Civil War Letters: Summer 1862

The author of the letters, Jonas Horn was with the 85th Pennsylvania

Volunteer Infantry Regiment


The 3 letters were written by Private Jonas Horn (1823-1907) of Company D, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. 5 members of the Horn family were in Company D. All mustered into service on 11/11/1861

  • Captain William H. Horn, Resigned 1862

  • Sergeant John Horn,

  • Private Hezekiah Horn, Mustered out 11/22/1864

  • Private Jonas Horn, Discharged on Surgeon's Certificate 6/24/1863

  • Private Elias Horn, Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps 3/16/1864

In the July letter Jonas mentions Hezekiah Horn being taken prisoner in NC. In the August letter he mentions Elias Horn.

Jonas was discharged on a surgeon’s certificate in 1863

The 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was organized at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, beginning October 16, 1861, and mustered in for a three-year enlistment under the command of Colonel Joshua B. Howell.

  • July 1862 at Malvern Hill

  • July - August 1862 at Harrison's Landing

  • August 16-23, 1862 Fortress Monroe

  • Sept 18, 1862 To Suffolk, attached to Wessell’s Brigade, Division at Suffolk, Va., 7th Corps, Dept. of Virginia

This website has a complete listing of the locations by dates for the 85th. https://civilwarintheeast.com/us-regiments-batteries/pennsylvania/85th-pennsylvania-infantry/

Transcription has been cleaned up a bit to make reading easier. Some words cannot be deciphered because of handwriting or spelling.



July the 20 1862

I received your letter and I was glad to hear from home. I am well at this time and I hope these few lines may find you in the same state of health.

We are (?) one mile from (Jamesirer?) in the woods. We have to get up in the morning before daylight and form a battleline. There will be no fighting done for sixty days.


Hesekiah is taken prisoner. He is in North Carolina. He will be at home as soon as we will.


We have to go out on pickit(?). We was out one night and it was raining. Me and Harry laying under a ?


It is now Sunday. We have got preaching every Sunday at eleven o'clock.

I sent twenty dollars in this letter and you may keep it or put it on (intres?). I have got ten dollars more to send.


I haven't got much to write at this time. I want to know if Mary Ann is well. You never write about her. I would like to see her.


I must come to a close with my letter. I want you to write Sunday and tell me if you got this money. So good bye brother Andrew.

Jonas Horn



August the 4 1862

I received your letter on the 1 of this month and was glad to hear from you all and I am well at this present time and Elias is well. Harrey(?) too.

I sent you a letter with twenty dollars in it. I want to know if you got it.


I haven't much to write now at this time thient(?) much a agoing on now you wrote in your letter that you got a (?) him.

I want to know if you lot one no more on this

we go down to the river and take a swim. The river is too (?)


Write everything is dear here. Butter is 50 cents a pound, cheese 50 cents and one dollar, a quart of (?)Stute Charis and Cheese 50 cents a pound.


We have cannons mounted on our brest(?) work that throw a shell seven miles. We was out on pickit the other night and the gnats was so bad that they stung me so that my hands and face swelled up so that I couldn't see. our friend is vary ? he is sick now.

We drill every day it is hot here with our woolen (shirts?).

I need (to) come to a close.

So good by Andrew

Jonas Horn



September the 24 1862

Dear brother I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at this present time and I hope these few lines may find you in the same state of health.

I received your letter on the 15th of this month with five dollars in it. I was very glad I

(Couldn't write anney? summer and I did?)

We are in Suffolk all the men in this town went to the rebel army. The women here look like a pumpkin that was frost bitten. I am on guard every day.

I want to know how you getting along here at home. I want to know how the corn crops is. We have all the rebels all drove back again no more on this we (?) soft bread here.

I don't know anything about Elias where he is. I haven't heard from him since he left. We are about forty miles from the North Carolina line. It very hot here and cold nights no more on this.

I must come to a (close) with my letter. I want you to write soon. I like to hear from home. I would like to see you all.

So I must come to a close.

Good by Mary

and Andrew

and Alexander

and all

Jonas Horne


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