“I want you to take the oath …”


Martha Cockrone wrote this letter on May 25, 1865, after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. In it she asked her husband, a Confederate prisoner of war, to take the oath of allegiance and come home. Her words offer a glimpse into civilian life and show how families coped at home while husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers were at war.

National Archives, War Department Collection of Confederate Records