War Veteran from Civil War's Letters

Essay by nashnanceCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2013

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UTK Special Collections, MS 1334:

A Civil War Letter from the Harry Cushing Letters

MS 1334 is a collection of personal letters from a Civil War officer, named Harry Cushing. Harry Cushing, of Providence, Rhode Island, was a member of the US 4th Artillery Battery H and served as a 1st Lieutenant Officer in the Union army (Hooper, "A Short Introduction"). Harry Cushing manned a tough artillery unit in General Rosencrans' division who was apart of the Army of Cumberland. Cushing served in the Southeast states of Tennessee and Kentucky. Harry Cushing's unit fought in the epic campaign of Knoxville. Cushing also fought in battles such as Chickamauga and Chattanooga before moving with his unit to the Knoxville area. In the letter I have transcribed, dated November 30, 1862, Harry writes to his mother and details how he still feels like a young boy despite the fact that he is actually a grown man and in the army.

The personal letter he wrote to his mother, while fighting for the Union, recounts his memories from when he was younger and even admits that he still feels the innocence of his childhood.

This four page long letter, on white tarnished paper, is handwritten in cursive with blank ink. Along with the damaged appearance, it is evident that the letter is very aged because of the change in color from white to a light brown. The handwriting of the first two pages of the letter was hard to read, while the last two were more legible. Cushing seemed as if he was nervous or even anxious when beginning the letter because of his rush to write down how he felt on paper. Cushing writes with depressing and trapped diction, displaying how he wishes for the times he used to have as a...