A descendant of Harry Stewart sent me his portrait today. Stewart was First Sergeant, Company A, 2nd Maryland Infantry when he was killed in action near the Lower Bridge over the Antietam on 17 September 1862.

Back in October 1861, after his first 3 months in the Army, he had written home from Camp Carroll in Baltimore.

I can’t imagine that the Union is threatened and I am a soldier. It appears more like every day life with a long holiday when I want it. Haven’t come to the reality yet. If I could get home for a little while I should like it very much and if I should live for three more years and in the meantime make and save some money I am going to get married to my friend here in Baltimore for she is one of the reasoning kind and will not have me until I am discharged. She has a sewing machine and makes money for herself every week. In fact, a sweet industrious patient young lady who loves me very much. Please keep this to yourself now …

His friend was Amanda Easley of 183 Ann Street. In a later letter he reiterated that he would not be getting married soon, and besides, he wrote, “Amanda is too sensible to agree to it.”

In January 1862 the regiment was posted to the Naval Academy at Annapolis and he wrote “Amanda was well when I left, her brother has enlisted with me.” Four months later that brother George Easley died of typhoid fever at New Bern, NC.

In April, from New Bern, Harry had written:

As a soldier I am satisfied. I love the cause, I love the flag which flies over me and am willing to die if needs be for the cause in which I am engaged. You will all pray for me for I cannot say my life is safe for a moment for we are amongst rebels. Yet, I know I cannot be forgotten.

No, he is not forgotten.
Thanks to Dr Kenneth Stewart Thompson for posting his ancestor’s letters online.

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