Earl family letters 1853-1896 (bulk 1855-1875)
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Albert Martin's letters provide an interesting point of view on the Civil War. The anguish expressed in the first three of his letters is particularly moving, as he attempted to come to grips with the feeling that he had abandoned his mother and to console her and let her know that he intended to behave as a moral man. While in the service, Martin provides two very good, though brief, descriptions of scrapes with Mosby's Rangers, and his reactions to the desertions in his regiment and his thoughts on the war are of interest because they represent the views of a Canadian citizen, rather than a native New Yorker. Finally, the single letter written from Belle Isle stands in stark contrast to the miserable impressions of the prison found in other Union soldiers' letters: "I cant complain of the useage for we get used vary well here all is a fellow cant run about as much is if he was in his own Lines" (1863 November 6).