Oliver Otis Howard to Grace Howard, July 12, 1861

Howard writes to his daughter about his daily life, with illustrations throughout.

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Head Quarters Howard’s
Brigade Camp Manassas.
[ca- Jul 1861]

My little daughter,
Papa has just finished a
letter to Guy and he thinks Gracie will
want a letter of her own; so papa swept
a place big enough to sit down and began this
while uncle Charlie wet the broom and
finished sweeping the room. Papa’s house
has but one room in it, about as large as Aunt
Sarah’s kitchen. The chimney is built right out of
doors on the end of the house with a very large
fire place opening into it from the inside of
the house. thus: stool. fire place. Papa has a
long table, thus: and Capt. Sewall
a desk thus:     out of
doors at the corner of the house is
a flag:            which shows all the Regiments
where your papa is to be found. Papa has
three horses now. Uncle Charlie claims one
for his. This is the picture of a horse
belonging to the Rebel Government. Mr Miles
found him. Papa has given him to Abram to take

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care of. Now Gracie darling Papa
feels tired and it is getting near night,
so if you will excuse him he will rest.
Papa would like to be with you tonight
so that he could talk with you all & get
some sweet kisses. And he would like to
go to church tomorrow. He would like to
see Gracie and Guy at Sunday school.
Poor Guy was not very well when Mamma
wrote. Papa hopes he is well now.
Be a good little girl Gracie. Love and
obey Mamma, be loving & kind to brother
Guy and to little Jamie. Much love
from Papa to cousins Minie and Eva
and to Aunt Sarah. Papa can’t forget
Orestes; if he is with you tell him so.
Good night and God bless my little
Your loving Father
O.O. Howard

Cite as: O.O. Howard to Grace Howard, 1861 July 12, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Oliver Otis Howard to Guy Howard, December 25, 1861

A Christmas letter from Howard to his son, containing drawings of camp life and family portraits.

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New Hampshire
Dec. 25 1861

Dear Guy

The above is the front of General Howard’s Tent.
Mr Whittlesey made him a board door and a
chimney of brick, some of the soldier’s helping.
You see a stone pavement in front of the tent; Uncle
Charlie helped do that. The logs Lieut McNeshe
a 81st Pennsylvania Regt. put up. Papa had a wooden
chimney & it burned up. He wishes mamma and
all the children a very ^merry Christmas. But if too late papa
will wish you all a happy new year. How is Aunt
Sarah? How is cousin Eva? How little Minnie? And Orestes!
Did Grandpa and Grandma cry when you left them?
Papa gave this Christmas day to the troops. He did not
make them drill. This morning, The New Hampshire men
had a foot race: thus
This afternoon they caught a greased pig:

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Reveille Bugle
Guy's cap coat and belt
Brig. Gen. Vols.
Jamie's coat and hat
Gracie's winter cloak
Who is this?

Cite as: O.O. Howard to Guy Howard, 1861 December 25, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Telegram to Lizzie Howard, June 2, 1862

Telegram informing Lizzie that Howard has been wounded. The telegram is signed by then-Capt. Frederick D. Sewall (19th Maine Infantry).

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Dated Richardsons June 2d 1862.
via Ft Monroe
Rec’d Lewiston 2d 1862
To Mrs OO Howard

The General is wounded,
Fear he will lose his arm
he will come home as soon
as possible. Do not come
unless you hear again. Charles
slightly wounded in the
F.D. Sewall

Cite as: F.D. Sewall to Lizzie Howard, 1862 June 2, Document Signed, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Oliver Otis Howard to "Dearest" [Lizzie Howard], June 3, 1862

Two days after his amputation, Otis writes using his untrained left hand, giving reassurances and explaining his travel plans home.

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[June 3, 1862]
Head Qrs. Str.
Nellie Baker
"White House Landing"


I am on my way
with only my left arm.
Shall go to Fort Monroe today
and probably to Baltimore
tonight, but may be I shall
wait for a str. going directly
to N.Y. from Ft. Munroe,
to avoid changes. Charlie
is very comfortable & so am
I. God bless you & the
children. Shall see you
yr husband

On Nellie Baker
6 ½ A.M. June 3d

Dear Sister: 
Capt Sewall is with us
and we are quite comfortable, you will
see us at Auburn soon. Affectionately, Charles

[at side]
Mine is only a flesh wound in the thigh. C.H.H.

Cite as: O.O. Howard to Lizzie Howard, 1862 June 3, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Rowland Howard to "Dear Bro. Otis," June 3, 1862

Rowland, a minister in Farmington, Maine, at the time, expresses concerns over Howard's wounds and offers to travel to wherever his brothers Otis and Charles are.

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Auburn June 3d [1862]

Dear Bro. Otis
I came
down from home last night
and am here with Lizzie
waiting news from you. I
will go on to meet you
& Charles if I can find
out where you will be

I would love to be with
you- nurse you & pray with
you. Our dispatches from
Capt Sewall are all we
have heard and we feel
very thankful that God
directed those balls just
so far from any vital parts.

Lizzie fears that you
will start too quick. She
& Jamie are very well.
Grace & Guy are at school.
All well. But I haven’t
seen the latter two. I spent

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a few hours with mother
this morn. She seems
very calm. We had
 a delightful season of
family prayer after breakfast
trying to commend you thru
to the throne of Grace.

Lizzie says she can go
to you, if necessary, and
I can go as well as not
and have almost a mind
to start today. but Lizzie
seems to think it would
not be advisable to do so.
We have no news from
Perry. I am at your  
at your disposal.

God bless & keep
you both. Lizzie is surrounded
by kind friends. Every one
expresses great sympathy for
her and feels affectionately
towards you
Yr. loving Bro. -- Rowland

Cite as: Rowland Howard to O.O. Howard, 1862 June 3, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Lizzie Howard to Oliver Otis Howard, November 27, 1864

Howard's wife discusses the wedding of former slaves.

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Leeds, Me. Nov. 27th 1864.

I cannot remember the date of my last
letter, but I know it has been some time
since I wrote you — two weeks or more.
I will begin back as far as Julia’s Wedding
which took place last Monday evening.
I trust she has got an honest, industrious
husband. She engaged two rooms, and
as she and the children are well clothed
for the Winter. I do not see why they may
not get on very well for the Winter. I
gave her two bed steads, bedding she had
used, table, chairs, tub &c, and from the
time she came to me up to the time
she went away I paid out one hundred
dollars in money, besides sewing for
them and giving garments partly worn.
I dont feel that I did too much, but
only kept them confortable while with
me and did not let them leave me

[written on side and across top]
and he is crying so I cannot write. Grace has him while I try to finish this.
Mother seems quite
well now. She went
to Lewiston the day
we came out here
She went to Farmington
and did not get the
letter I wrote her
but read I wrote to
Rowland Thanksgiving
day and told him we
were coming the next
day. One horse was
at the Depot and Mr
Lothrop let us have
his horse and sent
it back the next
morning when the man
went for the four
trunks. Good bye I
am in he midst
of a small rebellion. May
God prosper the living and take care of you both
with love Lizzie

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without fixing them up as well as I could
for the Winter. I found it best not
to let them have too much at a time
for neither of them — the Mother or children
knew how to take care of their things
properly. I dont regret having had them this
length of time but I would not like
to go through the same again, and as
Aunt Caddy said I hope I wouldnt^wont have
any “returned missionary on my hands”
Julia was married at our house by Rev.
Mr. McKenzie. Mr. Bosworths family, Guy,
Grace, Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Partridge and
George Stinson (The Capt and his mother
could not come out in the rain) were
present at the ceremony, and Julia had
four of her friends come into the Parlor
with her & Mr. Brown. The Bride &
Bridegroom came in first followed by the
other two couple. They returned to the
dining room after the ceremony was
over where the table of refreshments
was all ready for them. I went out

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soon after and cut the ice cream
and Guy took it into the Parlor to my
friend. Grace taking and passing around
then I returned to the Parlor leaving the Wedding Party to enjoy themselves
she left that night leaving the children till the next night.

the basket of cake ^ I have just been telling
Mother about the Wedding and what a good
funny time we had. and now here we
are at Mother’s. I regreted somewhat
leaving Augusta and all the good people,
but know I shall enjoy being with Mother
very much. I feel that we both have
very good friends in Augusta. I certainly
am very much attached to the people there.
Mrs. Blaine made ^gave a very pretty party just
before I came away. they have a new
Piano, and it being something new for them
as they never had one before — it was
a musical entertainment — some very fine
singers and musicians present. Mr Bosworth
invited me to go with him — his wife was not
well enough to go. Mr & Mrs. Gilbreth were
there and took me home for which I was
very much obliged as it had snowed
during the evening. I was invited over to the

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Arsenal with the children to spend Thanks-
giving day, but I did not accept as I should
have had to make a very short, hurried visit.
Julia came back to do the ironing Tuesday and
to cook Wednesday. and then I did not have
her after that. We had a feast of a sermon
in the morning from Mr. Mc Kenzie. I will
send you a copy when published as I presume
it will be. Mrs. Jackson stayed till I came
away — We came together on our journey as far
as Brunswick. I sent Aunt Mary a jar of pickles of
my own make. she will think it quite a present.
I received the ten “bonds” you sent, and Guy
and I settled all bills before leaving. I did
not have money enough as you had
invested this last in Bonds. so I sold
or go had a 5/20 bond ($500.00) converted
into money. I left three hundred dollars
on deposit. I have not taken all the money Uncle Edward
collected and have there one hundred sixty seven dollars.
I dont know as you care to know about my
financies, but you might. Guy and Grace finished
their letter last^this evening — the letters they commenced
two weeks ago. Morning. I left my letters last
evening, and will now finish. I dont know
what I wrote morning for a few lines above
for it is three o’clock in the afternoon. Rowland
came down today and will return this
evening. I will send these letters by him.
Chancey is almost sick--taken cold, getting teeth
[continued on first page]

Cite as: Lizzie Howard to O.O. Howard, 1864 November 27, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Guy Howard to Oliver Otis Howard, January 22, 1865

Guy writes to his father about a pony, which his uncle Charles H. Howard and a former slave, George Washington Kemp, had delivered about two weeks before.

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Leeds Jan 22 1865

Dear Papa
I began a letter to you
last sunday and did not
finish it now will copy that
first then write more. I thank
the Officers very much indeed
for my Pony. I could not have
received a better or a nicer
present. It is just what
I have been wanting so long.
Wash is a very nice man and
takes good care of my pony.
I donot know what to name
the Pony. I have been on him
three times; once I went as far
as Capt. Tuners. I dont go alone
Wash leads him. The Pony likes
to play and stand up on her
hind feet and put out her

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fore feet towards Wash.
Grace and I are teaching Wash
to read. I hope he will stay
with us along time. I am
glad you got all my letters
before you left Savannah.
Mother thinks you may not
get these letters for some
time. Jammie says he must
have a letter from Papa soon.
No one went to church last
sunday the roads were not
broken out; we had a very
plesent time at home Uncle
Charly was here; he is coming
home from Farmington
to-morrow in the train.
To day is very plesent pleas-
ent. Grand-mother and the
girl and the hired man
went to church. It is now
half past four. Capt. Tuner
has just come in. Chancy and

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Jammie are sitting in
his lap. Wash would
like you to give his re
spects to Sam and tell
him that he is well.
Please give my love to
Dr. Duncan. I just read your
letter aloud to Mother. Are
you going to bring that nice
horse home that was given
you on the March? This let-
ter will go tomorrow with
Mother’s. Good night, with
much love from
Your son

Cite as: Guy Howard to O.O. Howard, 1865 January 22, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Lizzie Howard to Oliver Otis Howard, February 26, 1865

Lizzie Howard writes her husband, commenting on war news the family has received about Gen. William Sherman's campaign and relating family activities, including mention of George Washington "Wash" Kemp, a former slave who was living at Leeds to aid Howard's mother, Eliza Gilmore.

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Leeds. Me. 26th Feb. 1865
Guy has begun a letter to his dear Papa, and
I will add a note – writing it while Chancy is
asleep. The Children have been very good and
happy to-day although the weather is rainy and
we are all at home. Where are you today, and
when are we to get our next letter from you?
Your short letter of Feb 3d was received some
time since and not much even by the
papers since. The rebels are no longer permitted
to give in their papers the movements of Gen Sherman
so we shall not hear from your Army nearly
as soon or as often as we have heretofore.
It does not now seem to be Gen Sherman’s object
to reach the Coast of S. Carolina, but through the
interior of the State moving towards the North
into N. Carolina. I hope you may sweep clean as
you go purifying the land. Your visit home must
be delayed longer than I had been hoping. It is
not impossible that you may come by the way of
Virginia. I find the “Maine Legislature” has tendered
you a vote of thanks, and a sword I think they have better

[sideways at right]
Monday. I have just returned from Mrs. Berry’s and Guy has not finished his but I will not wait for him.
we hope to hear from you soon

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have left out the latter. You friend Barker proposed^introduced it.
I passed a very pleasant day at Lewiston last thursday,
taking Guy with me. ‘Wash’ drove us down and he
attracted much attention as we drove through the
streets, one man remarking as he passed, “there is
a contrast.” Wash was as undisturbed as he was
unconscious of it all. I made some purchases
of Mr. Clark whom you have seen, and he
took me to see a picture of you just finished
nearly as large as life. I call it a crayon
drawing from the Photograph you had taken at
Auburn and is quite natural as you then looked
I met Judge Morrell, Lawyer Goddard, Dr Wiggin
and talked with the latter some time about you
had many questions to ask – said this campaign
had proved the same you planned to him over a year
ago with the exception of the taking of Mobile –
thinks you “are the right man in the right place,”
as others have spoken. I called to see Uncle
Hicks, who has again gone into business. He is not
at all well. Saw Cousin Fanny, Aunt Betsy, and
other friends and saw many familiar faces.
Guy and I sat for Photographs. I did not get one as
[sideways at right]
good as those at Augusta. I shall try again soon. Best love as ever, Lizzie.
[continued on first page]

Cite as: Lizzie Howard to O.O. Howard, 1865 February 26, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Oliver Otis Howard to James Howard, April 9, 1865

Howard writes to son James about camp life, mentioning a "great number of little black children papa has seen," and draws a picture of them. He also mentions former slaves whom Howard had sent to Maine to be of service to the Howard family.

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Head-Quarters Department and Army of the Tennessee,
Goldsboro, N.C. } 1865
April Mar. 9th}
Master James Howard
My dear little boy,
I have sent
for your dear mother to come to me
and I think she is now on the way
perhaps with Guy and grace and I
think you Jamie are left with Grand
mother and it may be Isabella &
Chancy are keeping you company.
Papa did want to see you very much
indeed, but General Sherman thinks
he cannot spare me long enough

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to make the journey to Maine.
By & by papa hopes the war
will be over, so that he can go & stay
with his little boys and Gracie all
the time. Tell Grandma that Uncle
Charles is here and very well. We have a
very pretty little dog, called “Tip” [drawing]
[drawing] He has a very bright collar
on and flys about the room just
touching the floor with the tips of
his toes. He belongs to the Mustermas-
ter Lieut. Mills and is often called
“Tip Mills.” Papa would like to buy
him to send him home but it is
too far and I fear Lieut Mills would

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not sell him. You can hardly think what
a great number of little black children
papa has seen [drawing] .. The little
bits of ours are sometimes called
picaninnies.” You must ask “Wash”
about them. Papa thinks “Wash”
a very good man, he is glad
Chancy treats him so well. “Sam”
was very glad to hear from Wash.
Sam is a very good man: he helps papa
wash & dress every morning. He has
his boot shining – [drawing]
after breakfast when it comes time
to put them on.
Give much love to Grandma &

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and give her a good kiss for your
papa. Once, not long ago I was
her little boy and running
about her house as you now
are. I hope you are a very good
boy, that you help Grandma &
are very kind to little brother –
Grandma will tell you about the
Blessed Saviour when He was a
little boy and the Star stood
over the place where he was. Give
my kind regards to Isabella
and may God bless you my
little son –– Your loving
papa – O.O. Howard

Cite as: O.O. Howard to James Howard, 1865 April 9, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

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