Michigan in the Civil War

Johnson, Benjamin C.

Eighteen letters written to his aunt while he was serving in Company F, 6th Michigan Infantry (1861-1865). He was promoted to corporal August 18, 1864, and mustered out at New Orleans August 20, 1865. He died May 18, 1888 and is buried in Lansing, Mich.

Much of his spare time is spent in writing letters. He talks a lot about food. He says he can cook and bake as good as his mother, making and baking four pies one evening. From Camp Sherman he wrote: "I fish and pick berries and write and ramble over the country -when not upon duty and our duty is very light now.... I spent part of my time riding up and down the river in a little small canoe ... by moonlight, and dream of better happier days to come." He reads his Bible every day, and often argues about God with a comrade who is an "infidel." He is an earnest member of the Sons of Temperance. He commented on Copperheads; General Butler; and wrote a long discourse on what would happen if England came into the war. There is a hand-drawn map of the lower Mississippi region on the back of the letter of Jan. 24, 1864.

The collection includes transcripts of some letters, as well as a partial subject index.