Henry A. Allen Letters - A Summer, 2019 Update

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Okay…well this is a little more slow going than I had originally thought, what with all the other projects I’ve got going on. But still, I am making headway on the Henry A. Allen project. As you know, Allen was an officer in the 9th Virginia Regiment during the Civil War who was captured at Gettysburg on July 3 1863. His letters from various prisons, to his wife Sarah in Portsmouth, Virginia are filled with first-hand accounts of prison life as well as evidence of Allen’s struggles trying to maintain some semblance of authority over his family behind the lines.

Some time ago, I transcribed all the letters - written from August 1863 to June 1865 - with the intention of publishing an edited and annotated volume sometime in the future. What I wound up doing, something quite innovative I must say…is recording all of the letters as individual podcast episodes and annotating them online. My idea: as new material surfaced I could always go in and revise my work. In a sense, these letters are in a constant state of scrutiny and evaluation.

I would love for you to follow along - listen to the letters and then click on the corresponding website for further information, book recommendations, and relevant images. I’ve been poring over regimental rosters, census information, blogs and websites, and anything else I come across to try and piece together Allen’s life in prison and his life in Portsmouth he left behind.

Here are a couple of examples to get you going…

August 4, 1863

August 11, 1863

With compliments,