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This collection is comprised of seventeen Civil War era letters from Mary Metcalf Barrett to her sister, Elvira Metcalf Aplin between 1859 and 1872. She discusses her feelings about the Civil War, her worry over her son and nephews away fighting, her experiences of life on the home front in Manchester, New Hampshire during the war when foodstuffs are expensive and sometimes hard to find. She repeatedly mentions the mills and industries in town limiting hours or closing altogether, affecting all the employees and making the town destitute. She talks about her income from making and mending clothing but also her expenses and how her family and the Lord send money when she needs it. She frequently includes her religious beliefs and her desire for her nephews and son to make peace with God before something might happen during the Civil War.

Special Collections and College Archives Finding Aids are discovery tools used to describe and provide access to our holdings. Finding aids include historical and biographical information about each collection in addition to inventories of their content. More information about our collections can be found on our website

Collection Size

.33 cubic feet

Publication Date

September 2016


Civil War, Civil War Correspondence, Civil War Homefront, New Hampshire, Civil War Women, 3rd New Hampshire


History | Military History | Social History | United States History | Women's History

Document Type

Finding Aid

MS-199: Mary Metcalf Barrett Letters