Untitled poem by unidentified poet, 1862

William D. Cabell Papers, #276

An untitled seventeen-stanza poem by an unidentified poet, September 28, 1862 is typical of the war's melodramatic verse.

"I saw a vision of a woman, where/Night and new morning strive for domination/Incomparably pale, and passing fair/And sad beyond expression." 

John M. McDowell letter, 1864

Sarah Amanda McDowell Letters, #4618-B

Confederate soldiers occasionally expressed devotion to their sweethearts by bloodthirsty means. John M. McDowell, stationed in Mississippi, May 20, 1864, boasts to a female cousin that during a recent battle he tried to kill a Yankee for each local girl and two for a "Miss Puss."

Valentine, 1865

Ritenour Papers, #38-665

Courtship was never far from the minds of Confederate warriors. An unidentified Army of Northern Virginia soldier sent these two hand-drawn and colored valentines to sisters Barbara and Rebecca Ritenour on February 14, 1865. It is unknown which sister eventually won the soldier's heart.

Letter from Mollie Lowerman

Bosserman Family Civil War Letters, #10859

An undated wartime letter from Mollie Lowerman, Walker's Creek, Virginia, to Amanda Bosserman: "You will enjoy yourself fine if you do have to take pokeroot. . . . I had the very pokeroot last Sunday at Church but I do not care one cent for it is pokeroot or no root at all." Mollie urges Amanda to visit as a regiment of cavalry is stationed in the neighborhood but she (Mollie) has only met one of its members, a Mr. Nelson of Monroe County whom she says is a "very nice fellow" but is also a "pokeroot." Pokeroot was a plant with stimulative and purgative abilities and apparently was also used for dyeing. It is unclear what Mollie meant by her use of the term in this letter.

Valentine, undated

Letters From Civil War Virginia, #10911

This undated valentine pokes fun at the courtship duplicity of men as suitors.