What can we discern from a Civil War soldier’s letter home? What does his diction and careful phrasing suggest? What can we infer from what he has omitted? What does his tone tell us? Can the length of his letter reveal anything to us?  These sessions will examine several authentic letters written from Union soldiers from the 1st Connecticut Artillery, the 50th Massachusetts Infantry, the 6th Ohio Light Artillery, the 12th Indiana Calvary, the 151st New York Infantry, the 203rd Pennsylvania Infantry, the 134th Maryland Regiment, and several other units. In addition, we will decode the content and handwriting of letters from several Confederate enlisted men and officers. Learn how to become a detective and decode historical memorabilia for more than surface-level details. Be prepared for a lively and engaging session! 

About the Instructor:   Linda Earls began teaching at Chesapeake College in 1995 as an adjunct faculty instructor to the English department, but was hired as a full-time professor in 1997 (teaching reading, composition and literature courses, particularly American and African American literature).
She frequently co-teaches American literature with American history professors, as she believes the two courses go “hand in glove.” A lover of history, she has an extensive collection of Civil War letters, and since childhood has been fascinated visiting and reading anything pertaining to the war.

She received her BA in English and her MA in Literature from Salisbury University, and worked on her PhD in American Literature at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  

earls

Linda Earls

Linda Earls began teaching at Chesapeake College in 1995 as an adjunct faculty instructor to the English department but was hired as a full-time professor in 1997 (teaching reading, composition, and literature courses, particularly American and African American literature). She frequently co-teaches American literature with American history professors, as she believes the two courses go "hand in glove." A lover of history, she has an extensive collection of Civil War letters, and since childhood has been fascinated visiting and reading anything pertaining to the war. A native of the Eastern Shore, Earls shares her passion for making history "come alive" with her students by traveling with them to locations such as Cedar Hill in Washington, D.C. (former home of Frederick Douglass); the Wye House & Plantation (where Douglass was kept as a slave); the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore; and many other local sites. She received her BA in English and her MA in Literature from Salisbury University, and worked on her PhD in American Literature at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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