Sheldon, Eber. Letter, 1861 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of a letter from Eber Sheldon, a soldier in the Union Army, to his family in Illinois, describing his regiment's journey from St. Louis to St. Joseph, Missouri.
Originally from Kaneville, Illinois, Eber Sheldon was a private in Company A of the 52nd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The 52nd Regiment was organized in Geneva, Illinois, and mustered into federal service on November 19, 1861, engaging in events including the Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Corinth, the Siege of Atlanta, and the March to the Sea.
St. Joseph is a city in Buchanan County in northwest Missouri situated on the Missouri River. In the mid-nineteenth century the city was considered an important transportation hub, as it was the westernmost American city accessible by rail. In September of 1861, after the city was looted by Confederate militia, the Union Army sent troops to St. Joseph and ultimately imposed martial law.
The collection consists of a December 13, 1861 letter from Private Eber Sheldon of the 52nd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers to his family in Kane County, Illinois, written on stationery with a patriotic design. The letter describes the regiment's journey through Missouri via ferry and rail, from Benton Barracks in St. Louis, through St. Charles and Hannibal, to St. Joseph. It also mentions a bridge near St. Joseph that Confederate militia tried to burn, soldiers waiting for payment from the regiment's captain, and captured Confederate prisoners in St. Louis.
The Library purchased this collection in 2019 with support from the Bruce C. Creamer Fund.