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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Shenk, Samuel to his wife

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00267.332 Author/Creator: Shenk, Samuel Place Written: Norfolk, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 June 1863 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania, slaves, northern racism. Mentions Lee's offensive into Pennsylvania and offers insight into his own attitudes toward race. "I am very sorry to hear that the Rebels are in Pennsylvania But I hope the men will be Patriots enough to turn out and Chase or Drive the traitors from our soil...I think if our government would take more interest to how they used the Poor Soldiers and less these stinken old worn out Negroes for the Rebs to feed and take that which to give to the Negroes I think this war would a great deal quicker get settled. But they take better care of the Negroes then they do of a Poor white Soldier."


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Military History, Civil War, Union Forces, Confederate States of America, Union Soldier's Letter, African American History, African American Troops, Freemen, Slavery, Soldier's Pay

Sub Era: The American Civil War African Americans and Emancipation