Letter to a
Solder of the
9th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers

Contributed by Sean Protas

Delaware Statesman and Journal, June 11, 1861 A Patriotic Father to His Son

We are permitted to publish the following patriotic letter, written by a gentleman of Chester, Pennsylvania, to his son, who is in service in Col. Longnecker's regiment, recently encamped at Hare's Corner. It breathes the true spirit of patriotic devotion to the Union, and most truly represents the feelings of loyalty which animates all classes, all ages, all conditions of the people of the North upon this great issue of government or no government. The letter will be read with deep interest, and will find thousands of Delaware hearts ready to respond to the glorious sentiments it contains.

Chester, May 16th, 1861.

My Dear Son:

I thank you for your letter. It is very satisfactory to hear from you. I am disgusted, however, at the course of your company. W. S------, exhibited to me the list of the names of those, who were willing to in for the three years. I scann'd it over hastily and it contained nineteen out of seventy eight. Are they Chester boys! It seems to me, that we, old and superonnated fellows, will have to "come up to the scratch," and see this grand fight through. I would enlist for a "thirty years" war if necessary, myself; and by the time it was concluded, I should be, most undoubtedly, toothless and very likely speechless. Nevertheless, this vast question, has now to be settled. The question is, "will you live as slaves, or die freemen"?

In the decision of this question, there is with me, no hesitation. I was born a freeman, under the shadow of the "Stars and Stripes"; I mean to die, a freeman under the shadows of the "Stars and Stripes," and I am ready to do and to die, whenever it pleases God to require back the life he has lent me.

If your men do not stand by you in this moment of the agony of a nation, let them go let them come home if they have a home, and let them meet, the contempt, the derision of their fellow citizens. No measure of time can wipe out their disgrace; "knave," "braggart," "coward" will be entailed upon them and their descendants, from generation to generation. Traitor, tory, coward has stuck to the descendants of men, who were faithless to their country and its cause, for over "three score years and ten." No gold has been able to gild or to ennoble it. The other day, the lineal descendant of the man who rode by the side of Lord Howe when he entered Philadelphia, in the War of the Revolution, and who said to his Lordship, "This Second street, my Lord," perished miserably. Took his evening bath, and by some inadvertency, his dress took fire, and he was burned to death. His income was perhaps some forty thousand dollars a year.

Now, my dear boy, from all that I have written, all that I have said to you, in the familiar conservations that have passed between us, it is entirely unnecessary for me to add that in the defence and maintenance of the Constitution of the United States; the rights and immunities of the citizens of the United States, the . . . must always be in the advanced guard! There can be no other part for them. Your grand uncle fought at Bunker Hill; your great grandfather served under Washington, Lafayette and Greene; your blood is true, and all I have to say is, that in any emergency, I am entirely convinced that you will show the mettle of your blood and your descent from honest and brave men. Results are with God alone, we can trust Him with our destiny. D.B.S.






U. S. C. T.

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