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The Civil War Records of Stephen L. Collins, included this handwritten three page letter by S.L., in which he describes the circumstances surrounding his service. He asks that his name be cleared, and mentions a wife and 7 children dependent upon him for support. While not perfect, it was well written and certainly gives a different side to the charge. I'll continue to process the rest of the documents in his folder. S.L. was officially released from service 22 July 1864. The original terms of enlistment only called for 9 months service, but he was not officially discharged until 16 months after volunteering.