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7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

[The 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati in June of 1861. Most of the first year was spent in West Virginia. In mid 1862 they began to be involved in a series of battles that included Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, and Antietam. In 1863 they fought at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. They were dispatched to New York during the draft riots, and from there they were sent to the northwest Alabama/southeastern Tennessee area to help secure Chattanooga as supply base for Sherman on his Georgia campaign. They assisted in the early Atlanta campaign, but when their enlistment expired they mustered out in early July 1864.
     There was no soldier named John Harkin or Harkins that could be found in this regiment. There was a John Hopkins listed and it is easy to see where a P and an R could become interchanged. The rosters contained many misspellings. N. Elvick]

Camp Chase Paw-paw Tunnel Va., Feb. 19, '62

     I will let you know a little about the fight we had with the rebels at Bloomery Furnace. On last Friday, the 14th, we killed 42, wounded 8, and took 56 prisoners. Our company took 23 of the prisoners. I can't say how many rebels our boys killed, but I guess we killed about as many as any of them, as our company was in the thickest of the fight. Two balls passed through my overcoat cape.—Our loss was 2 killed and 3 wounded.
     It generally rains two days and then snows one day. The mud in camp is from ten to eighteen inches deep, and where we have our tents pitched we have no difficulty finding water, for we have a spring in the center of the tent, besides each man has a spring at the head of his bed.
     Your friend,
     John Harkin

The Gallipolis Journal
March 6, 1862

Paw Paw Tunnel, Va. Feb. 26th, 1862

For The Gallipolis Journal A CARD
     The ladies of the Soldiers, Aid Society, Gallipolis, Ohio, have the hearty thanks of many soldiers in the Ohio 7th, for warm mittens presented to them in a cold and needy time. We are encamped upon the top of a hill, where the almost constant and chilly winds make soldiers uncomfortable, especially, if on duty, day and night, without mittens. As each received a pair with the name of the donor written upon them, he would often, in fun and in earnest, exclaim—"How nicely they fit," "How warm"—"Do you know her?"–"Is she pretty and smart?" "Good for her"—"God bless her"—"I wish I could see her"—"I'll write her anyhow", &c. &c. Perhaps several letters have already gone telling a more welcome story than mine. Several of the sick, and well, too, thank Mrs. Maguet, Bailey and others, for cake, cans of fruit, bottles of native wine, &c. And most of all we thank the ladies for the encouragement they give us to fight for victory in the glorious cause of human freedom and self-government. We hope this mighty struggle will soon be ended forever, and we permitted to return to the land of plenty, there to enjoy the varied and unbounded blessings of home and friends.
     Very respectfully,
     E. H. Baker, Lieut.
     Co. C, 7th Reg., O.V.

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes