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Alex Cressler, letter

May 17, 1862

"I have been somewhat dis appointed in not seeing you up here to see the men playing soldier, and now since Gov. Curtin is expected here tomorrow, (Saturday) I will feel sure that you are coming, and look for you, my but they do look pretty, Just come and see. Three Regiments were in yesterday afternoon and make a long line of people, who with their glittering bayonets under the rays of the shining sun, accompanied by their Bands, or marshal music, and the heavy and steady tramp of three thousand men, make all who stand and look on, feel, that they are not soldiers, all this can but give a very faint idea of the appearance of one hun dred and fifty thousand human beings marched into the field of battle by the warming and thrilling sound of
almost countless drums and Oh! What, or who can describe the feeling of that immense congregation of human souls when the sound of the booming cannon first disturbs the quiet of that breast and paints death and destruction all around. We may try to form some idea of the scene presented by a battlefield, both while in the actual contest and after, but can never, in my opinion, realize the horrors of such a sight until we ourselves behold it, and such; humanity forbids us from wishing. May it never be seen in our land, but may the Flag continue to wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave. "


Name: Alex Cressler

Unit: N/A

Document Information

Type: Letter


  • Civilian Support for the Union

Event Location: Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA

Document Origin: Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA


Alex Cressler to Henry Bitner. May 17, 1862. The Valley of the Shadow. Obtained from Accessed on February 8, 2010.