These three letters were written by Lt. Isaac D. Landis (1841-1929), the son of Isaac Landis (1816-1881) and Catharine Weidman (1817-1897) of Shippensburg, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. In the 1860 US Census, the Landis family household included five sons and one daughter. Two of the oldest boys, Gideon (age 22) and Isaac (age 18) were identified as silversmiths like their father. Esrom (age 20) was identifed as a “coach trimmer.” The other three children were Emma (age 14), Henry (age 9) and Charles (age 1).
Isaac enlisted in Shippensburg on 26 August 1861, and mustered into federal service at Camp Greble, Roanoke, Virginia, October 29 as a corporal with Co. H, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry (92nd Pa). He was promoted to sergeant major May 23, 1863, and reenlisted as a Veteran Volunteer January 1, 1864. He again was promoted to 2nd lieutenant July 1, 1864, and to adjutant July 7, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee, but never mustered at the latter rank. He was wounded at Griswold, Georgia, November 11, 1864, and honorably discharged with his company July 18, 1865. He stood 5′ 7″ tall and had dark hair and blue eyes.
Isaac’s older brother Gideon Weidman Landis (1838-1913) also served in the same company. He was promoted to Commissary Sergeant in January 1864 and mustered out with company, 18 July 1865 as a veteran.
All three of these letters were written after the cessation of hostilities but prior to Isaac’s discharge from the service.
See also—1863: Isaac Daniel Landis to Parents on Spared & Shared 17.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE
Camp 9th Penna. Vet. Cav.
4 miles Southwest of Greensboro, N. C.
Sunday, May 7th 1865
Since last writing to you we have again been on the march, and we could not but remark the great change since our last march. Then we fought our way inch by inch to Durham Station. Now we marched along quietly and knowing there was no enemy to confront. We could occupy our time in enjoying the beautiful landscapes presented to our view as this part of North Carolina surpasses any part of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South or North Carolina that we have yet passed through. All foraging stopped and it is remarkable how soon the men are willing to respect private property, and our discipline is very rigid.
I met several northern families in the last three days march and they all give us a hearty welcome. They have been looking for the Yankees a long time.
We march on Tuesday for Lexington where Brigade & Division Headquarters will remain. I expect the 9th will take post there also. I hope so at least as I have no desire to go further South during the summer months. If I had my choice, I would prefer being posted in Shippensburg, Pa. Everything in this state is favorable to the Union. I will write to you soon again. My love to all the family and write soon.
Affectionately yours, — I. D. Landis
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO
Camp 9th Pennsylvania Vet. Cav.
Near Lexington, N. C.
June 11th 1865
I received your letter of the 26th ult. yesterday and now hasten to reply. I can certainly excuse you for not writing sooner or oftener as I know how difficult a task it is for you to write, but I am always so glad to get a letter from you that I hope you will write as often as possible. I am striving to feel contented in being kept in the service a while longer, but time flies very slowly and when I have nothing to occupy my mind, it naturally turns to home and friends, and hen comes the longing to get there now since we have accomplished what we came out for—to restore the authority of the United States Government where ever it had been overthrown.
I wrote to Father this morning to New Brunswick, New Jersey. I have not seen them gloves & suspenders yet that I wrote for sometime ago. Gideon & I have both been enjoying good health.
I would like very much to get home and partake of some of them grapes when they are ripe and I hope we may be at home by that time. I must put you off with a very short letter as I want to get it in this morning’s mail. My love to all the family. I remain, affectionately your son, — I. D. Landis
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THREE
Camp 9th Penna. Vet. Cav.
June 27th 1865
Gideon left for home today at 12 M, and expects to reach there on Saturday. I expect ere this reaches you he will have arrived at home. I cannot express how much I would have delighted to accompany him, but cruel fate has willed it otherwise as at this time it is impossible for me to get away and I had to forego the pleasure. I trust, however, the time will not be far distant when we can return home as citizens of the proud country which we have fought to sustain.
The paymaster will be here tomorrow to pay off the Cavalry which is very much desired as many families have been caused to suffer on the account of the non payment of the command. It is now almost 10 months since we have last been paid.
There is no news to communicate and Gid will give you the particulars of the situation. I hope you are enjoying good health.
There will be a grand celebration of the 4th of July at this place. Arrangements are being made for the occasion. I will give you the particulars after they transpire and will close for the present. My love to all the family and when you write, send me some more of that red pepper. We enjoyed that very much. It is about used up. Remember me to all enquiring friends and do not forget to write because Gideon is home, but make him write for you if you have not time.
For the present, I will bid you good night and remain affectionately yours son, — I. D. Landis