Jacob Berlin died in the Battle of Shiloh, April 7, 1862.
The battle he describes is probably.....
The Battle of Greenbrier River, also known as the Battle of Camp Bartow, took place on October 3, 1861 in Pocahontas County, Virginia (now West Virginia) as part of the Operations in Western Virginia Campaign during the American Civil War.
This looks like it is about 40 miles from where Steve now lives in Harrisonburg, VA.
Dear Sister (Sarah Berlin)
I read your letter of the 15th of last and was glad to hear from you once more and I wish it were possible that I could be with you once more and enjoy the pleasure and comforts that I once enjoyd. But that cannot be. Here I am a soldier fighting for our rights and our liberty to which our country has been blessed with so long. I am deprived of a great many enjoyments which I might have were I to home. Yet I am not in the least discouraged. I think it my duty as well as every other man's duty to put down this rebellion as soon as possible and once more restore peace to our country. Last Thursday the 3rd inst. we had a hard battle about twenty five miles from here at the foot of the Alleghana mountains. We advanced upon them about eight o clock a.m. and fought untill one p.m. They first commenced fighting about two miles from their intrenchments. The bullets came like hail for a few minutes but when we commenced firing they soon ran for their camp and got in their entrenchments. Then our artillery commenced firing upon them and kept on about five hours. Their guns were all silenced but one. They had run up their white flag already. Then they were reinforced and commenced firing. Again our artillery men were about out of ammunition and they thought it advisable to retreat as it was impossible for the infantry to take their camp in the position they were without the loss of a great many men. Our loss was ten killed and eleven wounded. We cannot tell their loss but it is supposed to be a heavy one. This was the most horrible sight that I ever saw in my life before. The cannon balls and shells fell thick and fast around us. You stated that Father and Mother were going to Indiana. I wish I was there to see them. I passed through Rootstown the 15th of September. You had better believe I would like to have seen you all before I left.
I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you all the same. Tell Elizabeth and Lovina to be good girls till I come back. Tell Lewis I want him to come and help me fight the secessionists. Nothing more at present. I send my love to all. Good bye
Sarah Berlin, Write as soon as you get this
Adress Huttonsville VA
care of Cap. Rilsey Co. O. 9th Ind.
(to be forwarded)