Adirondack Journal — Letters Home Series: Civil War Era Manuscripts from the Collection


The Adirondack Museum Library owns more than 600 linear feet of manuscript material. Included in these vast holdings are the Juliette Baker Rice Kellogg papers. This collection consists largely of correspondence to Juliette Baker (1842-1931); better known as "Julia" to her correspondents. Julia lived in and around Minerva, NY her entire life making this collection of letters an important source of information on the lives and times of early Adirondack settlers.

Julia's pen pals included many friends and family members that were fighting in the American Civil War. These letters give great insight into the psyche of the soldiers that penned them. Their dreams were simple: to return to the pleasures and normalcy of everyday life. The soldiers that wrote to Julia were looking for news from home in order to escape the drudgery and hardships of life in the camps. These letters are presented in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.

The third letter in this bi-weekly series is undated:

Dear friend I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and injoying good health at present and hope these few lines will find you same and all the rest of the folks. I am a sloder now and ben ever since last fawl I was in the redgement about fore months and did duty and while we was on picket one nite we was surrounded by the rebs and taken prisoner and have ben in the perole camp ever since we was taken the 5 day of January the talk is now hear that we are exchanged but dont now surting yet I had letter from Lonses folks the other day and they was all well if I had not inlisted I should of ben out there again this winter but I thought that I would go and sea if I could help uncle sam a little he finds plenty rebs to kill hear in stead of dear well Julia I dont think of much more to write this time please write as soon as you get this and tell me all the nuse you can think of tell me how many dear your father has killed this winter tell me what your father thinks about this war tell me if you have any boes now or not and if you are marred or not and so forth. It has ben a long while since I hurd from you you must excuse all my stakes I dont think of much more to write this time. Mi letter is short this time but Il try and do better next this is truly ures Julia baker from a friend Albert M. Shattuck Direct your letter Camp Carroll Maryland Annapolis 5th N York Cavalry Co 36