Last Letter Home

Gettysburg Guide #154

Sergeant
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
George Megines mustered into service with Company C, 143rd Pa. Vol. Infantry on August 27, 1862. The regiment's first test in combat was on July 1, 1863, when they helped to defend the McPherson Farm just west of Gettysburg along with the rest of Stone's Brigade. Recently promoted to corporal, George Megines was killed in action. He is likely buried in one of the many "unknown" graves in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Just a few days before the battle, he wrote a letter to his parents, John and Mary (Hoffman) Megines, back in Larksville (then called "Blindtown"), Luzerne County, Pa. The text of the letter, with his own punctuation, etc. was printed on page 10 of the Wilkes-Barre Record Newspaper on July 4, 1958, along with his photograph. The tone of the letter strikes me as the sort of things I wrote to my parents when I was away at college. Of course, I did nothing more dangerous than play football.

“June 29, 1863, Camp at Middletown, Md.

Dear Father and Mother:

I received your kind letter last night and was glad indeed to hear from you and to hear you was all well as these few lines leave me and all of the boys in the best of health and spirits.

Father, we are now 10 miles from Penna. State line. We came from the muddy soil of Virginia. We crossed in Maryland 24th at Edward’s ferry above Harpers. We are at South Mountain we are following up old Lee and driving him towards the North. I suppose you have force enough to stop him at Harrisburgh for he never can go through the Army of the Potomac.

We have our whole army here, about 80,000 troops, and if he goes either way you will see him that way for we are bound to get him. Mother you was saying you would like to have me home for the fourth of July. Yes I would like to be there too but we have to do this army up now. Oh we live good here among the Rice old farmers of Maryland. Everything we want to eat we can have. We can’t write much more for we are going on to Harrisburgh. I think we will spend the fourth in Penna.

They say our corps is not going back in Virginia any more. We are going to stay around Maryland The most of our boys think our Regt. will be home after this present trouble for nine months. Man, won’t we have a lovely old time.

Father, you wanted to know if we would be payed off before the 4th. I don’t think we will. We ought to be paid the first of July but it always runs two weeks after before the PayMaster goes around. We will have 52 dollars, 4 months pay, up to the first of July. You can send me a little money if you please for the 4th of July.

Oh my boots are pretty good yet and I won’t need any now. Please send me 10 postage stamps Jack.

Well mother you must keep up good courage for I stopped in a house in Middletown and she gave me some mild and good bread and butter. It made me think fo Mamy’s old cellar.

We have orders to march and I will have to stop. We are going towards home. We see plenty of pretty girls and they are all for the Union and they keep coming in our camp and talk with us. It seems like Camp Luzerne to see the girls. They have their flags all out and in every town we pass and great cheering some more.

Please ans. soon. From your son G.H. Megines To his Dear Mother and Father.

Hurrah for Pennsylvania forever. We will fight for it forever. I am a corporal now. I have a big promotion. Won’t I shine with my two cents stripes on.

Jake and Joel are well.”


"Jack" to how the request for stamps is directed, is believed to be a younger brother of George. Jake and Joel were George's friends, Jacob and Joel Lynn, with whom he served in Company C, possibly boyhood pals. Joel was promoted to sergeant and wounded at Hatcher's Run on February 7, 1865, and later discharged on a surgeon's certificate. Jake was promoted to corporal and mustered out with his company on June 12, 1865.
 

Attachments

  • G_Megines_photo_Wilkes_Barre_Record__Friday__Jul_4__1958__p__10.pdf
    109.7 KB · Views: 12

Dave DuBrucq

Corporal
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Location
Tennessee
I always enjoy reading soldiers first hand accounts. It gives us an opportunity to see the war through the eyes of the soldiers who fought, and in the case of Corporal Megines, died in it. We do not know in what grave he lies, but we do remember him 157 years later. May he rest in peace
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I was just reading another historical text..circa WW2 where letteres from children arrived home on the same day that the government regretted to inform them...somewhere in the mix of emotion, I can say that at least their last message from their children was positive and engaging. I don’t know what comfort that brought.
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I was just reading another historical text..circa WW2 where letteres from children arrived home on the same day that the government regretted to inform them...somewhere in the mix of emotion, I can say that at least their last message from their children was positive and engaging. I don’t know what comfort that brought.
Possibly a very bittersweet memory.
Lubliner.
 

Similar threads

Top