Letters between Frederick Lucas and Jennie Wadhams
This is one of a collection of over 100 letters exchanged between Frederick Lucas and Sarah J. “Jennie” Wadhams during the Civil War. Both were from Goshen, and Frederick enlisted in the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery in 1862. He and Jennie began their correspondence as acquaintances, but their letters reveal a growing intimacy. By the fall of 1864, they had promised themselves to each other.
These letters are rare in that both sides survive. The topics of conversation range from war news to religion to the couple’s feelings for one another. Frederick fought in many battles in the summer/fall of 1864, and was wounded at Cedar Creek in October 1864. The couple was married in 1867 and lived the rest of their lives in Goshen, where they raised two sons.
The Connecticut Historical Society has an extensive collection of Civil War related material: private letters of soldiers and their families, stationery, weapons and firearms, uniforms, photographs, and prints. The envelop shown below illustrates one way in which women on the homefront were encouraged to help the war effort.