Tag Archives: soldier letters

“Good bye from your soger boy”: One Last Letter before the Wilderness

Sometimes he signed his letters “with affection” or “good-night” or “good-bye.” Sometimes he wrote his full name, other times just initials, sometimes with the familiar name to his family and friends: “Will.” Most of his correspondence went to his younger … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: One Farewell Letter

Ken Burn’s lengthy documentary The Civil War featured excerpts from many primary sources. One of the most unforgettable letters in the documentary was written by Major Sullivan Ballou of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry Regiment.

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Primary Sources: Longing To Be A Soldier

“I wrote Mother about my trip, but I don’t think I told her that most of our marches could be called forced marches, as we were on light rations half the time. I stood the Campaign “bully,” but felt as … Continue reading

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General Joshua L. Chamberlain and a Fatherhood Journey

On October 18, 1864, Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain wrote a letter to his wife, Frances Caroline. This letter – though written during the war period – is unique and gives a glimpse of fatherhood, rather than war. Chamberlain is … Continue reading

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Of “Promotion,” Camp, Gossip, & Flirtation in August 1863

In late August 1863 – after returning from medical leave and a visit home – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain wrote a letter to his wife Fanny, giving a glimpse of the “quiet days” of war. The moments at Gettysburg created only … Continue reading

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A Yankee’s Tale of Two Encounters with Stonewall’s Foot Cavalry at Chancellorsville (Part 2)

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Rob Wilson Part Two: “I don’t know how I escaped” Click here to go to Part One of this article. The Yankees were fairly full of themselves when the May 2 fighting wound … Continue reading

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A Yankee’s Tale of Two Encounters with Stonewall’s Foot Cavalry at Chancellorsville (Part 1)

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Rob Wilson Part One: A “most splendid affair” at Catharine Furnace On May 2, 1863, the day that Lt. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, his … Continue reading

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“Because You Was Always True To Me”: A Union Soldier & His Sweetheart

Dear Friend… I should like to sean [have seen] you before I enlisted, but I thought that you had something against me. But if I have said anything against you, I hope you will forgive me, for I thought that … Continue reading

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A Confederate at Antietam

You never know what you will find in an archival collection. Back in June, I spent a day at Emory University, digging through their vast Civil War holdings, much of which were collected by the late (and great) Bell I. … Continue reading

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Flowers For Kate

Who is ready for the chilly weather to end? Can’t wait for those perfect seventy degree days and to see the tulips burst into bloom? Out here in Southern California, we got a spring heat wave for a couple days, and … Continue reading

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