Letter from Bertenshaw

Letter from West Point, New York, Nov. 15, 1861

James Bertenshaw Family Letters

About the Collection

James Bertenshaw, his wife, Mary, and their family lived in Mt. Carmel in Franklin County, Indiana, when he left in March of 1864 and traveled overland to the Montana gold fields. He arrived in Virginia City, Montana, in July of 1864 and left in November of 1865, planning to travel to San Francisco and then by steamer to New York. Bertenshaw died en route. Sometime in the 1870s Mary Bertenshaw moved to Kansas.

Collection consists of letters mainly from James Bertenshaw written to Mary Bertenshaw while he was en route and after he arrived in Montana, with a few of Mary’s letters written to James. There are a few letters written to James in 1861-1862 from his cousin, Maurice J. Williams while he was serving in the Civil War with the 36th Indiana Infantry Regiment, Company G. Also included are a few scattered family letters after 1866 mainly between Mary and her family.

Collection Materials Used

For all of the items listed below, both the original documents and transcripts are provided. A full inventory of the collection, as well as additional digitized material, is accessible online from: http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah07269.xml.

From James on the South Platte River to Mary, May 28, 1864.

James discusses health issues.

From Mary in Mt. Carmel to James, January 22, 1865

Mary hopes James will return soon.

From James to his family, April 17, 1865

James asks Mary to send letters to various forts along his route.

From Mary in Mt. Carmel to James, April 29, 1865

Mary misses James, talks of her ill health, and discusses Lincoln's funeral train passing through town.

From James to his family, June 4, 1865

James discusses Mary's health and the difficulty of communication.

From James to his family, October 29, 1865

James discusses a delay in returning home due to an illness in their party.

From James to his family, November 21, 1865

James writes as he returns home. His last letter before dying en route to home.