Scope & content
Throughout the letters, Gurney mentions camp life, military maneuvers and strategy, and family matters. Various letters describe African-American troops, the Battle of the Wilderness, the siege of Petersburg, executions of Union deserters, and the effects of the war on the South. As the war drags on, Gurney's dissatisfaction with the army and the Union Government in general becomes noticeable in his letters, particularly those of 1865. Several prominent Civil War figures, such as Grant, Lee, and Lincoln, are mentioned throughout the collection.