My paternal grandfather's family is from the hinterlands of northern Pennsylvania. From what I can tell they've always been good, hard-working, not rich people. His parents were barely-making-ends-meet dairy farmers--especially during the Great Depression--and didn't even own their land. I know that my grandfather and nana would periodically send money back to his parents. I have some of the canceled checks.
My parents are both better off financially than I am--and I expect that after several decades of work. I can't imagine it being the other way around, of supporting them. I guess I'm pretty lucky.
Grandpa's people were "savers". I used to be a saver, but I've changed somewhat. But they saved everything--which is affording me an opportunity to enjoy a treasure trove of pictures and letters.
And I'm going to share some of these letters with you.
My great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Leonard, was drafted into the Union army in November, 1864. At the time he was as old as I am now--thirty-twelve. I don't have any of the letters he wrote home to Pennsylvania, but I do have a few of the letters sent to him during his 7 months as a soldier.
I'm going to scan those letters and post them, one at a time, here on this blog.
I marvel at the beautiful script and the choice of language. I enjoy the first-person glimpse into the lives of the people who wrote those letters. I cringe at my great-great-great-grandmother's poor spelling, but who knows how much schooling she had. Her writing, though, is beautiful.
So with this introduction I create a new label, Letters From History, and take you back to near the end of the Civil War. I hope you enjoy these letters as much as I do.