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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, Co. B
Edward's Civil War letters comprise one of our nation's best examples of a common soldier's first-hand accounts of the Civil War: hefty, extensive, detailed, well-written.
 
The Chatfield letters are safely preserved in 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...

Ed Chatfield's story became our
 5-year project (2005-2009)
 

 Following the war, Thomas O'Dea, (Private Co. E 6th Regiment Main Infantry) sketched / lithographed a bird's eye view of Andersonville, revealing the grim horrors there in June of 1864. Edward had his own personal  copy. 
 
We had our "to do" list... 
* Transcribe and sequence letters and diaries
 
* Research historical facts; travel to each location
 
* Construct accurate battle maps
 
* Write compelling narrative
 
* Prepare footnotes, endnotes and references
 
* Proofread & correct ad infinitum 
 
* Publish and distribute high-quality book and digital editions:
               > Barnes & Noble
               >Amazon CreateSpace 
 
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An important collection...

Edward served 1862-1864

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That old shoe box contained close to 110 stirring letters (some, post-war). Edward's 460 dramatic, on-the-scene diary-entries supplemented his letters, producing  vivid accounts of the Western Theater including:
  
    * Events from the Central Mississippi Campaign
    * The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou
    * The Battle of Deer Creek and Black Bayou
    * The Battle of Vicksburg
    *  Marches to occupy Nathan Bedford Forest
 
Of great help to us in "getting the big picture" was the stirring 1913 post-war book by Edward's First Sergeant (and friend), Orderly John J. Kellogg, brilliantly capturing the mood, circumstances, and events through the fall of Vicksburg.
 
Other soldier buddies, Riley Vincent Beach and James H. Dennison, gave remarkable detail to the Battle of Brice's Crossroads and the conditions within the four Confederate prisons that ultimately confined  them all:  Andersonville,  Camp Lawton (Millen)  the temporary prison on Bay Street in Savannah, and the Florence Stockade
 
It was from Beach and Dennison that we gathered the clues to deduce when and how Chatfield managed to escape his captors. 
"That old shoe box had been bound by a loop of red yarn, its sides bulging  from the treasure within. We were about to witness Civil War history through the eyes of a common soldier. ~Terry and Peg McCarty 1964
(Book or Digital)
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Site map: Welcome / Letters / 113th Illinois / Riley Beach / O'Dea Lithograph / Book Pics  / Diaries / Reviews
Battle Maps / Authors and Contact
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