Camp Douglas prisoner of war cover
The American Civil War was one of the darkest and most bloody chapters in our nation’s history. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died in the fighting that began 150 years ago this past April.
Much of the surviving mail that was sent during the Civil War paints a vivid picture of what life was like during those tumultuous years. An envelope often has a story to tell even if the letter it carried is no longer around. That is certainly the case with my Camp Douglas POW cover.
There’s a bit of a story behind me even owning this piece. A friend of mine worked at a folk life museum/archive, and although the people there had no interest in old envelopes—they wanted only the letters inside—someone fortunately had the good sense to not throw old envelopes away, but rather store them in a box. I had the opportunity to purchase this several years ago, and the rest, as they say, is history.