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Book Talk: Dear Friend Amelia: The Civil War Letters of Private John Tidd

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 4:00pm

Kroch Library, 2B48, Rare and Manuscript Collections
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

In a "Chats in the Stacks" book talk, Joyce Hatch, Mary Jordan, and Ron Ostman will discuss their new book “Dear Friend Amelia: The Civil War Letters of Private John Tidd” (Six Mile Creek Press, 2011). The book is a collection of John Tidd’s surviving letters to Amelia Haskell, the young woman who was always in his thoughts back home in the small hamlet of Rawson Hollow, in central New York; and includes 1864 excerpts from his diary. He enlisted in July 1862, at age 23, in the 109th New York Volunteers, and after serving 15 months as railroad, bridge and telegraph line guards, the Regiment was reassigned to guard new volunteers and conscripts to the front. The 109th saw action in 18 separate battles, skirmishes, and assaults, including the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Ny River, North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, and Cold Harbor to name a few, followed by constant trench warfare during the Siege of Petersburg through April 1865. He speculates on important national events and policies: the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery, race relations, conscription, war strategies and progress, and politics.

This book talk highlights the exhibition “Dawn’s Early Light: The First Fifty Years of American Photography” in Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. During this period photography allowed for a shared American experience and provided a window through which citizens observed the Civil War and Westward expansion. For more information about the exhibition visit:

Following the talk will be a question and answer session, and a book signing. For more information, please call 255-3393.

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Cornell University Library, Kroch Library




Free and open to all

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Lynn Bertoia

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Mary Jordan and Joyce Hatch

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