Thomas Francis Cordis, 1843-1915

by Betsy McKee, Board member, Longmeadow Historical Society
July 9
, 2020

This week's #TBT History Notes shares the letter a 19 year old Tommy Cordis wrote home to his family in Longmeadow in 1863 during the Civil War. He shares an experience he had talking with some Confederate soldiers. Such a treasure!

Thank you to the Cordis family for sharing it with us!

Thomas (Tommy) Francis Cordis was born in Longmeadow in 1843 and enlisted in the 46th Mass. Volunteers in September of 1862, at the age of 18. Enrolled as a private, he was honorably discharged in July of 1863 with the rank of sergeant. During his time in North Carolina, Tommy wrote letters to his parents at home in Longmeadow.

Thomas Francis Cordis
(click to enlarge)

715 Longmeadow Street
(click to enlarge)

Here is an excerpt from a letter written April 6, 1863 to his father.

"When I was out scouting I went over to see the Rebel Pickets and had quite a long talk with them. We go down to the river and lay down our guns and they do the same. Then we talk with one another. They have five on a post. They are very large fellows dressed in butternut-clothes and look like thunder. I asked them how they was and they said that they wished they were out of it. We asked them all kinds of questions. They say they don’t like Old Lincoln’s proclamation. They have got good rifles and carbines. They don’t offer to fire on us so we can talk with them all we want to without any fear of being shot at."

Cordis Family Archives

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