Baltimore July 1863
Dear Edgar ,
Yours of the 29th inst. came duly to hand. I am much obliged to you for the interesting account which you have given of your trip up the North Branch.
I would have answered at once, but the news became so exciting, that I left for a flying visit to Carlisle, to see what damage had been done by the rebel occupation and shelling. As I returned, I stopped in Philadelphia, at the West Phila. Hospital , for some days, with my brothers , who are in the Medical Department there. A large number of the wounded from Gettysburg had just been received, and I had a fine opportunity to study the horrible effects of the battlefield in the shape of scars, wounds, bruises, amputations, fevers, and almost every imaginable form of mutilation.
On my arrival home, I received your letter dated Carlisle 14 inst.
I am glad to hear of your safe return to the old Headquarters in Main Street. Remember me kindly to your Mother and family, and allow me to congratulate them upon so speedy an arrival home again. It was so brief an absence, that you might almost call it a pleasure trip to the Wilds of Pennsylvania, a sort of Summer excursion in search of mountain scenery. You went to Wyoming Valley to study the picturesque and to read Campbell’s Gertrude of Wyoming on the spot.
Why did Mrs. Beckwith not return with you? Will she be back again in the Fall; or does she purpose to leave for New Orleans before visiting Carlisle?
Carlisle, as you say, looks much altered. But when the merchants get back their goods, and the farmers harvest their crops, and business revives, I think the town will put on its usual appearance. The Hospital in the College is but a temporary arrangement. It will be removed in due course to cleanse and ventilate the building for the Fall Session. A few bricks and a little mortar will restore the walls of the houses to their old condition. The Barracks have suffered most. They are near a heap of ruins. Will the Government rebuild them? It will be some years before the grounds are as beautiful as they were. I think that the Barracks should be rebuilt at once, and in even better style than before. We should have no rebel scar, of that sort left upon the soil of Pennsylvania.
I had heard of the illness of Dr. Stevensons’ family. I trust that they may soon recover their usual health.
Allow me to congratulate you upon taking the Latin Prize. I will purchase the Book sometime during vacation and have it ready for Presentation at the opening of next session.
You will oblige me very much by calling at the Post Office twice each week, and mailing to my address whatever letters and papers you may find in my box
I will settle with you for the stamps and when I return.
I am very anxious to get the earliest news of the results of the Draft in Carlisle. Will you be so good as to let me hear any news concerning it, on any other Carlisle officers at the earliest date. Awaiting a reply I remain Yours truly
John K. Stayman
Mr. E.E. Hastings