Homefront challenges many for Civil War surgeon's wife

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CMWinkler

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Homefront challenges many for Civil War surgeon's wife
Laura Evans 7:49 a.m. EDT April 8, 2015
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This is the second of three columns on 19th century Granville physician Edwin Sinnett.

Sarah Wright Sinnett saved her letters to husband Dr. Edwin Sinnett, who served as a surgeon for the Union army during the Civil War. The Granville Historical Society holds her collected letters.

Her letters from 1861 to 1863 often included the words "lonely" and "lonesome." It was hard to be separated. Sarah was not used to managing money and wrote Edwin that she paid the bills, leaving her "not a copper cent."

More: http://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/granville/2015/04/08/granville-time-traveler-laura-evans-edwin-sinnett-civil-war-sara-wright-sinnett/25418023/
 

MaryDee

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I'm specifically looking for diaries and letters of union women in the Civil War. Many Confederate ladies wrote lots and lots of diaries; the Union ladies not so much, or at least their diaries haven't been published). It's partly to fill out my own re-enactment impression of an aging, poverty-stricken widow, and partly just interest. I've read The Cormany Diaries with great interest, but of course Rachel Cormany was much younger than I am (I'd have been the contemporary of her mother or, more likely, grandmother). I have to change ISPs (mine is slower than molasses in January) before I can download the version of Sarah's letters available through amazon, and I think I'd better do that!

Rhett, if you haven't read The Cormany Diaries, that's a good place to start. It's the separate diaries of both Samuel and Rachel Cormany. They met at Otterbein University in Ohio, married in 1860, and traveled to Canada on their honeymoon to visit her relations. The Civil War broke out and they were strongly advised not to return to Samuel's new farm in Missouri. In 1862 they decided to return to the US and Samuel enlisted in the 16th Pennsylania Cavalry. He parked Rachel and their baby in rented rooms in Chambersburg, PA, supposedly under the care of his relatives. However, Samuel's relatives were all what he called "copperish," disapproving of his enlistment, and pretty much left Rachel to her own devices except when they wanted her to do free sewing for them. And, of course, Chambersburg was not exactly the safest place to be in the summers of 1863 and 1864. Samuel's diaries deal with his everyday life as a cavalry trooper (promoted to lieutenant in 1864) but don't have a lot of detail on the battles he was in.

I've also read Drew Gilpin Faust's Mothers of Invention, on how Confederate women coped with the war. It has lots of references to published original sources of diaries and letters of Confederate women. I wish I could find a book on Union women in the war with that much detail! I'll follow up on the Confederate ladies' diaries after I find more details on the lives of northern women during the war.
 
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