Yours Affectionately, Osgood

Colonel Osgood Vose Tracy’s Letters Home from the Civil War, 1862–1865

Edited by Sarah Tracy Burrows and Ryan W. Keating

“These wartime letters from a Union army officer to his mother, interspersed with his later accounts of the battle of Gettysburg and his capture at the battle of the Wilderness and subsequent escape, describe a range of soldier experiences: camp life, marches and battles, bonding with comrades, the highs and lows of morale, and homesickness. The reader will emerge with a broadened understanding and appreciation for the service and sacrifices of Civil War soldiers.”

James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

More than 3 million men served in the American Civil War. In “Yours Affectionately, Osgood”, editors Sarah Tracy Burrows and Ryan W. Keating have assembled a collection of letters from one of those soldiers—Osgood Vose Tracy of the 122nd New York Infantry. Sarah Tracy Burrows, a descendant of Col. Osgood Tracy, has compiled this editors Sarah Tracy Burrows and Ryan W. Keating have assembled a collection of letters from one of those soldiers—Osgood Vose Tracy of the 122nd New York Infantry. Sarah Tracy Burrows, a descendant of Col. Osgood Tracy, has compiled this expansive collection from her family’s private papers. Paired with illuminating discussion and historical context from noted Civil War historian Ryan W. Keating, Tracy’s letters home follow his journey as a soldier and prisoner of war from his enlistment in August 1862 through the end of the war in May 1865, as Tracy then readjusted to civilian life.

​The letters in “Yours Affectionately, Osgood”, primarily written to his mother, provide a uniquely detailed perspective of everyday life in the Army of the Potomac, adding considerably to the existing literature on the experiences of citizen soldiers in America’s Civil War. A well-educated young man, Tracy offers his opinion on pressing social and political issues of the time, including his definite abolitionist sentiments; ruminates on the Union war effort and its campaigns; and demonstrates his deep commitment to family, as well as his sweetheart, Nellie Sedgwick, back home. Tracy’s letters constitute an incredibly rare primary source volume that will be both fascinating and foundational in the scholarly community and for more general interest readers of the history of the Civil War.

“Tracy’s letters provide excellent content from which even experts will glean information and insight to the experiences of Civil War soldiers through the unique perspective of a staff officer. Tracy is around all the Sixth Corps big wigs, giving a taste of life in this reliable Army of the Potomac corps. The inclusion of correspondence from the home front adds an uncommon feature to most soldier letter books.”

Patrick A. Schroeder, Historian

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

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Author Sarah Burrows

Passionate about reading and writing since a young girl, Sarah became interested in history and genealogy when her grandfather shared with her their ancestors’ Civil War letters and memorabilia. Ever since, her dream was to see her great-great grandfather’s letters he wrote during his service in the war published. She is therefore pleased with the publication of her book Yours Affectionately, Osgood: Colonel Osgood Vose Tracy’s Letters Home from the Civil War, 1862-1865, which Sarah co-edited with historian Ryan W. Keating, published by Kent State University Press in 2022. Sarah is currently working on a manuscript inclusive of letters written by N.Y. State Representative and staunch abolitionist Charles Baldwin Sedgwick (Sarah’s ggg grandfather) while he served in Congress prior to and during the Civil War, to his wife at home in Syracuse, New York on “The Farm”. Sarah also plans to publish her historical novel based on both sets of letters, tentatively titled FIGHTING FOR NELLIE SEDGWICK.

Sarah was raised in Syracuse, New York and graduated from William Smith College with a B.A. in English and history. She worked for Syracuse Newspapers Group, CFO Publishing Corporation in Boston, and is board president of the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History, named for her 8x great grandfather. Sarah and her husband recently moved from the North Shore of Boston where they raised their three sons, to Vermont. She enjoys skiing and all the Green Mountains have to offer. When Sarah is not researching or writing, she enjoys family, friends, walking her two Golden Retrievers, photography, swimming, summers in the Adirondacks, and watching every sunrise and sunset possible.

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What People Say About Sarah Tracy Burrows

"Sarah, You captured the years of Ryan’s life perfectly in the poem! I’m sure all moms' and dads' reading this relate and have tears in their eyes. I know I do!"
Stephanie Carafotes Serpa
Yoga Instructor
July 04, 2016
So excited for you and love what you've posted!
Patti Mielnicki Barbalich
Mother, Early Childhood Education, Teacher  - Patti Mielnicki Barbalich
August 20, 2016
I can't wait to read FIGHTING FOR NELLIE all the way through!
Katie Tortorello
Founder  - The Write Direction
August 20, 2016
I'm hooked! That's great. Can't wait to read it!! Wow, Sarah, we are all so impressed!!
Laurel Ingraham Fitzmaurice
Self-employed Editor
August 20, 2016
Sarah, can't wait to read more.... Keep stepping up and out!
Pam Mellor Guyer
Founder, Living HIPP  - Managing Director, BeautyCounter
August 20, 2016
Really looking forward to this read.
Ingrid Van Slyke
PSA, Artist, Teacher
August 20, 2016
Love!!! Have the chills - what happens next?
Carleen Strudas Rivers
Yoga Instructor
August 20, 2016
Let me know when you get this published, I can't wait to buy it! I'm so proud of you.
Janette Robinson Harrington
August 20, 2016
This is wonderful!! Thanks for sharing!
Barb Hanlon
United Healthcare Group
August 20, 2016
Wow! Love it! For some reason Kevin Costner is narrating this to me! More, more, more!!
Lauren Gold
Excel Orthopaedic Specialists and New England Sports Orthopedics
August 20, 2016
Sarah! I'm so impressed! Can't wait to see it on the NY Times Best Seller list!
Catherine Daley
August 20, 2016
What an amazing accomplishment!
Carol Stuart
Test Position  - Test Company
August 20, 2016
Brings a time from the past alive. I am reminded of the feeling I had reading The Diary of Anne Frank. This work is fabulous. A real reminder of what came before in order to make today what it is.
Suzanne Crocker
Artist, Who\'s Who in the World  -
September 05, 2016
A great story with original documentation never before printed. Readers love the Civil War. The author has absolute passion and dedication.
Eleanor Herman
New York Times Bestselling author, historian, host, History Channel, National Geographic  -
September 05, 2016
Well written and Osgood is around the big wigs of the Sixth Corps.
Patrick A. Schroeder
NHP and Civil War historian  -  Appomattox%20Court%20House
September 05, 2016
A wonderful narrative, based upon a large collection of letters, detailed and historically interesting.
Howard R. LaMar
Former Yale University Dean and Professor of History  - Yale University
September 05, 2016
Exciting, suspenseful, and extremely well-written. I love this story! It has war, loyalty, death, jealousy, and love, which every good war story needs. Great characters - the important Sedgwicks - friends to the likes of Hawthorne and Alcott. War generals and heroes. "Feminists." The juicy part of this story is whether or not Osgood's love will be there to embrace him when he returns home.
Donna Moreau
New York Times Bestselling Author, historian  - Waiting Wives: The Story of Schillng Manor, Home Front to the Vietnam War
September 05, 2016
"Tears reading your poem! Being in the thick of it with a 2 & 4 year old and then seeing graduation signs all over town and prom photos on FB it all seems so far away for me but I know it will go fast!"
Katie McClain
Mother, Marketing  - Katie McClain
September 12, 2016
Your heart is on the page. So real. I could hear your voice as I read. So sweet and true.
Jason Marsh
Artist, Designer
January 26, 2017

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