Correspondence from James F. Stepter, 1862-1864
This series contains twenty-six letters written between 1862 and 1864 by James F. Stepter to his wife Amanda. By the time Stepter entered the Sixth Regiment of Maryland Infantry, Company B in August 1862, the couple had three children named Will, Ema, and Leau, all of whom figure prominently in James’s letters. He clearly expresses his bitterness at the separation from his wife and children. Throughout the period during which these letters were written, Stepter waited for a furlough to visit his family. He even threatened to take a French (i.e. unauthorized) leave if a furlough was not granted, although he discusses the fact that deserters were not regarded highly by fellow soldiers. Sometime between February 24 and March 18, 1863, Stepter did go home to see his family, most likely on a French leave. He wrote Amanda on March 30, 1863 that his captain, after asking how his family was, “would not do anything with me” because the captain knew that James had left to see them without authorized leave. Arrangement is chronological.
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