Gary and mykeal, not only do I have the letter, but I also have a copy of the regimental history, thanks to the efforts of the state government of Michigan (back around 1900). I also have what there is of my great great grandpa's service record thanks to Ancestry.com. It includes his dates of service and dates of promotion.
And Dad even has great great grandpa's old Grand Army of the Republic photo:
The old rifle has the regiment number (27th Michigan Volunteer Infantry) stamped into the stock, too!
Sometime around last August, I mentioned to my dad that I was researching the family tree. Now, I know that he loves history, just like I do. But I was just about floored when he pulled out a big box full of hundreds of pictures and letters that go back to around 1810. It was I don't think that I wuld have been more surprised if he'd dropped a bag full of gold doubloons on the table.
So, my wife (who volunteers Saturdays at our local museum) and I spent the winter cataloging and properly preserving all of those documents. I scanned most of them and made a CD to give to everyone in the family. And then, this spring, we gave the box back to Dad, with everything in individual archival sleeves, along with an index.
Thank God that the people who had those pictures made had the sense to write down who was in 'em!
I'm glad that I was able to bring back some fond memories. And DiscoRacing brought up a very
good point - Don't forget your mother!!!