Civil War Letters

No one really thinks about writing letters any more. Letters have been reduced to business correspondence and many people just thing that what comes in the mail is junk. We have loved ones in the military and many are in Iraq or Afghanistan and corresponding is instantaneously. Either by cell phone or texting as many do and others use some sort of software such as Scipe to talk face to face with loved ones. Did you every think how it was done in WWI or WWII and even the Korean Conflict or Vietnam. At least mail was regular and usually on time. In the Civil War letters were hit and miss but did get through. In 1995 I was a member of group of Ham Radio operators interested in Civil War so we exchanged stories and several letters from the troops.

The following are examples of letters that were written by Civil War soldiers.




Camp 19th Ind. Vol.
Sept, 10th, 1863
Dear Father,

Your letter of August 30th came to hand in due course of time. I was glad to hear that you were well and c., I enjoy verry good health, have a plenty to do so that I have a good appetite for my hard tack and coffee. Things move along here a bout as of old as for war news you get them as soon as I do. I am in hopes that it will soon be over so that we can all return to our homes and friends. Ellick Wasson is at Brigade Head Quarters taking care of Capt. Holloways horses, he is well as common but he nor no one els has any woman here so much for that. Wesley Gullion was taken prisioner, he is now at Annapolis, the rest of the boys are all well. I was sorry to hear of Grand Pa Morrs' death but that is the end that we have all got to come to sooner or later, I trust that the frost hasnt injured the crops much. We are having pleasant weather here and the Brigade are making great preparation for a celebration to take place on the 17th of the present month. There is to be a flag presented to the Brigade in honors of the several battles it has been in so you may expect to hear of a great time and c. I am as well as common and I hope this will find you enjoying the same blessing, is the wish of your absent son. John Hawk
P. S. Write as soon as you can and give me all the news, tell Mr House that I will answer his letter soon. J. H.


Camp near Chattanooga
October the 18th, 1863
Dear Aunt,

It is and more with pleasure that I seat my self to write you a few lines to let you know I am well and harty and hope that when those few lines reaches you, they may find you enjoying good health, well first thing is, I have seen uncle Will and he is well and harty, the next thing is that we have got to see the elephants, we have bin in to one of the hardest battles that har line fought in this war and we lost our Captain and out first Lieutenant, both was kill dead on the field and we had to privates killed and 19 wounded, I came out safe all but a spent ball struck me on the leg but it did not go through the hide. Well, I havent very mutch to write for I have just come off of pickett guard and am tired. We are a bout one mile and a half from Chattanooga, Tenn. rite oposite the Lookout Mountain and the rebels is in sight. Well I want you to tell Catarine Bainter that I havent forgot her yet and I want her to write to me and I want to know how uncle John is getting a long, if you have heard from him lately. Well, I have to bring my letter to a close. Direct your letter to Chattanooga, Tenn. Co. B, 84th Reg. Ind. Vol. Write soon and tell me of all the seding in town, so no more at present but ever remains you

Nephew
John W. Turner



To Catherine Hawk
Chattanooga Tenn.
Dear Sister,

I take my pen to rite you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present time and hope if ever those few lines so fortunate as to reach you, they may find you the same. i reseave your very kind letter to day and was glad to hear from you again for it had bin a long time sence I heard from you. I hant got much to rite this time so you must not look for much but I will do the best I can, the times hear is good, I think we will have a fite hear in a few days and then if I git through, I will rite to you again and tell you about how I got a long You said you didnt want me to reinlist any moore, I dont think I will till my time is out hear and come home and see you, I will bring my few lines to a close for the present, Rite soon

William Hawk
to Sister Kate Hawk


Return to Main Page
Return to Archives