Welcome to our Chatfield Story Website

 kept three diaries and penned letters home weekly. By the war's end, he had produced more than 550 first-hand accounts of his Civil War experiences with the 113th Illinois Infantry.
Chatfield's Civil War letters comprise one of our nation's best examples
 of a common soldier's first hand accounts--hefty, extensive, well-written, 
very detailed. The Chatfield letters are safely preserved at the
 Huntington Library, San Marino, California, just 25 miles away from Sawtelle's
 old soldier home, where Chatfield died on December 3, 1924.

Twenty-year old private Edward L. Chatfield...

      From August 1862 through August 1866, more than 100 Chatfield letters yield
      vivid accounts of soldier life within the Western Theater:
         * The Central Mississippi Campaign
         * The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou
         * The Battle of Arkansas Post
         * The Battle of Deer Creek and Black Bayou
         * The Battle and Siege of Vicksburg
         * The ongoing often fatal struggle with disease
         * The two marches from Memphis to "occupy" Nathan Bedford Forrest

Five years to writeThe Chatfield Story

Chatfield's copy of Riley Vincent Beach's 1917 "Recollection and Diary Extracts" picks up where Chatfield's letters and diaries leave off, expanding the historic knowledge base for the Battle of  Brice's Cross Roads and the four Confederate prisons: Andersonville, Millen, Savannah, Florence.
Inspection of the border-images of Chatfield's O'Dea Andersonville Lithograph of Andersonville made clear the grim realities there on June 19, 1864.
The 2005-2009 Process
*Transcribe and sequence the letters and diaries.
*Research the historical facts for every scene. 
* Visit the location of every scene.
*Construct  GOOD MAPS, prepare photos.
*Write a compelling narrative.
*Document extensively
all facts and findings.
*Solicit feedback, edit, re-edit, and re-edit again.
*Self-publish through Booksurge/CreateSpace.
*Appreciate the GOOD REVIEWS 
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          How did Chatfield escape?  The combined writings of  Beach, Chatfield,
and several others captured soldiers held the clues.

Arguably an important collection...

Eventful history: August 1862-August 1866

Chatfieldstory.com Site Map
Page 1 - Welcome to our Chatfield Story Website

Page 2 -The Chatfield Letters

Page 3 - Chatfield and the 113th Illinois Volunteer Regiment

Page 4 - Recollections of Riley Vincent Beach

Page 5 - O'Dea Lithograph of Andersonville

Page 6 - An artfully published book!

Page 7- Chatfield's three diaries

Page 8 - Good reviews!

Page 9 - Good maps!

Page 10 - Order page
Page 11 - Contact the authors

Page 12 - Navigation Site Map 
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We transcribed all of his writings,
researched the history,
wrote the narrative,
and ultimately published
The Chatfield Story