This collection documents the lives of George Harper Prestridge and his wife, Mary Ann Rebecca Frost Prestridge. According to Herman Prestridge Sandford, a descendant of the letter writers, “The letters tell of the love George and Rebecca shared amid the horrors of the Civil War. They reveal the courage and the suffering of the soldiers. They disclose, to a degree not found in history books, the hardship of women, widows in particular, and the sufferings and the joys of the children of those fatherless families.”
George Prestridge, a native of Alabama, married Mary Ann Rebecca Frost on December 19, 1850. Shortly thereafter, a daughter, Elizabeth, was born. According to the letters, George lived in Louisiana until the Civil War started. He joined the Confederate Army in the summer of 1862 and was assigned to a cavalry division under a Colonel Monroe – alternately called Monroe’s Regiment or the First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment. He was killed in March of 1863, less than a year later.
The primary sources in this collection include personal letters, ledgers, invoices for services rendered, and an overseer’s contract. Topics addressed include domestic life in the 1850s, marital relationships, life in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, and issues facing widows and orphans.
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