Selected Civil War Correspondence

Edited by Richard Upsher Smith, Jr.

A Quaker Colonel, His Fiancée, and Their Connections: Selected Civil War Correspondence offers a Northern counterpart to the great collection of Southern family letters published in The Children of Pride. Featuring recently discovered historical material, the book offers a selection of correspondence written by two Pennsylvanians, and their family and friends, between 1861 and 1865. The chief letter writers, Charles Lamborn and Emma Taylor, came from well-connected families in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Their correspondence covers the early years of their courtship until their marriage, a period when Charlie was at the warfront. Charlie’s correspondence presents information about his military experiences, providing little known details of the early campaigns of the Army of the Potomac and of the fighting for Chattanooga and Atlanta. Emma’s letters describe life on the home front, illuminating how the war affected her household, town, and wider circle of family and friends in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York. Both Charles Lamborn and Emma Taylor embraced abolitionism and the war’s aim of emancipation. They believed that the pain they suffered during those years purified their love as it also purified the nation. In this volume, Dr. Smith has carefully transcribed, edited, and annotated the Lamborn-Taylor letters, providing important contextual information about both the larger developments in the war and the more localized sphere of Charlie’s and Emma’s lives.



Meticulously preserved and arranged, this monumental archive of correspondence between a Pennsylvania officer and his fiancée promises to be an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, and general readers seeking to understand the social history of the American Civil War. Highlighting the perspective of soldiers at war and their loved ones back home, this volume poignantly captures the suffering and sacrifice endured by the Union's defenders.
— Robert Sandow, professor of history, Commonwealth University


By happy accident, the Civil War letters published here—letters written by Pennsylvania natives, Emma Taylor and Charles Lamborn—escaped destruction and fell into the scholarly hands of Richard Upsher Smith, Jr. Thanks to Smith’s meticulous research and editorial skills, this volume offers readers new insights into the military, political, and social dynamics of the great war as it played out in Chester County and beyond.
— Charles F. Hobson, retired historian, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, College of William and Mary

Book cover depicting sketch of cavalry and infantry fighting