Author Archives: Anna Kephart

12 December 1864: “instead of the sympathy of people farther south, who have never known the terrors of Yankee rule, we get only eviscerations”

Item Description: This letter, written by Octavia Otey to her sister Ella, describes the hardships they faced on their Mississippi plantation, Green Lawn, throughout the year of 1864. Octavia defends her signing an Oath to the United States saying that she … Continue reading

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27 February 1863: “Dear Master and Mistress, I will send you a few lines to inform you I am not well but I still get along building stockades.”

Item description: Letter dated 27 February 1863 from a slave, Thomas, in Mount Shell, Tenn., to his master, J. M. Oaty, asking him to get a substitute for him in the building of a stockade. Item citation: From folder 17 … Continue reading

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24 December 1862: “This is Christmas eve! Oh what a different mode of spending it this is from what I have been in the habbit of doing!”

Item description: Letter, 24 December 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little. Stephen Tippet Andrews enlisted in the 85th New York Infantry Regiment on 26 August 1861. He helped organize Company F, and was mustered … Continue reading

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4 November 1862: “He is a perfect skeleton, and could not walk up stairs, but is anxious to get home and would have started today, but it is threatening rain, and Mother thought he had better not go.”

Item description: Entry, 4 November 1862, from the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley. More about Sarah Lois Wadley: Sarah Lois Wadley was born in 1844 in New Hampshire, the daughter of railroad superintendent William Morrill Wadley (1813-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham … Continue reading

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3 November 1862: “the nights are colder here on the border of the Dismal Swamp than they are at the north…”

Item description: Letter, 3 November 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little. Stephen Tippet Andrews enlisted in the 85th New York Infantry Regiment on 26 August 1861. He helped organize Company F, and was mustered … Continue reading

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28 October 1862: “They are building the brick kiln now, and I hope the chimneys will be finished before we have any more such cold weather.”

Item description: Entry, 15 October 1862, from the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley. More about Sarah Lois Wadley: Sarah Lois Wadley was born in 1844 in New Hampshire, the daughter of railroad superintendent William Morrill Wadley (1813-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham … Continue reading

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17 October 1862: “I, who always tryed to shirk everything in name of work, had to hatch up something to do, so I hit upon the plan of making a set of chessmen, I have whittled out quite a number out of Black Walnut…”

Item description: Letter, 17 October 1862, from William H. Broughton to his father. More about William H. Broughton: William H. Broughton mustered into the Union Army on 4 August 1862 and was later made captain of Company D, 16th Maine … Continue reading

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15 October 1862: “Oh! how many, many such widows this war will make, nay, has already made…”

Item description: Entry, 15 October 1862, from the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley. More about Sarah Lois Wadley: Sarah Lois Wadley was born in 1844 in New Hampshire, the daughter of railroad superintendent William Morrill Wadley (1813-1882) and Rebecca Barnard … Continue reading

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12 October 1862: “what white people you meet give you a wide berth for fear of contaminating themselves by touching a yankee…”

Item description: Letter, 12 October 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little. In this letter, Andrews describes his journey from Newport News to Suffolk, Va., commenting on the condition of the cities of Norfolk and … Continue reading

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18 September 1862: “and we hear that the Yankees are dying by hundreds in New Orleans, this last is an awful thing to rejoice over, and yet such the fate of a bloody war and such are the feelings which it engenders, even in the merciful heart of a woman.”

Item description: Entry, dated 18 September 1862, from the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley. Item citation: From the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, #1258, Southern Historical Collection,Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Item transcription: Wednesday Sep, 18th– I have time … Continue reading

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