In the scope of American history, few events have been as significant as the events that unfolded during the US Civil War. Thousands of books, publications and events retells the turbulent era where the South and the North of our great nation, divided on social and economical ideologies, fiercely fought to ultimately unite the country once again.
While authors and scholars can paint an amazing picture of history, sights and its important players, it is uncommon to capture a broad window of time in the daily lives of the American soldier and understand the feelings, emotions and daily activities that shaped their world as well as to be given a very intimate window from a man and a woman’s perspective on the times. This unprecedented collection does just that.
Jasper L Atkinson was born on September 12th 1840 and joined the Indiana 26th Infantry Regiment Company A and in the Arkansas 9th Infantry Company. Over the span of 1861 until 1865, Jasper starts his journey training at Camp Morton and then advance on Springfield Missouri to reclaim what was lost to General Marmaduke and his confederates.
His correspondence with who would become his wife and dear companion, Catherine Aukerman Atkinson in 1864 would describe battles, his travels and losses, the agony of war and the sacrifices they have to make, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the ebbs and flows of Generals and notable military figures. Battles such as Prairie Grove, Dripping Springs, Vicksburg, Stirling’s Plantation are described or mentioned and retold to his beloved. He speaks of building a fortification with African American soldiers, of his experience at Camp Morton, a confederate prisoner of war camp, of defending the Union Pacific Railroad, was held as a prisoner of war in Alexandria for six months and of more shocking delicate home matters that really captures the daily struggles of American people during these trying times. Several letters recanting their love creates a gripping living tale that is more than Hollywood worthy!
This comprehensive collection, 243 letters in all comes with genealogical information on Jasper Atkinson as well as information on the 26th Infantry Regiment, its muster roll, a synopsis of the letters, even V photos of descendants, notations on important events mentioned, impeccably curated by the family who found them, stashed in a folder in a safe after the death of a relative. It is extremely rare to find a collection of sequential letters of such magnitude and a treasure to behold!
Potential buyers with serious intentions into purchasing will be able to view the collection by appointment. Additional photos may be provided upon request. Call or email for appointment or questions.