While Joseph Dobbs Bishop was serving in Louisiana with the 23rd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, he wrote letters ceaselessly to his wife and children. In several ways, his correspondence is typical of Civil War soldiers—he sends news of his comrades, he mentions his duties (he was a musician as well as an infantryman), he observes the landscape, complains about weather, illness, boredom, and homesickness, and longs for more letters from his wife. But Bishop’s letters go beyond typical to remarkable. He shows conflicting feelings about the war as time passes, he expresses startling opinions about slavery and emancipation, and above all, he fills his pages with passion for his spouse. Indeed, his correspondence goes beyond romantic, such that it might even be called erotic and hence a complete surprise to the modern audience. Bishop’s letters are tragic too, so there is a complete range of emotions to appreciate here. In short, the war is not the point of these soldier’s letters; their point is the soldier’s heart.