Series I consists of letters sent from John E. Rastall to his parents and brothers. The letters discuss the social and professional aspects of life in the military, as well as current events and specific battles. Rastall describes his regiment's role in the battle of Gettysburg, speculates on the possible effect of the draft on his brothers in Wisconsin, and offers his impressions of prominent people such as General McClellan and Mary Todd Lincoln. He also reminisces about life at home in Milwaukee and describes civilian parties, meetings, and excursions he enjoyed in Maryland. The subjects addressed also include deserters from the First Maryland, Rastall's attempts to secure a promotion, his role in the battle of Gettysburg, court-martials, the draft, and the impressment of free blacks into the Union army. The arrangement is chronological.
Use and Access to Collection
This collection is open for research.