“Doing our best to keep cool which is an impossibillity”

Charles W. Reed (1841–1926) to Roxanna R. Reed, August 29, [1863]. Charles Wellington Reed Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

I received yours of the 22nd on the 26th with pleasure. I should have answered earlier but the intolerable hot weather almost entirely precludes the idea of writing. we go out early mornings for drill, and drill until the scorching rays of the sun begin to tell on us, then come in unfit for anything during the remainder of the day, except doing our best to keep cool which is an impossibillity, and growing desperate over our futile attempts to drive away the myriads of flys which infest this region and bite equally a fierce as mosquitoes who also ‘by the way’ favor us at night with their reviving melodies.

This blog complements the Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil War in America.” This series of posts chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865. To learn more about the object featured in this blog entry, visit the online exhibition.