" And We're Gonna Get Mar-ar-aried ", Soldiers Hope In News Print

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
ad top.jpg
ad bottom.jpg

The point in using an illustration depicting a Regency era, instead of a mid-Victorian era bride is that we'd sure been at this whole wedding-dream thing awhile. With a war on decades later, men-en-mass proved a fertile hunting ground for anyone who slept with visions of tulle in their heads.

Love the illustration ( French, NYPL ), spirit of which seems incredibly current. From bridesmaids supporting a bedecked bride to groom apparently barred from the scene, change styles and poof- 200 years of unchanged dreams.

Things got creative in love's ceaseless search despite that intrusive war. ' Matrimonial ' ads- quickly pounced on by both lonely hearts ( in uniform or no ) and a few scoundrels. " That the fools are not all dead yet " , ads were also pounced on by critics.
ad article.jpg

Sorry to continually dredge up newspapers- the thing is, they're terrific indications of life across the board during any era. From 1861 to 1865, it's a good bird's eye view of the war, who we were and what on earth we got up to. Marrying, for one thing, despite grooms in uniform. If you couldn't find that sweetheart? Well, go get one.

wed camp1.jpg

Seriously fascinated, delighted and smitten by this groom, another favorite- it's unlikely we'll ever know the story behind his apparent wedding or why the bride's bouquet is pinned to his uniform sans bride. But it's a great image- cannot find other grooms posed without the Mrs.

Previous thread on one ' Wife Wanted ', from Godey's. There were a LOT more- a lot, lot. An entire war on, inclusive of men away and some awfully lonely guys in monochromatic camps would get really, really tired of all the testosterone. No idea why Lee thought he could love it- Mary wasn't around.

ad 2 officer.JPG

Only one soldier, the others really worth reading, too. How many were genuine? No idea. You can find quite a few reports of er, fraud associated with these. Still, a wounded, recovering soldier? Must have received dozens of replies.

Hang on- one young man could be exempted from the fraud category- regiment and company!
ad 3 soldier.JPG

The rest are kind of awesome.

ad society 1.JPG

So it's tough figuring out what articles are snark dressed up and which were reporting on something genuine. " Young Ladies Matrimonial Society " bears all the signs of snark- but you just don't know.

ad 3.JPG

A Timothy Morton served as an officer in a New Jersey regiment although cannot find him in a public member tree- haven't looked for Lt. Graham as yet. Have a few names, will keep looking.

Then there's the ad I found ( and won't post ) of the man who is probably still in hiding, in one of the poles or somewhere inaccessible . Maybe, with luck, a volcano. Advertised for a wife between the ages of 12 and 14...... police ( and angry parents ) must have swarmed.


Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Jul 21, 2014
What interesting things you find, JPK! I always laugh at the descriptions of what they want. No one wants the quiet, homely, boring girls! No sir, we must be lively and handsome!!!!!!


Retired User
Jan 31, 2017
The first image above, the bridesmaids leading the pensive bride, brought to mind the pagan rituals of sacrificing of virgins. She does not look happy. And why would she be? For many wives in those days, life was little more than being a man's chattel, a means for providing his heir, if she survived the childbirth ordeal.
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!