Hiland H. Weaver papers 1861, 1864-1865
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Hiland H. Weaver papers contain 11 letters written by an officer of the 3rd Iowa Independent Light Battery during his service in the western theater of the Civil War. In his early letters, written in 1861, Weaver described camp life and his unit's eagerness to see action. On December 14, 1861, he said, "it is very uncertain when I will see you again but I hope it will not be very long. There is some prospect that there will be a…battle fought near here before long and the most of the boys are ancious to have a hand in it but some look rather pale when there is anything said about getting into a fight[.]" In 1864, Weaver exhibited a similar devotion to the cause, and wrote, "I do not care if we stay in [our winter quarters] as long as the war lasts for I am tired of running around the country and if Old Abe is reelected I think we will have this war brought to a close in less than six months…and we will have peace on honorable terms" (October 16, 1864). Weaver also ruminated on the harsh human cost of armed conflict as he described the devastation of a recent battlefield: "It is hard to see the destruction there is when an army passes through a country" (undated). In an undated fragment, Weaver provided a graphic description of battlefield casualties: "It was a heartrending sean there was men with their heads shot off and some shot all to pieces…and in fact any thing you may immagine." All together, Weaver's correspondence provides insight into the western theater of the Civil War, both at the beginning of the conflict and during its closing stages.