Adam H. Pickel papers  1862-1863
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pickel papers contain nine letters written by Adam H. Pickel to his parents in Phoenixville and one written to a sister. This correspondence suggests that Pickel had received a good education and had more than a minor talent as a writer. It is clear, however, that there are numerous letters no longer present with collection, including, apparently, the letters in which Pickel described his experiences in battle.

Pickel's surviving letters nevertheless provide some interesting commentary on the war. In particular, his letters regarding Chancellorsville, even though they lack a thorough description of the battle, provide a strong feeling of the horror of that engagement. Further, he argues vehemently that, rumors aside, Joe Hooker was not drunk at Chancellorsville. Pickel claims to have seen the General perhaps 20 times during the battle, and that he exhibited no obvious signs of inebriation. He admitted, however, to Hooker's well-known fondness for whiskey. Also worth noting is Pickel's critical response in support of a Dr. Oberholzer, who wrote a letter to hometown newspaper, the Daily Phoenix, pointing out how poorly run the Army was.

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