Terry Holt of Newark New York has transcribed many of a trove of 100 or so letters written between the Spaulding family members in Union and their soldiers moving through the Civil war campaigns. Transcribing that much hand- written text is a mind- numbing experience, when you consider the difficultyies with penmanship, spelling, archaic word usage, and grammar.

The W.W. Spaulding family lived "around the corner from most of the Danns, follow the road north from Alpheus and Philip's location and make the first left. The Spaulding farm is shown shortly after.

The Dann references are fleeting, and I hope to clarify some of them. The letters show the sense of community that existed among the local farmers, and are a valuable resource for that aspect alone. A local historian once remarked that when you look accross a rural cemetery, you are looking at a buried community... All of the stones with similar dates mark the graves of parents, children, siblings and cousins. The families on adjoining farms were not just neighbors, they were business associates because they were all interdependent, socially and financially. They traded among themselves for their various needs, matching surplus to scarcity when possible.

All the names chiseled into the stones were people who knew each other very well.

This file is a long download because the ten pages of letters are about 3 MB.
click here to view them.