Go If You Think It Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple's Civil War Letters

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Overview

During the American Civil War, James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler courted, married, became parents, and bought a farm. They attended dances, talked politics, and confided their deepest fears. Because of the war, however, they experienced all of these events separately, sharing them through hundreds of letters from 1861 to 1865 while Madison served in the third Minnesota Volunteer regiment and Lizzie stayed in Nininger, Minnesota. In four years, they spent only twelve weeks under the same roof. These...

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Go If You Think It Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple's Civil War Letters

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Overview

During the American Civil War, James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler courted, married, became parents, and bought a farm. They attended dances, talked politics, and confided their deepest fears. Because of the war, however, they experienced all of these events separately, sharing them through hundreds of letters from 1861 to 1865 while Madison served in the third Minnesota Volunteer regiment and Lizzie stayed in Nininger, Minnesota. In four years, they spent only twelve weeks under the same roof. These poignant letters provided them a space to voice their fear for and frustration with each other, and they now provide readers with a window into one couple’s Civil War.

“Go If You Think It Your Duty isn’t the Civil War history of textbooks or lecture halls. It’s the kind we seldom see—the kind tucked away in forgotten, dusty packets of letters in forgotten trunks in attic corners. The letters here are less about the war than about the hopes and concerns of a man who fought it and his wife waiting back home.”
—The Associated Press

Andrea R. Foroughi is an associate professor of history at New York’s Union College, specializing in women’s history, the Civil War, and Native American History.

 

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873518345
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 990,229
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     3
Prologue     15
My Dear...Yours Ever     25
I Wish You Could Be Here To-day with Me     64
Anxious to Hear from You...More Anxious to See You     116
My Dear Wife...Dearest Hubby     133
I Hope You Will Soon Have the Pleasure of Visiting Your Family     197
Do, Libby, Look on the Bright Side of Things     228
I Sincerely Wish You Could Make Up Your Mind to Come Here     286
Epilogue     306
Appendix     309
Bibliography     317
Index     325
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