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Letter from Ira W. Booton of the 73rd OVI

     [The 73rd OVI was organized at Chilicothe, Ohio in December 1861. They were involved in 2nd Bull Run in 1862 and Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in 1863. After Gettysburg they were sent to the Chattanooga, Tennessee area and were with Sherman's army on the Atlanta campaign, the March to the Sea, and the March through the Carolinas and finally on to Washington DC for the Grand Review on May 24, 1865. They mustered out July 20, 1865.
    At the time these letters were written they were just a few months into their service and had had a few skirmishes in what is now West Virginia and in northern Virginia.
    Ira Booton was a private in Company C. He enlisted as a private and mustered out as a corporal. He died on September 17, 1917 and is buried in Pine Street Cemetery. N Elvick]

Buckhannon, Upshur co., Va.
April 11th, 1862

Mr. Harper.—Dear Sir:
     You may not have heard anything of the doings of the 73rd, and as I have a few leisure moments, will send you a few lines in regard to the movements of this gallant regiment. The 73rd was recruited as Ira Bootonyou may know on the line of the M & C R.R., the headquarters being at Chillicothe. We received our arms in January (Enfield rifles), and on the 24th of the same month were ordered to Grafton, Va., where we remained one week and were then ordered to New Creek, 130 miles distant, thence to Romney, 25 miles. We made 20 miles the first day, but were too late to catch the rebels, for they got up and run [sic], crossed over the South branch and burned the bridge behind them, thus effectually cutting off for a time our pursuit of them. We encamped on the South branch one day and night, and then returned to New Creek, reaching our camp about midnight on Saturday. On the following Monday, we were ordered to Moorefield. The boys were pretty sore from their recent tramp to Romney, but were too anxious to meet the enemy to grumble at being moved again so soon. Moorefield is 40 miles distant, and by Wednesday morning [we] reached it, and were fired on by the rebel pickets before daylight.—We marched in range of the enemy and opened fire with cannon and musketry. The rebels fired a few rounds and then skedaddled, without doing us any material injury, only slightly wounding three of our men. We killed and wounded several of the rebels, took several prisoners, 300 head of fat cattle, 10 head of horses, and after resting awhile in the town, returned to New Creek. We were next ordered to Clarksburg, where we remained until the 18th of March, from there to Weston, and then to Buckhannon. We leave this place to-morrow for Beverly, thence to Monterey on our way to Staunton. We expect some fighting before we reach the latter place. We hope the gallant 73rd with their gallant leader, Col. Orland Smith, may yet overtake the enemy, and strike one good blow for the Union and the Constitution.
     Ira W. Booton, of Co. C

The Gallipolis Journal
April 24th, 1862

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes