An abolitionist Civil War soldier and prisoner of war reflects on life during wartime
More than 3 million men served in the American Civil War. In Yours Affectionately, Osgood, editors Sarah Tracy Burrows and Ryan W. Keating have assembled a collection of letters from one of those soldiers--Osgood Vose Tracy of the 122nd New York Infantry. Sarah Tracy Burrows, a descendant of Col. Osgood Tracy, has compiled this expansive collection from her family's private papers. Paired with illuminating discussion and historical context from noted Civil War historian Ryan W. Keating, Tracy's letters home follow his journey as a soldier and prisoner of war from his enlistment in August 1862 through the end of the war in May 1865, as Tracy then readjusted to civilian life.
The letters in Yours Affectionately, Osgood, primarily written to his mother, provide a uniquely detailed perspective of everyday life in the Army of the Potomac, adding considerably to the existing literature on the experiences of citizen soldiers in America's Civil War. A well-educated young man, Tracy offers his opinion on pressing social and political issues of the time, including his definite abolitionist sentiments; ruminates on the Union war effort and its campaigns; and demonstrates his deep commitment to family, as well as his sweetheart, Nellie Sedgwick, back home. Tracy's letters constitute an incredibly rare primary source volume that will be both fascinating and foundational in the scholarly community and for more general interest readers of the history of the Civil War.