Recently, I was going through papers at my moms in Kansas. A couple of big boxes full of old papers and pictures and stuff that tied my past all together… though it was not organized and I did now know what it might contain. My entire childhood, I was under the impression that my family had recently arrived in this country and had no idea that any branch was here during the Civil War. And for the most part, I was correct (I think)… But my maternal great grandmother, Gram, was not very chatty about the past and to be honest, as a teenager, I didn’t think to ask those sorts of questions. And it is in Grams papers (the same Gram as of the cookbook series) that I found the old Civil War letters. In the 1990’s, a family member on a branch from that side had borrowed the letters and typed them all up… the letters are still residing with an unknown family member at this time. However, Gram (and now my mother) had 3 letters… I scanned and compiled the old typed letters into current Word formatting, typed the original letters into a Word document and put them all together.
The Civil War Letter Project is one of history, timing and endurance. The first letter that we have is dated Oct. 6, 1862. I intend to post a letter on each date that he wrote a letter home to his wife, Catherine.
John and Catherine are my 3x great grandparents. John Loveless was born in March of 1837. Catherine M. Sherman Loveless was born in June of 1837. John and Catherine married at the age of 20 and 19 on April 29, 1857. Alice was born on March 11, 1858 (that’s 11 months if you’re curious). Milton Leonard Loveless was born Dec. 13, 1859. The confrontations of the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. Alice died at age 4 years in a kitchen fire while her parents were out doing chores on March 31, 1862 – she was found behind the door to the kitchen. John enlisted in the Union Army in 1862.
These letters are not edited for content, spelling or grammar. There are blanks where the words were not able to be deciphered and I am sure that some names or places are misspelled. If you happen to know the correct version, please send me an email. These letters are also between a man and his wife. It was no doubt scary and lonely… And people are people are people. Despite my visions of people of times gone by being much more prim and proper, these are letters between a lonely husband and his wife. There is adult content original to the letters. I have not edited any of that. I personally am happy that it is in the letters – it is authentic and oh so very real.
PLEASE respect our family and our legacy. DO NOT REPRODUCE these letters in any form at all whatesoever. Amen. They are the sole property of the Loveless family descendants.
If you are a descendant of John and Catherine and would like a copy of the letters, please email me through this blog. Please provide proof of relatedness. I am very much looking forward to exchanging copies of other letters and pictures with other long lost family. I have a fair number of pictures from this era, though the editing and organization of said items is a work in progress.
If you are a school teacher and would like to use the material in your classroom, please send me an email. My old high school English teacher and the school History teacher are already working together to turn these letters into part of their curriculum. I’m sure that they would be interested in chatting with you, too.
If you would like to keep up with the letters, please sign up to receive email updates on the sidebar to the right (way at the bottom). The letters will arrive on the blog much as they did for John and Catherine – unannounced. In the early days, the letters are not as close together… toward the end of what we have, there are more. There are letters dating for approximately one year. I will include as much historical context as I can. And for the original letters that my mother has, the scans of the originals will also be included. They are beautifully written if not difficult to read.
Please enjoy my family history and listen closely as the ghosts whisper in your ears…