Paperclip marks. Some foxing to binding, cocked, corners rubbed with fraying.
The album constitutes a small archive of letters, addressed to Virginia Miller, and other members of her family. Miss Miller was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Miller (d. ca. 1872), who was a prominent White House physician, and his family were relatives of the Harrisons.
Virginia Miller carried on threads of correspondence with a number of imprisoned soldiers. The letters of F.C. Boston, Miss Miller's cousin, figure predominately. In one sent from Fort Delaware, and dated 29 November 1864, Boston writes: "The books you sent me I read with a greatest of pleasure and since you are so kind as to propose to send me others I will ask that you send me a rough copy of Shakespeare — this you know will last me a long time." The letters also convey the more empirical needs of the soldiers. In another letter sent from Fort Delaware, and dated 23 December 1864, Boston explains: "My dear Cousin, Your very welcome letter was received last evening and many thanks for your kind proposition to supply me with some clothing, but it is just too late for me to avail myself of your kindness for we yesterday received notice that no more permits would be granted us — I am glad to state however that I am still not very greatly in need...I would so like to spend xmas with you but there is no chance."
In general terms, the soldiers express a sense of gratitude for Miller's attentions. In a letter from J.F. Sessions, sent from Johnson's Island Hospital, and dated June 1864, he notes: "It is indeed a great difficulty which we labor under in being restricted to one page letters, and I am certain that you cannot lament such a state of things more than I do, nor even half so much. — Will you allow me to suggest that paper of this size is not considered contraband, and that there is as yet no restriction upon the number of letters which we are able to receive. You can have no idea, being free and surrounded by numberless sources amusement, what an event the arrival of a letter from an outside friend is to us."
A majority of the letters are by high ranking officers, Captains and Colonels. A number of letters are from Colonel Reuben Beverley Boston, who was the older brother of Fontaine Chesterfield Boston and was one of the last Confederate officers killed in the Civil War. Colonel Boston commanded the 5th Virginia Cavalry and was killed in action at High Bridge in Farmville. Virginia.
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