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Five American Civil War Letters – 1862 – 1864


5 Civil War Letters – 1862 – 1864


5 Civil War Letters 1862 -66

1. Written from “Locust Grove,” February 9, 1863, ALS from Jennie S. B[eall] to W[illiam] T. Beall, which mentions the Battle of Stone River and the part “our” boys (74th & 94th) took in “that sanguinary engagement.” General Grant and numerous lower ranking officers are mentioned. The “gallant 54th Zouave” is mentioned. Arkansas Pass and Vicksburg are mentioned. A letter of important content.

2. Written from “home,” Xenia, Ohio, October 9, 1862 to “Cousin Will,” 1 sheet of unlined white paper folded once, 4 panels/pages, ink. This is the most important letter of this small collection of letters, as this unsigned correspondent writes detailed news of Operations in the West and of the performance of “Old Greene” and the recent battle “at Perryville,”(Oct. 8, 1862) and two companies belonging to the 911th Ohio are mentioned, the writer goes on at length about the death of one Harry Hamber, who died from disease, illuminating the unsanitary conditions of the common soldier. The writer goes on at length about diphtheria. Generals Wilson, Grant, and Kirby Smith are mentioned, as well as other officers of lower rank. Significant military history content. One passage: “Cousin Will, I have been standing by the window gazing out into the silent night and thinking. Thinking of the dead. Tonight the ocean waves roll over the form of me that I knew, and the snow silently rests on the grave of a dear friend. Another friend has lost his life, a sacrifice to his countries alter. Another family have been called to mourn the death of a dearly beloved son and brother. Yes! Harry Humber is dead!”

3. Written by “Lizzie” to her brother, W.T. Beall, May 18, 1862, 1 sheet of lined white paper folded once, 4 panels/pages, ink on paper, ALS. A letter in which this remarkable young woman relates the local vital statistics. The names of the various dead and injured are given. She tells him “we planted the cotton seed you sent. Mother got her pipe it was very much admired.”

4. Written “at home” (West Jefferson, Ohio) November 30, 1864, ink on paper, ALS from Levi Looker, 1 sheet folded once, 4 panels/3 pages used, 2 ½ pages of text. A letter written to another soldier to let him know that “I arrived Safe at home …”, which reads very much like a prose poem:


… for my mind often
wanders back to that
old war path
which we used to tread
with heavy harts and
wearied steps and I
often think of our
comrades which we left
behind to toil their
way through if death
does not meet them on
the way…”.

5. Written by J. B. Beall in Xenia, Ohio, January 13, 1862 to W.T. Beall, 1 page, ink on blue paper, ALS, a short letter that establishes the identity of the recipient of these five letters.

6. One bill presented by William Branner to the law firm of Osborne & Powell in Knoxville, Tennessee, dated January 29, 1864 for “… the damages done by the United States troops to his property fifty dollars.”