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Civil War letter to Ella Melendy
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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John Emory Fuller (1838-1916) was from Deerfield, Massachusetts. In June, 1861, John enlisted in Terra Haute, Indiana, in the 14th Indiana Volunteers. Then in September, his twin brother Francis enlisted from Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the 24th Massachusetts Volunteers. In civilian life the brothers were musicians, and in the army they played in regimental bands.
<BR>Fuller wrote this letter to his fiancée, Ella J. Melendy, who remained home in Deerfield. Fuller was suffering from health problems, especially with his lungs. In this letter, he is in the hospital. Disease was the single biggest killer of the Civil War. Poor sanitation and food contributed to the death of thousands before a public outcry forced the War Department to improve conditions. Fuller's letter refers to the bad mail service: none of his fiancée's letters reached him. The mail system in the United States was thrown into chaos by the war, especially in this first year of fighting.
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