Love Letters

8, June 2011

Will James survive the war? Will he return to his beloved Molly? Find out as we post each letter 150 years to the day after it was originally written.

About the Letters:  The Missouri History Museum Archives has many collections that provide first-hand accounts of the Civil War. One such collection is the James E. Love Papers. James enlisted with a Union regiment in St. Louis in May 1861. When his regiment left St. Louis in June 1861, James started writing letters home to his fiancée Eliza Mary “Molly” Wilson. James continued to write these letters throughout his entire Civil War service. We believe this collection is unique because it documents not only one man’s experiences during the war, but also the great love story of James and Molly.

Please Note: There are words, phrases, and statements in these letters that may be offensive to the reader. At the time the letters were written, certain words and phrases were common and even acceptable. We wish it were otherwise. The words are those of the author, James Love, and the attitudes he expresses are those of the time period. We have retained the original language of the letters because we believe that, in spite of their faults, the letters provide an exceptional first-hand account of the attitudes and actions during this horrific period in our nation’s history.


Read the Letters