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"By golly, Atlanta is burning!  Hurrah!  It has just this minute broke out and a grand sight it is this summer night.  The whole sky is illuminated.  What havoc war makes with this sunny south.  There is nothing left behind us this side of Chattanooga but desolation and so it will be as we advance.  I never want to see another war as long as I live and I hope this will soon end."

Dexter Keeler
Letter to his wife - July 27, 1864, page 4


In 2020 I obtained scans of Frank Hayes Butterfield Jr.'s Keeler Civil War letters, medals, and ribbons courtesy of Michigan Civil War Collection, with transcriptions and scans of the letters here:

The scans were of exceptional quality, and I converted them to a more compact format for ease of sharing and editing. I also tried to identify the persons named in the letters. If you have any corrections or further information, please contact me.

John William Myers, III
January 1, 2021
Canyon Lake, California


most written by, some written to:

Dexter Dwight Keeler (1836-1921)

23rd Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry


Parents: Lewis S. Keeler & Sarah L. (Warner) Keeler, she died 5 October 1862
Step-mother: Amelia P. (Hubbard) Keeler, who married his father after the war
Brother & Sister-in-law: Sanford "Sant" Keeler & Lucy M. (Nelson) Keeler
     Niece: Harriett E. "Hattie" Keeler, ages 0 to 5 during the war
Brother: Francis Duane "Frank" Keeler, unmarried during the war
Sister: Sarah Edwene Keeler, ages 12 to 17 during the war
Wife: Susan M. (Reading) Keeler
     Daughter: Rachel Keeler, died before the war at nearly age 1
     Son: George C. Keeler, died early in the war at age 3
     Daughter: Frances D. "Frankey/Franky/Frankie" Keeler, ages 0 to 5 during the war
Father-in-law & Mother-in-Law: Daniel Lanning Reading & Rachael (Mead) Reading
Sister-in-law & Brother-in-law: Sarah E. (Reading) Lester & Harrison H. "Tip" Lester
     Niece: Charlotte "Lottie" Lester, ages 9 to 14 during the wa
     Nephew: Daniel L. Lester, ages 6 to 11 during the war
     Niece: Nellie Lester, ages 1 to 6 during the war
Cousin: Edwin C. Moody


Dr. Andrew B. Spinney (1st cousin of sister's future husband Dr. William Hoyt)
Benjamin F. Fisher (see Letter written by Francis Duane Keeler to Mrs. Fisher)
Mrs. L. M. Mead (probably related to his mother-in-law Rachael Mead)
Henrietta E. Hall (unknown)


All transcriptions in a single PDF file.


A transcription precedes each original.

* Indicates that the letter ends without any closing, so one or more pages are probably missing.




This information is provided for the use of persons engaged in non-commercial genealogical research
and any commercial use whatsoever is strictly prohibited. Copyright © 2021 by John William Myers III.