Were there reports of Bigfoot encounters during the American Civil War? One Union Private may have had an encounter in Harpers Ferry, according to a letter he had written
How much do we know about early encounters with Bigfoot / Sasquatch? The native people of North America had hairy people legends and many of those traditional tales remain today. When European explorers and hunters arrived on the continent, there were a few accounts of upright hairy beast encounters. The Arkansas Wild Man is one of the best known early Bigfoot sightings.
Below is the original newspaper text:
Wild Man of the Woods
"During March last, Mr. Hamilton of Greene County, Arkansas, while out hunting with an acquaintance, observed a drove of cattle in a state of apparent alarm, evidently pursued by some dreaded enemy.- Memphis Enquirer, May 9th, 1851
Halting for the purpose, they soon discovered as the animals fled by them, that they were followed by an animal bearing the unmistakable likeness of humanity.
He was of gigantic stature, the body being covered with hair and the head with long locks of hair that fairly enveloped his neck and shoulders.
The "wildman," for we must so call him, after looking at them deliberately for a short time, turned and ran away with great speed, leaping from twelve to fourteen feet at a time. His foot prints measured thirteen inches each.
This singular creature has long been known traditionally in St. Francis Green and Poinsett Counties.
Arkansas sportsmen and hunters having described him so long as seventeen years hence.
A planter, indeed, saw him very recently, but withheld his information lest he should not be credited, until the account of Mr. Hamilton and his friend placed the existence of the animal beyond cavil."
I then wondered if Bigfoot ever made itself known during the American Civil War? Well there may be, at least, one account available.
In 1999 a collection of autographs and old letters was appraised and authenticated for an estate sale in Hartford, CT. The large horde included several letters written by Union soldiers during the American Civil War. A few of the letters were written by a Private James Moore of the Pennsylvania 67th Infantry Regiment, Company K. The letters were addressed to his wife, Ida Moore of Philadelphia, Pa.
One particular letter described an incident while Pvt. Moore was on guard duty in Harpers Ferry (then part of Virginia). The letter was written on February 26th, 1963. Some of the text had been copied and forwarded to me by the appraiser because of the unusual content. (The auction catalogue did contain the full text, but it was lost in a fire at his home in 2005). Here is what I received:
"...Ramsey and myself were charged to guard Company accoutrements along the railway. Very cold still night...
...the boys started raising a ruckus from the garrison. Some were yelling aloud, that a man-beast was on foot. There was rifle fire towards the river. We continued our duty as the yelling and shots continued...
...the Corporal queried the witnesses from the Company. I was told that the devil raided the food stores after climbing the wall...
...it was covered in thick layers of dark hair...
...maybe 8 foot from head to toe."
That was all that was written, though I was told that some of the original letter sheet had been torn away. Was this a description of a Bigfoot? I wonder if other soldiers, on either side, had encountered hairy hominids, as well as other cryptids and strange beings? Sounds like it would be interesting research. Lon
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Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena
Living Among Bigfoot: Words of Warning
Bigfoot Terror in the Woods: Sightings and Encounters, Volume 1
Strangers from the Meadow: A Bigfoot Frightening Encounter
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