Valley of the Shadow
The Eve of War
Fall 1859–Spring 1861

Letters & Diaries


George Wils (1861)

George Wils wrote three letters during the winter and spring of 1861, discussing school and the secession crisis. In the first, written on January 28, 1861, George and Sam tell their mother they want to leave school and return home. George wrote a second letter, on January 28, 1861, expressing the same sentiment. In a third letter, on March 18, 1861, George chastises his sister for writing short letters and gossips about friends, acquaintances, and family. He also expresses his wish that Virginia would secede, proclaiming his southern allegiance and disparaging the “Black Republican party.”