The Mack Letters | Civil War Correspondence | Issue no. 1

1862 Union Stationary

The following is a letter from I. F. Mack, Jr., written while serving in the Civil War.

I.F. sent numerous letters to his father, who was Editor of the Brodhead Independent ... I. F. Mack, Sr. The letters, which are incredible accounts of I.F.'s Civil War experience, were published by Mack Senior in the local paper.

I.F. served in the Civil War from 1861 - 1863 as a union soldier, was captured by the Confederacy, and held as a Prisoner of War.

The letters also illustrate I.F.'s innate talents, which lead him to follow in his father's footsteps. I.F. was ultimately a successful publisher and owner of the Sandusky Register for four decades.

From the Brodhead Independent, published in May of 1861 ...

Camp Intelligence.

We give the following extract from a letter just received from Camp Taylor near Cleveland. We expect soon to hear from the scene of conflict.

Camp Taylor, Cleveland May 3, 1861


Our regiment leaves here for some point on the Ohio river to-morrow. The 8th regiment left yesterday [ours is the 7th] for Cairo.

Every member of our company passed muster without trouble, the men are in good spirits, but few sick, I have not been unwell a single day since we entered the camp, I have been pretty cold and tired, especially yesterday. Davies and I were on guard twenty-four hours; every two hours on and off. Walking the rounds at midnight is hard work, but we shall get toughened to it soon I hope.

Our food is good enough but rather dirty, still better than I expected.

We are all well clad; the Oberlin people furnished all with a full supply of under clothes socks, &c. $8,000 was raised there for the benefit of our company.

The R. R. brought the Oberlin people out yesterday free to see us. It is understood that our regiment will be sent to guard Cincinnati or Cairo. Ohio has 78,000 men enlisted. There are now here 5,000, and new companies are coming in daily.

The daily feeding of our camp requires 6,000 lbs. of bread 3,500 lbs, of fresh beef, 14 bbls. salt-beef, 10-bbls. pork, 62 bushels potatoes, 4 barrels coffee and 1 hhd. of sugar.

To prepare this-employes 175 cooks and waiters, 16 dish washers and 4 wood sawyers.

Your son,

I. F. Mack, Jr.

Isaac Foster Mack, Jr.

1837 - 1912

Son of I. F. Mack, an attorney, pioneering founder of Brodhead, and editor of the Brodhead Independent

An Oberlin College graduate, Isaac returned to Brodhead after the war in 1963, and went on to marry Mary Lousia Foote (1844 - 1919) in 1864. 

Mary and I.F. had daughter Cora Eugenia Mack (1865 - 1924), and son Charles Foote Mack (1868 - 1939) while living in Brodhead.

The Mack family moved to Chicago, and then ultimately settled in Sandusky, Ohio in 1869. I.F. followed in his father's footsteps as the successful publisher and proprietor of the Sandusky Register. 

"The Sandusky Register was purchased in 1869, by Isaac Foster "I.F." Mack ... Mack served in various roles during his 40 years at the Register, as editor, business manager and publisher, from 1869 to 1909. Mack's descendants owned the newspaper until July 2019 when Ogden Newspapers purchased the Sandusky Register."

It was said that I.F. sent scholarship support annually to Brodhead, for 10 young aspiring future editors.


  • via Ancestry's timeline
  • via Sandusky History
  • via Sandusky Register Wikipedia