Civil War Letters from Western North Carolina
Soldiers from western North Carolina served throughout the theater of military operations during the Civil War, from the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, to Richmond, Virginia, eastern Tennessee, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Soldiers from western North Carolina also served with Union regiments and civilians supported the federal government, but unfortunately at this time there are no letters in Special Collections to illustrate their views and opinions. Neither are letters available in the current library collections that provide a perspective from African-Americans in western North Carolina held as slaves, even though over 220 men, women, and children were enumerated as slaves in the 1860 federal census of Jackson County, North Carolina.
Letters to and from family and friends are the most prevalent in Hunter Library’s collections. There are, however, a number of letters to James H. Cathey, a community leader, from individuals requesting his assistance due to personal hardships on the home front or from politicians.
About two-thirds of the letters presented are from 1862-1863, but manage to reflect a variety of concerns, personal situations, and circumstances. Even so, there are a number of common themes throughout the correspondence. These themes include comments on the number of letters that writer has sent and received as family and friends try to stay in contact; comments on health or sickness; family welfare and conditions on the home front; news of camp life and military operations; prospects for crops and livestock; and the weather.
Civil War Letters is a project of Hunter Library Digital Programs
This project is 100% supported with federal LSTA funds made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
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