Brothers ‘Til Death: The Civil War Letters of Maggie, Thomas, and William Jones, 1861-1865
Brothers ’til Death is a collection of over 100 letters written mostly between two Irish brothers and their sister from New Jersey. Servin in the 48th New York Volunteer Regiment, Thomas and William Jones wrote their sister Maggie, a school teacher in West Farms, New Jersey. But Maggie also received letters from friends of the family who also served int he 48th New York. Brought together in this unique collection the activity of the 48th New York comes to life. The letters are filled with emotions, patriotic ebullience from 1861 through the dismal sentimentalities of 1864, and the hopeful conclusions of 1865. The 48th New York served int he coastal campaign, an often overlooked but important campaign during the war.
Demanding remarkable coordination with the Navy and the blockade, the campaign was critical in forcing the action inland. The letters also contain opinions on the 1864 election, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Florida expedition, the siege of Petersburg, life in a New York City hospital ward (Thomas Jones was wounded and lost an arm in the assault on Battery Wagner, made famous in the movie Glory), and on Lincoln’s Death.
Brothers ’til Death offers a view of the Civil War from the perspective of the frontline soldier. It provides insights int a forgotten theater of the war, the coastal campaign of the Carolinas and Georgia, providing new witnesses to assaults on Forts Pulaski, Wagner and Fisher. Finally, the letters give new dimensions to what life was like for Irish soldiers fighting for the Union along the coastline of South Carolina.
Hardcover, 304 pages