The Dixon family papers are comprised of 12 letters. The earliest letter in the collection (July 1, 1833) is from Betsy Stilson to her son Bennet Prindle. She discussed family news and health ("No Chlrea or any other prevailing Sickness in N. York") and advised him on business decisions relating to the price of lumber.
The next six letters are from Sylvanus to his mother, between October 1862 and August 1863, while he was with the Union Army. He wrote from Union encampments in Danville, Kentucky; Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, Tennessee; Stevenson, Alabama, and from on board a steamer 40 miles from Evansville, Indiana. Sylvanus wrote in detail about his company's activities and the general state of the war. He discussed the Battle of Perryville and mentioned Generals McCook, Sill, Terrill, and James Jackson (October 13, 1862). In a letter dated March 22, 1863, he discussed Generals Bragg ("old Bragg") and Rosecrans ("Rosey"). After Gettysburg and Vicksburg, at a time when the North was more optimistic about the direction of the war, Dixon wrote:
"Yes, Our Glorious success is now apparant to all, I only wish I could have done more than I have towards it,...If I was to end the life of a Hundred traitors I could not be the cause of any suffering. They first endangered the lifes and happiness of the whole Country; and made a necessity for the sacrifice thousands of Patriots have made...Thus makeing their own bed of woe, and that of thousands besides who are innocent. I therefore claim it my duty to never lay down the sword untill every traitor, both male and female, Child and adult, whether in the south or in the north, is extinguished (August 12, 1863).
In an undated letter, Sylvanus wrote to his sisters Phebe and Vashti, scolding them for never writing to him. Another item in the collection is a letter to Anna from her distraught father Bennet Prindle, relating that her brother Washington had died from inflammatory rheumatism (January 16, 1865). The remainder of the collection consists of two letters to Anna from her mother, asking her to visit, and a letter from Anna to her daughter Vashti.
Attached to the letter from April 25, 1863, is an illustrated patriotic envelope listing all of the states in the Union.