The collection consists of 8 letters written by Frank Shepard to his wife, Amanda, during the early months of the war. Frank's letters are thoughtful, highly literate and display a deep affection for his wife and a devotion to duty. Shepard anticipated that if received a commission, he would bring his wife to the "seat of the war" to be near him, but under any circumstances, she was a great comfort to him, even if she were not the most faithful of correspondents. "If I am away from you, perhaps not see you for some time I have the consolation of knowing," he wrote, "that although I am absent I am not forgotten, neither shall I be while life lasts, and reason holds her throne" (1861 November 29).
Noteworthy in this small collection are letters in which Shepard ascribes the backward appearance of southern cities (Washington, D.C.) to the degrading influence of slavery, and in which he writes of a soldier's desire for action, rather than the dry routine of camp life. "What Patriotic American would not rather die upon the battle field, or in the camp, than in the Palace, or Mansion." His description of Camp Brodhead, Md., and of the daily routine of soldiers is also excellent.