Detail from letter

This letter was written on April 29, 1865 from Sarah Fletcher to her son Malcolm Nicholson Fletcher.

It is one of the few Florida letters from the last days of the Civil War that discusses the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army and the impact of the Confederacy's impending collapse on the state's civilian population.

Zabud Fletcher was a native of Georgia who moved to Florida in 1825. He eventually settled at China Hill in Gadsden County. Fletcher married Sarah Ann Monroe in 1825, and the couple had five children. Many of the letters in the Zabud Fletcher Family Papers date from the Civil War period. Two of Fletcher's sons served in the Confederate army during the war. Zabud Fletcher died in 1864, while Sarah Fletcher survived until 1876.

The letter reproduced here was written at the very end of the Civil War, after the surrender of both Robert E. Lee's and Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate armies. While Florida was included under Johnston's April 26 surrender, it was not until the following month that Union troops formally accepted the capitulation of Confederates in Florida. The letter was written on April 29, 1865 from Sarah Fletcher to her son Malcolm Nicholson Fletcher. Unfortunately it is badly faded and parts are completely illegible. It is reproduced here because of its historical importance. It is one of the few Florida letters from the last days of the Civil War that discusses the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army and the impact of the Confederacy's impending collapse on the state's civilian population. Sarah Fletcher also comments on the activities of Florida's slaves on the eve of their emancipation.