Jul 19, 2012

When the Men Went to War

(NYTimes) When she learned that her husband, Lucius, had enlisted in the Union Army, Alice Chapin became distraught. She sobbed uncontrollably and pleaded with him, writing in a letter, “Now my dear husband let me tell you I do not verily believe I could live & bid you good bye to go in the Army how can you for a moment think of such a thing, can you leave me? can you leave our babes? no, no, no.”
Years later Lucius Chapin would recall that he had enlisted in early 1862 out of patriotism, but at the time he emphasized the economic benefits to his family, who lived in Putnam, County, Ind., between Indianapolis and Terre Haute. Chapin had tried a number of occupations by the early 1860s and made a successful living at none of them. Alice’s ill health, probably stemming from pregnancy and childbirth, had left them with large medical bills. Continued