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Journal Sentinel: Civil War letters become basis for songs

February 20, 2012

John Hunt didn’t have much time to write; his unit – Co. D, 7th Wisconsin Infantry – was camped outside a small town in Pennsylvania.

 

So Hunt closed the letter to his wife, Mary, by writing: “I have to stop. We just got an order to march.”

The 7th Wisconsin moved out. They turned toward Gettysburg.

 

Shortly after he mailed the letter back to his wife on their Stoughton area farm, Hunt was captured at the battle that would become the bloodiest in the Civil War. Within months, he would die of typhoid fever at infamous Libby Prison in Richmond, Va. He was 28.

 

Mary Hunt kept her husband’s letters, which were handed down to following generations until they ended up in the voluminous archives of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Then last year, 150 years after the Civil War started, a folk singer and songwriter read Hunt’s letters.

 

Read the entire story at JSOnline.

 

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