These letters by New England soldiers and their families, many published for the first time, speak of the hardships of the war, especially frustrations with the army, homefront suffering, and government policies. They are grouped by six major themes: the military experience, the meaning of the war, views of the South, politics on the home front, the personal sacrifices of war, and the correspondence of one New England family.
Nina Silber is Assistant Professor of History at Boston University. She is the author of The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900 and coeditor (with Catherine Clinton) of Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War. Mary Beth Sievens is a graduate student at Boston University.