Love and Lust Private and Amorous Letters of the Civil War
For twenty years, the author/editor has collected authentic Civil War letters, all dealing with matters of the heart. The usual anthologies compile letters about battles, marches, sickness, wounds, and politics. Over the past 150 years, most letters of passion, romantic obsession, and pure lust seem to have been destroyed, probably by the solder's heirs. In this unique collection, we see the survivors.
One soldier wrote of looking forward to bondage and disciple games in the bedroom, wearing their “favorite uniform” – bare skin. Another man wrote to his wife begging her to write him sexually explicit letters, telling her how much he would treasure such words. A Rhode Island infantryman wrote a few passionate pages, then noted his physical arousal and changed the subject. Single young men, without wives or regular sweethearts, corresponded at length, comparing the prostitutes of Maine, New York, Washington, DC, and Louisiana, and adding cautionary notes about syphilis, gonorrhea, and the painful treatments therefore. One man, home on disability leave, had recovered enough to make daily efforts to seduce every girl he met. A Nashville prostitute cut her hair and joined a Michigan regiment. The mails were flooded with ads for pornographic novels, images, and devices. Another man, perhaps overlooked by the postman, wrote home asking for some “fancy” reading material to revive his dormant sexual feelings.
On sadder notes, wives write, telling of death and poverty at home, urging men to desert and care for their starving families. Cries of the heart and pulsations of the pelvis alternate in this truly unique gathering of Americana. 2009, BookSurge, 228 p