This extensive two-way exchange of letters between Rufus Robbins and members of his family provides a highly personalized view of the life of a Union soldier as well as life on the home front in South Abington, Massachusetts. Having enlisted in the Seventh Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the seasoned age of thirty-one, Rufus carefully crafted letters that are articulate, graphic, often witty, and that contribute much to our understanding of the daily course of the war. Notes from home reflect the Robbins family's ever-present worry and concern for Rufus's well-being. His brothers detail their involvement in the sewing of army boots, an activity for which South Abington held a large contract. In this collection, readers interested in military affairs can learn about the economic workings of the camps, the recreational outlets for the soldiers, and the grim realities of the Peninsula Campaign, while scholars focusing on civilian life will gain a greater understanding of the war's impact on the families and friends left behind.