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Civil War

Silas A. Ingham to His Friend Henry J. Kellogg. From Stevensburg, Virginia; February 1, 1864
Silas A. Ingham to His Friend Henry J. Kellogg
From Stevensburg, Virginia; February 1, 1864
Courtesy of Kathleen Burke and Thomas M. Ivers
Silas A. Ingham to His Friend Henry J. Kellogg
From Stevensburg, Virginia; February 1, 1864

Silas A. Ingham to His Friend Henry J. Kellogg
From Stevensburg, Virginia; February 1, 1864

Union Surgeon Silas Ingham began with polite remarks on the health of his friend Henry Kellogg. Ingham moved to more profound topics, particularly the outlook of the soldiers and his views on the Union cause. His statements on the need to preserve the nation and end slavery demonstrate his convictions, deeply grounded in his faith. This letter was found on a Chicago street early in the twentieth century.

Courtesy of Kathleen Burke and Thomas M. Ivers

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William Steele to Annie McFarland. From Fisherville, Virginia; December 26, 1864
William Steele to Annie McFarland
From Fisherville, Virginia; December 26, 1864
Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project
William Steele to Annie McFarland
From Fisherville, Virginia; December 26, 1864

William Steele to Annie McFarland
From Fisherville, Virginia; December 26, 1864

In 1951, a collection of family correspondence was recovered from the discarded possessions of the late daughter of William Steele and Annie McFarland Steele. The courting couple began writing letters during the Civil War. On the page shown here, Confederate First Lieutenant Steele reflected on the low morale of the troops and lamented the thought of losing the war. Bryan’s Company Virginia Artillery, with which Steele served, disbanded soon after General Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865.

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

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A soldier reads a letter (lower left) and rests after a drill in Petersburg, Virginia, 1864.
A soldier reads a letter (lower left) and rests after a drill in Petersburg, Virginia, 1864.
Courtesy of the National Archives
A soldier reads a letter (lower left) and rests after a drill in Petersburg, Virginia, 1864.
Courtesy of the National Archives