The collection includes letters mostly to Mary Farnill from her brother, John Farnill, Nov. 27, 1862- June 20, 1863, and from her friends and relatives and fellow soldiers of John’s, early 1863-1866, and 1873.
John’s and his friends letters discuss slow trains, cavalry drills, horses, tents, ill friends in hospitals, the illness, death and burial of John Frank (January 6, 11, 25, 1863), picket duty, lack of pay, the desertion of cousin William Farnill, and news of family and friends.
Mary’s friends included: cousin Eliza Elliott, Delbert Preston, Dinah Learning, and Lizzie Sutfine (sp?). Dinah sent her sympathy about John dying of starvation (February 25, 1865). There are a few letters from W. H. Farnill to his parents, and one to Isaac Farnill from S. S. N. Greeley, Chaplin of the Michigan 6th Cavalry about searching for news of John (August 20, 1863).
A few envelopes documenting addresses, a poem, and copies of John’s and his friends’ military service records (in Biographical Materials) complete the collection.