Monthly Archives: April 2014

1864: Walter & Margaret Chubb to sister & brother

How Walter might have looked

How Walter Chubb might have looked

This letter was written by Walter Chubb (1812-1893) and his wife, Margaret (Histed) Chubb (1825-Aft1900), of Oregon, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Walter was born in Pancrosswick, Devonshire, England; Margaret was born in New York State, her father was Rev. Richard Histed, a Methodist Episcopal minister of England, and her mother a native of Germany.

The letter was written to an unnamed sister — probably Margaret’s sister — and it contains a description of the death of Walter & Margaret’s son, James Edward Chubb, who died 5 August 1862 near Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.  Military records indicate that James was employed as hospital steward in Co. G, 14th U.S. Infantry. These records also corroborate the family’s understanding that he died of “heart disease.”

Margaret mentions her sister Elizabeth in the letter. This was Elizabeth (Histed) Oliver (1827-1895), the wife of William Oliver (822-1907). They were married about 1842 and also resided in Oregon, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

Another of Margaret’s brother’s was William Histed (1827-Aft1880) who settled in Gilman, Nemaha County, Kansas prior to the 1860 Census. His wife’s name was Ella.


Oregon [Wayne County, Pennsylvania]
January the 21, 1864

My dear sister and brother,

After a long time I thought I would answer your letter. I am ashamed that I have been so negligent in not writing to you before. You must forgive me. I will try and do better. I have the cares of a family and the trials and troubles of a wicked world and my own heart to see to. I wish my heart was better than it is.

I saw your letter that you wrote to Elizabeth. She received your letter on New Year’s morning and I saw it the next day and you had better believe that we was glad to hear from you and yours — especially from your dear son that is in the army. My dear sister, you wished us a Merry Christmas. Now we all join in wishing you a Happy New Year. May God bless you and make you like Mary of old that sat at the Savior’s feet.

I am very glad that you are so comfortable as you are. Your hardest troubles no doubt is past. God knows what is best for us. While I was reading your letter, my mind was taken back years ago when we used to have meetings at father’s house. I almost thought that I heard your voice singing and praying. It don’t look like twenty-seven years ago, does it? Time once past never returns. Time like a never rolling stream bears all its scenes away. We part in body, not in minds. Our minutes continue and we hand in hand to Jesus join we hand to heart go on. But let us hasten to that day which shall our ____ when death shall all be done away and body’s part no more.

Now dear sister, you wished me to write the particulars concerning my son that died in the army, James Edward Chubb. He was in his twentieth year when he died. He died in camp of the heart disease. He never mary any open profession of religion tho’ he always had good desires after he left home. He both felt and saw the need of religion. He was gone from home four months. We received a letter every week and sometimes two, We wrote to him constantly giving him all the good advise and instruction that we could. He wrote to us and wanted we should sing some good old hymn and then get down and pray that God would have mercy on his poor never ___ soul. He said he knew that God would hear and answer the prayers of his people. He said he weeped like a child when read our letters. We have some encouragement that he entered over the broad plains of glory by our heavenly father’s side.

We have lost 3 children before and I am sure that they are walking the golden streets singing the song of the redeemer, but after all it was a great deal hard to part with James for he was away from home among strangers — his blanket for his dying bed and his knapsack for his dying pillow. Oh, my dear sister, who knows the heart of a mother but those that has felt the same. My heart is too full to write.

I have had 11 children; seven living — 3 girls and four boys. I have had to work hard, live hard, but out of all the Lord has brought me by his power. I am about as fleshy as I used to be and not much taller than I used to be. Elizabeth is very thin. I have almost forgotten how you used to look. I remembered something how you used to look upon us. We used to live on old Doctor Yates’ place when William Moore’s used to come there.

Dear sister, how I do wish I could see you. I think I should not know you but I think we could get acquainted very quick, don’t you think so?

You wanted to know about the draft. My husband is too old and my son is too young for this draft. Elizabeth’s husband stands his draft. She is dreadful troubled about it. She has got eight children — 2 boys, six girls. Stephen stands his draft. Sister Ann has not been to see us, not yet. We are a looking for her and father, and William Vercoe and sister Eling. Father sent us word they was a coming. Ann sent Elizabeth her likeness. Now I wish you would send yours in a letter. I do not know anything about none of ___ folks, nor George, nor brother William. Richard’s address is in Sullivan County, Bloomingburg [New York]. That is what Mister Vercoe told us.

Map of Oregon, Wayne County, PA showing location (yellow) of Chubb Farm

Map of Oregon, Wayne County, PA showing location (yellow) of Chubb Farm

Dear Sister, my letter is not finished yet. Have patience with me a little longer. We received a letter from brother Thomas New Year’s Day. They was all well then, but since the last wrote, they have had a great deal of sickness with the typhoid fever — all except youngest child, little Sarah — and their lives was despaired of. But in the last of their sickness, the Lord saw fit to lay his hand upon Richard, his eldest son, unto death. But he can say with evidence and of a blessed assurance that all is well. He got ready and left a blessed evidence behind him. They cannot weep as one gone in his sins. He left the world September the 16th in the 27th year of his age. Let us all get ready to follow his flight and lodge in Eden of love.

Brother Thomas sends his love to you and all the rest of his brothers and sisters. He wrote to me requesting me to write to you to tell you of his sickness and death and he wants you to write to him. I will tell you where his Post Office address is: Bay City, Bay County, Michigan. Now I have got to write to Richard to tell him of their sickness and death. We heard from Stephen and his family today. They were all well. Now we will give you an invitation to come and see us with father and mother and sister Ann and William Virco and Ellen. But if I only could see you and talk to you better than I can on paper.

We must close now. Good bye. — Walter & M. Chubb

1860-1: Thomas Horsefield Wentworth to Abigail Elizabeth Wheeler

Lt. Thomas H. Wentworth

Lt. Thomas H. Wentworth

These letters were written by Thomas Horsefield Wentworth (1837-1917), the son of Sinia Wentworth (1799-1873) and Sarah Ann Horsefield (1808-1845) of Orneville, Maine. Thomas was educated at East Corinth Academy. He helped his father with the farming, hired out as a house carpenter, and taught school during the winter months. When he was 24, he enlisted as a sergeant in Company H, 15th Maine Infantry, in December 1861. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in November 1863 and was discharged in March 1865. He was with his regiment through all their campaigns in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, and finally in Virginia. He was remembered by his fellow soldiers as “a fine looking officer — as straight as an arrow.” Following the war, he studied law and was admitted to the Maine bar in Penobscot County. He later moved to Bradford and got into state politics.

Thomas wrote all three of these letters to his future wife, Abigail (“Abbie”) Elizabeth Wheeler (1840-1939), the daughter of Nelson Wheeler (1807-1890) and Abigail B. Hill (1815-1868). They were married on 30 January 1865 while Lt. Wentworth was home on furlough.


Orneville [Maine]
December 1st 1860

Dearest “Abbie,”

It is Sunday afternoon and I am at home. There is no meeting here today so I have stayed at home and from meeting for the first time for as much as one year, anyhow, on Sunday. It has been a long day although I did not get up very early this morning. I read the Book of Revelations through this forenoon with some profit, I trust. This afternoon I have been reading and looking over the singing book and signing a little occasionally. I think that I should get along first rate singing if I had had “Abbie” to help me for you know that it is hard work to sing alone well! I think that I should get along well all day if “Abbie” had been with me for time always passes pleasantly and swiftly when I am with you. But circumstances at the present time forbid and I must be content and hope for a time when circumstances will be more favorable and I trust that I shall not hope in vain.

It is almost night now and I am going to the schoolhouse to prayer meeting this evening as there is to be one there at six o’clock. I should like to see you Abbie and have a little confidential talk about matters and things in general and exchange a friendly greeting. This I wish because I love you. But perhaps you will say, “You said that.” Well Abbie, I know it is no use to talk without acting and I think I may have failed in this direction but I can only say what I have said above that “I love you” and if I am not deceived, I speak it from my heart. I told you that I would prove that. If I have not, I still ask for an opportunity to do it. But should I fail at last to prove that fact, then I care not what the next page of the future may reveal. Only give me the assurance of having done right and I’ll try and be content to mark my time but perhaps I do wrong in indulging such thoughts as those and I will bid them be gone. Thoughts are like the passing wind which we cannot retard and which very seldom does any harm.

Well Abbie, I will remember thee still hoping to see you soon and hear from you sooner. I will close. Please excuse my improprieties. And now I must go for Father is waiting for me to go to meeting. So good night.

From your friend &c., — T. H. Wentworth


East Corinth [Maine]
May 5th 1861

My Dear Abbie,

You will learn from the date of these lines that I am still in Corinth and that I am thinking of thee — yes, thinking of thee. And you know that Quakers are apt to think more than they say at all times. Therefore, it must be of great satisfaction to think or else thy time that is not spent in talking is lost, but when our thoughts are prompted by love, there is still greater satisfaction. I think of thee because I love you and love to think of you. But Abbie, I miss your presence and company. I have been up to Mother’s quite as often as before you left but there seems to be something gone. I don’t know what it is unless it is Abbie. I have come to the conclusion that that is the trouble and I wish if you see anything of her that you would send her back or let me know where she is for I should like to see her about this time. The time passes rather slowly — especially the evenings. But a few days will soon pass after which I hope to see you again.

I hope you are contented and enjoying yourself at home and among your friends. I hope that you will not find any Hurricanes over there, but I’m thinking that they can’t trouble you much. They blow some here yet but have done no damage as yet and it thought that they will disappear as summer approaches.

I shall not soon forget the night we met in the parlor nor the many interviews we have had since, but freshest on my mind is the night I left you standing in the door at home not because it was last, but there was words in that look that spoke assurance and constancy that I could not doubt even if I had not another — but I believe I have many. And however much I may have merited them, they are a source of much joy to me. And I think if I may judge that my heart (if not my words and actions) responds in love, but I will see you soon if nothing prevents and then we will speak to each other without the pen. I should like to take that hand tonight in mine and feel its symbol grasp and press those lips which I speak of the affections of the heart. But no! I cannot, and I will close my letter soon and wait till intervening days are past, believing that all will be well.

I am as well as usual. Hope you are the same. Mrs. Hunting and family are well. Orisy went home Friday. She did not hang the May baskets but was some snug. School will close next Thursday. I do not think of anything more at present.

Give my love to inquiring friends and please receive it yourself and believe me ever true. Affectionately yours, — Thomas H. Wentworth


Augusta [Maine]
December 13th 1861
Dearest “Abbie,”

I take this opportunity to drop you a few lines that you may know that I am yet in the land of the living and cherish a remembrance of thee — the one I love without a rival and without a detracting thought. I hope that I do not use too strong terms to express my honest communications, or what were my communications, but have become by a chain of intimacy delightful realities.

“Abbie,” I think of thee very often and wish that I could see you and spend a few hours, if no more, in your society. I told you that I should be home the last of the week but we shall not get mustered into the regiment before tomorrow and I shall not get off before next week. But I shall be there before I leave the state.

I am well and contented. Some of the boys have been sick but none of them dangerously so. We are keeping house now and are getting along first rate. We have enough to eat and that good enough, have a good chance to sleep and on the whole a first rate chance, have all kinds of company and can choose for myself those with whom I will associate. We have no marching orders and do not know when we shall be called upon to leave the state. Not before the first of January and perhaps not so soon as that.

I hope to hear from you soon. Please excuse this letter for I have written it on the end of my valise. Give my respects to all inquiring friends, &c.

Yours in love, — Thos. H. Wentworth

A kiss for Abbie.


1862: Jacob H. C. Smith to Lucas Folsom Smith

Luke Smith in later years

Luke Smith in later years

This letter was written to Lucas Folsom Smith (1844-1924), a musician in Company G, 101st Indiana Infantry. This regiment was organized at Wabash, Indiana, and mustered in September 7, 1862. They immediately left the state for Covington, Kentucky, and were on duty there till 23 September. They participated in the pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky  during the early part of October  1862. Luke served until June 1865 when he was mustered out with his company. After the war. Lucas went to the Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, and commenced practice in Indiana, afterwards removing to Texas and thence to California.

Lucas Smith was the son of Thomas Thornburg Smith (1800-1881) and Catherine Geary (1812-1882) of Rock Creek, Wells County, Indiana. This letter was written in two parts: the first part was written by Jacob Henry Clay Smith (1842-1923) and the second part was written by James G. Smith (1834-1909). Mentioned in the letter is their brother William H. Smith (1840-1933) who also served with Lucas in the same company. Also mentioned is another brother, Thomas G. Smith (1837-1919) who was married in 1860 to Rebecca Allen (1838-1868) and resided in Huntington, Indiana.

We learn from this letter that Lucas Smith worked in the printing office of the Banner which was operated by his brother James in Bluffton. That office was located in Studabaker’s Brick Block from 1856 to 1862 when it moved to the corner of Main and Market Streets. Smith took control of the newspaper in April 1859 but his editorials advocated for a peaceful resolution of the Civil War, even if it meant an independent South. The paper fell out of circulation in 1863 as a result and did not rebound until after Smith sold out in 1864.


September 21st 1862

Dear Brother,

I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are all well, hoping that these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. We received a letter from you today and learned from that William is not well which is very bad for him but we hope that he will get better. We also got a letter from William. He says that he thinks of getting discharged. If he does, it will leave you rather lonesome. There is right smart of sickness in the neighborhood. Mr. Joseph Bulger was buried today.

Uncle John Wilson and family was here today and Barbary Wilson, and Peter Brickly and family. They are all in tolerable health.

We have not got any money from you yet but learned this evening that it is at Murray in care of Stocton. Father wants to know what you want him to do with your money.

Mother was up at Bluffton last Friday and she says it looks rather lonesome in the printing office without you. We have got plenty of ripe fruit at present and would be very glad to have you here to help us to eat some of it. We are done sowing wheat except the field James thinks of putting out. He was to be down this evening but has not come yet.

You got wrong information about Henry Kelly having his head shot off. He was taken prisoner and paroled and came home. But the brave little fellow is gone again.

But as it is getting past bedtime now, I must close. Brother Thomas and wife was here last Sunday. They are well. No more at present, but remain your affectionate brother, — Jacob H. C. Smith

Good Bye.

Sunday Evening, September 21, 1862

Dear Luke,

I have just arrived from town. ____ and I have come down here to seed a piece of wheat. I intended to have written you a letter today before leaving town but was so busy that I could not. Sunday, as it was, I had to print political bills all day — printed 3¼ sheet bills — come to $5. Last night I printed 2000 tickets for Jay County, another $5 job. I left Bluffton this evening at sundown and walked all the way — good exercise.

I expected a letter from you by yesterday’s mail but did not receive one and was consequently somewhat disappointed.

In this week’s Banner you will find your communication published. It is highly extolled by all who have read it. You must write again.

Thomas T. Smith (1800-18xx)

Thomas T. Smith (1800-1881)

In your correspondence with John McBride you have acquired his style somewhat and make almost the same mistakes in grammatical construction. The style, however, is a pleasing one and I am proud of your proficiency in letter-writing. I took the liberty of leaving out part of the communication and inserting part of what you intended as private matter. I did this because your description of Gen. [Lew] Wallace and compliment to Capt’s. [David] Trusdall and [Peter] Studabaker are of more interest to readers in this vicinity than anything else.

I shall be here all week and will not issue any paper this week.

The folks are all well. You ought to be here to drink good cool well water and eat peaches.

Don’t forget to answer the questions I asked when you write.

No more now. Your brother, — James


1862: Peter Hardy to Arba Lafayette Hardy

Pvt. Albert H. Davis of 6th New Hampshire

Pvt. Albert H. Davis of 6th New Hampshire

This account of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam was written by 49 year-old Pvt. Peter Hardy (1813-1898) of Company C,  6th New Hampshire. It was the 6th New Hampshire and the 2nd Maryland that made the crossing at Burnside’s Bridge with The 51st New York and the 51st Pennsylvania after several failed attempts on the morning of 17 September 1862. They, with other regiments, successfully drove the Rebels back to Sharpsburg until the arrival of reinforcements from A. P. Hill’s Division stalled the attack. Hardy wrote the letter from the Antietam Iron Works on the Potomac River where his regiment rested a few days after the battle before moving over Maryland Heights to Pleasant Valley where it remained several weeks.

Pvt. Hardy was the son of David Hardy (1776-1849) and Hannah Hardy  (1776-1833). [David and Hannah were cousins.]  Peter was married first to Lydia P. Hunt (1808-1860) in 1834. He married second to Abigail S. Pevere (1816-1902) in September 1861, just as he enlisted in the 6th New Hampshire. He was mustered out of the service in April 1863 at Providence, Rhode Island.

Peter wrote the letter to his younger brother, Arba Lafayette Hardy (1821-1901). Arba married Eliza Jane Wingate (1830-1907) in 1848 in Scott County, Indiana. About 1867, Arba and Eliza moved to a farm seven miles southeast of Kingston, Missouri. Oral history in the family says that Arba and his brother Ephraim were eccentric.

The envelope was postmarked Washington D.C. and the chaplain of the 6th New Hampshire, John Alexander Hamilton (1829-1922), has written the words “Soldier’s Letter, J. A. Hamilton, Chaplain 6th N.H.” on the corner. This suggest to me that Pvt. Hardy gave the letter to the chaplain to hand-carry to Washington D.C. to be mailed from there.

1862 Letter

1862 Letter

Addressed to Arba L. Hardy, Esqr., Lexington, Scott County, Indiana
Soldier Letter, J.A. Hamilton, Chaplain 6th N.H.
Postmarked Washington D.C.

Antietam Iron Works, September [1862]

We are on the East bank of the Potomac over about seven miles above Harper’s Ferry near the battlefield _____ to rest.

Antietam Iron Works

Antietam Iron Works

Dear brother,

Received a letter from you last night and one the other day & think you will excuse me for not writing sooner when you learn what I have been through for the last six weeks since I wrote to you. The next day after I wrote we had orders to march. We marched to Culpepper and to Cedar Hollow and then to Kelly’s Ford on Rappahannock River and it was there I was taken sick and [took the] cars on to Washington to the Hospital. Staid there two weeks and left before I had ought to. I was anxious to be with the regiment. While there the regiment got cut up like hell at Bull Run. I started Tuesday morning after the regiment with [paper creased]… I did not overtake them until Saturday noon. I had only two hours ro rest before the regiment started and marched until ten at night. Sunday morning started again and marched until four in the afternoon and with our battalion went in to the Battle of South Mountain and piled up the damn rebels in winrows. In front of our regiment, they laid in all directions. I counted twenty in one pile behind a stone wall. In one small field five hundred laid dead. So much for their fooling [with] the Union. Rebels lay in all directions — some across stone walls, others in the road, some with their heads in holes, and always poor, dirty, ragged sons of bitches without shoes or anything else to make them look decent. Poor deluded devils; I could but pity them.

Drawing by Edwin Forbes of Union Troops Crossing Burnside Bridge

Drawing by Edwin Forbes of Union Troops Crossing Burnside Bridge

We started about noon on Monday. Went to Boonesborough and buttoned for the night. Tuesday the batteries began to play. Killed two of our men and two mules near us. Wednesday morning the battle opened in earnest. The account of the Battle [of Antietam] you have seen so I will not attempt to give you an account of [it] but will tell you a little that I saw myself. We were on the left wing and could not see the center or right. The New Hampshire 6 and Maryland 2 were ordered to charge across the Antietam Bridge and made the charge, went over and up the hill and took on the enemy ground for three hours but many of our proven soldiers breathed their last and many more were wounded at the charge. It seemed as though the ground trembled under us and I think it did. And why should it not? A continual drone of musketry and forty cannon all belching forth their terrible thunder. I could but think after the battle was over that I was saved for some service yet unknown to me. I escaped with a whole skin but my clothes were somewhat riddled and the shell bursted all round me.

When I was on picket after we crossed the bridge that night, we stood on the battlefield ready if the damn rebels had not got enuff to give them some more but they took the wisest course and run and we had not the means to stop them. If we had a few thousand troops on the other side of the river, the damn devils would not have bothered us anymore this fall. But we done pretty well as it was. We took more than thirty thousand of their troops and thirty-five thousand stands of arms, thirty-five stand of collars and more than twenty cannon besides baggage and other stores. Two purty good days work for us.

My health is not good. I have got the liver complaint and have the diarrhea all the time and tiring is damn poor and we have laid outdoors mighty all the time until we got here since we left the Potomac Bridge and often in the rain and early dews nights.

Do not fear that your are writing to the devil when you write to me. If I am killed you will see it in the papers. I can not write to you when I am on the march for I get so tired that I can not. You must write to me once a week. If I do not write, I will write as often as I can. I have been wanting to write Ephraim for a long time but my health has not been good and the duty that I have to do tires me out most every day so I do not feel like writing and he can hear from me when I write to you. I [paper creased] to be with and tell you about the battle and take a little whiskey. I shall write often if we stop here. Direct your letters [to] Washington. I have no ink so you must find this out if you can.

From your brother, — P. Hardy


1861: Daniel Webster Spofford to Mary Isabella Lund

How Daniel W. Spofford might have looked

How Daniel W. Spofford might have looked

This letter was written by Pvt. Daniel Webster Spofford (1835-1924) of Company A, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. He was the son of Capt. Aaron Spofford (1792-1879) and Rebecca Betsey Foster (1797-1879) of Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts. Daniel wrote the letter from Camp Benton about a month after participating in the Battle at Ball’s Bluff, Virginia. It was at Ball’s Bluff that Confederate General “Shank” Evans stopped a badly coordinated attempt by Union forces to cross the Potomac at Harrison’s Island and capture Leesburg, Virginia. Seven hundred federal troops were captured by the Confederates when they conducted a timely counterattack, driving the Federals over the bluff and into the river.

Pvt. Spofford would survive the war but he was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Antietam on the morning of 17 September 1862 while advancing under “Bull” Sumner’s command through the carnage of the Miller cornfield and into the West Woods by the Hagerstown Pike. He learned afterward that his brother, Phineas Foster Spofford (1825-1902) — a Confederate officer in the 8th South Carolina Infantry — also fought on that bloody day in Maryland. The 8th South Carolina was brigaded with Joseph Kershaw’s South Carolinians which saw desperate fighting near the Dunkard Church by the West Woods in the same hour. Unaware of each other’s presence on the battlefield until afterwards, the two brothers fought for their lives on opposing sides within a few hundred yards of each other.

A map of the West Woods on Antietam Battlefield showing the locations (blue boxes) of the 19th Mass. & the 8th S.C.

A map of the West Woods on Antietam Battlefield showing the locations (blue boxes) of the 19th Mass. & the 8th S.C.

Phineas “survived the war and in 1870 was living in Cheraw, South Carolina. He left the family home sometime before 1850 since that year’s census shows him living and working in neighboring Georgetown. He was 22 and was listed as a shoemaker. He was living in company housing provided by a shoe factory probably owned by Luther D. Perley, listed in Census as “shoe manufacturer.” The Spofford and Perley families were related by marriage at the turn of the century and there may have been some sort of familial arrangement that brought Phineas into the Perley shoe manufacturing business in Georgetown. What brought Phineas to South Carolina and into the 8th South Carolina remains a mystery. By 1860 he had established residence in the large household of South Carolina native R.L. Edgeworth in Chesterfield, South Carolina. One of Phineas’ housemates was J.W. Kibbin, a shoemaker from Massachusetts. He remained in South Carolina after the war–the 1870 Census shows him living in Cheraw–and ten years later he had moved back to Chesterfield where he assumed duties as the town sheriff, was a bachelor, and “resided” with five men listed as prisoners.” [Source: Jim Buchanon blog: Walking the West Woods.]

It should be noted that the Spofford brothers had a third brother who also served in the Civil War. Aaron Spofford (1833-1862) was in Company E, 12th Massachusetts and was killed at the Second Battle of Bull Run on 30 August 1862.

As stated previously, Pvt. Daniel Spofford survived the war and resided in Georgetown, Massachusetts. He married Eliza Ann Folsom, the daughter of James and Dolly Folsom, in October 1865. He married second, Elizabeth Lavender Gynan Dore in 1909.

Whether Pvt. Spofford and the recipient of this letter, Mary Isabella Lund (1834-1865), were sweethearts isn’t clear from this letter or from public records. An obelisk in the Brookside Cemetery at West Boxford indicates that she died in 1865. She was the daughter of William and Mary Isabella (Reynolds) Lund.

1861 Letter

1861 Letter

Addressed to Miss Isabell Lund, West Boxford, Massachusetts

Camp Benton [Near Poolesville, Maryland]
November 27th 1861

Friend Isabell,

Your letter with [cousin] Lottie’s [Charlotte Matilda Reynolds] and [sister] Tilly’s [Matilda Barker Lund] and the envelopes and paper came safe to hand and you may be assured it was received with the greatest pleasure and many thanks to you all for the letter and paper. I hope you will not send me any more paper — only that which is pretty well covered with writing as it is the most acceptable of anything I can get in the shape of reading and I am so situated that I can get paper now. I am saving that paper to write you and Tilly my best letters on. As I wrote to Lizzie, I think this must be rather dry.

There has been some talk of our going on some secret expedition but I do not believe we shall leave this place at present. I do not know what Government means to do with us but I am perfectly resigned to my fate knowing that if Government should fail to provide for us, there is one higher who noteth even the fall of the sparrows and I know He will not be unmindful of us.

Ball's Bluff Battlefield

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield

As yet I do not think this regiment suffers for anything and I hope the good people of Boxford will not overlook the wants of those who may need their assistance at home in their zeal to make their soldiers comfortable. If you could see all the clothing wasted on Harrison’s Island at the time of the Battle at Ball’s Bluff and know that a soldier was obliged to carry everything he owned besides his equipments and grub, they would not wonder that the less he owned, the better off he is when he is always on a march, rain or shine. When we get our clothes and blankets full of water, it makes a good load. I will tell you more about it when I see you

We have to drill most all the time so it breaks up my time for writing. We can see the Blue Ridge peering up over the woods and I think you would think it was a great cloud for I did the first time I saw it. It is very dark blue.

I must stop here for the drums warn me that it is time for brigade drill. Give my love to all. Tell them to write as often as possible for nothing gives me more pleasure than letters from you. Do you hear from [cousins] Ned [Edward Jackson Reynolds] or Hattie [Harriette] Reynolds? Your friend, — D. W. Spofford

Routed Federal Troops plunge into Potomac River during retreat from Ball's Bluff

Federal Troops plunge into Potomac River during retreat from Ball’s Bluff

Spared & Shared 21

Saving history one letter at a time.

Spared & Shared 20

Saving history one letter at a time

Notes on Western Scenery, Manners, &c.

by Washington Marlatt, 1848

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

Building Bluemont

The Origin of Bluemont Central College

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery