EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Dozens of letters written by a soldier in the Civil War were recently found in a shoe box. Now they’re part of the historical record, describing a time when American soldiers were fighting each other.

One letter reads “Dear wife. Tell them they can never whip the Rebs fighting the way they do now”.

Those words were written 160 years ago by a long island, New York soldier named Frederick Wright who was in the Union Army during the Civil War. The letters were written to Wright’s wife Phoebe and five children, giving a unique historical insight into what a common man was going through during the war.

“In many of the letters, he’s very concerned about her, getting by without him and that’s something powerful to see,” described Victoria Berger of the Suffolk Historical Museum.

Another letter reads “I have yet to see something this complete and spanning such a length of time.”

The team at the Suffolk Historical Museum spent months gently unfolding and preserving each of the nearly 100 letters, all written in lead pencil, and some of the accounts are heartbreaking.

“Tell the children I have seen men with their bodies cut up in all kinds of ways,” wrote Wright in one of his letters.

One of Wright’s family said they’d offered to buy the letters but they opted to give them to the local historical society. Now, these precious words can be read by anyone.

Museum officials are working to put the letters in book form.