Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings. Only part of the letter survives.

2013.70.41 front.jpg
2013.70.41 back.jpg


Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings. Only part of the letter survives.


Christopher Theodore Dunham was born Sept 24, 1836 in Berkshire, Tioga County, NY. He moved to Freeport, Stephenson County, IL around 1856 and in 1860 was elected county surveyor. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted as a corporal in Capt. Atkin's company in the 11th Illinois Regiment of the Union Army. He transferred to Noleman's Calvary Company and was mustered out July 5, 1862. He returned to Freeport where he again enlisted under the President's call of July 1. 1862 and was elected Captain of Company F, 92nd Illinois Volunteers. With his background as a surveyor, he was detailed as Topographical officer on the staff of Brigadier General A. Baird, commander of his regiment's division. He married Sarah (“Sadie” or “Saddie”) E. Cummings September 22, 1862 in Freeport, Illinois. In 1864 he was tendered by Governor Yates the commission of Lt. Col. but turned it down to remain on staff duty. He was also attached to HQ 3rd Div. Army of Kentucky and HQ 1st Div. Reserve Army Corps. After returning to Freeport he was again surveying, but in 1872 was admitted to the Elgin Insane Asylum, where he died January 27, 1878.


Christopher Theodore Dunham




Midway Village Museum






[Letter starts without salutation. There may be a missing page]
excuse for not writing oftener [sic]. for my part dear wife I do not want any excuse for not writing you it is indeed a very great pleasure for me to write you. & why should it not be - one who has always loved me so well as you have - giving me your heart & hand whilst so young & lovely - Darling I do pray that I may be more worthy of it & of you - I am in hopes soon to send you some money I have not drawn any yet from Gov. I made out my pay acc [sic] & sent it to Cincinnati, but- the pay-master then has no money he said on hand - but will have it soon. I wish to send you $200 - when he pays me - My Bro. now is drawing Capt. pay whilst he commands the comp. also - Bro. Edwin Recd his commission as 2nd Lieut. in the 1st Iowa [cavly] dated the 4th of Sept. I know he had been expecting it - & he deserves it. it is as good as a Capt. position in Infantry & I think a great deal better - so three of mothers [sic] boys had commisions [sic] - & when I can get where the other boys are - will try & do - something for them - My darling I want to save something during the war so that we can have a snug little home sometime wont [sic] that be so nice –
Page 2
how many times do I reflect love upon our past lives - how long you were my "girl" & now that you are my Darling wife - when I think of it my heart is at ease - & then I think how trying it is to be absent from you - & I know you think so too, but it is quite different with you - you are at home - have your dear mother with you - your bro. & sisters & friends - So do I have my friends - & friends in the army are generally good ones - they at least ought to bee [sic] -- The Col. Atkin has been a very good friend since I left Rockford & I have hopes that he will be promoted - before a very great length of time - You must not expect much from me to night - but I promise you that when I receive a letter from you again that I will write you a better letter! hoping darling that you are well & enjoying yourself - I bid you "Good Night" pleasant dreams &c from your affct. husband C.T.Dunham
Sadie E Dunham
Freeport Ill
P.S. Remember me to your ma will you & others in the morning I am going out to Harridsbough [sic] to see about some paroled prisoners &c CTD

Original Format



Christopher Theodore Dunham, “Christopher T. Dunham to his wife Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings. Only part of the letter survives.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed July 16, 2024,