The brigade posted at Winchester, Virginia, in April 1863 under the overall command of Brigadier General W. S. Elliott included the 110th Ohio, the 116th Ohio, the 122nd Ohio and the 123rd Ohio regiments, the 12th and 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and Battery L of the 5th U.S. artillery. The author of this letter, who signed his named “Adolphus,” appears to have been a member of one of these Ohio infantry regiments. In searching each of these Ohio regiments for a soldier named Adolphus, I could only find two: Adolphus Benjamin Frame (1840-1932), a lieutenant in Co. I, 116th Ohio, from Piqua, Ohio; and Adolphus Saliers, a private in Co. E, 123rd Ohio, from Tiffin, Ohio. Since the letter mentions Otho G. Gale of Co. A, 110th Ohio, from Piqua, I’m inclined to believe it was written by Lt. A. B. Frame but I cannot prove it by the content of the letter. There were no soldiers named Adolphus in Co. A of the 110th Ohio that I am aware of.
The author of the letter seems to enjoy certain privileges customarily reserved for officers rather than enlisted men which tends to support his identity as Lt. Frame. Additionally, Adolphus Frame did not marry until December 1868. He was the son of John Frame (1807-1873) and Mary Nesmith (1811-1892).
Otho Gregory Gale (1842-18xx) was the son of Levi Gale (1807-18xx) and Achsah Gale (1807-18xx) of Piqua, Miami County, Ohio. Otho enlisted in Co. A, 110th Ohio Infantry on 13 August 1862. He was captured on 15 June 1863 at the Battle of Winchester. Paroled, he was later wounded in November 1863 at the Battle of Mine Run. He mustered out of the service on 17 May 1865 at Cincinnati.
April 15th, 1863
Since I last wrote you, I have had a “gay and festive” [time]. An order came last Saturday night [11 April 1863] for Co. A as well as the [rest of the] 110th to have 3 day rations in their haversacks and be ready to march in the morning at 6 o’clock. Well, as usual, I was up to Nellie’s until after 9 and when I got to the quarters, everybody was preparing to leave. They thought Otho G. Gale had better be getting ready to go with them and he thought the same, so I pitched in and commenced packing up. I was so surprised I did not know what to do first. I wanted to go and bid my friend goodbye, but it was too late. Well, after fussing around till 12 o’clock, I was ready to start.
We started at 6 in the morning [12 April 1863], marched 6 miles, then rested 10 minutes. Started again and 11 o’clock came to a hill that was covered with trees, [where we] left the road. One company was sent through the woods as skirmishers; the rest went round the hill. All came out safe [and] did not see a Reb. After resting a few minutes, we started ahead and went up a long mountain and stopped again. [We] then got in the woods [and] had to march single file through the brush. We were strung out about 4 miles long. The guide lost the path so we rested till he found it which was not very long, I assure you. Well, we got out on the road and there right before us was a creek and no way to get over [it] but to wade and we were as warm as we could be. I was wet with sweat.
The Colonel said there was no way to get across. We pulled off our boots and pushed in. The water came just above our knees — cold as ice. It took my breath at first but I made the riffle like nothing. Went up on a hill and stopped for dinner at 2 o’clock. Stayed there about 2 or 3 hours, then marched till it was so dark we could not see. I forgot to say it rained nearly all day. We slept on the ground with only a blanket on us. The Colonel would not let us build a fire so we had to go to bed without coffee. But in the morning [13 April 1863], we got both fire and coffee. I felt like I couldn’t help it. My feet were sore and shoulders were blistered.
We started about 8 o’clock Monday. Went a back road [and] kept away from the main road. At dinner we stopped. After wading the same creek — only in another place — some of the men went in over the cartridge box. I got over nicely. Then we made coffee and had a good dinner. I gave an old woman 10 cents for a pint of milk.
After marching [a total of] about 60 miles, we arrived at home nearly “played out.” I washed in cold water and went and stayed all night with a friend. Slept in a bed — the first I had been in since I left home. I am alright now and if our regiment would go on another scout, I would willingly go but am not very anxious for another scout.
I received a letter from Ves last Wednesday [8 April 1863] that was written on the 13th of February. That is the one he told you he sent me. One of our boys got one from there at the same time that was written on the 17th February. I would have written before but did not intend to write until my pants came. I got everything else, all very well, and am a thousand times obliged. The jacket suits very well. Is heavier than I wanted but suits very well. I got a lady to sew them for me — that is, some of them — and they are nice. The necktie is just what I wanted. Everybody is trying to buy it.
I was up to Nannie’s last night. Had a good time. Nannie sends her love. Nellie got your letter and thinks you are the nicest girl in the world. Tell Mollie [Mary] I am much obliged for her present and wore it on the scout. Give her and all the rest my love. I will write soon again. I am staying in a grocery now. Will tell you in my next scout.