Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Unknown to Mary

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03523.42.09 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 March 1862 Pagination: 6 p. ; 19 x 11.6 cm.

He is glad to hear that Emma is doing well. He writes that he is doing well also. Once he arrived in Washington, D.C. he is unsure of what the army's next move will be. On the march from Charlestown, Maryland to Berryville, Virginia there was a great amount of rain and the roads became extremely muddy. Once the Union Army arrived in Berryville they drove off the rebels there by firing their artillery. The troops had no tents and had to sleep on the cold ground while it rained. They also had no fires as the rebels were close by. The troops expected an attack at night but none came. In the morning they were to march to Winchester, Virginia but two miles into their march they were ordered back to Berryville. Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson had already left Winchester. Writes that while in Washington, D.C. the men are drinking heavily. Hopes that he will be able to see her soon. The troops are unsure when they will get paid again and he has lent some money to the men in the regiment who sent theirs home. He wishes she could see the Capitol building and the sights of Washington, D.C. The troops do not think the war will last long as there are many "faults" with it. The men find it amusing when rebel property is wrecked due to the war.

Franklin W. Fuller from Howard, Illinois enlisted on 14 August 1862 as a Sergeant. He mustered into the I Company of the Illinois 74th Infantry on 4 September 1862. He was mustered out on 10 June 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources