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John French letter to brother, Washington, D.C., 1861

Contributed by Fifth Maine Regiment Museum

John French, who enlisted in Co. B of the Maine 5th Infantry Regiment in June 1861, wrote to his brother two days after the Fourth of July to reassure him that, "I am well and feel good." He mentions several features of camp life in Washington, including the regiment's brass band and his childhood friends from Albion, also in the service, whom he sees frequently. He describes the first slaves he has seen, writing that they "looked about as I supposed they would."

This letter also contains a quick aside describing French's sighting of Abraham Lincoln: "I see Abe Lincoln last night he passed by here in his caridge he is a good looking man not half so homly as he is represented to be."

French says that if he can find any, he will send his brother "some paper," which may refer to the sheet music contained in his other letters, or to the kind of paper he has written his letter on: it is illustrated with a colored engraving of the Senate Chamber.

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Other Information


  • Title: John French letter to brother, Washington, D.C., 1861
  • Creator: French, John
  • Creation Date: 1861-07-06
  • Subject Date: 1861-07-06
  • Town: Albion, Washington
  • County: Kennebec
  • State: DC, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Collection: Fifth Maine Regiment Museum
  • Object Type: Text and Image

For more information about this item, contact:

Fifth Maine Regiment Museum
45 Seashore Avenue, PO Box 41, Peaks Island, ME 04108
(207) 766-3330
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