1864 Shenandoah Campaign Letter - Lt. Col. John Kellogg to Col. Oliver Edwards at Winchester - Regarding Commissary Cattle Escorts

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1864 Shenandoah Campaign Letter - Lt. Col. John Kellogg to Col. Oliver Edwards at Winchester - Regarding Commissary Cattle Escorts


Offered here is an interesting Civil War letter written during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. The letter was written by Lieutenant Colonel John Kellogg of the Commissary Department to Colonel Oliver Edwards, a 6th Corps brigade commander in charge of federal forces at Winchester, Virginia. It was written on October 6, just weeks after the Battle of Third Winchester, and days before Sheridan’s victory at the Battle of Cedar Creek. In the letter, Kellogg expresses concern over a herd of beef cattle bound for the hungry men at the front. Kellogg wanted the herd to be held until a sufficient cavalry escort could accompany them on the journey. He also described the contents of other ration wagons on their way south. It reads, in full:

Office of Chief Comsy. of Sub.
Martinsburg Va. October 6th 1864

Col. Edwards
Comdg. Winchester Va.

A herd of two hundred head of cattle for the 19th Corps were drawn by an officer of that Corps and placed under the charge of a Cavalry escort, which should have gone with the train yesterday.

It was not reported till to day, that these cattle did not go. An additional escort of One hundred & sixty (160) Cavalry has now joined, and I send the cattle.

If the train be not beyond the reach of this escort, please let the cattle go on. If the train be gone, and you deem it too dangerous for the cattle with their escort to overtake it, please retain them for the next train.

Very Respectfully
Your Obdt Servant
Jno. Kellogg
Lieut. Col. and Chf. C.S.
Mid. Milty Div.

Later. The escort did not get ready in time to go today, and will probably not go with the cattle till Saturday. Monday is quite early enough for the next Subsistence train to leave Winchester for the front as the train that left there this morning has four days rations which are to last five days. It is expected that the train now at Winchester from the front will load there instead of coming here. The ration to go is hard bread, sugar, coffee, salt, and not exceeding 1/4 salt meat, of the meat ration


Docketed briefly on reverse.

The letter was written on two pages of a four-page stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. It is in excellent condition as shown, with very light wear. Very light toning. Creased where originally folded.

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