William Anderson Civil War Letters, #10366

William Anderson Civil War Letters, #10366

This July 11, 1862 letter informs Mrs. William Anderson of South Carolina of the death of her husband, a Confederate army major. Approximately 258,000 Confederates died from bullets or disease. We can never know the number of women who died of broken hearts.

Two love letters from "Sallie", 1865

James McDowell Papers, #1707

Two love letters from "Sallie" (who also calls herself "Birdie") to an unidentified Confederate Army major. Her January 5, 1865 letter expresses love for him ("Do you not believe I love you, or I would never have overleaped the bounds of conventionality and addressed you first") but by January 19 she complains, "Why don't you write to me? Why don't you answer my letter?"

Mrs. J. C. Preston, letter, June 1864

Micajah Woods Papers, #10279

In this June, 1864 letter, Mrs. J. C. Preston writes to her sister to tell her of the death of their brother, David Creigh, who was executed by Union soldiers for killing a Yankee looter. She describes his last night in which he was forced to sleep in an outhouse, and denied a comforting word from anyone except for the Chaplain who prepared him for death. Mrs. Preston writes "he has indeed joined the band of martyr'd heroes who have shed their blood on the scaffold & field in defence of their country & its domestic altars..."

Mrs. J. C. Preston, letter, December 1864

Micajah Woods Papers, #10279

During the war, many Southern men traveled farther away from home than they had ever imagined. Far from their families and their communities, they were often alone, sick and wounded. Under these circumstances, women were called upon to nurse men who were not a part of their immediate or extended families. In this way, the women of the South formed a network, caring for each other's men when far from home, knowing that some day another women may have to care for their men. In this December, 1864 letter from J. C. Preston of Lewisburg, to Eliza Carrington of Charlottesville, Mrs. Preston thanks her for crossing enemy lines to nurse her wounded son, Walter. She writes to express "unfeigned thanks for your noble mission through the lines & my high appreciation of the benevolence & goodness of heart which prompted it."

Hotchkiss handkerchief

Papers of Jedediah Hotchkiss, #2822

This handkerchief, undated, belonged to Sarah Comfort Hotchkiss of Augusta County, Virginia. Her husband, Jedediah Hotchkiss, was a soldier, scout and map-maker for the Confederate Army. This handkerchief may have been used during the war to dry tears or wave goodbye to departing soldiers.