About the Digital Collection
Civil War family letters from the Boyles brothers of Stokes and Surry County, N.C., six of whom died during the war. Eight of the Boyles brothers are represented either by their own letters or by references in their brothers' letters. They are: Augustin (d. 1862 Nov. 14); John William (d. 1862 Aug. 11); James (d. 1864 Jun. 1); Calvin H. (d. 1865 Feb. 13); A. M. (d. 1863 Jan. 27); Irvin (d. 1863 Sept. 3); Riley R., and Wade. Of these, Wade was too young for military service, and Riley R. (or R.R.) was in Junior Reserves. All of the other brothers died during the Civil War from disease, except for Calvin and James, who died following wounds received in action. The brothers belonged to Co. I and Co. F, 21st N.C. Regiment, and Co. D., 53rd Infantry; most letters indicate they served in Raleigh or in Virginia. Letters discuss the progress of the war in Virginia and North Carolina, camp conditions, shortages of food and clothes (including a letter from 1863 Jan. 20 indicating they were barefoot), and the execution of deserters (a letter from 1863 May 11). Also included is a photograph of Mary Ann Boyles taken in 1918.