This is a desolate looking part of the country. It shows the ravages of war.



Beverly, Nov. 14th, 1862

My Dear wife,

After my love to you and the children I will inform you that I still [am] in the enjoyment of good health and oh how I wish this would find you all enjoying the same blessing for there is nothing that would do me so much good at this time as to hear that you were all well, but I fear that I shall not have that pleasure very soon for I do fear that the trouble and labor that you have to endure will bring a spell of sickness on you, and then what would become of my little family, but I think nothing would keep me from coming home even at the risk of my life. Well dear I recd. your letter of the 8th and was truly glad to hear that the children were better and do hope that they may continue to improve in health, but it made me feel sorry indeed to think of the labor that have to perform, it is too much for you to endure and I do wish that you would try and get somebody to do the outdoor work for you for if you should get sick I fear that I never will get forgiveness for leaving you as I did, but I think that I will be punished sufficiently for what I have done in the anxiety and uneasiness that I have felt for my little family since I have been away from home and I hope that my Heavenly Father will forgive my misdeed and give me grace for days to come to try and do better. Well Dear, we have been here since Monday evening. We are encamped in the valley of the Taggert River and we are surrounded with mountains. We are about 22 miles from Cheat Mountain and 6 from Rich Mountain. This is a desolate looking part of the country. It shows the ravages of war. There is a good many houses been destroyed and there is hardly any fences left on the farms. The soldiers are not very particular where they get fire wood although our men have not been very bad at destroying things not near so bad as some of the rest. Well dear we have got marching orders again but not towards the enemy. We have been ordered to Webster 42 miles distant from this, but twenty miles nearer home. It is situated on the Railroad from Parkersburg to Grafton and it is likely we will winter somewhere in that section. I am in hopes that we will meet [General] Milroy there for I think he will give me a furlough to come home. Well dear I must conclude as the drum has beat for the lights to be put [out] and to go to bed for we have to be off by seven o’clock in the morning. Farewell Dear. May God bless you and the children and keep you safe until my return.

From your loving and faithful husband,
Levi Lupton

Direct to Webster, Va.
Co. C, 116th Reg. O.V.I. 

Levi Lupton enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company C of the 116th Ohio Infantry on July 25, 1862.  Lupton was from Jerusalem, Ohio and when he joined the service at age 39, he left behind a rather large family.  He had been married for fourteen years to his wife Elizabeth when he enlisted to fight for the Union, leaving behind at least four young children, with whom he corresponded regularly during his service.  His unit served in the backwater of the Civil War, fighting at unknown places like Mooresfield, Romney and Bunker Hill.  Lupton must have made quite an impression on his men and his superiors alike.  On June 13, 1863 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company C.  Unfortunately for him, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had started its invasion of the North, which would culminate at Gettysburg a few weeks later.

On June 14, 1863 when General Jubal Early commenced his attack from the west on Winchester, Virginia and the Federal garrison there, his first target was West Fort.  West Fort was being defended by the 110th and 116th Ohio Infantry.  Lieutenant Lupton and his comrades made a fight of it albeit a brief one.  They were completely outnumbered and outflanked and they shortly were forced to retreat back towards the Main Fort at Winchester.  Numerous last ditch efforts were made by Union soldiers as the unstoppable Confederate tide swept through its intended target.  Somewhere in that chaos, Levi Lupton was captured.  His regiment had about 240 men before the battle began and lost 8 killed, 29 wounded and 141 captured or missing for a total of 178 casualties, or a loss of 74% of the regiment.

Levi Lupton was sent first to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia with a number of his comrades.  They were then transported to the Confederate prison at Macon, Georgia, before finally being moved to Charleston, South Carolina.  The suffering was unimaginable and Levi contracted Diarrhea.  On September 12, 1864, Levi Lupton passed away at the Charleston Race Course Prison, far away from his beloved wife and children.  He was interred in the Beaufort National Cemetery with 174 other soldiers who died in the prison under unidentified markers.  One of prison hospital's caretakers, Mrs. Lorenzo Potter had promised the Union prisoners she would return after the war to erect an appropriate memorial in their honor.  She kept her promise and also kept a list of all those who had died in the prison.  She used her own funds to erect a marble tablet in the Beaufort National Cemetery listing all those men whom she had cared for, that had died in the Charleston Race Course Prison.  That work of tender care and a promise made good can still be visited today. 

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