Letters, chiefly 1861-1862, from Joseph W. Collingwood to his wife Rebecca. Most letters were written over two or three days.
The remarkably detailed and candid letters cover various aspects of the campaigns and battles Peninsular Campaign (March-July,
1862): the siege of Yorktown, battle of Hanover Court House, Seven Days Battles (June 25-July 1), operations around White
House Landing (June 26-July 2); 2nd Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Sheperdstown Ford, and the Fredericksburg Campaign. His letters provide detailed accounts of
camp life of a Civil War soldier payments, uniforms, rations, foraging and procurement, diseases, firearms, drills and inspections,
picket duty; roads, recreations, hospitals, and medical care. Collingwood also at length discussed lady nurses and surgeons;
Confederate prisoners; socializing with Confederate soldiers; encounters with Confederates and Unionists of Virginia and Maryland,
and recounted news from other regiments, especially 29th and 32nd Massachusetts.
Joseph W. Collingwood, second son of William and Eleanor Harlow Collingwood, was born in 1822 in Nantucket, Mass. Shortly
afterwards the family moved to Plymouth. In 1840-1850's, Joseph W. Collingwood owned a fish market and occasionally went out
with a fishing fleet to New Foundland. In Sept. 1848, he became engaged to Rebecca W. Richardson, a teacher of the Boston
Female Asylum. A short marriage notice in The England Washingtonian, the organ of Sons of Temperance, reported that the couple
was married at the Female Orphan Asylum, Boston, Oct. 12, by the Rev. F.D. Huntington.
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