1864: “The Work Of Death Goes On”

In Camp near Atlanta, Georgia

June 9, 1864

When the enemy first made his appearance at Resaca, there was only one brigade of Cantey’s Division consisting of three regiments and one battery there, though there were some guns placed in batteries on the heights overlooking the town. This force succeeded in checking  the Yankees until reinforcements arrived, which by-the-way, did not come a moment too soon, for I verily believe that Johnston barely missed being caught in a bad box, and whatever may be said to the contrary, I shall always think that it was nothing more than sheer good luck and the lack of enterprise on the part of the Yankees that his communications was not cut off. I know that the wires were cut between Dalton and Resaca and all dispatches were sent by courier.

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1864: “We Have Been In Line Of Battle”

In line of battle near Cold Harbor

Monday Morning June 6th 64

My own Darling Sister & father & mother

Last night after being relieved from outpost duty on my arrival in camp a letter from you was handed to me. I asked how it came & was told it had come down from the line of battle, curious way for a letter to come isn’t it? Yet so it is letters are constantly being passed up our lines to some of the different men in different Brigades & also accounts of the different fights pass in the same way, so we always know directly a fight is over at the end of the line we know how it went for us. I have been most anxious to hear from you all having heard that father had been taken prisoner & the town filled to overflowing with Yankee wounded & I was much afraid…

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1863: “Money Is Nothing To A Man’s Life”

Fort Sumner

October 28th, 1863

Dear Mother

I received your letter tonight & was glad to hear from you. I am well and hope theas [these] few lines will find you the same. I am very sory [sorry] to hear that Owen has enlisted, but I have said all that I can to keep him from enlisting. I think that if father lets him go, that he is to blaim [blame], for money is nothing to a man’s life. You tell him that he will be a sory [sorry] boy that ever enlisted. I used to think it was some thing grate [great] to be soldier, but I think different now. If I was out of the Army, no four hundred dollars would get me back again, that is sure. Perhaps Owen has not be used wel [well], but he will get used worse in the Army.  Continue reading

WWI Letters: “Aeroplanes Are Flying Around Over Here Like Birds”

This letter reprinted in A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia was actually written for publication! Private Russell T. Hupp penned the letter and sent it to the editor of The Valley newspaper. It gives details that folks back home would have found interesting, including observations on the agriculture in France and comparisons to the crops and farms in the Shenandoah Valley.

Similar to the previous weeks, we’ve included a few historical notes on World War I after the complete primary source to give a little background and historical depth to the letter.

The Letter

Somewhere in France

A.E.F., Sept. 17, 1918, Continue reading

WWI Letters: “There Are Greater Things Ahead Of Us”

Today’s featured letter – rediscovered in A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia – was written by an American sergeant serving “over there” during World War I. He details his lodgings, general impressions of Americans in war-torn Europe, and an experience with French refugees in this letter to his mother.

Similar to last week, we’ve included a few historical notes after the complete primary source to give a little background and historical depth to the letter.

The Letter

Somewhere in France

September 14, 1918 Continue reading

1861: “Nothing, But Resistance To Rebellion Can Save Us”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their Words

 May 21st, 1861, Elmira, N.Y.

Dear Father & Mother,

Your letters have both been received. I was much grieved at the sad tone of both. Of course we all deprecate war. But since the question of our existence as a nation seems to hang upon a thread, and in case a dissolution takes place war is inevitable. I say let it come when we are best prepared and when we have the national prestige and resources to back us…. What is our government good for if it cannot maintain itself. If the people are to rule in any locality they must do it by majorities. And if it those majorities are to be successfully set a defiance by [?] then the experiment of self-government is at an end. I say we have a greater cause for which to battle now than did our revolutionary sires. They fought against taxation without representation. We fight for the doctrine of self-government.

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