(Company C, Cole’s
Letters of Charles
Gary Fisher & Patty Squires
Thurmont Maryland, February 1st
Wednesday, Cloudy and Cold
I Charles Clifford Currens, 6th child of Elijah and
Amelia Jean Currens (now Snider) was born in Taneytown Carroll
County, Maryland on October 21st, 1843 being Wednesday,
in the house owned by Captain Nicolas Snider and seeded to my
mother being the 2nd house built in Taneytown.
The first school was in front room of this house taught by my
sister Emma Currens at the age of 13. I went to work for my board
and clothes for two years to Mrs. Nancy Ridisal.
In the spring of 1859, I was hired for eight months for $44.00
to one Albert Valatine. She was a clutz on the farm owned by
William Haugh, a blacksmith of Taneytown. The farm was situated on
the road from Taneytown to Union Bridge and joined the farm of
Abram Mill and others. It was upon this farm that we received the
news of John Browns Raid on Harper’s Ferry from one John William
After my eights months was up, I went Hanover, Pa. to live with
my sister Emma Forrest. I went to school at Pleasant Hill on
Baltimore Street. Taught by Professor Essick, Wife Mary Howard
taught French. I attended book store for my board. Left Hanover,
fall of 1860, went to public school that winter. 1861 went to
Littlestown, Pa. to learn the Saddle Trade, with Wm. Yount to
receive $15.00 for first year, $20.00 for second year, $25.00 for
three years. On Friday 19th, day of April 1861, the
Riot in Baltimore 6th Massachusetts Regiment attacked
by foot on it’s way to Washington. This attack fired the hearts of
the North for "Old Glory" as Fort Sumter, South Carolina had been
taken on April 12th or 14th by Rebel forces.
On April 21st, walked from Littlestown to Hanover to
see the first Union soldiers leave Hanover for York, Pa. This was
in the afternoon of the 21st, Harvested for Judge John
Thomson this year.
August 1861, left my trade for the war. Went on Monday from
Hanover with others under command of one Captain G. Giller of
Hanover. To Harrisburg Pa, near the old depot before the Justice
of the Peace we were sworn in as U.S. soldiers and taken to old
Camp Custain. From there east of town to new camp this was to be
an infantry regiment the first of September, I concluded to leave
this camp as we had not received any U.S. Clothes.
Asked William in command of (Bridge Keeper) to pass me out the
gate, He did so and had thirty seven cents toll of it to walk
across the old covered wagon bridge.
Editors note: Charles not yet received his uniform, left the
camp and was walking back home. Charles came in contact with
William who was the tollman at a covered bridge.
A man with a broken arm persuaded me to stay and take a nights
rest. I did so, landed in York at 1 P.M. Went to Motter’s Hotel
and could not get a bed, slept on a table until 4 A.M. Started for
Taneytown 34 miles and walked nine miles bought a pack of crackers
on the road between Littlestown and Hanover.
I met Thomas Reindholt walking to Hanover. He had a telegraph
for me to come home that my brother had died (Thomas Currens). He
went on to Hanover. I went to Littlestown until he returned. This
was the eve of Saturday morning. Brother was burned the next week.
I went back to my trade to one Thadeus Blocker. I remained there
with him until August 12th, 1862. I walked to
Taneytown, stayed all night. 13th 4 a.m. left old
Taneytown door of home to the call of duty for 300,000 men.
Walk to Frederick missed train. Walk to Junction 3 miles.
Stayed there with Captain Echs company until 9 p.m. had to take
car fare one dollar Harper’s Ferry. Remained standing in bay
window of an old store to keep warm. At eight o’clock I received a
pass to Cole’s command. This was the 15th day of August
1862 being Thursday. Fair and warm. For duty I went on picket the
river Potomac 6 miles stood all night. Left the other two sleep.
Bud (Elias) O. Reck and I Isaac Richards both of Company C. On
Sunday morning started for Smithfield Virginia. Our pickets had
been captured Saturday by the rebels who had destroyed the
railroad train and robbed the passengers of all on the Winchester
rail road. It was in a meadow close by a farmhouse. Our command to
a possession, ate all of the dinner they had. I did not take any.
We then went to the next outpost of pickets at a railroad station.
We fired on them, they proved to be our own men.
Then commenced the march northward out of Rebel army.
Impossible to remember all the marches and countermarches until
the second day of September 1862. Our command was ordered to
Leesburg Virginia. He went into town then started home about 1 mi.
north of town. They were surrounded by the advance of the Rebel
army. I was not permitted to go with them, and no close but what I
left home in.
General Miles had command at Harpers Ferry. We were soon
surrounded by cannonading. Soon commenced from the Loudon Heights
on Saturday, September 14. General miles withdrew all his troops
from Maryland Heights over to Harpers Ferry having destroyed all
his guns and stores.
Sunday 15th, the cannon commenced to boom. Counter
fired all day until dark. Orders came to camp that all who could
get a horse. Should assemble at headquarters at 9 p.m.. Cole’s
Maryland Calvary should take the advance, some 2200 horsemen
assembled. I was number five head of column. General Miles stood
on the end of the pontoon bridge with head reinforced hiding us
above as we passed him they cross over the bridge to the other
side. We took the road leading to Sharpsburg reaching there at 1
PM 16th. While we halted their at the edge of town, on
the road that leads to the Dunkard Church, the rebs fired a volley
at us. This created a tangle for some. Then started a run to make
for Cearsfoss Crossroads, in crossing the Pike between Hagerstown
and Williamsport. We passed between the main army of 40,000 rebs
and stragglers. A few we compelled to go with us.
About this time, we discovered the reb wagon trains and turned
it our way. 87 seven wagons loaded with General Longstreet's
ammunition, and we reached the state line before the rest. The reb
commenced to shell us as we went on to Greencastle, Pa. where they
gave us bread and apple butter. To the cellars was full of it. We
reached Chambersburg about sunset. Slept on the road in front of
church. General Miles surrendered all his forces at Harper's Ferry
on this day at ten a. m. He was killed about the same hour. From
Chambersburg we were ordered to Frederick, Maryland.
After the battle of Antietam, the Reb
General Stuart made a
raid into Maryland crossing the river at Williamsport. Northward
going to Emmitsburg, Woodsboro, Liberty, New Market, and to Hyattstown. Then to the Potomac and crossed. We expected them into
Frederick, Saturday night. I stood picket on the pike, north end
of Frederick on Pike.
On Sunday morning, Colonel Vernon formed a squad and started to
find the rebs. We went on the Hyattestown Road. When nearing
Hyattestown, to our left we saw, the stragglers of Stuart's
cavalry coming. We blocked the lane compelled them to surrender.
There were seven of them. Among them a Dane from Emmitsburg.
Oliver A. Horner knew him. This was on Sunday October 10th, 1862.
Moved camp to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Bolivar Heights
was orderly for General James R. Kenley of 3rd Maryland Infantry.
Forming past the winter of 1863.The balance of the time was on
scouting duty and picketing duty until camp was moved to
Kearneysville, Virginia, eight miles east of Martinsburg on the
B&O Railroad. Remained there until the rebs caused us to leave for
Harper's Ferry about June 28th. Burnt tents and foraged.
Next we were ordered to Knoxville, Maryland. We scouted and
picked duty until ordered to Gettysburg, Pa. July 2nd, 1863. The
cavalry taking the lead, I was in the advanced guard. We searched
Frederick City at dark at the north end of Main Street, where we
were halted. The order being countered marched. (We would have
reached Gettysburg, by daylight July 4th, 1863.)
Went into camp, did duty at headquarters for some months.
Brother William and myself with some others were detailed to go to
Westminster and to collect Government Property. We bordered at the
hotel, near the courthouse, kept by M. Allen. Had quite a good
time with the ladies.
George Gelwicks, Henry Smelcer, (Sponceller?) and myself was
detailed to go to Union Bridge as body guard to one Jonathan P.
Creager. Called Colonel Cregar who was ordered to recruit colored
men for the U.S. Army. Bordered at hotel, the only one at town
then. Kept by William Engles, long beard. Shipped a carload to
Baltimore, the first that was sent from Carroll County.
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