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The Missouri History Museum Archives has many collections that provide first-hand accounts of the Civil War. One such collection is the James E. Love Papers. James enlisted with a Union regiment in St. Louis in May 1861. When his regiment left St. Louis in June 1861, James started writing letters home to his fiancée Eliza Mary “Molly” Wilson. James continued to write these letters throughout his entire Civil War service. We believe this collection is unique because it documents not only one man’s experiences during the war, but also the great love story of James and Molly.
2, July 2011

Civil War Love Letters: July 2, 1861

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21, June 2011

Civil War Love Letters: June 21–22, 1861

James Love and his company spent two weeks traveling up and down the Missouri River on business for General Nathaniel Lyon. Claiborne Jackson and his forces, led by Sterling Price, headed south to rendezvous with General Ben McCulloch’s Confederate troops. General Lyon ordered his troops to move south as well. James received a letter from his cousin, John Adams, who said that Molly’s brother, William, was part of this force. William left St. Louis with the 4th United States Reserve Corps, Missouri Infantry, which was headed for southwest Missouri.

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19, June 2011

Civil War Love Letters: June 19, 1861

James and his company remained in Jefferson City, Missouri, where they helped Colonel Boernstein restore and maintain order. The state capital had been the center of secessionists in Missouri, especially in the state government. Now, the citizens had to adjust to life under federal control. Boernstein had to establish the necessary pickets, patrols, and expeditions, especially into neighboring secessionist counties. The capital was not the only part of Missouri dealing with conflicts between Union supporters and secessionists. Read more »

18, June 2011

Civil War Love Letters: June 18, 1861

James now explains the activities of his company since their departure from St. Louis on Saturday, June 15, 1861. The troops marched through the streets of St. Read more »

16, June 2011

Civil War Love Letters: June 16, 1861

On May 11, 1861, James E. Love enlisted for three months of service with the 5th Regiment, United States Reserve Corps. The regiment was part of four infantry regiments and five regiments of the United State Reserve Corps, or “Home Guards,” that Captain Nathaniel Lyon enrolled to protect the U.S. Arsenal in St. Louis. At the time, tensions were high between Missouri citizens who supported the Union, and Missouri’s pro-Confederate governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, and other Southern sympathizers. Read more »

20, April 2011

Civil War Love Letters

The Missouri History Museum Archives has many collections that provide firsthand accounts of the Civil War. One such collection is the James E. Love Papers. James enlisted with a Union regiment in St. Louis in May 1861. When his regiment left St. Louis in June 1861, James started writing letters home to his fiancée, Eliza Mary “Molly” Wilson. James continued to write these letters throughout his entire Civil War service. We believe this collection is unique because it documents not only one man’s experiences during the war, but also the great love story of James and Molly. Read more »