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What They Wrote, What They Saved: The Personal Civil War

This exhibition features diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts from four years of Civil War that offer intimate glimpses into the lives of men and women affected by the strife. The following exhibit items have been digitized and are available online.

Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin & The Beecher Family and the Civil War

The Beechers were one of the most influential families of their time. Its members had written and preached about the immorality of slavery for decades and had taken action in various ways, including the purchase and freeing of slaves.  When the war began, they supported it. Like other abolitionist families, they sent family members into the war as soldiers, officers, chaplains and teachers:  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s son, several nephews, two half-brothers, a brother-in-law, and a sister-in-law served in some capacity. Some Beechers survived the war intact, several were injured, and at least two suffered lasting psychological damage.