What I’m Reading Now: Civil War Love Letters

The lost art of letter-writing, the Civil War sesquicentennial, and an RSS feed: the messages from James, a Union soldier, to his Dear Molly are being posted on the 150th anniversary of their writing at the Missouri History Museum. If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for that era in history, a good teary-eyed love story, and (you guessed it) the written word.

Spending the past month working with the words of U.S. vets, how they talk about their spouses and families, has given me more insight (though, safe at home, my understanding only scratches the surface) into how difficult war-torn romance must-be, not to mention war-torn family life.

James is a moralist in the cause, as well as a lover of “boquets” of flowers (he mentions them throughout correspondence).

My favorite of the letters I’ve read thus far: March 22nd, 1863. It talks about conscription, Lincoln’s promise to shoot deserters (which Lincoln did not feel easy about making good on), and some sourly-expressed jealousy on the part of Miss Molly’s many beaus.

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