Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Preface to the Journal of Julia P. Cutler

On April 12, 1861, Julia P. Cutler was living in Constitution, Ohio, six miles below Marietta.  Julia, who never married, was 47 years old.  She was born and raised in the Old Stone House that now belonged to her older brother, William P. Cutler. 

An active and respected member of her extended family, Julia Cutler was the daughter of Ephraim Cutler and the granddaughter of Manasseh Cutler, men who were dedicated to public service.  A capable woman, Julia helped raise her nieces and nephews, and she also collected and edited her father's and grandfather's papers.  Moreover, Julia Cutler was an avid letter writer----and she kept journals. 

When news of the fall of Fort Sumter reached the Old Stone House in Ohio on April 13, 1861, Julia Cutler began a journal.  She wrote in it every day throughout the entire American Civil War.  Her entries record news about the politics and battles of the war as well as her own domestic concerns.

Julia was especially interested in news from the battle front.  Two of her nephews, Rufus R. Dawes and Ephraim Cutler Dawes, answered Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers.  Rufus, who was working for his father in Wisconsin, helped organize the Lemonweir Minutemen, Company K, of the Sixth Wisconsin volunteers and served in the Army of the Potomac.  Ephraim helped rally volunteers for the 53rd Ohio and served in the Army of the Tennessee.   On the political side, Julia's  brother William P. Cutler served in the House of Representatives from Ohio March 1861-March 1863.  

Julia Cutler's journals were preserved by Mary Frances Dawes Beach, the daughter of Rufus R. Dawes.  Mary Frances typed the entries and those typescripts were passed down in the family.  The typescripts and the original journals are the basis for this blog.  

One hundred and fifty years ago, the American Civil War began.  Julia P. Cutler recorded her daily thoughts, concerns, and opinions.  Her journal begins April 13, 1861.  

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