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Letter Home From Gettysburg: An Exercise in Historical Fiction · 10:56pm Jul 12th, 2023

The following is the transcription of the letter I received at the Gettysburg Reenactment, that was written up by the staff as a kind of immersive gift to the reenactors, and the letter I've written in response to it. It's been a fun little exercise in writing historical fiction again. Enjoy!

Cleveland, O.

“June 8th

Dear Father,

We are all well and have been thinking of you everyday. Since we heard that Stonewall Jackson has passed, we are hoping the Rebels will be weakened.

Mother and I put together a box of jams, soaps, and hard candies. We thought it was time to send some sweets. Please let us know when these items arrive. Francis and Robert have been tearing bandage strips while Chester pulls lint. All of their work will be taken to the Lutheran Church where packages are being prepared for the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

Please be careful, Father. Our prayers for you go up to Heaven every day.

With love,
Your oldest daughter,

Gettysburg, PA

“July 4th,

My Dearest Daughter,

I received your letter of the 8th last month several days ago, but have been unable to write until just now. How I wish I were with you all on this our Independence Day.

I suppose you know that we have been hotly engaged with the Rebels the last few days. Our General Meade has won a great Victory over General Lee, and I expect the Rebels will soon be compelled to surrender.

Fear not dear, for I am not only careful but safe and sound. During the battle, Captain Huntington placed our battery upon the Eastern Cemetery Hill, supporting the XI Corp. From there we commanded the Rebel batteries on Brenners Hill with our fire. Our new 3 inch rifled guns can shoot farther than the Rebels can, so we are quite safe from them. For now, we are resting, as the Rebel Army has been put to rout.

I am glad to hear that the boys are well and doing their duty. This terrible war has brought much suffering, but they and the Sanitary Commission are doing the work that we cannot: healing the wounds of our nation.

I believe it is God’s will that slavery be destroyed, for he made all of us brothers and sisters, equal and in his own image. As he loves us all, so I pray one day we shall learn to love one another. That this day might dawn, we now fight to preserve our Federal Union.

The package yourself and Mother sent has just arrived to-day, for it was held back with our supply wagons during the battle. The jams and candies made a fine Fourth of July pic-nic for myself and the battery. I have kept the soaps for my own.

I am sending home a portion of my pay. I hope it will be enough to buy you and the boys many fine things. Know that I love you all very much and that as soon as this war is over I shall hurry home as fast as I am able.

Your Loving Father,

Corporal Andrews
1st OVA, Co. H

P.S. Darling Elizabeth, do not think I have forgotten you, though I write to Becky. Tasting your jams again was bittersweet, for it makes me long for your company. Please write, dear wife, as soon as you are able, and tell of all that you do and feel. Your loving husband misses you so.

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This is a blog, not a story. Non MLP stuff is OK in blogs


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