Civil War: Views from the Home Front

Letter, John Bailey to Edward E. O'Brien, Thomaston, 1861

With the shots fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, the Civil War officially began. Leading off the charge in the latest This Week at MHS, appropriately, is a Maine History Online exhibit reflecting fears about the war based on economic disruptions.

The letter featured at left, which leads off the exhibit, was written about a month before the war began. In it John Bailey, who was in Georgia to oversee a shipment of lumber to the family of Edward O’Brien, writes that their order likely would be delayed because of the approaching hostilities.

The exhibit explores, in letters, the wide range of emotions Mainers expressed before the war started and as it progressed.

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