American Civil War News Letter Signed
During the American Civil War (1861-1865); Autograph Letter Signed, n.d. - 7 3/4 x 6 1/2 Folio: written to: Martha Bell, from: Frank (e.g., kin) letter appears to speak of a Charly...gived news two, promotions from Sgt. Major, mail duty...Appears to be from a Union camp, due to the blue line parchment and woven fiber wire on leaf. The Union was supplied from the North with paper goods. A four-fold crease with a pin hole in center crease. Apperas to be organic in age-toning with minor tears to edges. A quill pen and blk ink well was used in wording. Overall, very good condition.
When he wasn't marching, fighting, or setting up camp, the Civil War soldier might take a few moments to write to his loved ones at home. These letters often contain accounts of battles, life in camp, and general news.
Many soldiers, as they marched off to face the enemy, had left behind a wife or sweetheart, and to them they would compose sweet, poignant, and occasionally funny letters that give life and personality to the participants in this great national conflict.
Soldiers wrote many letters during the war and we are lucky that so many of them have been preserved.
When a historian reads those letters, he can get an idea of what the soldiers were like and what they thought of while they were away from home. Letter writing was the main form of communication with loved ones at home and letter writing helped to relieve boredom.
Almost all soldiers begged for their parents, friends, wives and sweethearts to write back right away as there were few pleasures greater than receiving mail from home.Civil War soldiers missed many of the special things they took for granted while at home, especially home cooked food.
Families packed boxes with a soldier’s favorite food like pies and cakes that he could not get while in the army and it was a special day when such a package from home arrived in camp.
The Union Army had a post office near forts and camps, and a mail service that followed the armies for the men could purchase stamps and mail their letters. Later in the war, organizations such as the U.S. Christian Commission and U.S. Sanitary Commission gave out paper and envelopes to Union soldiers free of charge.
In 1864, the U.S. Mail Service announced that Union soldiers could send their letters home for free as long as they wrote "Soldier's Letter" on the outside of the envelope. Confederate soldiers never had such a luxury.
Shortages of paper, stamps, and even writing utensils in the South became acute as the war progressed and it was often left up to the soldiers to find writing paper, including stationary taken from Union prisoners.