Civil War Letters

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Civil War Letters

Savannah Cloer

Savannah Cloer, aka Anna Cloer, is wife to Private William M. Cloer of the 62nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment

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For authenticity, original spelling is intact for each transcription:

To Wm. M. Cloer

April 23 1863

My Dear Husband,

Again I embrace the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are all except bad colds well hoping these few lines will find you in good health and satisfied. I have nothing new to write. We are getting along very well. Our thing is all doing right well. I am sorry to think it will be so long before you get a letter from home but I hope you will hear from us every week.

I went to preaching last Sunday and took Sarah and at the June meeting I think I will take Sarah and Bud. Miss Manday Dalrimpel is to be baptized at that time. I heard from Father last Sunday. They was all well.

I want to see you as bad as ever I did in my life but I will do the best I can and I want you to do the same and try to be cheerful as you can and don't greave about us for it does no good. You can't help yourself. There is none of us to say.

April 24

Well, this morning we have such bad colds. Wallis Watts was here yesterday evening. He said he is going to start to his company next Tuesday if he is able but he is hardly able to walk for pains. We will try to send a letter to you by him. Sarah, Bud nor Lucy has not forgot you. They mention you often and they are the worst children I ever saw in my life but they are all well and hearty only bad colds.

I want you to go to preaching often as you can and try to be a Christian.

I must conclude my letter and remain your affectionate wife until death. I wish you well.

Savannah Cloer

My Dear Brother,

With affection I think of you and hope to see you again. Farewell.

Sarah C Cloer
Source: Private Collection

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May 1 1863

My Dear William,

I take the opportunity of writing a letter to let you know how we are doing. I am not right well. I have had a pain in my side but it is better. I have a bad cold now. The children is all well and hearty only bad colds. I hope these lines will come to your hands and find you in good health and spirits. I have no news to tell you worth your attention. We are gtting along very well. Our things is all doing right well so far as I know. I have shed the sheep.

I think the time might long to see you. The children all says something about you everyday. They are all out to play now. Pap is plowing. Mother is picking greens for dinner. I am spinning while Sally is writing. I wish I knew where you are and how you are doing at this time.

Sarah went with her Aunt to Mr. Siler's yesterday and stood the trip fine and your clothing is close at home but I had rather see you than them but I still live in hope of better days when we can talk with each other and not have to wait so long to hear one word from each other. Ecert week seems like a month but I hope peace will be made in a short time. I want you to be in good heart as you can and be sober and watchful. Tell Mont howdy for me. Tell him to do the best he can and keep out of dangerall he can. I hope you have got a letter or more from home before now and will hear from us every week. I want you to go to preaching as often as you can. I have not been anywhere only to preaching since you left home. My throat is sore today but am in hopes it is only a bad cold sore throat. I don't want you to be neglected. There is a heep of complaint of it among the people. I must conclude my letter this time and remain your wife until death. I hope to see you again. So no more this time. Farewell my Husband.

Savannah Cloer

to Wm Cloer

I think the time long to see you. I send you howdy and my best wishes so farewell to Wm Cloer.

Sarah C Cloer
Source: Private Collection

Recommended Reading: Eyewitness to the Civil War (Hardcover: 416 pages) (National Geographic; Fists edition) (November 21, 2006). Description: At once an informed overview for general-interest readers and a superb resource for serious buffs, this extraordinary, gloriously illustrated volume is sure to become one of the fundamental books in any Civil War library. Its features include a dramatic narrative packed with eyewitness accounts and hundreds of rare photographs, pictures, artifacts, and period illustrations. Evocative sidebars, detailed maps, and timelines add to the reference-ready quality of the text. Continued below.

From John Brown's raid to Reconstruction, Eyewitness to the Civil War presents a clear, comprehensive discussion that addresses every military, political, and social aspect of this crucial period. In-depth descriptions of campaigns and battles in all theaters of war are accompanied by a thorough evaluation of the nonmilitary elements of the struggle between North and South. In their own words, commanders and common soldiers in both armies tell of life on the battlefield and behind the lines, while letters from wives, mothers, and sisters provide a portrait of the home front. More than 375 historical photographs, portraits, and artifacts—many never before published—evoke the era's flavor; and detailed maps of terrain and troop movements make it easy to follow the strategies and tactics of Union and Confederate generals as they fought through four harsh years of war. Photoessays on topics ranging from the everyday lives of soldiers to the dramatic escapades of the cavalry lend a breathtaking you-are-there feeling, and an inclusive appendix adds even more detail to what is already a magnificently meticulous history. (Includes rare soldiers photos and battlefield photo

Related Reading:
 

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Sixty-second North Carolina Infantry Regiment

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865. Volume 2: The Mountains (Civil War in North Carolina) (Hardcover). Description: As with The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865. Vol. 1: The Piedmont, this work presents letters and diary entries (and a few other documents) that tell the experiences of soldiers and civilians from the mountain counties of North Carolina during the Civil War. The counties included are Alleghany, Ashe, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey. The book is arranged chronologically, 1861 through 1865. Before each letter or diary entry, background information is provided about the writer. Continued below.

The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865 (Volume 2): The Mountains, is the soldier's story. It is an A-to-Z compilation of what the "rank and file soldier" experienced during the American Civil War. The Western North Carolina soldiers express their hearts to their loved ones and friends, thus allowing the reader the most intimate and personal view of the war. From triumph to tragedy, the "soldiers' letters" express what few authors or writers can achieve--realism. According to cartographic and demographic studies, Southern Appalachia comprised a unique indigenous people, and by isolating these rare letters it allows the reader the most detailed insight to their experiences. The soldier experienced various traumatic stressors in the conflict: such as witnessing death or dismemberment, handling dead bodies, traumatic loss of comrades, realizing imminent death, killing others and being helpless to prevent others' deaths. Plain, raw and to the point: The reader will witness the most detailed insight to the so-called American Civil War. Intimate and personal: diseases, privation, wounds, loneliness, exhaustion, heartache, and death are all explored. This book includes a lot of information about: Western North Carolina Civil War History (North Carolina mountain troops), soldiers' photos (some tintype photographs too), and rare pictures. For example, on page 143, there is a photo of Gov. Zeb Vance's brother, Robert, at Fort Delaware Prisoner of War Camp; he had been captured by Pennsylvania cavalry in East Tennessee. You may see a rare photo or letter of an ancestor. The maps, which reflect the region, have keys which place each regiment to each western county (where the troops were raised). The soldiers - collectively - also present a detailed North Carolina Civil War History. By reading the letters, you will easily form a timeline that is filled with first-hand facts. To be very candid, it is not only filled with primary accounts of the war, but it is one of the best books to read about the war...Creates an indispensable historical timeline of events of the brave men from the Old North State.

 

Recommended Reading: Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life. Description: Most histories of the Civil War focus on battles and top brass. Hardtack and Coffee is one of the few to give a vivid, detailed picture of what ordinary soldiers endured every day—in camp, on the march, at the edge of a booming, smoking hell. John D. Billings of Massachusetts enlisted in the Army of the Potomac and survived the hellish conditions as a “common foot soldier” of the American Civil War. "Billings describes an insightful account of the conflict – the experiences of every day life as a common foot-soldier – and a view of the war that is sure to score with every buff." Continued below...

The authenticity of his book is heightened by the many drawings that a comrade, Charles W. Reed, made while in the field. This is the story of how the Civil War soldier was recruited, provisioned, and disciplined. Described here are the types of men found in any outfit; their not very uniform uniforms; crowded tents and makeshift shelters; difficulties in keeping clean, warm, and dry; their pleasure in a cup of coffee; food rations, dominated by salt pork and the versatile cracker or hardtack; their brave pastimes in the face of death; punishments for various offenses; treatment in sick bay; firearms and signals and modes of transportation. Comprehensive and anecdotal, Hardtack and Coffee is striking for the pulse of life that runs through it.

 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in the Carolinas (Hardcover). Description: Dan Morrill relates the experience of two quite different states bound together in the defense of the Confederacy, using letters, diaries, memoirs, and reports. He shows how the innovative operations of the Union army and navy along the coast and in the bays and rivers of the Carolinas affected the general course of the war as well as the daily lives of all Carolinians. He demonstrates the "total war" for North Carolina's vital coastal railroads and ports. In the latter part of the war, he describes how Sherman's operation cut out the heart of the last stronghold of the South. Continued below...

The author offers fascinating sketches of major and minor personalities, including the new president and state governors, Generals Lee, Beauregard, Pickett, Sherman, D.H. Hill, and Joseph E. Johnston. Rebels and abolitionists, pacifists and unionists, slaves and freed men and women, all influential, all placed in their context with clear-eyed precision. If he were wielding a needle instead of a pen, his tapestry would offer us a complete picture of a people at war.

Midwest Book Review: The Civil War in the Carolinas by civil war expert and historian Dan Morrill (History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historical Society) is a dramatically presented and extensively researched survey and analysis of the impact the American Civil War had upon the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, and the people who called these states their home. A meticulous, scholarly, and thoroughly engaging examination of the details of history and the sweeping change that the war wrought for everyone, The Civil War In The Carolinas is a welcome and informative addition to American Civil War Studies reference collections.

 

Recommended Reading: Touring the Carolina's Civil War Sites (Touring the Backroads Series). Description: Touring the Carolina's Civil War Sites helps travelers find the Carolinas' famous Civil War battlefields, forts, and memorials, as well as the lesser skirmish sites, homes, and towns that also played a significant role in the war. The book's 19 tours, which cover the 'entire Carolinas,' combine riveting history with clear, concise directions and maps, creating a book that is as fascinating to the armchair reader as it is to the person interested in heritage travel. Below are some examples from this outstanding book:

1. Fort Fisher - the largest sea fort in the war that protected the vital town of Wilmington N.C., and the blockade runners so important for supplying Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
2. Charleston - where the whole shootin' match started.
3. Bentonville - the last large scale battle of the war.
4. Outer Banks - early Union victories here were vital to capturing many parts of Eastern North Carolina from which the Union could launch several offensives.
5. Sherman's March - the destruction of certain towns in both Carolinas (particularly South Carolina) further weakened the South's will to continue the struggle.
I also enjoyed reading about the locations of various gravesites of Confederate generals and their Civil War service. Indeed, if not for this book, this native North Carolinian and long-time Civil War buff may never have learned of, and visited, the locations of some of the lesser-known sites other than those mentioned above.
Johnson's writing style is smooth--without being overly simplistic--and contains several anecdotes (some humorous ones too) of the interesting events which took place during the Civil War years. Highly recommended!

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