|Isaac Shay ~ Letters|
|Company C 93rd. Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry|
Isaac was the son of, Thomas C.Shay and Elizabeth McCallister He was born about 1827 in Cornwall, Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania. He married Mary Ann Rosenberger on July 30, 1846. She was the daughter of Samuel and Anne Marie Rosenberger, all of Lebanon County and born in Pennsylvania.
According to the 1860 census records for Lebanon County, Isaac's profession was that of a shoemaker and he was 32 years old.
His wife Mary 34, and children, Sarah 10, Henry 8, and John Clinton 2 years old. They were living in Lebanon Borough. Isaac's youngest son, Robert Eaton was born the year of 1860. His oldest child, about 11, a son named, Winfield.
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By October of the same year Isaac had re-enlisted into Co C 93rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Many members of Isaac's family saw service within this regiment, his brothers, William Daniel and Cyrus, among them.
The War between the States was on the verge of breaking out, and on April 20th of 1861, Isaac along with his brother in law, Cyrus Rosenberger enlisted into Co G, of the 5th Pa. Vol. Infantry. They both served out their enlistments and were mustered out of service, July 25, 1861 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
|NOTE:Below you will find some of the heartfelt letters home from Isaac to his wife and family.|
June 02, 1862
May 12, 1862
May 26, 1862
Undated: Missing 1st. Page
Civil War Letter from,
and we worked about an hour when they (Rebels) must have seen that there was something going on and opened fire on us. We hid down in our ditch, and they fired 2 or 3 volleys. We then got back up double-quick and let them know that we had some Yankee lead with us. I don't know if we killed any or not. None of us were hurt. We had to finish it at night. This is how a great many such things happen here. Every night we can hear cannonading. Sometimes it shakes the ground we lie on.
The way we understand it, General McClellan is getting ready for the contest. The reason that it goes so slow is on account of the roads being so bad, and he wants to make sure work of it. Our men think this will be one of the biggest battles ever fought. I think this may be the wind up of the war. As near as I can figure, he has about two hundred thousand men down here and I hope he may be successful in his undertaking. I believe that he is a man that fears the lord and trys to do his duty to God and man. Therefore I believe that God will help him through with this great cause.
At times, on account of the roads being so bad, the supply teams are unable to get provisions to us. We have lived for some time very hard. Sometime back, we lived for 2 days on 4 crackers. Some of the men had nothing at all for days. But still, we have to put up with this. I have seen more bad times than I had ever expected, in this world. Like Ezekiel Thomas said, "If I was home again, I would forever eat dry_____, and be happy with that."
Last night, I could not sleep much. I laid down about 1 o'clock, and fell into a deep dose. I had a most pleasurable dream. I thought I was at home with my family, and was so happy. I dreamed that I was talking with Susan and her husband Thomas. And I thought, I've never had a more plesant time. But when I awoke, I found myself on my hard bed, under my government blanket. Cyrus, William, Daniel Shay and Peter Garrett are all bunked near me. John Shay, William Thomas and Samuel Thomas all know the horrors of being soldiers. Yet, Penrose Thomas seems to like it. I don't want you to trouble yourself so much about me, but try and do your duty to the children as best you can. We have not gotten paid yet, but we expect it, any week. I wish they would pay us, so I could send it home to you. Then you would not have to slave yourself so hard. Ask Susan to help you along till we get paid, then you can repay her. When I get back, I shall reward her for it. If I should never return, than I hope that we will meet in a world where we would never more part, a world without war, one, that is without troubles or sorrow, but a world of joy. I must come to a close for it is drawing on tonight, and there is no light here at night. We dare not even have a wood fire, on account of the enemy.
It is with all my heart that I wish to hear you, and to hear my old father and mother. You try and get Winfield to help you along, and to be a good boy. For it may be the last time he may ever see his father's hand write. And sis can help you the same. And _____ is to be the _____. I would like to see Clinton and Robert Eaton again. This is the first time that I have shed tears since I joined the army. I remain yours.
Always, Isaac E. Shay