Will Seippel | March 24, 2023

We are living in a fast-paced technological world. Technology has made the act of communication more accessible, yet I would argue that the art of communication has become lost. Who sits down at a desk these days to write a letter? It would be deceitful of me to say that I write these eloquent hand-cratered letters to my family every time I travel. While thoughtful, there are much more convenient forms of communication readily available.

However, handwritten letters were the only option for Civil War soldiers like John Mower Jackson to let loved ones know they were safe. Jackson was a typical man, but the chronological telling of his life sparks empathy and curiosity as you read what life was truly like during the Civil War.

What are Civil War Letters Worth?

Letters from the Civil War era are interesting because of their diverse range of styles and syntax and how each speaks to the reader. This collection of letters written by John Mower Jackson begins in Maine. As Jackson writes to his family, the reader learns about his travels and inner thoughts. Through telling his story, these letters give the reader a better understanding of the past, offering a deep appreciation of American history.

The reader experiences this era through Jackson’s eyes with a real-time view of the Civil War period. What I think is most exciting is that this ordinary man’s letters were nothing special at the time, but in their entirety, they depict how he was part of the greater good. Each letter reveals an unknown entity from another time and place. Jackson describes finding joy in the ordinary, such as participating in a prayer group with his fellow army men. He also thanks his family for the consistent communication, reminding them that “the little things are what soldiers like.” The further you read the letters, the deeper you connect to what life was like in the past.

lot of Civil War letters
Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates auctioned this important and extensive Civil War Confederate archive for nearly $20,000 in November 2022.
Photo courtesy: WorthPoint

Using WorthPoint.com, we can see similar letter collections. This archive comprises nearly five hundred pieces, primarily consisting of manuscripts. Civil War letters and archives range in value based on the events and people mentioned within each work. The WorthPoint® Price Guide has prices realized for rare Civil War items like signed letters by Robert E. Lee featuring examples of his signature.

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Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.