I thought I would share with you some excerpts of letters from my family that we have from the time of the Civil War. This is only meant to share with you all some of the thoughts and feelings of the people as they responded to what was going on around them. They were a family of 11 brothers and sisters, 3 boys and 8 girls, their father had died four years previous leaving his wife and two eldest sons to provide for the family. The eldest son John had been involved in starting up a mercantile in Bloomington, but has decided to sell out, thinking he will go to college and study law. Joel is the homebody content to tend the farm and raise sheep. The older girls, once they've finished their local schooling, move away from home, living with relatives and getting more education. They are a close family with many aunts, uncles, and cousins living in the area. In fact, two of their deceased father's brothers, twins, began to help the family after their father passed away.
This first letter is from John in Bloomington, Indiana just after he has sold out from the mercantile.
January 25, 1861
My Dear Brother Joel,
'I received your very welcome letter yesterday...I am sorry that you are a proslavery man but I am much more sorry that I have a brother who is a disunionist & if you are really in earnest in what you say in your letter you must be one. You say what has South Carolina done? Has she violated any laws of the U.S.? Yes sir she has. You surely have not posted yourself on your own side or you would not ask such a question. She has rebelled against the U.S. & declared herself out of the Union. She has refused to pay postal money due U.S. She fired upon the Star of the West that had the Stars & Stripes floating & was a ship belonging to the U.S. of itself sufficient cause to justify Old Buch in sending down an army strong enough to bring her back to her duty...Tell Martha and Mary [The two oldest girls] and Mother that they all owe me a letter and that I would be glad if they would write soon...Write soon and believe me as ever
Your Bro. J.C. Cox'
This excerpt was transcribed exactly as John wrote it so sentence structure etc. is his.