Saturday, September 24, 2011

"...telling me about your doll..."

Today in Culpeper: September 24, 1863

We sometimes forget that the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who fought in the Civil War were family men. Husbands and fathers. They gave up thier lives at home to possibly give up their mortal life on some field outside some village or along a river or creek.

What follows is a portion of a letter from Colonel Patrick R. Guiney, 9th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, to his three-year old daughter, Loolie. I can see Patrick's wife Jennie reading the letter to her, writing not about war and trials and tribulations in camp, but dolls and horses.

The letter can be found in: Commanding Boston's Irish Ninth: the Civil War Letters of Colonel Patrick R. Guiney, 9th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, edited by Christian G. Samito.

Culpepper, Va
Sept. 24, 1863

My Dear Pet:

Your nice little letter telling me all about your doll came here to day. Poor little doll couldn't grow some + I don't wonder she fainted + got all dirty in the effort. I am glad you didn't whip her Loolie, because she couldn't help it. How do like the pictures of your dada's? Tell your mother to get you a charm for your little pencil and hang it around your neck. You must tell me how you like the white horse "Harry." The little rogue is asleep in one but his eyes are wide open in the other picture.

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