Letters Home to Sarah: The Civil War Letters of Guy C. Taylor, Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers

Overview

Forgotten for more than a century in an old cardboard box, these are the letters of Guy Carlton Taylor, a farmer who served in the Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War. From March 23, 1864, to July 14, 1865, Taylor wrote 165 letters home to his wife Sarah and their son Charley.
    From the initial mustering and training of his regiment at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, through the siege of Petersburg in Virginia, General Lee’s ...

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Letters Home to Sarah: The Civil War Letters of Guy C. Taylor, Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers

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Overview

Forgotten for more than a century in an old cardboard box, these are the letters of Guy Carlton Taylor, a farmer who served in the Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War. From March 23, 1864, to July 14, 1865, Taylor wrote 165 letters home to his wife Sarah and their son Charley.
    From the initial mustering and training of his regiment at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, through the siege of Petersburg in Virginia, General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and the postwar Grand Review of the Armies parade in Washington, D.C., Taylor conveys in vivid detail his own experiences and emotions and shows himself a keen observer of all that is passing around him. While at war, he contracts measles, pneumonia, and malaria, and he writes about the hospitals, treatments, and sanitary conditions that he and his comrades endured during the war. Amidst the descriptions of soldiering, Taylor’s letters to Sarah are threaded with the concerns of a young married couple separated by war but still coping together with childrearing and financial matters. The letters show, too, Taylor’s transformation from a lonely and somewhat disgruntled infantryman to a thoughtful commentator on the greater ideals of the war.
    This remarkable trove of letters, which had been left in the attic of Taylor’s former home in Cashton, Wisconsin, was discovered by local historian Kevin Alderson at a household auction. Recognizing them for the treasure they are, Alderson bought the letters and, aided by his wife Patsy, painstakingly transcribed the letters and researched Taylor’s story in Wisconsin and at historical sites of the Civil War. The Aldersons’ preface and notes are augmented by an introduction by Civil War historian Kathryn Shively Meier, and the book includes photographs, maps, and illustrations related to Guy Taylor’s life and letters.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299291204
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,446,615
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 4.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin and Patsy Alderson live in rural LaFarge, Wisconsin, within fifteen miles of the Taylors’ former farmstead. Kevin taught American history for thirty-three years and Patsy is an artist. They are coauthors of the book Barns Without Corners: Round Barns of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Together they operate Kickapoo Valley Heritage-Art and Tours and the 1890 Ottervale General Store.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Editors' Note
 
Introduction by Kathryn Shively Meier
Prologue
1 In Training: March 25 to May 16, 1864
2 Hospitalization: May 17 to June 23, 1864
3 In the Ranks: June 26 to July 25, 1864
4 In Transition: July 28 to October 6, 1864
5 Detailed to the Doctor: October 10 to November 27, 1864
6 Winter Quarters: December 1, 1864, to March 23, 1865
7 Lee's Retreat: March 27 to May 14, 1865
8 Homeward Bound: May 16 to July 9, 1865
Epilogue
 
Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Index

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