Civil War Letters of Charles Smiedel
Dates:  July 1861-Sept. 1862
Accession Number:  20041027B
Donor: Catherine Love
Description:  Six letters (transcriptions) in a file folder


Charles Smiedel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834.  At the time of the Civil War, he was an attorney living in Prairie City (Cumberland County), Illinois.  He was mustered in to the 21st Regiment of the Illinois Infantry in Mattoon, Illinois on June 28, 1861 as a lieutenant.  The 21st Illinois was led by Colonel Ulysses Grant.

Smiedel was a staff member of the Judge Advocate General's office.  He was overseeing court-martials in Nashville, Tennessee at the time of his death from pneumonia in April 1863. 

Content and Scope of Collection

The letters from which these transcriptions were made were loaned when the library was known as the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library.  The donor did not donate the original letters from which these transcriptions were made.

The first of the letters in this collection donated by Smiedel's granddaughter was sent to A. H. Bosworth, presumably Smiedel's father-in-law.  The other five were sent to his wife Laura Smiedel who is referred to in the salutations as “Laura”, “Wife” and “Darling”.  Smiedel signed the letters as Charley.  In the letters Smiedel describes past or impending battles and the moods of his fellow soldiers in the wake of military setbacks.  He refers in the letters to other letters that he wrote but if they still existed they were not part of the donation. 

The inventory folder contains information on Smiedel from the Illinois Adjutant General's reports and on the 21st Illinois Infantry from the National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors system website (  The inventory folder also contains a brief genealogy in narrative form provided by the donor.  No information could be found in the major genealogical databases on either the Smiedel or Bosworth families.

Flat Storage Box





Folder 1

Letter from Charles Smiedel   to A. H. Bosworth:
  Quincy, Illinois

July 11, 1861





Letter from Charles Smiedel   to Laura Bosworth Smiedel:    Ironton, Missouri

Oct. 20, 1861





Letter from Charles Smiedel   to Laura Bosworth Smiedel:  “In Camp 10 miles south of Corinth.      Miss[issippi]”

June 6, 1862





Letter from Charles Smiedel   to Laura Bosworth Smiedel:    “Provost Marshal's Office    Jacinto, Mississippi.”

July 20, 1862





Letter from Charles Smiedel  to Laura Bosworth Smiedel:    Inka, Mississippi.

Sept. 3, 1862





Letter from Charles Smiedel   to Laura Bosworth Smiedel:    near Corinth, Mississippi.

Sept. 19, 1862