66 autograph letters, signed, between James B. Collins and his brother Joseph T. Collins, their parents John W. and Mary Anne Collins, and a handful of friends and relatives, all dated between February 4, 1862 and July 9, 1863. The bulk of the letters from the front are written by James B. Collins. Also includes a manuscript copy of lyrics to a song entitled ""Song of the Louisiana Lowlands.""
James B. and Joseph T. Collins of New York City enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August of 1862. They were first assigned to the U.S.S. Monticello, and then transferred to the U.S.S. Commodore Barney. Before being assigned to the Barney, among other experiences they witnessed the destruction of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor off Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862. Joseph Collins was killed on the Barney during the Battle of Suffolk on April 14, 1863; James survived the battle but lost an arm in the same explosion that killed his brother. James B. Collins was honorably discharged on July 16, 1863 and returned to New York. He became an Internal Revenue officer for the First District of New York City in 1872.