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William V. Rutledge collection, 1861-1865

102 items

The William V. Rutledge collection is made up of letters that Rutledge, a surgeon, wrote while serving in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.

The William V. Rutledge collection (102 items) contains correspondence and other items related to Rutledge's service in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. Rutledge wrote 98 letters to his wife about his experiences. His earliest letters pertain to his time in camp in Kentucky, where he spent time with a slaveholding family. He participated in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in April and May of 1862 and was camped on the field of Shiloh on May 4, 1862, when he anticipated an attack that never took place. Throughout the rest of the year, the cavalry headed east, and Rutledge described the scenery in Alabama, including an interaction with "Black and yellow" slaves, all young girls, on a cotton plantation (July 10, 1862). Though his time in the army was primarily uneventful, Rutledge did discuss a brief stint as a prisoner of war (September 11, 1864) and often mentioned his health problems. He frequently inquired about Jennie's health and finances, requested more frequent letters from her, and vowed to visit home.

Also included are a photograph of Rutledge taken in St. Louis and a receipt from the Internal Revenue Service. The newspaper clippings are a reprint from the Mobile Tribune of "Asa Hartz Is Taken Prisoner," and a pair of patriotic poems, "Atlanta" and "On the Chicago Surrender."