William Walter Christian correspondence

About the Digital Collection

Letters depicting the social life and customs of rural, middle-class white Virginians during the years immediately preceding the Civil War, and of conditions at the outbreak of hostilities. Subjects discussed include a smallpox epidemic and the resulting quarantine, the John Brown raid at Harpers Ferry and the aftermath, white Southern attitudes toward a slave uprising, conditions in the first Confederate military camp in northern Virginia, early skirmishes and battles, Christian's hospitalization at Lynchburg, Va., recruiting of soldiers, and the hiring of substitutes by conscripts. Among the correspondents are Christian's mother, Mary Ann Christian, and his fiance, Carrie Harmon.

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