Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence   1850-1865
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Collection Scope and Content Note

Most of the letters between John and Nelson and their sisters and friends concern their health, the weather, and news of family and friends both at home and in the service. John also wrote about picket duty (December 31, 1861); “killing niggers” (January 14, 1862); visiting girls (January 17, 1862, January 25, 1862); Jefferson Davis (February 17, 1862); George B. McClellan (April 23, 1862); and the Mechanicsville Battle (June 27, 1862).

Nelson wrote briefly and mostly that he was often ill and had the mumps and about Rebels fighting (both on April 16, 1863); the draft and the dead on battlefields (November 3, 1863, October 2, 1864); about Rebel POWs, some of whom joined the US Navy (“Navie”) (October 31, 1862, November 18, 1862, June 12, 1864, June 22, 1864, December 9, 1864); Copperheads and the 1864 convention (September 4, 1864, November 9, 1865). Letters about John’s death can be found from July 4 and 19, 1865.

There are also letters about Grant and Lee and fighting in Virginia, from Harrison to Nelson (1864?); about General Hooker, from Ferdon to Maggie (March 8, 1863); and about taking goods from Southern plantations (October 31, 1862).

John and Nelson both had bad penmanship and spelling skills. Several of the letters are badly faded and one is stained. One letter is only a fragment.

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