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[Detail] Photographic Print of Tilton C. Reynolds, undated

Historical Comprehension

Read the letters to Juliana Reynolds written by John Smith on July 22, 1862, and Joseph Green on January 2, 1863. Look for the writers' views on the prospects for winning the war.

  • What major conflicts preceded each of these letters?
  • What do these letters reveal about the Union efforts to win the war?
  • How do the letters reflect the writers' fears? Do you think their fears and pessimism were well-founded? Explain your answer.
  • How do the letters express the humanity of the writers? How, if at all, does considering a historical figure's humanity influence your view of the events in which that person was involved?