Monday, June 20, 2011


This entry is from Brother of Mine, The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie, edited by Hampton Smith.

William and Thomas Christie were half brothers, 13 years apart in age.  They served in the same Regiment,  the 1st Minnesota.
Thomas is writing to his father.
June 20th, 1862
These deaths have a good effect upon the men, making them feel kinder and more brotherly towards each other.  We are no longer a mass of discordant elements thrown together and called a Company, with no fellow-feelings for any one outside of our own platoons -- as was the case at Fort Snelling and the Arsenal -- , but we are now bound together by common bereavements and common dangers into one body.  The feeling of isolation here in the South, and of dependence upon each other strengthens the bond.  As a consequence we are today stronger and more efficient as a Battery than when our Morning-Report gave a hundred and fifty-six (156) men as fit for duty; the number now is 80.  When the orderly Sergeant addressed us last night as "Brothers" the word went straight through to our hearts, for we felt that it represented the Truth.
2 unidentified soldiers in Union shell jackets, from Library of Congress collection.

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