Informing a close relative of his activities in peacetime Litchfield, New York, and from army posts in Virginia, in a series of 17 autograph letters, signed 10 November 1861 - 14 May 1866, to his cousin Louisa Russell in Broome County, New York, part of a family archive of 44 letters from the period.

8vo. 61 pages, approximately 7500 words. Accompanied by other period correspondence to Louisa Russell: (1) Russell, James L. Two letters from camp in Virginia to his sister Louisa Russell, accompanied by one from his wife in Maine, and another from a friend Dan, 26 September - 27 December, 1864 (8vo, 13 pages, approximately 1500 words); (2) Russell, Carrie. Four letters from Indiana to her cousin Louisa Russell, 4 October 1861- 30 March 1865, with news of loved ones at war and mention of the Copperhead movement (8vo, 12 pages, approximately 1250 words); (3) Russell, Lydia. Two letters from Indiana to her cousin Louisa Russell, 23 September 1864 and 29 January 1865, commenting on the draft and soldiers returning home to vote (8vo, six pages, approximately 500 words); (4) McKinney, Sarah A. (Chester's sister). 17 letters from Litchfield, New York, to her cousin Louisa Russell, 1 October 1862 - 17 July 1865, with many mentions of Chester and others involved in the war (8vo, 59 pages, approximately 7000 words). In total, an archive of 44 letters from various members of a family native to New York, several active on fields of battle in the south, their correspondence punctuated with concern over the various issues arising from the conflict and revealing family perseverance through the dislocation and stress. Letters folded for mailing, many accompanied by original envelopes. Very good throughout, all quite legible. Item #53758

Like most of the correspondence in this archive, the letters from Chester McKinney inform Louisa Russell of family activities in peace and war, including farming and other domestic pursuits and concerns, travel, budding careers, child rearing, etc., and military concerns, including camp and battlefield reports. In his first letter, McKinney, a young school teacher, notes the effects of the local draft, especially on married men; the following six letters, through the summer of 1864, offer commentary on the war and its politics and notes on relatives and friends in the fighting. After informing his cousin that he will enter the navy, McKinney writes her a long letter describing his first months in the army: joining his regiment in front of Petersburg, he lands in the hospital and comments on the recent election, "The Copperheads do not have so much to say now as they did before the election. I hardly think that Jeff can hold on much longer, but will have to make peace without separation & with humiliation to himself & his cabinet, &c. I am much encouraged by the reelection of Honest Abe." _McKinney's final three wartime letters were written from camp at Hancock Station, Virginia, monthly reviews, January through March, 1865, "we may all soon return to our homes & be a peaceful and prosperous nation once more, after this punishment & chasetisement we have received ... if my life is spared I will know how to enjoy & appreciate home life & enjoyments better than ever before ... we have been ordered to have our guns where we could get them & fall in line at a minutes notice, for two nights now, as they expected the rebs might attack us in the night & try to take us by surprise ... if the Sesesh Atmosphere was cleared out of the Country, don't know but that i might think of living in Dixie ... we have a Chaplain as good a one as there is in the army. He does all he can for the good of the regt. He has got us a library of nearly three hundred volumes ... Sheridan, Sherman & Grant are the Generals for me, they seem to know always what next to do. There is a large move now planned in Gen Grant's mind [21 March], I think but where he will commence is for time to show." Five post-war letters, four from June, July, and September, 1865, with some war content, and one written from college the next year close out the correspondence.

Price: $2,250.00

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