9TH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY LIEUTENANT CELEBRATES (AND LAMENTS) THE DEFEAT OF THE CONFEDERACY
Excellent content A.L.S., 4pp. 8vo., Lexington, North Carolina, May 19th, 1865, from Lieutenant Isaac Landis of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry to his father. Landis waxes cynical about the circumstances faced by the Union at war''s end, among other topics, in part: "... Well I suppose by this time the last of the Confederate Armies have capitulated and we have conquered that peace for which we have so long struggled. How much better it is thus than if we had made some ungracious terms with the traitorous Rebels as the Copperheads of the north would have willingly have done. We have now established our powers and let foreign powers beware that they do not suffer for their shallow neutrality policy. I think Louis Napoleon [of France] is already beginning to shake in his shoes. It will not be long until it will be dangerous for any vessel floating the French Ensign to sail upon the face of the ocean. Genl. Ortega (Mexican) is said now to be issuing letters of Marque and Reprisal to Privateers and according to the English and French views of neutrality we can build all the Privateers that may be required to destroy the entire French navy of course by private enterprise. I think the best thing the French can do is to evacuate Mexico and pay us back what they owe us for damage on our shipping. We have had Northern papers... from which we can see that Sherman haas left Richmond at the head of his army to march homeward and will be greeted and honored by all for their glorious achievements. But why is this Div. of Cavalry, who led the Van of that great army through Georgia and the Carolinas, not on the advance now to reap the laurels which are so justly due to us... [Union general Philip] Sheridan''s Cavalry who have been pampered up in the Army of the Potomac, and knew of our hardships except when on a raid and in their last battles, were allowed the honor of escorting the best army the world ever knew, and thereby be honored as belonging to it. I think great injustice has been done us in this instance as I deem it entirely unnecessary to have cavalry here. We have not made an arrest except [North Carolina Governor Zebulon Baird] Vance , and indeed there is no occasion as I never saw a people so subjugated and willing to return to their allegiance as those of this state. The principle of Rebellion is broken and the Slaves are free which cause the people charge on the leaders of the Rebellion... a leading politician remarked yesterday that the Confederates freed the Slaves and the Federals freed the people... I feel very badly about not being allowed to accompany the army with which we have been so gloriously identified for so long a time and which has been the great cause of the fall of this Rebellion..." Landis signs at the conclusion. Shows original mailing folds, with a horizontal tear to the bottom of the third page, lightly repaired on the verso with archival tape, else very good. Landis would serve in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry for almost the entire war, from October 1862 until July 1865, receiving wounds in Georgia in November of 1864.