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Guide to the Price Family Letters

MSN/CW 5110

 

Collection Summary

Title: Price family letters
Dates: 1863-1865
Collection No.: MSN/CW 5110
Creator: Price family
Extent: 31 folders; 1 container; .5 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Thirty-one personal letters written between members of the Price family of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois during the American Civil War. The letters are notable for their Copperhead and anti-abolitionist sentiments.

Selected Search Terms

Copperhead movement
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Social aspects
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Protest movements
Political culture -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Democratic Party (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Price Family Letters, [collection and folder no.], Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Price letters were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in April 2017, from Jordan Antiquarian Books of Dorset, Vermont. Arranged and described 2017, by Laura Weis. Finding aid 2017, by Laura Weis.

Biographical Note

The Price family's origins in the United States date to the turn of the 19th century. John Price (Sr.) was born in Ireland in the mid-18th century, and by 1800, he had settled in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He married and had several children, among them Thomas (ca. 1805-1882), John (b. ca. 1802), and Robert (1812-1887). In the decades prior to the Civil War, Thomas and John (Jr.) moved west to Ohio and Illinois, respectively, while Robert remained in Pennsylvania, each making his living as a farmer. The brothers' children include the authors of the letters in this collection—George R., Joseph, Ambrose J., and Mary A. Price—as well as the primary recipient, Abraham M. Price.

Abraham M. Price (1847-1908) was the youngest child of Thomas and Elizabeth Price. By 1850 the family, including Abraham's siblings Charles, Eliza, and Thomas, was living in Tully, Marion County, Ohio; the household's real and personal estates, in the 1860 Federal census, totalled $1600. In 1863 the sixteen year old Abraham began writing several of his paternal cousins, hoping to learn their views on politics and the ongoing fighting. After the war, Abraham remained in Ohio and, like his father, worked as a farmer. He married Lydia A. Hotelling (1852-1900) in 1872, and the couple had eleven children.

George R. Price (ca. 1843-1911) and Joseph Price (ca. 1834-1908) were two of eight children born to John (Jr.) and Catherine Price. The family lived in Eldorado, McDonough County, Illinois, with real and personal estates valued at $7,000 and $1,200 in 1860. Four of the Price children still lived at home when the war began, including George. He was drafted to serve in the Union Army in 1864, but his father arranged for a subsitute. Joseph had married Mary Jane Knock in 1853, and they had six children by 1863. He, too, worked as a farmer in Eldorado, with real and personal estates valued at $600 each. Joseph enlisted in August 1862, and he served with Co. F of the 84th Illinois Infantry until the end of the war, seeing extensive combat in Tennessee and Georgia.

Ambrose J. Price (1846-1865) lived in Fannett, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, the third of eight children born to Robert and Rachel Price. In 1860 the family's real estate was valued at $2,000, and their personal estate, $600. Ambrose went on to serve with the Union forces, enlisting in Co. L of the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry in August 1863. He mustered out at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in February 1864, and reenlisted in May 1864 in Co. I of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Ambrose was killed in March 1865 in North Carolina. It was Mary A. Price (1843-1917), Ambrose's sister, who sent news of his reenlistment, and later his death, to his cousin Abraham.

Scope and Content Note

Abraham M. Price is the recipient of 30 of the 31 letters in the collection. One letter, authored by Joseph Price, is addressed to an uncle, most likely Abraham's father, Thomas Price.

George R. Price (11 letters) and Ambrose J. Price (10 letters) began writing to Abraham in 1863, and Joseph (7 letters, including one to an uncle) began his correspondence with Abraham in 1864. Mary A. Price (3 letters), Ambrose's sister, also wrote to her cousin while Ambrose was serving in the Union Army. Ambrose and Mary's letters are rife with spelling errors, and none of the letters have consistent punctuation. Still, it is to be supposed that the cousins had at least some experience of common schooling. George, for instance, mentions that Abraham wrote to him about attending school; as for himself, he writes, while "Father is teaching School here . . . that is something I cannot boast of as I have not went to School for three years" (Folder 1).

The authors of the letters identified, to varying degrees, with the Copperheads, a faction of the Democratic Party that staunchly opposed President Lincoln's war policies. Also known as Peace Democrats, the Copperheads did not support the secessionist aims of the Confederacy—in fact, most considered themselves Unionists—but they favored a negotiated settlement, rather than continued war, with their Southern compatriots. They objected in particular to prolonging the war as a means to achieve the end of slavery, a position that grew only more strident after the signing of the permanent Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863. Indeed, the Price cousins discuss their vehement opposition to President Lincoln's conduct during the war, and their hostility toward African Americans and emancipation is particularly harsh. The opinions expressed by George and Ambrose remain relatively consistent over time; Joseph's views, however—about the Copperheads, if not the wider war aims—seem to have evolved somewhat by the end of the war.

Copperhead support tended to be strongest in predominantly agrarian, Midwestern states, especially among those who had personal ties to the South. Some immigrant populations, particularly Irish and German Catholics, also were attracted by the message of the Peace Democrats. A sense of shared class identity, combined with animosity toward African Americans—especially the prospect of competing for labor—bound otherwise disparate groups together in a political movement that, for a time, threatened the Republican Party's hold on state and national offices, including President Lincoln's prospects for reelection. Leading Copperhead politicians like Clement Vallandigham of Ohio railed against what he saw as Lincoln's infringement of civil liberties; anti-war Democrats in state legislatures faced off against Republican governors in Illinois and Indiana; and many northerners chafed at Congress' institution of a draft in March 1863 to replenish dwindling Union troops. The Price cousins' correspondence occurred in this turbulent socio-politcal climate, and their letters reference a number of key episodes during the latter half of the Civil War, including opposition to the draft, Vallandigham's defeat in the 1864 Ohio gubernatorial race, the 1864 presidential election, and Lincoln's assassination in April 1865.

Arrangement Note

The letters are arranged chronologically, with one letter per folder. The exception is one letter not addressed to Abraham Price, which is included at the end of the collection.

Container List

  • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 February 15. Folder 1 (MSN/CW 5110-1).
    ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
    George Price writes in response to Abraham's recent letter to his uncle (George's father) requesting news about the family. He provides a list of his siblings' names, along with their marital status, number of children, and whether or not they are serving in the Union army. George concludes the letter with his views on President Lincoln, the family's political leanings, and the war effort: "Your Name is Abraham I humbly trust it is not for Honest Abe if it is dont write to me for I hate Him heartily[.] We are all Democrats evry Devil of us I had a tall notion to go to the Army but did not and now Im glad of it for I will never fight for Niggers as long as there is breath in me[.]"
    • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, [1863] April 5. Folder 2 (MSN/CW 5110-2).
      ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
      Writing his cousin to assure him the family is well, Ambrose also puts forth his views on President Lincoln, emancipation, and the prospect of a draft: "there is some talk of a draft down here," he writes, declaring, "for my part they may go to the devel for what i care i never will go to war to free the dalmed roten niggers." He refers to "Old Abe" and his "thrice beautiful hell born scheme of emancipation" and wishes that "our beloved [Stephen] Dougles were now a live." He inquires as to "the jeneral fealing in regard to this war in your neighborhood", noting that "for my part i dont care a dalm what they call me so they dont call me an abolitionist."
      • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 May 23. Folder 3 (MSN/CW 5110-3).
        ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet.
        Writing his cousin, Ambrose again rails against "old ABE" and rumors of another draft. He describes his distaste for the current government and African Americans in the most emphatic terms.
        • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 June 19. Folder 4 (MSN/CW 5110-4).
          ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet.
          Ambrose declares to his cousin once more, "sir I am a Copperhead and a Real yellow one and i hope to god that I will live and di one." He writes again that they expect a draft soon, and continues to profess deep distaste for Lincoln and sympathy for Democrats, lamenting that the "Abolitionists run down [George] McClelland" because "you see he is A Democrat that is the reason that he is Run down." He also wants to know from Abraham "what the people thinks of him [McClellan] in Ohio."
          • Letter. [Ambrose J. Price], Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, [1863] June 20. Folder 5 (MSN/CW 5110-5).
            AL, 1 page on 1 sheet, with envelope.
            This brief, unsigned letter is notable for its description of Confederate troops near the area, less than two weeks before the battle of Gettysburg. The author (likely Ambrose Price) writes, "Thare is great excitement now in our valley and in our whole town . . . the rebels is in chambersberg they ar about 12 miles from us and . . . they ar taken all the men and horses they can," along with "all the niggers they can get." Until now, Ambrose has said "i would never go to war but [now he writes] i will go if they come any closer." The letter ends abruptly with "the mountains is full of horses so i will stop."
            • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 July 11. Folder 6 (MSN/CW 5110-6).
              ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
              After giving an account of last year's harvest and the current crop, George Price launches into his views about the war. He blames "the stubbornness of Northern Abolitionists" for the failure to compromise with a willing South, writing they "defeated the wishes of the conservatives in both sections of the country." George had, at first, planned to enlist alongside his brother, Joseph; but that was "before the Negro Proclamation was issued When I thought as most people did that it was a war for the maintainance of the Old Union[,] a fight for the Flag and the Constitution[.]" Now, he harbors Confederate sympathies, writing "if I volunteer now I think it will be in Jeff Daviss band[.]" He concludes with instructions on how Abraham can direct letters to two of his brothers: Joseph Price, who is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with Co. G, 84th of the Illinois Infantry, and William Price, who is in Vicksburg, Mississippi, with Co. H of the 28th Illinois Infantry.
              • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, West Walnut Street Hospital, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 September 29. Folder 7 (MSN/CW 5110-7).
                ALS, 3 pages on 1 sheet, with patriotic envelope.
                After previously vowing not to enlist, Ambrose Price writes to let his cousin know that he has, in fact, "joined old Abes army for six months[.] i would not have joined but i was out of work at home and i thought i would go to the army as i can make more money here[.]" His views about the war effort, however, have not changed: "i dont intend to fight if they take me in to battle[.] it is not that i am a coward but still i wont fight for the niggers[.]" Though he has not yet seen combat, Ambrose is writing from the West Walnut Street hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he is recovering from "the tiphoid fever" before returning to his regiment, the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry.
                • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, West Walnut Street Hospital, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 October 18. Folder 8 (MSN/CW 5110-8).
                  ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                  Writing again from the hospital in Harrisburg, Ambrose Price updates his cousin that he is well, but weak. He notes that "the election went of here last week [and] the Abolitionists bet they got theyer old abolitionist curtain elected again," before turning to an update on his parents' health. The reference is to Republican governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, who won a second term in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election that took place on 13 October 1863.
                  • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 October 29. Folder 9 (MSN/CW 5110-9).
                    ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                    George Price is keen to discuss the recent defeat of Clement Vallandigham, a prominent Copperhead and anti-war Democrat, in the Ohio gubernatorial race: "Vallanaigham is beaten by a large majority but we all know it was not done fairly a great portion of the majority being made up by importing votes[.]" He continues to disparage Lincoln and African Americans, while holding out hope that "fortunes wheel may yet turn Democracy on top and then let them look out and clear the track for the Copperheads will be coming like a thousand bricks[.]" Geroge also summarizes his brother Joseph's harrowing account of the recent "big fight at Chickamauga[.]" (Note: Vallandigham, who had been exiled to the Confederacy earlier in 1863, ran for governor from Canada. It was not uncommon for Vallandigham's supporters to attribute his loss to an unfair election).
                    • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, . Folder 10 (MSN/CW 5110-10).
                      ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                      Ambrose Price writes he had expected his brother Silvester to visit him in Harrisburg, but neither he nor his sister have heard from him "since he left home [to join the army.]" Ambrose continues his tirades against Lincoln and African Americans, supposing the war will never end "as [l]ong a[s] that lopeared lantern jawed ol nigger freer is in office[.]" He again claims he will not "spill a drop of my Copperhead blood for the sake of the lousy niggers[.]"
                      • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 November 16. Folder 11 (MSN/CW 5110-11).
                        ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                        Ambrose Price writes a brief letter to update his cousin on his condition. He mentions he still has not heard news of his brother Silvester's whereabouts, though he suspects he is "at carlisle [Pennsylvania] for that is where the drafted men ar[e.]"
                        • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 November 22. Folder 12 (MSN/CW 5110-12).
                          ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                          George Price relays news that his brother Joseph's regiment has been decimated by both battle and disease. He laments that if he is drafted, he will go, "but damned if I take an oath to support Abe Lincoln or any other Tyrant[.]" He guesses he "would do as good service with Jeffs boys as anywhere else and know I would like the company better[.]" George also provides his assessment of national and state politics. He acknowledges Democrats' recent defeats, but believes that "if the convention nominate little Mac [George McClellan] and the abolitionists take Uncle Abe I think there is a good chance for Macks Election[.]" He also writes that he voted for the first time this fall, and wonders why "this State [Illinois] went against us I am almost certain we are the strongest[.]" He suspects voter turnout played a role in the Democrats' poor showing in his home county of McDonough.
                          • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Charlestown, Jefferson County, West Virginia, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1863 December 29. Folder 13 (MSN/CW 5110-13).
                            ALS, 3 pages on 1 sheet.
                            Writing from Charlestown, Ambrose informs Abraham that upon leaving the hosptial in Harrisburg last month, "i was sent to baltimore and i laid in convalescent camp three weeks," before being sent to Harpers Ferry and then to Charlestown. At this time, Ambrose is still attached to headquarters of the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry.
                            • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 January 3. Folder 14 (MSN/CW 5110-14).
                              ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                              George Price writes that his brother "Joe" requested some of his cousins' addresses (Abraham does indeed begin to receive letters from Joseph Price in early 1864). He returns to the topic of the upcoming national election, and goes on to reveal the extent of his anti-abolitionist sentiments: "It dont do me any good to hear of the Butternuts being thrashed in fact I feel better when the Rebs get the upper hand[.] if the Infernal Abolitionists were all in the Army it would do me good to hear of them being thrashed like Hell as I am sure they would be[.] as it is I feel sorry for all except Abolitionists that have to face the tide of Battle[.]"
                              • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp Whiteside, Marion County, Tennessee, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 January 25. Folder 15 (MSN/CW 5110-15).
                                ALS, 8 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope. Pages 1-4 on 84th Illinois letterhead.
                                Joseph Price writes to Abraham for the first time. Encamped at Whiteside, Tennessee, he provides a detailed account of his life and travels since enslisting as a member of Co. F of the 84th Illinois Infantry in August 1862, including time "with Buell on his disastrous march through Kentucky[.]" Joseph and his company were "at Perryville under fire though not engaged", and then marched toward the Cumberland Gap before turning again toward Nashville, where they arrived in December 1862. Price was shot in the neck at Stones River (31 December 1862-2 January 1863) and hit by a spent ball at Chickamauga (20 September 1863); the regiment suffered significant losses in both these battles. After this extensive account, Joseph mentions that he has recently "been out looking at some Negro Soliders go past[,] the first I have ever saw[.]"
                                • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp near Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 February 15. Folder 16 (MSN/CW 5110-16).
                                  ALS, 7 pages on 2 sheets.
                                  In a lengthy letter, Joseph Price again describes the activities of his regiment in great detail. He reveals he joined the Army to help preserve the Union, but now finds himself fighting for a cause in which he does not believe: "When I first enlited in the Army I firmly believed that it was my duty to go and help sustain the dear Old Flag[,]" and that "I was doing right[,] although Father told me at the time that it would eventually turn out to be a War for the Freedom of the Negro but I was foolish enough not to think so[.]" He believes abolition was always Lincoln's plan, writing, "you may know my Politics when I tell you that I hate Abolitionists worse then Rebels for I believe that Abolitionists were the Cause in the first place of the War and Republicans are only a shade lighter[.]" He glories in being called a Copperhead, "for I believe they are the only true Union men[.]" While he favors "an honorable peace" that would welcome the Rebels back into the Union, Joseph fears that Lincoln and the abolitionists will choose instead to prolong the war for "their darling project the Freedom of the Negro even if it cost the lives of a million more men[.]"
                                  • Letter. Ambrose J. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 March 4. Folder 17 (MSN/CW 5110-17).
                                    ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                    Ambrose Price writes from Amberson Valley, home after seven months in the army. In this brief letter, he informs Abraham that the family has heard from Silvester, who is in Culpeper, Viriginia.
                                    • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp Blue Springs, Greene County, Tennessee to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 April 15. Folder 18 (MSN/CW 5110-18).
                                      ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                      Joseph Price updates his cousin on the status of his regiment, including camp life, the diseases they face, and their expected movements.
                                      • Letter. Mary A. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 June 23. Folder 19 (MSN/CW 5110-19).
                                        ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                        Mary Price informs Abraham that her brother Ambrose has "gone back to the army" not to fight, but "to make money[.]" She writes that he was last in Louisville, but she is not sure of his current location. Silvester, meanwhile, was "well and safe" in May in North Carolina. Mary expresses dismay about the ongoing war and the prosepct of yet another draft: "I wish this cursed war was over for if they keep on they will not leave a man[.] the draft has come of her and it has took a good many of our men[.] there is going to be another draft in the next month and if they do draft i do not now whare they are going to get the men[.]"
                                        • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 August 6. Folder 20 (MSN/CW 5110-20).
                                          ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet.
                                          George Price tells Abraham about their struggles to obtain new farming machinery, as well as the latest prices for wheat, oats, and corn. He goes on to write that "it will be our turn next not only to grow good corn but I hope to grow a Democratic President[.]" He hopes the tide is turning in the war, as "Abolitionism men who have been exterminationists" begin to realize that "the southern people cannot be subjugated[.]"
                                          • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 October 4. Folder 21 (MSN/CW 5110-21).
                                            ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                            After an account of the harvest and current prices of land and goods, George Price provides details about the expected upcoming draft. He discusses the numbers of draftees needed to meet the quotas for his county, Fulton, and his township, Eldorado, and mentions that "there was a talk of raising money to buy substitutes[.]" George claims that "if I should be drafted I wont report myself[.] if they come after me I will go but damn the fight they will ever get out of me[.]"
                                            • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 December 1. Folder 22 (MSN/CW 5110-22).
                                              ALS, 7 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                                              George Price informs Abraham that he was one of 20 men drafted from his township, but his father "got one [a substitute] in my place for 900$ a Veteran Soldier[.] I would rather have went at the time but am very well satisfied at home[.]" He writes that substitutes generally cost between $700 and $1,000, and describes how "a club was organized before the Draft to raise money to buy substitutes [and] several thousand were raised[.]" He lists the names of the other men drafted, followed by the names of those who obtained substitues, including one man who "furnished a Nigger substitute[.]" In addition to news about the draft, George inquires what Abraham thinks "about Little Mac being beatan" in the November presidential election. After his signature, he writes: "Hurrah for Jeff Davis and the Southern Confederacy and Little Mac and Geo[rge?] Price and the rest of them[.]"
                                              • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 February 17. Folder 23 (MSN/CW 5110-23).
                                                ALS, 6 pages on 2 sheets.
                                                George Price writes about another "coming draft . . . this time the draft is much heavier than before and Eldorado has to bear its share and I think a little more[.]" The quota for the township is now at 31, he writes, and people voted to tax themselves to raise money to hire volunteers, before another man "offered to get Volunteers to fill our quota at $500 for each man[.] the offer was accepted $6500 were raised at a special meeting called for that purpose[.]" At the time of writing, 25 of the 31 spots had been filled. George also mentions that he receives letters from his own substitute, who writes that he is "enjoying himself" and "got an appointment as a bugler[.]"
                                                • Letter. Mary A. Price, Amberson Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 March 16. Folder 24 (MSN/CW 5110-24).
                                                  ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                  Mary Price writes that the draft has returned to Amberson Valley. Soldiers are "taking up deserters and Bounty Jumpers they have taken some and are after more[.]" Still, she tells Abraham that if he is drafted (in Ohio), he should "just come down here and not go as you are a single man you can run about from place to place which a married man cannot[.]" Mary goes on to say the family has heard from Silvester, but not from Ambrose. They fear for Ambrose's safety, "for thare is a report that part of Kirkpatricks Cavilry are taken prisoners and that is the man that he was under[.]" Later, Mary suggests Abraham should visit to meet some of the girls in the area; her tone turns spiteful, however, when she describes the difference between Democrat girls and abolitionist girls, writing "Some of the Abolishonist Girles Said they would rather marry a Nigger than a Copperhead[,] so when they would rather have a Nigger a Democrat Girle would jump at a white man[.]"
                                                  • Letter. Joseph Price, Strawberry Plains, Jefferson County, Tennessee, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 March 23. Folder 25 (MSN/CW 5110-25).
                                                    ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                    Joseph Price recounts his regiment's route from Huntsville, Alabama, through Knoxville, Tennessee, to the banks of the Holston River at Strawberry Plains, 16 miles north of Knoxville, where his regiment has been camped for seven days. He relays several stories heard in the camp: "one is that Jeff Davis has abdicated and Lee is Dictator[.] another is that Lee is coming this way having abandoned Richmond to the Kangaroos[.] it is also reported that Sheridan is whipped but it is not official[.]" Joseph also notes his regiment's long record of combat. He expects his term of service will end in September, per an order from the War Department. After providing Abraham—who requested an infantry coat—with the old and new prices for an array of infantry clothes, Joseph writes that "wages have not raised a cent[.]" He had heard Congress would make an effort to raise the wages of soldiers, but "I believe that thus far it has been of no avail the Negro engrosses their whole attention they have not time to attend to Soldiers[.]"
                                                    • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, Three Locusts, Marion County, Ohio, 1865 April 9. Folder 26 (MSN/CW 5110-26).
                                                      ALS, 8 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                                                      George Price writes that his brother, Joseph, has been at home for over a week, and plans to stay until 25 April. He then turns to the fall of Richmond, which he believes "will not end the Rebellion and I hope to God if the powers at Washington still persist in a prosectuion of the war and in this determination to hang the Rebel heads that they will fiercely dispute every inch of ground and make every sod a soldiers sepulchere before submitting to such ignominy[.]" He continues to rail against the war and its objective "to kill off the Rebs no difference at what sacrifice and make the Nigger as good as a white man and a damned sight better and then settle things to suit themselves[.]"
                                                      • Letter. Mary A. Price, Doylesburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 April 23. Folder 27 (MSN/CW 5110-27).
                                                        ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                        Mary Price writes with news that her brother, Ambrose, has died: "he was killed at Silver Creek North Carolina while in a Scrimmag and while in the act of running from one tree to another he was shot through the heart[.]" She writes that Ambrose was killed on 14 March, his nineteenth birthday. (Other sources say 16 March). In addition, the family has not heard from Silvester in more than a month, though they heard a report that he had been wounded in New York.
                                                        • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp near Nasvhille, Tennessee, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 May 3. Folder 28 (MSN/CW 5110-28).
                                                          ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                          Writing from near Nashivlle, Joseph Price reports that he arrived at camp on 27 April, and he does not know where he will go next, as "there is no more rebels to fight" and "the Confederacy has been playing out very fast for the last 8 weeks[.]" He suspects he and his fellow soldiers will soon go home.
                                                          Joseph also addresses the assassination of President Lincoln at length, revealing complicated feelings toward a man with whom he disagreed on politics, but respected as a democratically elected leader. He regrets, for example, Lincoln's death as "one of the greatest Calamaties that could befall the Nation in my opinion," and thinks that "by the Death of Mr Lincoln that the Rebel[s] have lost their best friend he has always counseled moderation[.]" While he disagreed with Lincoln's approach to the war, "as a man for the present time I think Mr Lincoln was the right man in the right place[.]" Furthermore, he had been "elected . . . by the majority of the people and therefore the minority ought to submit to and support him[.] this is true democratic doctrine[.]" Joseph also seems to suggest that the Copperheads no longer hold his allegience: "I am an American and I also am a democrat one of the right none of the Copperhead tribe I tell y[ou.]"
                                                          • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp Harker, Tennessee, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 May 20. Folder 29 (MSN/CW 5110-29).
                                                            ALS, 6 pages on 2 sheets.
                                                            Writing from Camp Harker in Tennessee, Joseph Price wonders if his regiment may yet go to Texas, where the papers report "that Kirby Smith is still fool enough to continue to fight for the ghost of the Confederacy[.]" He mourns the lives lost in the war, including in his own family: "I have had at least 5 Cousins and 1 Brother who have perished either in Battle or in the Hospital[.]" He mentions hearing of the death of Ambrose Price, specifically, and writes that "he then is another victim to Northern Abolitionists and Southern Aristocrats but we will hope that this is the last[.]"
                                                            • Letter. George R. Price, Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, to Abraham M. Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1865 July 27. Folder 30 (MSN/CW 5110-30).
                                                              ALS, 6 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                                                              George Price writes to Abraham after not hearing from his cousin since the spring, and wonders whether "you have all pigged out or turned abolitionists and dont wish to correspond with copperhead Cousins." He mentions that his brother Joseph returned home on 19 June, and expresses uncertainty about his political beliefs: "Joe," he writes, "is sound as a buck physically but I dont know how his pulse beats Politically[.] I guess maybe Hed vote the Democratic ticket says he is a Democrat I know hes no nigger man[.]" George's ambivalence about his brother's politics seems to be consistent with Joseph's 3 May 1865 letter to Abraham, in which he appears to express doubts about the Copperheads.
                                                              • Letter. Joseph Price, Camp near Atlanta, Georgia, to Thomas (?) Price, New Winchester, Crawford County, Ohio, 1864 August 10. Folder 31 (MSN/CW 5110-31).
                                                                ALS, 8 pages on 2 sheets. This letter from Joseph Price to his uncle is the only document in the collection not addressed to Abraham M. Price. The recipient's name at the end of the letter is difficult to make out, but it is most likely Thomas Price, Abraham's father (Joseph refers to his uncle Robert Price in another part of the letter, so he is likely not the recipient).
                                                                Writing from a camp near Atlanta, Joseph Price provides a detailed account of his regiment's recent activities, and mourns the loss of life on both sides of the war. He hopes rumors "that there will be a disturbance in the North" do not come to pass, though he expresses support for the Copperheads: "there is great talk of Copperheads up North...as the Abolitionists term them[.] I call them true democrats and I believe they are the best Union Men in the North[.]" Joseph believes that his time in the service hinges on the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. "if Old Abe is elected the war will go on," he writes, and "if not I think there will be some chance for peace[.]"