It is through the letters and diaries in their writings we gain true insight to what our ancestors truly experienced in the mid-nineteenth century. To fully experience their daily lives we have the opportunity to keep alive this literary tradition.
Announcing mail service for NCWA events:
Write to your friends in the enemy armies, to your military counterpart across the lines. Write to your family members serving in the war with news of home. Soldiers write home to let loved ones know how you are faring. Write to the political leaders in attendance with encouragement or grievances (remember no return address - no delivery!) Write to a pard as a bill collector from home or as a lost acquaintance who has surprise news of an unexpected arrival that will most likely have a strong resemblance to you, and that her father wishes to have a word with you. Be creative and have fun with this. It is for you to take your living history experiences to a higher and more personal level. We plan to begin this at the upcoming Gibson Ranch. I am attaching an example of period stationary, stamps, and some methods of folding the letters into envelopes for mailing. Print this up or use whatever materials you have on hand for the letters. A blank sheet of paper folded as in the examples will do nicely. You may take pen to paper in the fashion of the day, or you can print your letters on your writing gin (computer) in whatever font you fancy. The main idea is to encourage the writing and exchanging of letters.
In the past I had contacted the wives of our unit members to ask them to write letters from home to surprise the soldiers in camp with a mail call. It went over very well except for the guy who caught his wife writing an intimate letter she was obviously trying to keep him from seeing. One wife thought she had no ideas to write to her ‘Civil War’ husband. I asked her what they liked to do together and she responded they go to the movies, so I suggested she write about her missing their time together at the ‘theater.’ Others wrote of news from home and what each of the family members were up to. As previously mentioned, if you are unable to post the letters at the event, but would still like to participate, you may mail your period letters in modern media to:
1507 Thornton St.
Hanford CA. 93230