Charles W. Gallentine Letters

Institution: Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-255-3506
Date: 1861-1863
Extent: .2 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Charles W. Gallentine and his younger brother, William, enlisted together as privates on August 10, 1861 and were mustered in September 7, 1861. Together, they left their farm in Farmington, Illinois at ages 20 and 21 to travel with the 7th Illinois Calvary from camp in Springfield, Illinois through Corinth and Jacinto, Mississippi; Courtland, Alabama; Bolivar, LaGrange, and Memphis, Tennessee. On the way, the Gallentines moved quickly from parading to active service, fighting in multiple skirmishes near Corinth and Coffeeville. Although Charles was soon tired of soldiering, he was committed to the cause and stayed in the war until he was wounded and died in February, 1864 at Okolona, Mississippi. William survived his brother and was mustered out on October 15, 1864.

Scope and Content Note:
Ten letters by Charles W. Gallentine to his sister and “Friend Charlie” written during the Civil War from 1861-1863, together with a partial typed transcription of all the letters.

Gallentine wrote mainly to his sister back home to assure his family that he and his brother were still alive and well. He also described camp life, commented on the weather, gave details on skirmishes fought and prisoners caught, as well as reflections on the countryside, a soldier’s funeral, black freedom, copperheads, and the draft. There are also comments on Colonel Robert C. Murphy, who was later court-martialed. His letters were sent from Springfield, Illinois; Corinth and Jacinto, Mississippi; Courtland, Alabama; and Bolivar LaGrange, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Related Material: None