Lincoln Heritage Museum

Civil War Letters Donated to Museum

Mary Bell of Avondale Estates, Georgia recently donated to the Lincoln Heritage Museum a collection of Civil War letters. The letters were written by Pvt. David M. Jones of Pennsylvania to Meadville, PA during his time as a soldier of 9th Pennsylvania Infantry (38th Pennsylvania Volunteers). Jones served from April 1861 to May 1864 and wrote back to his family every month describing camp life, asking for some supplies, and every once in a while he will go into great
detail about the battles he has witnessed. Pvt. Jones writes fondly of General George McClellan, who Lincoln fired as general-in-chief of the Union army. Jones wrote of the general that “he is well liked by all of the troops.” Assistant museum director Anne Suttles has been transcribing the letters, and gathering information for future presentations on the letters.

Letter written to President Lincoln on Exhibit

The Lincoln Heritage Museum has received a one-of-a-kind letter. Donated by longtime museum friend Betty Hickey of Elkhart, Illinois, the letter was penned to President Abraham Lincoln on October 8, 1863 from Ada Bailhache of Camp Dennison, Ohio. In the three-page letter, Bailhache pleads to the president on behalf of her husband whom Lincoln had previously appointed to a military post. According to the letter, Captain Bailhache was relieved of his duties and
replaced, and Mrs. Bailhache wrote to the president asking that he step in to reinstate the captain to his position. The letter is unique in that it provides insight to the role of nineteenth century women and their place in political life. Mrs. Bailhache writes to the president “begging you will excuse the liberty I have taken in writing as it is not customary for ladies to do such things.” The letter is also an interesting glimpse into the type of pleas that Lincoln constantly received
from individuals in the hopes that he would appoint, remove, promote, or pardon their fellow family members. The public is invited to view the letter at the Lincoln Heritage Museum.

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
- Abraham Lincoln