Alfred C. Arnold (1836-1918) was born to William Stephen Arnold and Francis E. Smith on 23 April, 1836, in Stamford, Connecticut. Cordelia A. Smith (1841-1916) was also born in Stamford, Connecticut.
Beginning in August 1862, Alfred served 20 months in the Quartermaster's department at Fort Trumbull and spent the following year as a carpenter in the conscript camp there. During the Civil War, Fort Trumbull served at the 14th Infantry regiment's recruiting depot, where troops were trained and organized before being sent to the front. He joined the regiment in Richmond in May 1865, as the War was ending, and was discharged by June 1865. During this time, Cordelia lived in New London, Connecticut.
The bulk of this collection consists of letters between Alfred “Charlie” Arnold and his wife Cordelia “Delia” Arnold. These letters offer little information on Arnold’s military activities, but do provide a glimpse of an intimate, loving relationship between a husband and wife separated by the war. The letters from Alfred trace his movements from New London, Connecticut, in 1862-1863, to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1864, and to Baltimore, Maryland, and City Point (now Hopewell), Virginia in 1865. They discuss family and friends, money issues, weather and health, and their feelings for one another.
Letters to the Arnolds from friends and family include one from Francis E. Arnold to her daughter-in-law; one from Delia's father to Alfred, and letters from Sister Jenny and their close friend Eliza.