Valley of the Shadow
The Aftermath
Spring 1865–Fall 1870

Letters & Diaries


Gilkeson Family (1862-1864)

Hugh Gilkeson received several letters from his family over a period of roughly nine years which are documented here. Many topics are covered in the letters, but common themes are family health and the deaths of their parents, farming life, local economy, general views on the confederacy, and attitudes toward slaves. Hugh’s son Willie also writes one letter, discussing his life and studies while living with his uncle.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases:

Andrew Gilkeson Household

David Gilkeson Household

The six letters in this collection are addressed to Hugh Gilkeson, written by his brothers Andrew and David, and also his son Willie. The letters cover African-American attitudes toward contract labor, taxes, the economy, farming, and other local news.