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Stephen H., Jr. Bogardus, letter

November 9, 1862

“But Harper’s Ferry - the Mecca of the south - what can be said of it? Alas! It will never regain its pristine splendor. Like a diamond in a beautiful setting, it sat among the hills which clustered around it, the loveliest among thousands. Now ruins greet the eye, whichever way it turns; and but for the soldiers which dot the place, and the rumble of government teams, the place would seem more like a graveyard than of so much importance as the "Key of Washington" should be. When we marched up this road last May, we passed a graveyard, around which was a tasty railing. What a change has come over the scene! Every picket has disappeared, and on one of the gateposts, which still remain, some sacreligious [sic] officer has tacked an advertisement of horses for sale. Still it is used as a graveyard – not by the inhabitants of this vicinity – for there are none left – but by the army. Here lies all that is mortal of many a brave soldier, who left his home to give his life in defence [sic] of his country’s flag - not, perhaps, on the battle field, for diseases of the camp are more fatal than the shot or shell.”


Name: Stephen H., Jr. Bogardus

Unit: Purnell's Maryland Legion, Co. H

Document Information

Type: Letter


  • Descriptions of Locale

Event Location: Harpers Ferry, Jefferson Co., WV

Document Origin: Harpers Ferry, Jefferson Co., WV


Stephen H. Bogardus, Jr. volunteered his services to the state of New York after attending a rally that was advertised in the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle in 1861 - shortly after the beginning of the Civil War.


Stephen H. Bogardus to The Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle. November 9, 1862. Joel Gregory Craig, ed. Dear Eagle: The Civil War Correspondence of Stephen H. Bogardus, Jr.. Wake Forest: Sojourner Publishing, Inc., 2004.