Jewett H. Brooks papers
1839-1865 (bulk 1862-1865)
Collection Scope and Content Note
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These letters were written by Brooks to his mother and sister between 1862 and 1865 when he was serving with the 1st New York Mounted Rifles. Most of his time was spent in Virginia (1863-1865), but he was also in Deep Bottom and South Mills in North Carolina (unknown date-Summer 1863). Brooks wrote more about daily life as a soldier and his own circumstances than he did about the war. None of the letters discuss fighting that Brooks himself engaged in, but he does mention "a brush with the Mosby Gang." The subject of money comes up often; he is frequently borrowing, lending, paying off debts, and looking forward to payday. Brooks does not reveal a great deal about himself in these letters, but the glimpses that they afford us into his character are illuminating. He has a subtle, wry sense of humor. Brooks' stoicism is evident in the way that he reassures his mother that he is well and relatively comfortable. Some of the more noteworthy items in this collection make reference to the progress of the Union Army and rumors thereof. Brooks mentions a controversial agreement reached by General Sherman and General Johnston in April of 1865. He also refers to an article by "Ned Buntin", a former member of the Mounted Rifles, who wrote an article about them in the New York Mercury.