October 18, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of the 11th. inst was received on 14th., Wednesday. I believe you got my letters Wednesday, now if you should mail a letter to me the same evening I should get it Saturday  evening and I could answer it Sunday. I think we had better try that arrangement you spoke of last year for a while at least. Don’t you think it would be a good plan?

I received a paper from William this week. I am getting along well in my studies. There is no news.

Your Affectionate Son

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

October 15, 1863

Hartford, Ct

My dear Mother,

I received your letter last evening and have been trying to remember what I can have written to give you such impressions. I know that my letters have been very hurried, but I was not aware that they had been especially doleful.[…]

My engagement with Mr. Curtis is not broken off, though our marriage is likely to be postponed. I should of course have told you had it been so. I consented to marry Mr C. because I loved him, simply, and for no other reason; and I love him just as much now as I ever have: perhaps more. If the time ever comes that I have reason to love him less, or if I see that it is wise to undo what has been done, I shall consider myself released from whatever of  obligation now finds me, and I grant him the same privilege. That time, however, has certainly not come, and I can’t believe that it ever will. […]

Virginia “Ginny” Hubbard to her mother, Sarah Hodge Barrett [Hubbard Family Papers]


September 29, 1863


Dear Sir

Having received intelligence that my son was wounded, Orlando Staples, I though it best to write to you thinking perhaps you would know all about it, as there is not any one of the privates that I know in his company.

I want you to write all that you know about him for I shall feel very anxious indeed. Tell me all, let it be good and bad for I want to know the worst, nothing but the whole truth will satisfy me. Please write as soon as possible and oblige your friend.

Sophia Staples to William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

September 21, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols, near Culpepper, Va.

Dear Brother:

I will improve a few moments this afternoon in writing you. We still remain in the camp that we had when we first came here but I learn that the Cavalry crossed the Rapidan today and perhaps the Infantry may have that privilege soon. This is a very pretty country when we all encamp. Although it is in almost its natural state — man has done nothing to improve it for two years — and have been burning up fences all this time. The city is large and much [illegible] than I expected to see.

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 13, 1863

Camp near Beverly Ford

Dear Brother,

I am going to begin a letter to you it’s snowing and perhaps will finish it today and perhaps instead of using the pen I shall leave to grasp the sword and rush into battle. We have just received orders to be ready to move at a moment’s notice: the 2nd corps crossed at Rappahannock Station yesterday and are pressing on to Culpepper and we are to support them. I hope we shall not have to right today – it is an improper way of spending the Sabbath, but the excitement – even if we do not move – will be enough to spoil the quietness of the Sabbath. […]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 6, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols. at Beverly Ford, Va.

My Dear Brother:

It is Sabbath evening and very quiet and peaceful for the army it does not usually seem much like the Sabbath but now that the business of the Regt. is so well kept up, that we do not have any writing to do on that day. It seems now like a, “Day of Rest.” […]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]


August 25, 1863

A DARING ATTEMPT AT ROBBERY—A bold attempt of burglars to plunder the millinery rooms of Mr. James Coverly, on the second floor of No. 139 Tremont street, at the corner of Winter Street, was frustrated last evening, although the proprietor had a narrow escape for his life.  Mr. Coverly, who had just returned from an absence from the city, was sitting at his desk about eight o’clock, after the place had been closed for the day, when he was suddenly startled by the appearance of a young burglar who had descended through a skylight, or glass window at the back.  Mr. Coverly challenged him and demanded his business, but the young desperado only drew a pistol, and warned him away, at the same time advancing towards the door.  Mr. Coverly was not intimidated but followed him up, when the young rascal made his retreat through the door, firing at Mr. Coverly, at the moment of closing it.  Mr. Coverly received the ball in his right cheek, and although stunned for an instant, pursued the burglar who took to his heels down the stairs.  The street was, of course, at that time in the evening well filled with people, who were warned of the trouble by the outcry raised.  The young fellow was tripped up before he got across the street, and secured, as we are informed, by Mr. F. A. Shaw.  Mr. Coverly took charge of his burglar and conducted him in triumph to the station house, where he was secured for the night.  The prisoner, who seems unusually sly and crafty, gave his name as Daniel Delany and his age as fifteen years.  He states that he came from Portland last week, but it is much more probable that he is a professional housebreaker from New York.  It is thought that he had an accomplice with him, although he, himself, denies it.  No burglar’s instruments were found, except a doubled rope, knotted to serve as a ladder.  Mr. Coverly’s wound, although likely to prove troublesome, is not, it is hoped, of a serious nature.  We are informed by the police that an early hour in the evening is considered the best for breaking into a store, since at that time a man with a bag of plunder has little risk of being stopped by the police.

“Local Matters,” Boston Daily Advertiser, August 25, 1863, front page [Historic Newspaper Collection] 

August 24, 1863


Dear Hubbard,

I shall be in Augusta on the 2nd Sunday in Sept. (the 13th) and would like to know if you will be at home at that time. I shall arrive in A. on Saturday and shall leave on Monday following. If there is an opportunity of my seeing you I wish to improve it – I intend to leave here next week and if you expect to be in H. at the time […] I should be glad if you wd. inform me soon.

William T. Stowe to Thomas Hubbard [Hubbard Family Papers]

August 6, 1863

Aug. 6th.  Well the mail came in last night & nothing from you, so I will finish this & send it out by the morning mail.  We are going to draw soft bread today, which will be a very acceptable change.  We have got one of the best company grounds that I ever saw, espetially [sic] the Collor [sic] Guard & Head Quarters; it is right on a little knoll with second growth of hard pine, just thin enough to make it a cool & shady place.  It is almost too good a place, & we are in hot water all of the time for fear that we shall hear that old bugle sound the call to strike tents.

There is a detail of 100 men from the regt now doing guard & fatigue duty on the Orange & Alexandria R.R.  It is the same with all of the regt in this brigade.

And now, Brother, I wish to make a proposition; hereafter I am going to write to you  regularly once a fortnight.  I want you to do the same by me.  I will not write any more now.  You see what a blunder I made on the 2nd page, it is something I never [have] done before; and you must excuse it because it was your Brother E. C.

Elisha Coan to his brother [Elisha Coan Collection]

August 5, 1863

Camp 20th Me, near Pa

My Dear Brother:

I have waited long enough for a letter from you, I am going to write myself: – we moved from camp near [Warren] day before yesterday and here we are in camp to remain until the first of September to recruit up and wait for “Conscripts;” there has I commissioner officers if men gone from each regt in this corp; and we shall expect that soon.

There is not much going on now of interest; it is very hot weather now, and a thundershower everyday; if you would like cool and shady place, it is almost too good a place and we are in hot water all of the time for fear that we shall hear that old bugle sound the call to “strike tents.” […]

Elisha Coan to his brother [Elisha Coan Collection]