Freeland Holmes on Livermore news, Virginia, 1862

Contributed by Washburn Norlands Living History Center


Freeland Salmon Holmes was born in Dover-Foxcroft to Salmon and Abigail Blake Holmes on September 8, 1827. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850, and moved to Calais to study medicine under his uncle, Dr. Job Holmes. Holmes completed his studies at Columbia College in Washington D.C. in 1854 and started his practice in Orono where he took over Dr. Josiah Jordan’s practice.

Caroline Ann Washburn Holmes (1833-1920) was the youngest daughter of Israel and Martha Washburn. Born in Livermore, she was educated at Waterville Liberal Institute and Gorham Seminary. She married Freeland Holmes on June 3rd, in 1857. They lived in Foxcroft with their children Fanny Washburn Holmes and Frank E. Holmes until the start of the Civil War.

Freeland Holmes joined the army as a surgeon of the 6th regiment of Maine volunteers and died in service in Germantown, Virginia on the 23rd of June in 1863.

This partial letter is identified as having been written by Holmes while he served in Virginia because of the handwriting, and the subject. He referenced his work as a doctor, and included questions of Caroline Holmes' daily activities.

Holmes showed his anxiety with a litany of questions, "How do your hens & chickens prosper? Have any of my friends called and taken up their notes? Did Seth Brown haul any more wood or Uncle Crockett? Has Linus got it all cut up?" The so-called 'hens and chickens' letter represents Holmes' strong connection to Livermore, and showcases the importance of receiving information and letters from home during the Civil War.

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About This Item

  • Title: Freeland Holmes on Livermore news, Virginia, 1862
  • Creator: Holmes, Freeland Salmon
  • Creation Date: 1862
  • Subject Date: 1862
  • Town: Livermore
  • County: Androscoggin
  • State: ME, VA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 7.7 cm x 13.7 cm
  • Local Code: Box 1 Folder 1
  • Collection: Caroline Ann Washburn Holmes Collection: Letters Received 1862-1864
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Washburn Norlands Living History Center
290 Norlands Road, Livermore, ME 04253
(207) 897-4366

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