Ryan G. Van Cleave

Greencastle, PA—March 14, 1862

My Darling Annie—

Excitement was at white heat—we caught us two

Federal spies and trussed them up to a pole

like witches. We shouted and yelled until hoarse.

Our patriotism was just bubbling up

and boiling over and frying and sizzling;

I was full of the mental champagne that comes

from a cheering multitude. Never saw such

enthusiasm—beats the first of the war.

Three fellows, who joined us not long back, they come

from Company H, 3rd Arkansas Infantry,

who all but was destroyed at Wilson’s Creek last

June. During the night, all three took knives made from

horseshoe files and stuck those spies good. The screams

woke us—God help us, no one’s cheering today.