There are only twelve letters in this collection even though we know that Pvt. Bartlett wrote at least one and sometimes two letters per week to his wife. Whether these are all that remain or the others may be found elsewhere, I have not been able to learn. There is only one letter from 1862. There are nine from 1863, and one from 1864.
Most of William’s letters were written with a pencil and are remarkably preserved given that this medium usually does not hold up over time if the letters are frequently handled. A few of the letters are penned in ink. The collection was purchased with a small inkwell which was purported to have been carried by Pvt. Bartlett. It is certainly of the proper vintage and is much like others that were known to have been carried by Civil War soldiers — if not by Pvt. Bartlett. I have no basis for disputing the claim that it belonged to Bartlett.
The inkwell claimed to have been carried by Pvt. William A. Bartlett of Co. D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry during the American Civil War