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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.

Archer, Edward R. (fl. 1830-1917) to Mr. Newcomb

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01896.076 Author/Creator: Archer, Edward R. (fl. 1830-1917) Place Written: Richmond, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 May 1865 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written on Archer's return from Cuba through the blockade around Florida. First half of the letter details his belief that the war was lost because of the failure of the public to support the war effort. "...[I]f the people had have stood by them [the Confederate soldiers] and given them all their aid instead of speculating and quarreling among themselves everything would have gone as we could have desired..." However, Archer expresses his belief that the south will rise again--"...but still there exists a smouldering flame which I have no doubt will one day burst forth and fire again the whole southern mind..." Archer contends that the Confederacy fought not only "...the Yankee and [struck: Negro] Slavery but the whole World!" but thinks that their former enemy has been "magnanimous enough" to the South since the war ended by extending much credit and demanding little. Second half of the letter details the perilous trip through the Federal blockade and Archer's eventual safe return to Richmond.

People: Archer, Edward R.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Navy, Military History, Confederate States of America, Confederate Soldier's Letter, Soldier's Letter, Latin and South America, Caribbean, Blockade, African American History, Slavery, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Finance, Economics

Sub Era: The American Civil War