Brainard T. Ives

“Brainard”, “Brain”, “Ives”

Brainard was born on September 30th, 1838, to Lucius Ives and Ann Hall of Mount Carmel, Connecticut. He was the third born of six children.

At the age of 23, Brainard enlisted as a private into the 20th Connecticut, Company I, along with many of his townsmen. He was employed as a mechanic at the time of his enlistment and unmarried.

I remember a remarkable incident which showed his fearlessness. It happened at the battle of Gettysburg. He had been delegated for a short time to carry off the bodies of the wounded, and the company had shifted its position from a slight elevation, over which shot and shell swept like rain in a storm. It was found that a member of the company had been left wounded on the elevation. Ives cooly went back, and amid the hail of shot, and carried off his man. He was as brave as a lion.

Capt. Ezra Dickerman

On June 8th, 1864, Brainard was promoted to sergeant.

Captain Dickerman and Brainard were shot at almost the same moment during the battle of Peach Tree Creek, Ga., on July 20th, 1864. Both were expected to die from their wounds, but they ultimately recovered. The Captain and Brainard had been friends since childhood and their war experiences united them in an even closer relationship. Brainard’s wound was from a minie ball that entered through his cheek and passed through his neck. This wound would cause him pain until he passed away on January 16th, 1896.

In 1865 he was mustered out with the rest of his regiment, having earned a reputation for bravery and soldierly conduct. Six months after returning home, Brainard married Martha E. Curnow and together they had two sons, George and Ernest.


In these letters:

  1. Date Author Description
  2. 1863-03-25
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Things start to get lively in Virginia when pickets are attacked, and Capt. Dickerman is not feeling so well. Joe cracks a joke against Tucker, and Lieut. Dickerman is trying to get a discharge.
  3. 1863-03-22
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • This letter is primarily about what is happening at home in Connecticut, but Cecil does mention the possibility of moving shortly and what role the 20th Connecticut might play.
  4. 1863-03-10
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Back in camp on a stormy day, Cecil writes about the changes in the Army, cooking pancakes, and asks what the news of the world is.
  5. 1863-03-08
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Lamentations of being separated from his wife and home, a visit to Mt. Vernon, and O’Brien’s Pillow.
  6. 1863-02-15
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Apologies for making Caroline “blue” in his prior letter, Austin’s trouble on the march, when their cow will calve, and other details.
  7. 1863-02-11
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • A short letter mentioning the cold and stormy weather, the state of their pay, shipping boxes, and what he would like.
  8. 1863-02-08
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • In this interesting letter, Caroline writes an adorable account of Louise, a letter from Austin, the rising costs of fabric, and much more.
  9. 1863-02-08
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes on a lazy Sunday in camp about the poor weather, the condition of his uniform and clothing, and the state of his pay.
  10. 1863-02-04
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes briefly about building a winter hunt, picket duty, and the state of their pay.
  11. 1863-02-01
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes a lengthy letter about the state of the war, their baby, her headaches, her low view of Austin, and lots more.
  12. 1863-02-01
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about a visit from Mr. Bristol, the untimely death of a captain, their child, and why he chose to fight in the Civil War.
  13. 1863-01-28
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes to Cecil, and complains about the state of the war and how the soldiers were being treated.
  14. 1863-01-25
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • A brief letter about picket duty and a wintertime march.
  15. 1863-01-24
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes a lot about Louise, reflects on her past life prior to marriage, tells Cecil how to care for his sore throat, asks about some business matters, and wishes for Cecil to come home soon.
  16. 1863-01-18
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes to Cecil about her money situation, how she enjoys sending him things, complains how the government doesn’t care for their soldiers, and speaks about the local news.
  17. 1863-01-17
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes a quick letter to Caroline, apologizing for deceiving her, informing her of their marching orders, and the health of the boys.
  18. 1863-01-11
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes a letter to Caroline about a box of food they received from home, the state of his pay, and a brief story of Austin getting lost in the woods.
  19. 1862-12-27
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this brief letter, Cecil speaks of preparing for another march and visiting Fairfax Courthouse.
  20. 1862-12-21
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, Cecil details what the men ate on the march and how they prepared the food. He then speaks of how the war has ravaged the country they marched through, and of sickness and death in his company.
  21. 1862-12-15
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes to Caroline during a march toward Fredericksburg. He mentions the large amount of sickness amongst the men and how many they had to leave behind in Harpers Ferry.
  22. 1862-12-14
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes a lengthy letter about the impending battle of Fredericksburg, her headaches, the potential of her visiting the 20th Connecticut, and Louise.
  23. 1862-12-09
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • A short letter from Cecil alerting Caroline that the Twentieth would be marching the next morning and mentioning the increasing number of sick men.
  24. 1862-12-07
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes to Caroline about his improving health, the cold, his winter quarters cabin, and advises her how to feed their horse during the winter.
  25. 1862-12-02
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this detailed letter, Cecil writes about how he loves looking up at the stars at night, how he spent Thanksgiving, a well-loaded box they received from home, and sickness in the regiment.
  26. 1862-11-30
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, Cecil scolds Caroline for worrying too much and working too hard, reminding her to place her faith in Christ. He speaks of his dissatisfaction with the chaplain, how he spent Thanksgiving, and worries about their daughter’s propensity for stammering.
  27. 1862-11-16
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • A letter from Cecil to Caroline about the ongoing construction of winter quarters, business back at home, the cold weather, when they will be paid, and the fellow members of his mess.
  28. 1862-11-11
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • A letter from Cecil, telling Caroline about their efforts to build huts for living in, Burnside being placed in charge of the army, and the ineptitude of their own Colonel Ross.
  29. 1862-10-22
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about receiving a box of edibles from home, McClellan’s inability to get into a fight, and building log huts. In a lengthy P.S. he addresses the rations and the weather.
  30. 1862-10-05
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about his camping situation, the lack of good food, and his dislike for playing cards.
  31. 1862-10-05
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes Cecil of how their Connecticut neighborhood is faring and tells him of how anxious she is for his health, inquiring if she ought to send more Dr. Foot’s pills. She then tells him how their daughter Louise is growing and becoming more talkative.
  32. 1862-09-18
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about his first march and losing a shirt and pair of drawers.