Valley of the Shadow
The Aftermath
Spring 1865–Fall 1870

Letters & Diaries


Harriet McElheney (1865)

Before the war, Sylvester McElheney, a plasterer, lived with his wife Harriet in Fannett Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. In the last years of the war, Sylvester left his wife and home and enlisted in the army. He served as a private in the 208th Pennsylvania from September 1864 until his death April 1865. Harriet survived her husband and remained in Fannett after the war.

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

Sylvester and Harriet McElheney

In this letter, Frances Pleasants writes to Harriet McElheney on May 10, 1865, about her husband’s death. He describes Sylvester McElheney’s last days in a Philadelphia hospital. McElheney’s mental capacity suffered at the end, but Pleasants reassures McElheney that the hospital staff treated him very kindly.