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Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie

In 1861, as President Lincoln referred to as for volunteers to guard the Union, Thomas Christie wrote to his father, voicing wishes shared by means of many an enlistee: “I do are looking to ‘see the world,’ to get out of the slender circle within which i've got continuously lived, to ‘make a guy of myself,’ and to have it to claim in days to come back that I, too, had an element during this nice struggle.”

As it grew to become out, Thomas had a great companion in his quest: his brother William. either signed on with the 1st Minnesota gentle Artillery, operating as “cannoneers,” accountable for loading and aiming tremendous weapons on the enemy. the 1st Minnesota observed motion in significant battles at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. however the adventurers additionally persisted the monotony of camp existence, the starvation of bad provide strains, and, in William’s case, the demanding situations of enemy catch. The ups and downs, the doubts and thrills are stated from their differing views during this choice of letters to apprehensive mom and dad, a winsome sister, and a more youthful brother desirous to take part the struggle. Their bright epistles are stronger by means of the familial connection of brothers in hands who ultimately did see the world—and lower back domestic changed.

Hampton Smith is a reference librarian on the Minnesota historic Society. In his a long time on the society, he has built services in Civil conflict and armed forces historical past. The Christie letters are a precious a part of MHS collections.

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No different letters please me a lot as yours. you may have without doubt heard of our purpose to reenlist; i'm completely happy you're thinking that of it as you do. It capacity nice sacrifice for we all, yet so did our first enlistment; the necessity of the rustic for males is as pressing now because it used to be then. Our hand is at the plough, and we mustn't ever glance again now until eventually the great paintings is comprehensive. That day, if all is going good, isn't really far flung. i'm very busy, with others, making out the entire papers; we are hoping to be mustered in day after today. it's possible that we will get adequate males to entitle us to a furlough, yet this isn't but the case. There are a few who're nonetheless not sure; you'll fancy the earnest discussions that occur each day. i admire our existence the following larger than I did at the other camp when you consider that we got here South; we now have many privileges. each Sunday, these folks who're now not on accountability can attend church. during this manner i've got heard Chaplain Porter a number of instances, and prefer his sermons incredibly. along with this, we've the Literary Ass’n. to wait; this offers us reliable workout for the brain. Our conferences are held each Tuesday night; I want you'll be with us on those events: incidentally, are you able to no longer ship us a few books? they're going to locate many readers. We had an inspection the day before today, of garments and equipments. enough time used to be now not given to the lads to arrange for it; we haven't had an inspection for a very long time. it isn't to be questioned at, as a result, that Capt. Hogan29 criticised our visual appeal with a few severity. We have been drawn up in unmarried line, each one guy having his knapsack or valise at his toes. The analyzing officer used to be at the floor whereas we have been falling in, and expressed himself as a lot disenchanted with the functionality; he acknowledged we made an excessive amount of noise, and took too little pains in “dressing” the road. Corporal Rogers came across the floor consuming an apple. “Put that apple on your pocket sir, and button up your jacket! ” after we had obtained into line, and the knapsacks have been opened, he all started on the correct and handed slowly down, scrutinising heavily the boys and their garments; if he came across the latter poor, he ordered extra to be drawn. one of many fellows was once status in a clumsy perspective, his fingers akimbo; “Is that how to pop out on inspections sir? Stand at realization, why don’t you? ” to a different, “Take your pants from your boots, and button up your shirt! ” therefore he got here alongside the road, the following discovering fault with a guy simply because his boots weren't polished; and there reproving one other for having his most sensible outfits in his knapsack and his worst on. Our first-class commander, Lieut. Hurter,30 was once significantly chagrined. He advised the Captain that the lads had had in basic terms 10 mins during which to arrange; and they had pop out, as a result, of their fatigue fits. yet his phrases appeared to don't have any impact on our stern inspector. whilst he got here to me, he stopped as traditional and appeared conscientiously into my knapsack; with this he may locate no fault, my spare garments used to be all fresh and good packed. The he glanced at me, while in fact his eye was once stuck via bro.

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