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Dear Delia - Micheal J. Larson, John David Smith - <span class="date-display-single">10/19/2019 - 10:30am</span>

Dear Delia

10/19/2019 - 10:30am

Wisconsin Historical Museum

Dear Delia chronicles the story of Henry F. Young, an officer in the famed Iron Brigade, as told through 155 letters home to his wife and family in southwestern Wisconsin. His insights, often poignant and powerful, enable readers to witness the Civil War as he did. Young covers innumerable details of military service—from the camaraderie, pettiness, and thievery he witnessed among the troops to the brutality of internecine war. He was an equally astute observer of the military leadership, maneuvers and tactics, rumored troop movements, and what he considered the strengths and weaknesses of African American soldiers. He kept up with Wisconsin and national politics, often noting incidents of graft and corruption and offering pointed opinions regarding the 1864 presidential election. Candid, contemplative, and occasionally humorous, Young provides a clear window into everyday events during wartime. Epitomizing the feelings of many midwesterners of the time, Young’s communications highlight his unflagging patriotism—his fierce determination and willingness to sacrifice for a country he loved.

Micheal J. Larson

About Presenter Micheal J. Larson


Micheal J. Larson is a native of Wisconsin who teaches American history in the School District of Menomonie. He first unearthed Young’s correspondence thirty years ago at the Wisconsin Historical Society as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. 

John David Smith

About Presenter John David Smith


John David Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. He has published twenty-nine books, many on the topic of the Civil War, and has edited collections of letters, diaries, and other primary works on the war, race relations, and southern history.

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