New Jersey Civil War Patriotic Covers, Letters and Photographs

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 45 Macculloch Ave Morristown NJ 07960  See map

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum presents New Jersey Civil War Patriotic Covers, Letters and photographs


Beginning Wednesday February 1st visitors can view a selection of American Civil War patriotic covers on display in the center hall of Macculloch Hall. These envelopes bear patriotic illustrations and messages that provide an unusual insight into a turbulent and fascinating period of American history. The designs reflect patriotism and the sentimentalities and realities of a soldier’s life in war with documentation of great battles, tributes to heroes, or biting satires on opposing views. These images still communicate more than a century later, a sense of the great depth of feeling engendered by our nation’s most bloody conflict.


After the attack by Confederate forces on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, hundreds of such envelopes were quickly issued by many printers bearing flag, eagle, liberty and shield designs; all the forerunners of more sophisticated designs that were produced later during the war. New Jersey residents also used these patriotic covers in their correspondence as a popular means of displaying patriotic ideals. But New Jersey, primarily an agrarian state with a low-density population, had one of the smallest numbers of such covers to survive the era.


Also on display is a small exhibit from the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum archives, featuring Lindley H. Miller's campaign as one of the first officers chosen to lead troops of former slaves. A grandson of Louisa and George Macculloch, Lindley joined the war effort after the tragic deaths of his young wife and their baby. But his heart was always in the cause, as he wrote to his mother and brother. The exhibit traces his path to leadership of the First Regiment Arkansas Volunteers of African Descent, his enthusiastic embrace of his duties and his admiration of his troops. He died of disease only six months later, shortly after being promoted to Major. The exhibit includes letters both rousing and touching, photographs and an early printing of the famous marching song he composed for his men, which was later widely promoted by Sojourner Truth.


This display of Civil War history will be on view from February 1st and complements the current large gallery exhibit “Gone for a Soldier:” Jerseymen in the Civil War. Presented in partnership with the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee (NJCWSC) the exhibit brings together for the first time about two hundred objects from the Civil War from nearly thirty museums, historical societies, and private collections. Visitors can see both exhibits during touring hours Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sunday 1pm - 4pm.


Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. It is located in the heart of Morristown’s National Historic District. The Museum is open to tour the house and view exhibits on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The last tickets for admission are sold at 3 p.m. General Admission: Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 – 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. The School tours, adult/senior tours and rentals may be scheduled by appointment.  For information, call the Museum weekdays at (973) 538-2404, visit our website www.maccullochhall.org or find us on Facebook.  Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960.  Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is a nonprofit educational affiliate of the W. Parsons Todd Foundation. 


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