This letter was written by Pvt. Edward N. King who enlisted at age 20 in June 1861 with Co. C, 12th Ohio Infantry, and then transferred in July 1864 into Co. C, 23rd Ohio Infantry. He mustered out as a veteran in his company on 26 July 1865 after four years service.
The Methodist Protestant Church in Cumberland, Maryland, was built in 1849 — a “substantial brick structure” that stood at the intersection of Front and Bedford streets. It was known as the “Bedford Street” church.
Rev. William Dunn was the pastor of the church in 1865.
May 25th 1865
Rev. William T. Dumm [Dunn]
Dear brother in the Lord,
With the present opportunity, I will attempt to fulfill a promise made to you just before I left — not that I have anything of interest to communicate of a temporal nature.
After leaving Cumberland [Maryland], we came in the cars to Stephenson’s Depot 5 miles from Winchester. We camped at Winchester until the 4th inst., then we too up line of march and went through to Staunton and yesterday we came down from the latter to place of date — a distance of twenty-five miles. It is unknown to us when we will get mustered out of the service.
But to the praise of Him who doth all things well, I feel that the narrow way grows narrower but brighter & still brighter, that my [ ] flows like a River, and that He has been leading me on to know more of himself & to see more clear the beauty of holiness. Oh! how vain the fascinations of this world appear. Yea; things that are even introduced into the church do not redound honor to Jesus and I feel that we shall realize them so when we come to render an account of our stewardship, nothing but having perfect love takes full possession of the heart than this would concern us but a very little though this terrestrial globe and the workmanship of God’s hand will appear more beautiful than ever.
Dear brother, I praise the Lord for what I feel in my soul today. The bright witness within that I am His entire, and Him, my own complete Savior. That his blood cleanseth me from all sin, bless the Lord! that this highway of holiness is a good way and free for all, yes! bless His name. For in His word it is said, “It is the will of the Lord ever our sanctification” and may other such passages which ‘ere prove to be true by personal experience, Halleluyah to the lamb.
But I will not weary you with further writing. I feel that I can but tell what Jesus has done for me. Please favor me with an answer. My love to sister Dumm and all enquiring friends. Yea! all the brethren.
Enclosed find a dollar which please accept as a contribution for me to the cause of Christ.
Please forward my box left in your care to John Arthur King. Please address me by a note stating what Express Co. you send it by and oblige your unworthy, humble brother in Christ, — Edward N. King
Co. C, 23rd Regt. O.V.V.I., Army of Shenandoah, Harrisonburg, Va.
Via Harper’s Ferry