What a joy to share this letter from David Patrick to his mother Laura.  I was on the Rally Bus heading home from the Women’s March in Washington DC and could not sleep. To pass the miles, I started searching for Civil War soldier letters and the 40th Iowa.  I never expected to find this genealogy gem. It was waiting for me in a manuscript archive in Arkansas.

Just got to poke around…

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Citation: David Patrick Civil War Letter to his mother, 29 October 1863, MSS.13-.14, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock, AR.


  1. That’s a gem indeed. How we will miss all these heartfelt and handwritten treasures now we use ephemeral emails all the time.
    I am surprised the writing is so legible. I can really hear his voice and it looks like by the end his fingers were getting cold again!
    Like most war letters it’s all very poignant, especially the goodbye. I wonder, did he survive the war?
    Best wishes…


    • I believe we certainly will miss them. David didn’t survive the war. He was wounded in the battle at Jenkins Ferry, left behind in the rain and mud, taken to an “Enemy Hospital” and died of gangrene of wounds six months later. He left for war before my great great grandfather was born.


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