beyond the town, but they rallied & pursued our men too rapidly for them to get all the prisoners away. they however secured ten of them, & brought them safely to New MarketNew Market (Va.) on Monday without the loss of a man. This was certainly a bold expedition. Deserters from the Yankee ArmyUnion Army are arriving here daily, as many as five & six come in at a time, they say "they are just finding out they are fighting for the negroAfrican Americans" & are heartily tired of it, & report that many more are anxious to quit the northern armyUnion Army and are only waiting an opportunity to "slip" away. I wish they would all go home & stay there.

A great change has taken place in the Valley since the enemyUnion Army left, yet the people have some fear they may return at some future day & perhaps soon. The grain has all been gathered, & the wheat crop is a very heavy one. I was out during harvest & haymaking & worked hard, stood it pretty well.

The Corn is looking well in many places, but immediately in this neighbourhood it has been dry since the first of July & some fields (upland) planted in corn, will make very little. During the last four or five day we have had two fine showers of rain

Scan of page  4 which will improve the appearance of the fields, suffering for rain. It has been excessively hot for a fortnight or more & I often thought you must be suffering from the great heat. The health of our town an vicinity is tolably good just at this time. The "Whoopingcough"Whooping Cough is all over New MarketNew Market (Va.). We have the "Mumps"Mumps still amongst us.

Your father's family are all well. I saw some of them to day. I frequently hear from you through your Father, your Brother Abe, & your Sister Emma; which I suppose is one reason why I have not written to you ere this. I know your duties are heavy, & have not much time left you to write "outside" letters. I can to a certain extent appreciate your situation. I shall be quite gratified to hear from you soon, frequently, or whenever convenient.

I expect to start down the valley in the morning & will go as far as MiddletownMiddletown (Va.) if the YankeesUnion Army are beyond. Will return next day. Next week I want to go to AugustaAugusta County (Va.) & perhaps farther. I hope to meet with you soon again, when I want your account of the Battles around Richmond, which will be something to talk about. I know you had some severe trials. It is late and I know Morphius will soon overtake me, if I dont stop.

Excuse all errors, and haste, But believe me

As ever your true friend

D. F. K.

Please present my kindest regards to all inquiring friends.
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