Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Dansville, New York, to "Dear Sis" [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York
West mentions his efforts, since 31 July, raising what would become Co. K, 130th New York Infantry. Orders have now been received to go into camp at Portage in Livingston County. In response to a previous letter of Stilson's in which she admitted she had been close to urging him to enlist, West states that "women have no right to press themselves out of all bounds of propriety and fitness and make themselves ridiculous in "pushing" their sons, their brothers, their lovers, their friends and acquaintances out of doors into the army." Of the war itself, West doubts that it will result in the restoration of the Union: "They will either conquer and subjugate us, or we them." And: "For my part, though I feel a sorrowful, mournful sternness, a coldblooded, heartless inexorableness, an unchristian mercilessness as I utter it, yet I do say, let us destroy them, let us make them to us, and more so, as Ireland is to England, as Italy was to the Goths and Vandals, rather than ourselves be overrun and conquered, or our Republic cut into many petty sovereignties, which would bleed in interminable wars with each other." West speculates that he will be made "orderly Sergeant anyway, and very probably First Lieutenant."