BETHEL – Bethel Historical Society Curator of Collections Randall H. Bennett has announced the gift of more than 100 Civil War letters, a Civil War era diary kept by a war widow and an 1862 military sewing case and portable writing case carried by Andrew Jackson Bean during the war.

They are gifts of Roberta Pevear of Exeter, N.H., who also made a monetary contribution for the care and display of the collection.

The letters were primarily written by Henry Charles Foster to his wife, Eliza Bean Foster. Foster saw action in the Gulf Campaign and died in 1864 as a result of wounds received during the war and subsequent leg amputation.

Included in the gift is a lock of Foster’s hair enclosed in a black envelope as well as two dozen photographic images of members of the Bean and Foster families.

“We are extremely grateful to Mrs. Pevear for this gift,” said Bennett. “We are very pleased to have these important documents and other items among our Civil War holdings,” he said.

The society is offering a course on “Maine and the Civil War” conducted by Executive Director Stanley R. Howe. “This gift from Mrs. Pevear is a timely one in light of this educational opportunity,” said Howe, who has long been a student of the 1860s conflict. “I expect we will be able to incorporate some of this material into our presentations and temporary exhibit,” he added.

For more information about the society and its activities, people may call 824-2908 or 1-800-824-2910, e-mail [email protected] or visit The mailing address is P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217-0012.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.