Couple Writes Letters From Gunboat Helping Union Army

A honeymoon, a gunboat filled with armaments, and supplying the Union Army was part of couple's history.

| Good Old Days

My great-grandfather, Charles Gardner Coffin, captained ships plying the northeastern coastal waters. During the Civil War, he was commissioned by Gideon Wells, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, to "Transmit Troops Under the Guns of the Potomac" and to carry armaments and other supplies for the Union Army; often operating under crossfire between the Armies of the Union and the Confederacy.

The following are excerpts from letters written by the couple. The first is part of a lengthy letter Charles wrote in February 1861, while he and his Annie were on their honeymoon. The second is a letter written by Annie the following year.


Providence Feby. 6th 1861

Dear Aunt Carrie,

We this morning received your letter and were very much pleased to hear from home. Annie says it seems as if we had been gone from home two months and she cannot realize that it was only a week ago since we were married in New York.

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