Voices from the Past: Letters and DocumentsWe hear much about how the Civil War affected the village of Port Republic. It is less easy to know how it affected the individuals of Port Republic, both those serving in the military and their families at home.
Among the hundreds of historical documents that are housed in the Port Republic Museum is the following touching note written by Charles Marcellus Kemper, Captain, Co. C, 6th Va. Cavalry, son of Benjamin Franklin Kemper, Sr. (a family living in Port since 1807).
It was addressed to John Jacob Nicholas (whose family has resided in Port since the late 1700's). The note refers to two of his three sons in Confederate service, George M. and Silas C.K. Nicholas.
Fortunately, the note was only half true. George had been shot in the leg and the blood filling his cavalry boot froze and the leg was amputated. Silas, however, was indeed dead and buried. Another local lad and member of the company was Abraham Scott Hooke (whose family has lived in Port since 1756). Hooke carried a pine box three miles on his horse in which to bury Silas. Later the body was exhumed, brought home and buried in Port Republic Cemetery.