James N. Eckles served in the first Delaware Calvary unit as a private during the Civil War. He would later be discharged from the same unit as First Lieutenant in January of 1865. Lieutenant Eckles and the First Delaware Calvary served in the Battle of Westminster in Maryland, where they engaged a Confederate Calvary unit led by JEB Stuart on June 29, 1863.
This collection consists of a letter from James N. Eckles to Captain Dunning. The letter opens with Eckles expressing his ongoing illness and his decision not to rejoin the army. He proceeds to extend condolences to Captain Dunning for the recent passing of his father. In the following paragraphs, Eckles provides updates on various individuals and events. He mentions Captain Townsend and George Massey and speaks of the passing of Governor William Cannon and the subsequent appointment of Dr. Gove Saulsbury as his replacement. Eckles expresses his concern, noting that the state appears to be entirely under the control of the “copperheads,” and reveals that many Union men have been advocating for the appointment of a military governor. Eckles also mentions that he has yet to receive his final payment from the government, prompting him to enclose the necessary forms for Captain Dunning to complete and return. He includes a letter he received from an ordinance officer as well, offering it as a reference. Concluding the letter, Eckles takes a moment to inquire about the well-being of Mrs. Montgomery and Mrs. Reinhart.