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Ambrotype - Nathan Crawford & Sister Isabel
Item #: CIV-112

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Private Nathan Crawford enlisted with the 1st Wisconsin Infantry from Dover, Racine County, Wisconsin in 1861.

During his term of service, Private Crawford corresponded with his sister, Isabella, with whom he appears in this 1/6th plate tintype. Housed in its original case, but missing its front cover, Crawford's affection for his sister is evident. A grouping of twenty-two letters, mostly from Pvt. Crawford to "Bella," accompanies the tintype. His descriptions of camp life, marching, and fighting are interspersed with loving advice for his younger sister regarding her affairs at home.

Pvt. Crawford saw conflict at Martinsburg, the battles of Falling Waters, Perryville, Stone’s River and finally he was killed during the fighting at Chickamauga on September 19, 1863.

Over the ensuing months as Isabella mourned her brother's death, she was outspoken against Confederate sympathizers in her township. Her fervor culminated in a memorable scene in the railway station near her home, when a Copperhead defamed the memory of her soldier/brother and drew her wrath. The incident made the newspapers. For her dedication, Isabella received notes of congratulations and gifts from local citizens and unknown admirers, also included in the group of twenty-two letters.


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