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Thomas Christie explains to his father, James, why he enlisted.

My Dear Father: -

Please don’t be angry when I tell you that I have enlisted today….Now you know, father, that you would enlist if you were in my place. You have taught me to hate Slavery, and to love my Country. I am only carrying out these principles, in coming now to the help of the Country when she is attacked by a Slaveholders’ rebellion.

I shall not deny that motives other than strictly patriotic have had an influence upon me; but I don’t think that these other motives are wrong. I do want to ‘see the world,’ to get out of the narrow circle in which I have always lived, to ‘make a man out of myself,’ and to have it to say in days to come that I, too, had a part in the great struggle. I lay all these workings of my mind frankly before you; it is for you to say if they are wrong.

Source: Hampton Smith, ed. Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2011), 25-26.



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Company D, 1st Minnesota Regiment posed at the southeast corner of Nicollet Avenue and First Street, Minneapolis


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David, Thomas and Alexander Christie


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James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler


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Handmade United States flag


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Civil War rosette badge


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Civil War Recruiting Station, Wasioja.


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