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.


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


David, Thomas and Alexander Christie


James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler


Handmade United States flag


Civil War rosette badge


Civil War Recruiting Station, Wasioja.

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