This collection of 139 letters from six of the seven Gould brothers who left their homes in central New York to fight for the Union Army forms a moving depiction, not only of life on the front lines of the Civil War, but of life on the home front as well. These letters, written to their beloved sister Hannah, span the entire four years of the conflict and run the gamut from initial enlistment to eventual death or discharge. Through the eyes of the Goulds, an immigrant English family struggling to make a new life, one is able to experience this major American historical event with a new understanding.
Unfortunately, Hannah's letters to her brothers at the front are lost forever, victims of the fighting; but the vivid responses of her brothers speak to her own questions and concerns about the crisis that was tearing families apart. With only minor annotation and amendment, these letters tell a most important story of separation and domestic change. They reveal the plight of an individual family in the midst of turmoil.