Civil War correspondence

February 22, 2007 · Collections, Manuscripts ·

A 19th century love story is contained in the letters between Frederick Allen Lucas and his “dear friend” Sarah Jane Wadhams, both of Goshen, Connecticut. He was serving with the 2nd Regiment of Heavy Artillery, Connecticut Volunteers and longed for news of home. Tentative at first, the letters gradually reveal more personal information and insights as the relationship develops. Many Civil War era letters exist. The unique aspect of this collection of more than 100 missives dated from 1863 to 1866 is that it consists of both sides of the correspondence. Not only do Fred’s detailed letters describing life as a soldier exist, but so do the replies from Sarah Jane, whom he called Jennie. They share their political opnions, their positions on the draft, and their experiences with teaching. The story has a happy ending. In 1867 Fred asked Sarah’s father for her hand in marriage, which was accepted.

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