New York's Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History holds a scribbled letter in its collection. It is from 4 year old Charley Burpee who scribbled marks on notepaper to his father in 1864. At the bottom of the letter, written by an adult, no doubt Charley's mother is "Charley loves his Father very much".
Shortly after he received Charley's letter, his father Thomas was wounded in Virginia and died. The letter from Charley was with the effects shipped home with his body. But the sad story does not end there.
You may need a tissue to continue reading How a 4-Year-Old's Letter to His Father Survived the Civil War
The Institute holds the following items related to Thomas Burpee and his death:
Collection includes: 288 letters, 166 envelopes, 14 newspaper clippings, 12 receipts, 1 map, 1 note, 1 probate record, 1 family record, 8 pieces of scrap paper, 1 telegram, 32 miscellaneous military papers, 11 certificates, 3 calling cards, 3 lists, 1 carte de visite, 1 drawing, 6 colored prints, 1 piece of cloth, 1 ribbon, 6 diaries, 1 New Testament and 1 orderly book. Also includes a collateral book entitled ”The Story of the 1st [Connecticut] Regiment.”