Samuel G. Bowdlear and Austin C. Wellington Correspondence, 1862-1865 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database
The correspondence in this collection dates from 1862 to 1865 and contains 107 letters between Samuel Bowdlear and Austin Wellington – 28 from Wellington and 79 from Bowdlear. Samuel Bowdlear’s correspondence documents life in Boston, Massachusetts during the Civil War, such as local sentiment in Boston regarding both national events and local news. The correspondence also provides a picture of the geography of the city during that time, as the letters describe the locations of businesses, meeting halls, fires, and locations of parades and processions. Bowdlear also kept Wellington updated on troop movements, battles, local elections, and draft riots in Boston.
In turn, the letters from Austin Wellington document his experiences during the Seige of Port Hudson, skirmishes in Louisiana, and battles in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Wellington describes camp life, travel, illness, and interactions with enemy soldiers. The letters also illustrate his first encounters with plantations and slavery, African American troops, and the living conditions of Confederate men and women.