In the days before the radio and the telephone, the only way to keep in touch with loved ones back home was through the written word–the letter. Most Northern soldiers had at least a rudimentary education, if not more. It is through their letters, and the letters written by family member’s back home, that we can get a glimpse of what life was like for the boys of the Seventeenth.
Visitors of the site are fortunate to be able to read the letters of Sergeant Augustus Bronson here. Bronson was a teacher prior to enlisting in the Seventeenth and spent his time in the service writing letters home to the local newspaper. Unfortunately Bronson was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, ending his series of letters back home.
Here are some letters to start with. I am grateful to those folks who were kind enough to provide me with transcripts of their ancestor’s letters for inclusion in this site. I am hopeful that more will be forthcoming in the future. If anyone has a letter that they would like to share, please contact me.
In addition this section will include biographies of the soldiers of the Seventeenth. By and large, these are written by descendants of the soldiers. I’m hoping to pull some of these biographical sketches and place them into the blog – sort of a rotating exhibit, if you will.
Note: In most instances, the original spelling has been left intact. The original owners transcribed some letters—I do not know which of those may have been corrected. In some letters punctuation has been added to make them more readable, but it no case has the content been altered.