Writing Home

In these years before electronic communication, a letter was the quickest way for a soldier to get a message home. Telegraphic messages were expensive and, during the war, controlled by the military. These are some writing implements of a Union soldier, as well as a letter, some patriotic stationery, and a rolled-up lap desk. The desk is made from small slats of wood. When it was unrolled, the desk provided a smooth writing surface for a soldier seated on the ground.

Wood slats covered with cloth

Machine-made paper k. wjjX.**

Wood slats covered with cloth

Machine-made paper k. wjjX.**

Patriotic envelope

SOMEBODY'S DARLING

During the Civil War, soldiers started a practice that continues to this day: carrying photographs of their faraway wives and children with them. This photograph of a Southern soldier's little girl was carried in a hinged leather case and held in place with a brass frame.

Opening slides over barrel

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