On July 26, 1864, John H. Patterson wrote a letter to his mother reporting on recent events including a trip to see a captured Confederate Cigar Steamer, fishing for crabs, and recent reports of Confederate forces near Harpers Ferry.
The Confederate Cigar Steamer was constructed by a Rebel named Winans and was desiged to run the Union blockade of Southern ports. The ship was a failure and was located in a harbor next to a long bridge. John and his friends were able to climb onto the ship, which led to his description of it as a “queer craft.” After visiting the ship, they fished for crab off the long bridge. John provides a lengthy description of how you fish for crab and how good they are to eat.
The last portion of the letter discusses the Confederate raid near Harpers Ferry. John indicates that the force is reported to be very strong and that government supplies were being moved to a safer location. He notes that “if they tried to take this place they will have to lose a good many men before they succeed.” (Transcript of John H. Patterson letter, July 26, 1864)