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.

Smith, William Wallace (fl. 1861-1862) to Asa Smith

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03742.10 Author/Creator: Smith, William Wallace (fl. 1861-1862) Place Written: Camp Wilson near Halls Hill, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 March 1862 Pagination: 3 p. ; 19.8 x 12.6 cm.

Written by William Wallace Smith to his brother Asa Smith. References receiving Asa's letter and the "smoking cap" that came with it. Says nothing is going on, but says it won't be long because every man is to be provided with 60 rounds of ammunition. Tells him about picket duty. Says he went to Falls Church and went to the church that George Washington helped to build. Says "it is a square brick building [that] does not look much like a church on the outside." Updates him on mutual friends. Embossed American eagle on the first page of the letter with the words "Union and Constitution" also embossed.

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