Native West Yorker turns Civil War diary, letters into book
Richard T. Gillespie came across a secret treasure and …
Well, we’ll let him tell the story, sent to us via email:
Once a Yorker, always a Yorker, this is to inform your paper and the many friends and few relatives I still have there, of a small recent accomplishment I have done.
I was born and raised in York, West York to be exact, but I have not resided there since 1958. Since York is very close to Gettysburg, the Civil War and its many battles have always been of interest to me.
We, wife and I, presently reside in Kitty Hawk, N.C. We have had an interest in antiques for many years, and that interest led me to an important find.
A few years ago, one of our friends was planning a move into a retirement home and asked me to look over some of her possessions to see if there was anything we might want.
In doing so, I discovered a candy box full of nearly fifty letters and two diaries, written during the Civil War. I immediately asked to buy them but she wanted to keep them in their family.
She did, however, allow me to take them and transcribe them and these — along with many hours of research through the National Archives, the New York State Archives, the Thompkins County, N.Y., Historical Society, other Civil War sources, and the Martin Memorial Library in York — led to my writing a book and having it published.
The book, titled “The Civil War Letters And Diary of Andrew H. Gale and the 137th Infantry Regt, NYSV,” was released two weeks ago and can be ordered at any book retailer.