This letter by George Deal to his wife, Sarah, is one of more than 100 items on display in “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North,” the Newberry’s exhibition marking the sesquicentennial of the conflict. It is a part of the George Deal papers, which include 55 letters, photographs of George and Sarah, photocopies of army service reports, confederate bills, and genealogical notes from their grandson.
Letter exchanges between soldiers and their loved ones provide us with an insight into daily life away from the battlefield. Because George, like many soldiers of the time, was illiterate, several different individuals wrote these letters for him. George was stationed in Vicksburg, Mississippi, while Sarah was at home in Ohio. His letters, like many of those from Civil War soldiers, illustrate his ongoing concern about day-to-day life at home. In this letter, written on November 9, 1862, George expresses his gratitude for Sarah’s previous letter and gives her advice on caring for their sick children.
Another special Newberry program to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary is The Civil War in Letters. Join people from around the world in helping us to unlock an important part of history by transcribing letters just like the one written by George Deal.