In 1861, as President Lincoln known as for volunteers to safeguard the Union, Thomas Christie wrote to his father, voicing wishes shared by means of many an enlistee: “I do are looking to ‘see the world,’ to get out of the slim circle within which i've got constantly lived, to ‘make a guy of myself,’ and to have it to assert in days to return that I, too, had an element during this nice struggle.”
As it grew to become out, Thomas had a good accomplice in his quest: his brother William. either signed on with the 1st Minnesota gentle Artillery, operating as “cannoneers,” accountable for loading and aiming huge weapons on the enemy. the 1st Minnesota observed motion in significant battles at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. however the adventurers additionally continued the monotony of camp existence, the starvation of negative provide traces, and, in William’s case, the demanding situations of enemy trap. The ups and downs, the doubts and thrills are stated from their differing views during this selection of letters to anxious mom and dad, a winsome sister, and a more youthful brother desirous to take part the struggle. Their vibrant epistles are stronger via the familial connection of brothers in palms who ultimately did see the world—and back domestic changed.
Hampton Smith is a reference librarian on the Minnesota ancient Society. In his decades on the society, he has built services in Civil conflict and army background. The Christie letters are a valuable a part of MHS collections.
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Extra resources for Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie
Nearly each hour, between us, a few new plan for our destiny operations is mentioned. a few imagine that our colossal struggle should be at Grenada; a few at Jackson; a few, at Vicksburg, and so on. and so forth. it truly is agreed by means of all that not less than one nice conflict needs to occur ahead of Vicksburg is ours and the Mississippi opened. Our males say that they don’t care if we've got a major struggle at each city from right here to the Gulf,—if basically we will be able to movement on and triumph over. each one folks is concerned to have this battle complete once attainable. it's very unhappy to determine how complete our newspapers are of the quarrels that cross on within the military of the Potomac. it's a great thing that this military is unfastened from such quarrels. yet nonetheless we hire loads of time in disputing as to the advantages of McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and the others. We even have a good deal of disputing with our Irish infantrymen at the negro query. they're very sour opposed to the black guy; a lot of them even say that if he's made unfastened it is going to result in one other conflict. yet after all this is often all nonsense. i've got simply bought a letter from Joe Johnson18 previously a member of the Battery. He used to be badly wounded on the conflict of Shiloh, and obtained his discharge approximately months in the past. His letter is particularly attention-grabbing for he's a shiny guy. Our significant has long past again to Corinth for our gun, a few new horses, and different issues that have been wanted for the batteries. He went away on Thursday and should be again the next day evening. you'll be pleased to grasp that i'm eventually a cannoneer, i'm No. three, my accountability is to thumb the vent whereas No. 1 sponges; then I prick the cartridge, and carry the friction-primer in position until No. four stretches his lanyard; I then step again, and No. four fires the gun at command. My position is at the correct of the gun contrary the breech. we now have loads of drill each day. many of the males within the Battery are info from the infantry; 5 from the first Kansas, 5 from the sixteenth Wis. , 3 from the seventeenth Wis. (Monday the twenty fourth) final evening our first Lieut. instructed me that 30,000 clean troops have joined us the following in the earlier 3 days. most likely this is often an exaggeration. i've got obvious a few of the new regiments. each is as huge as considered one of our previous Brigades. however it aren't lengthy earlier than the hot males will start to drop out. a really nice new regiment, the ninety fifth in poor health, has simply been assigned to our department; the regiment numbers 1000 and fifty males, all stout, handsome fellows. males hold a small box tent, each of them a part: the part is set as huge as a blanket. those are known as “shelter-tents,” and are really easy to place up on the finish of a day’s march. one other identify for them is “dog-tent”; however the fellows say they're so small that the right kind identify will be “puppy-tent. ” now we have got no pay for it slow; so please ship us a few extra postage-stamps; and we'll pray that your shadow may well by no means develop much less … Thomas Christie to James Christie19 close to ABBEVILLE, omit. DEC. 6, 1862. My pricey Father, once again we're settled in camp, it appears for a number of days at the least. at the night that William wrote we took up our march back, and encamped that evening inside of a half-mile of the Tallahatchie.