Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

March 9. A day of great excitement, for beside the news of the evacuation of Leesburg and the capture of Cockpit Point battery, we have the great naval fight at Fortress Monroe. The great demon ship, the Merrimac, came down from Norfolk toward Newport News and attacked our ships Congress and Cumberland, destroying both. She [...]

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Eliza Woolsey Howland to Joe Howland. February 21 We went yesterday to the Navy Yard and were very much interested in all we saw. They make 15,000 Enfield rifle and musket balls in every twelve hours, or 30,000 while (as now) they work day and night! They also turn out 800 rifled and other cannon [...]

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February 13. I have nothing more than the usual “all right” to tell you, but you must always have that. We ought to congratulate each other on the good news from Roanoke Island and Tennessee, which quite thrilled us all yesterday. We were out at Will Winthrop’s camp when the boys cried the “Star” and [...]

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January, ‘62. To-day we are going out to look up some nurses for Will Winthrop’s regiment, and then to the Senate. I forgot to tell you a pretty story we heard the other day from Mrs. Gibbons, our Quaker lady friend. She is a very sweet, kind old lady, and she and her daughter have [...]

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Mrs. Thomas Gibbons, mentioned in the following letters, was one of the distinguished Hopper family of “Friends”— strong abolitionists and managers of what was called the “underground railroad.” Through their efforts many wretched hunted colored people were landed safely in Canada. Mrs. Gibbons was busy in the war from the beginning, and all her life [...]

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