The Civil War letters of Anson Croman’s comrade Dwight Brewer

Dwight Brewer

Undated photo of Dwight J. Brewer (1842 to 1881), Company F, 20th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Photo © Dennette D. McDermott

None of Anson Croman’s, our Civil War ancestor, letters if any have survived.

However, the letters of Dwight D. Brewer from Jackson, Michigan who served with Anson in Company F, 20th Michigan Infantry Regiment have survived.

His 2nd great-granddaughter, Professor Dennette D. McDermott, just published facsimiles of her ancestor’s CIvil War letters.

The Civil War Letters of Dwight J Brewer

© Dennette D. McDermott

In his letters Dwight does not mention Anson Croman.

However Dwight’s letters give insight into both the routine and the combat experiences that Anson would have shared and reported home to family and friends.

A model for sharing family history artifacts.

While Dwight’s letters may be a historical footnote in the Civil War’s broader context, they are deeply meaningful to families such as ours who have no other way to get such an intimate and personal look at what our ancestor experienced.

For that we are very grateful to Professor McDermott’s sharing.

The same occurred with my late father’s WWII service. If he wrote letters home none have survived. As did Professor McDermott, another family shared with my family a privately published collection of letters from their family member who served in the same battalion but different company as my late father.

What Professor McDermott has done is a model for what other families can do with their historical artifacts especially letters.

Too many are sold to private collectors or simply thrown away. Such items are best donated to historical societies, archives, libraries or museums where they will be available for other families researching their history, especially those such as mine with holes in our family’s records that can only be filled with the help of other families.

In late 1863 at Knoxville, Tennessee Dwight contracted smallpox and remained in a hospital when the 20th Michigan was redeployed to Virginia.

For the rest of the war, Dwight served at Knoxville. After his recovery his duties included growing vegetables for the patients in the hospital. As a farmer, he’d have been skilled at that.

At the end of the war, he was discharged from Nashville and returned to Michigan.

Dennette D. Mc Cermott at the Michigan monument, Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi.

Dennette D. McDermott at the Michigan Memorial, Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi. Our ancestors served together there from June to August. 1863 prior to their deployment to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Photo © Dennette D. McDermott

For more information:

The Civil War letters of Dwight J. Brewer

Vicksburg National Miltary Park

Michigan Memorial at Vicksburg, Mississippi

Anson Croman and the Civil War


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One Response to “The Civil War letters of Anson Croman’s comrade Dwight Brewer”

  1. Leonard H. Cizewski Says:

    Reblogged this on Anson Croman and the American Civil War.

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