Civil War soldiers’ letters have often been relegated to supporting information on military events. Today, thousands of letters are now accessible through our major universities, public libraries, and historical societies. By including the soldier’s voice, we can better understand Northern soldiers, their ideologies, and the war. First, we must familiarize ourselves with the soldier and the genre. The purpose of this course is to provide a framework for reading Civil War letters to enrich your understanding of the war and perhaps embark on your own study of a soldier’s letters. The course will have five major units: the Northern soldier’s social composition, 19th-century literacy, epistolary theory, common features of letters, and ways of classifying soldiers’ letters. Sample letters drawn from several subgroups of Northern soldiers will be illustrated throughout the course, with students having opportunities to read and analyze letters by using the suggested framework for reading. | Lecture + Q&A.