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In Their Own Words

October 17, 1864

Limits on What Could Be Written to Captured Civil War Soldier

A captured Georgia soldier wrote to his wife from New York, telling her she could only write to him about certain subjects and on only one piece of paper.

“…I again seat my self to let you hear from me this leaves me doing well and harty. I hope this may find you an our children all well and doing well. write to me when you get this direct to me prisoner’s camp ward 18 elmira ny. write but one page of letter paper. write only about your own family affairs an I will be sure to get it. … I think you had better continue farming until I get home if I ever do. Life is uncertain. … My Dear you must do the best you can. I know times is very hard. …”

Source: Katherine S. Holland (ed.), Keep All My Letters: The Civil War Letters of Richard Henry Brooks, 51st Georgia Infantry (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2003), p.120.