Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Emotional Importance of Hair

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas at Tyler, is one of the great folks that I have “met” thanks to this blog. She recently sent me a link to a webpage that has transcriptions of three letters written by Hugh Brothers of the 19th Arkansas Infantry. Mr. Brothers’ letters, placed online by Bobby J. Wadsworth, contain delightful spelling and a colorful way of conveying news. The letters document an outbreak of measles at Fort McCulloch in the Choctaw Nation of the Indian Territory, but perhaps the most interesting sections deal with his request for his wife to send him braids of her hair. She complied with his request, and his comments about the significance of her hair are touching. See what you think! Brothers was among those who surrendered at Arkansas Post in January 1863; sadly, he died of smallpox at Camp Douglas, Illinois in March 1863.

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