Michigan in the Civil War

Phelps, Jessie, 1870-1957.

The papers of this professor at Eastern Michigan University include one letter (Jan. 4, 1863) written by W. W. Phelps of Redwing, Minn., to his cousin from headquarters in Henderson, Minn., where he was in command of two companies of the 10th Minnesota Infantry. The letter is about family matters primarily, but he says, "I am ashamed of my business. ... This being a soldier is a prodigious humbug, and I want to get out of it. ... I enlisted in haste to fight for the restoration of the Union, but I am destined for an Indian hunt and I shall probably see it through." He adds, "I have made up my mind that the Southern rebellion is a big thing on ice and can't be put down. ... I begin to think that abolitionism is twin brother to the devil, and I should think the North would be tired of the Nigger and would be willing to mind their own business."

The collection also includes one letter (Mar. 26, 1866) from Wendel Willis, regiment unidentified, written from San Antonio. In the letter he complains that he is still soldiering.