1864: Henry Peiffer Kauffman to Caroline (Slagel) Kauffman

This letter was written by Henry P. Kauffman (1835-1914), the son of Jacob G. Kauffman (1813-1880) and Flora Peiffer (1820-1865) of New Salem, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania. Henry was married in 1857 to Caroline Slagel (1833-1916) and had one child by the time he entered the military service. After the war, Henry and Caroline would have at least 9 more children. Henry was a stone mason by trade.

Henry’s headstone in Saint Jacobs Union Cemetery in New Salem, Pennsylvania (Find-A-Grave)

Military records indicate that Henry served in two different units during the Civil War. He was drafted in York County November 8, 1862 (although the late enlistment date suggests the possibility he enlisted as a substitute), mustered into federal service at York November 11 as a private with Co. D, 166th Pennsylvania Infantry (aka “Drafted Militia”), promoted to sergeant June 8,1863, and honorably discharged with his company July 28, 1863.

He then again enlisted in York August 29, 1864, and mustered into federal service at Harrisburg on September 2 as a private with Co. I, 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry (65th Pa). That regiment later merged with the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry (60th Pa) in which he served unassigned (altough he claimed Co. A) until honorably discharged by general order to date May 28, 1865.

[Note: This letter is from the personal collection of Jim Doncaster and is published by express consent.]


Washington [D. C.]
September 10, 1864

Dear Wife,

It is with pleasure that I sit myself down this morning to let you know that we arrived here yesterday and expect to go away from here to Camp Stoneman today at 8 o’clock a.m. All the rest of our [re]cruits is here excepting Jacob Shepp. He is in Harrisburg in the hospital. I don’t know any particulars to write for this time but here I will put $10 in this letter and in the next letter I will send then again. If you don’t want to have this money in the house, then give it to somebody where it is safe. If you don’t know nobody, I guess George Shive would take it. Tell [ ] and the [ ] he can take it and pay the land with.

I will bring my letter to a conclusion by saying that I am well at present and I hope these few lines may find you in the same state of health. Don’t write till I write again. So no more at present but remain your husband, Henry Kauffman

to Caroline Kauffman

And further, you shall tell George Glatfelter’s wife that he has sent her $35 at Eli Myers for her and $20 with old Fiestel and she shall not give it all away at any time so that she could send him some then.

A few lines more. I had not time this morning to send my letter off but now I will let you know that we are in Camp Stoneman just opposite of Alexandria on this side of the Potomac river and further if you want to write to me, direct your letter to Camp Stoneman, 2rd Pa. Cavalry, 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, Company E.

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