Edward McGlynn of Aurora, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 42nd Ill. Vol. Inf., on Aug. 4, 1861. He took part in the march to Warsaw, Mo, but by Christmas was confined to the General Military Hospital in St. Louis. Unhappy with his regiment, McGlynn deserted in June 1862, reenlisting two months later in the124th Ill. Vol. Inf. Over the next year, McGlynn fought in several battles, including Port Gibson (May 1, 1863), Raymond (May 12, 1863), Jackson (May 14, 1863), and Champion Hills (May 16, 1863), and witnessed the siege of Vicksburg. After another stint in the hospital, McGlynn served on provost duty in Vicksburg from Apr. 1864 to Feb. 1865, after which he saw action during the siege of Mobile, Ala. McGlynn survived the war, but died at Camp Douglas, Ill., on Aug. 15, 1865.
In these letters to his family, McGlynn provides detailed accounts of the battles he fought in and blunt descriptions of the battlefields. He also describes camp life, the immediate aftermath of the war, and reactions to Lincoln's assassination.
The Library acquired the letters in 1979.