Camp Butler (Springfield, Ill.) Sutler Letter, 1864 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of one letter dated May 4, 1864, from a Civil War sutler named Sam to a "dear friend." Sam wrote from Camp Butler, a training camp located outside Springfield, Illinois.
Sutlers were civilian merchants, either permanently stationed at camps or traveling with a campaigning regiment, who sold goods to Civil War soldiers. Sam was a posted sutler at Camp Butler, a large training facility for Union soldiers outside Springfield, Illinois. Common items sold by sutlers included food, smoking tobacco, coffee, liquors, clothing, watches, lanterns, utensils, glasses, and letter writing supplies.
This collection contains one letter dated May 4, 1864, from a sutler named Sam to his "dear friend." Sam sold goods to soldiers stationed at Camp Butler training facility near Springfield, Illinois. In his letter, Sam wrote that he had a good trade the previous day, which amounted to $70. He also wrote that there were "only" 470 soldiers at Camp Butler, but at least 100 more soldiers were expected the next day. Additional topics include the federal tax Sam owed and his plans to attend a circus that had just arrived in town.
The Library purchased this letter in 2020 with support from Library Friends.