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Daniel S. White was born around 1848. He enlisted as a sergeant in Company I, 2nd Vermont Volunteers on May 7, 1861, in Cavendish, Vermont. He was promoted to lieutenant January 8, 1863, and was commissioned as captain on January 26, 1863. He was discharged on October 24, 1864 because of wounds received at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864.

The collection consists of seven letters written to Marie E. Howe of Ludlow, Vermont. Daniel and Marie married sometime between September 1863 and May 1864, since the letters are addressed to Mrs. D. S. White after that date. The letters describe events such as the execution of a soldier for murder and the taking of civilian prisoners. He also writes about the tragedy of the Civil War and about the fear of dying in battle. The final letter on May 10, 1864 describes a wound he received at the Battle of the Wilderness.