November 27, 1863


My Dear Brother,

Father has written you this mail, but the letter is sealed, so I must send a separate envelope. I wrote you some time since, but I fear you did not receive the letter, for I did not put on the outside the name of the county. I wrote in regards to my going to California. I was finally decided to go, so you may expect me soon. I shall try to get an opportunity to teach. What do you think of it? I should wait to hear from you, if it did not take eight weeks. So it is I think I had best go without. I shall want a good boarding place secured before I arrive so that I can go immediately to it. Everything will be very new to me, but I can in a little while, I guess, learn their manners and customs. I wish I knew exactly what things to purchase so that I should not have to pay so high for them there.

I should rather teach Drawing than anything else, but most anything I should be willing to teach. […]

Charles McArthur to hist brother, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 19, 1863

11-19My dear Hubbard,

Yours of the 3rd inst. is just  recd. Three weeks ago tomorrow we left for my home in Ohio and my former home, Chicago. We returned yesterday and right glad are we to be home again although we had a most delightful visit. I met your friend Mr. Geo. W. Parsons in Chicago. He was very glad to hear that you were not going back to the war and he spoke very enthusiastically and complimentary of a former attache of their office.

We were greatly disappointed in your decision not to return to New York. We anticipated your return with great pleasure but although greatly disappointed in your final decision we will not complain but rather love and admire you the more that you can leave house and friends for the cause which needs the support of all – we had though that your patriotism was sufficiently manifested in the service already given by yourself and your heroic brother, but if you deem it your duty to go again all we can say is that you patriotism is worthy of yourself , and may God bless you, watch over you and return you to your home and friends in health and safety. […]

Wm. H. Bridgman to member of the Hubbard Family [Hubbard Family Papers]

November 18, 1863

Lookout Valley, Tenn.

To the Editor of the Portland Press:

I notice in the Eastern Newspapers a great deal of misconception relative to the operations of that part of the Army of the Cumberland (including the recent reenforcement from the Army of the Potomac), which undertook and accomplished the opening of the Tennessee River and thereby relieve the starving forces at Chatanooga.

The enclosed order from Gen. Thomas gives so clear a statement of the results combined with a complimentary mention of prominent parties engaged that I hope you will find space for its publication.

The accompanying characteristic order of Gen. Howard was received with unusual marks of gratification by the officers & soldiers of his Command.

Please insert in large type in some conspicuous place in your Paper that the Rebels still hold Lookout Mountain. If some of the Editors of Northern Newspapers or some Correspondents who furnish vivid accounts of scenes and operations here, though themselves never nearer than Bridgeport, (30 miles off), could pass along this Valley during any one of the Day-light hours and have one of these air rending, earth-shattering shells come swooping down from the Upper Regions, past his head – he would appreciate both what is meant by Lookout and the possession of it; at if the lesson is not too dearly learnt – he will be able to inform his readers that the River is in our possession all the way to Chatanooga with the exception of about a mile opposite Lookout Point commanded by the guns of the Enemy not yet dislodged from the Mountain. The Peninsula across from the Pontoon bridge at Brown’s Ferry to that at Chatanooga is less than two (2) miles wide. Lookout Point is above three (3) miles from the city. So that there is an actual gain of distance in landing supplies at Brown’s Ferry. But the “Suck” (or shallows) between Kelly’s & Brown’s doesn’t permit <you> easy passage of the boats and so by crossing another peninsula formed by the Tennessee wagons can reach Kelly’s in a distance of five (5) miles from Brown’s, the boats usually leave their cargoes at Kelly’s. The Rebels did hold all of this portion of the Tennessee as also twenty miles more of it towards Bridgeport.

This was adroitly wrested from them by Gen. Hooker’s Command cooperating with forces from Chatanooga. The Southern papers say it is incomprehensible how the Federals got so complete possession of Lookout Valley in so short a time and not less so that Bragg should have suffered <there do so>.

Charles Henry Howard to Editor of the Portland Press [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

November 16, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I received your letter of 8th inst. with a short letter from Mother enclosed.

I am sorry you feel so bad about my demerits. I did not get into any bad habits but was unfortunate. When I can find the time I will copy them off and send them to you and then you can judge for yourself.

There is nothing new.

Your Affectionate Son,
Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 14, 1863

Dear Malley,

It is Saturday evening, and there is little leisure, and will devote it to you. I suppose you will like to hear how we have been getting along since you left home. Cathrine [sic] went to Portland twice to see Dr Fitch, he gave her medicine, told her eat beef and ride, and keep out of doors as much as possible, for a while she was better and grew worse, one night was very sick, I went in for Mrs Clark, and got Mr Clark to go for Dr Livett, that was there three weeks last Thursday. He thought her very sick. He advised not to go out, she has not been out since, and is a great deal better. I feel quite encouraged now, think if she is carefull  she will get quite well. […]

How are you getting along at West Point? That interests me and all of us. Try will all of your might, to do your very best, the happiness that you will confer in your friends, by so doing, will amply repay you, so, don’t let your ambition flag, or get discouraged, at the difficulties. I should like to have you write to me, how you like your new studies, if they are interesting, or if you find them very hard. Anything about yourself is exceedingly interesting to me. Do you have the same room mate? Do you take lessons in dancing? In riding? Is you [sic] time agreeably spent, as it was last year? Please write me one good long letter. Do you look back upon your vacation with pleasure? I regret that I did not make it more interesting, and pleasant, about home, so that you could feel truly, ‘there is no place like home.’ Now my dear son, I do hope you will try to do your very best in your studies, in your conduct that you can look back upon your life at West Point with pleasure. […]

Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur to her son, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 9, 1863


Dear Malley,

I want you to write me a good long letter, let me know how you are getting along with your studies, are they very hard; I see by the report your rank is not so high as last year, I want you to try with all your might to do your very best- don’t  relax your effort in the least. I want you to take a high stand in every respect in murrals [sic] and religion, as well as in intellectual and scientific culture. I wish you would write me a good long letter once in a while. I will answer all your questions, and write all the news.

With Love,

Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur to her son, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

November 5, 1863

Hd Qtrs 1st Maine Batter, In the field near Vermillion

Dear Friend

I received a letter from home yesterday and was very much surprised and pained to learn that you had not received any letters from me since I left home.

I wrote Emma as soon as I arrived in Baton Rouge and to you as soon as I received your letter and now been expecting to hear from you in reply by every mail.

I cannot see why there should be any difficulty in having the mails go properly and safely. I know you must have thought it very strange that I did not write, but that fault was not mine.

It seems they have not received more than one out of five of my letters that I have sent home for I have written nearly every week and at the date of this last letter they had not received but three. […]

John S. Snow to a member of the Hubbard Family [Hubbard Family Papers]


November 3, 1863

Hartford, Conn.

Dear Em,

Mr. Curtis is absent and I can’t find time for a long letter. I can’t tell either until his return just what I shall do about remaining here. If he should be able to engage such a teacher as he wishes for the year I cannot of course expect that he will prefer to make all arrangement with me to the Christmas vacation merely.

As sofar as I have settled the matter I will send a list of such things as I shall need. It is rarely worthwhile to send it now when I may need nothing more than I have. I will write at once after Mr. C returns. Love to all.

Virginia “Ginny” Hubbard to her sister, Emma Hubbard [Hubbard Family Papers]

October 25, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I received your letter of 21st. on 24th inst., Saturday. I think this new arrangement will be a great deal better.

In your Sunday letter you seemed to be pained on account of my getting so many demerits. I am very sorry for there is no danger at all of my being found and the demerits don’t amount to much, it may through me down one or two files in General Standing. I don’t care much about getting my standing by demerits. I hope you will feel easier about my demerits hereafter.

You want me to send my weekly marks. I will send them to you when I can remember them though you can not tell how I am getting along by  them any more than you could if I should send you so many Hebrew letters.

Do you have letters from Charlie often? I wish you would tell me what town he is in, I have forgotten. I will write him as soon as I find out.

There is nothing new here.


Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers] 

October 21, 1863

Camp near New Baltimore, Va.

My Dear Brother: –

As we are laying still today, I thought that I would take up the time in write you a brief description of our movements since we came across the Rappahannock R.

I believe my last was commended at Culpeper and finished at Beverly For; well the next morning after I wrote that letter, we struck tents, and moved about a mile down the river and waited about 3 hours when we crossed the river and formed a line of battle and about the same time our cavalry began a skirmish with the reb. cavl. and we over where we could see all that was going on they had it quiet hard for some time, both sides using artillery pretty freely.

At last we could see the reb. lines fall back, one man at a time until the whole line had withdrawn to a little hill and then they skedaddled in earnest, then we advanced in line of farther about 2 miles over one the roughest hardest pieces of ground that could be found in Va, for where it was nit bushes and woods it was all grown up to blackberry bushes; and it was as hard to march over that five miles as it would have been to march 15 miles on a smooth road; after marching this distance we finished for the night. […]

From your affectionate brother,


Elisha Coan to his brother [Elisha Coan Collection]