Civil War Letters

From the Monticello Female Seminary Archives: The Civil War Letters of Captain David W. Norton to Mary (Mollie) Chapman

This talk is canceled for now for the health and safety of the speaker and community.

Have you ever wondered what Civil War soldiers wrote in personal letters to parents, family members and friends back home? What did they reveal about what they saw or how they felt during fearful extraordinary times in battle and during routine daily events in camp? 

In his presentation, “From the Monticello Female Seminary Archives: The Civil War Letters of Captain David W. Norton to Mary (Mollie) Chapman,” Springfield writer Mark Flotow will tell us about one such correspondence between a young lady attending Monticello Female Seminary and an Union Army officer stationed in Tennessee. 

Mark’s presentation draws from his recently published book: In Their Letters, in Their Words: Illinois Civil War Soldiers Write Home. He discovered the letters written to Mary—she called herself Mollie—in the Monticello Archives in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. He also found more tidbits about Mollie in her student writings and letters to home in Jerseyville. 

In addition to writing the book, Mark is a volunteer interviewer for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Oral History program. He is a past member of the advisory board for the Illinois State Historical Society and has written several articles for the Society’s magazine, Illinois Heritage.

The presentation will take place Thursday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Farley Music Hall in Elsah. It is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Parking is available. Refreshments will be served following Mark’s presentation.

This presentation is one of this year’s Hosmer-Williams Lectures sponsored by Historic Elsah Foundation and underwritten by Liberty Bank: A United Community Bank.

Attention media, print and otherwise, for additional information, contact George Provenzano, at [email protected], or visit our website,