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D. G. Moore letters, 1882-1893 (majority within 1882-1883)

6 items

This collection is made up of 6 letters that Davis Graham Moore wrote to his son Allen from 1882-1884 and in 1893. Moore's correspondence concerns his son's activities and studies at the University of Vermont, flooding in southern Illinois, family news, and the World's Columbian Exposition.

This collection is made up of 6 letters that Davis Graham Moore wrote to his son Allen in the late 19th century. He sent 5 letters to Allen, then a student at the University of Vermont, from October 31, 1882-January 26, 1884. He discussed aspects of Allen's collegiate life and activities, such as an altercation between members of different classes, his academic performance, and his involvement in a fraternity. He reminisced briefly about his own time at the university. Some of the letters pertain to Moore's work for the Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway, particularly regarding the shipment of cotton, and to the flooding of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers in February 1883. His letter of January 26, 1884, mentions Allen's eponymous uncle, who had just received a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig. Moore's final letter to his son, dated at Chicago, Illinois, on November 23, 1893, largely concerns the World's Columbian Exposition, including Moore's positive impression of the General Electric Company's displays and the vast numbers of visitors on "Chicago Day."


Lewis Van Tuyl papers, 1861-1865

101 items

The Lewis W. Van Tuyl Papers contain the Civil War correspondence of Van Tuyl, primarily to his father Isaac and other family members. Van Tuyl served with the 10th Illinois Infantry from September 1861 to July 1865, with an interim stint with the Pioneer Brigade of Engineers from November 1862 to November 1863.

The Lewis Van Tuyl papers contain 101 letters written by Van Tuyl to members of his family during his Civil War service with the 10th Illinois Infantry. The letters span September 1861 to July 1865. Van Tuyl wrote primarily of camp life, skirmishes and battles along the Mississippi River, and his participation in Sherman’s march through Georgia and South Carolina. The collection opens with three letters describing his time at Camp Defiance in Cairo, Illinois. Van Tuyl noted that the area was situated on "low ground" and permeated by "a stench that does not improve the health of the camp" (September 5, 1861). On October 6, 1861, he wrote that the regiment had moved to Camp Morgan in Mound City, Illinois, to escape its own waste (October 6, 1861). Other early letters concern such topics as Union uniforms (September 11, 1861), a visit to a plantation in Kentucky and the activities of slaves living on it (September 23, 1861), and the meals prepared for the company by a cook (November 6, 1861).

After a period spent in the hospital, described in several letters during late-February and early-March 1862, Van Tuyl rejoined the regiment. He gave a lengthy account of action at Tiptonville, Tennessee, during the Battle of Island Number Ten (April 10, 1862), as well as an account of an engagement near Fort Pillow (April 15, 1862). On May 11, 1862, he reported the death of a "valuable man," Major Zenas Aplington, who had been targeted by a sharpshooter during a reconnoitering mission near Corinth, Mississippi. His letter of June 21, [1862], contains a small pencil sketch map of the Union and Confederate fortifications, troop positions, and Union camps during siege of Corinth, Mississippi. Van Tuyl also described the Confederate raid on Holly Springs, Mississippi, and called the Union garrison commander, Colonel Robert Murphy, a "second [Benedict] Arnold" (March 11, 1863). In the summer of 1863, Van Tuyl wrote home concerning frequent marching, pickets, and some aspects of camp life. The collection contains a gap between November 21, 1863, and March 1, 1864, and just six of Van Tuyl's letters cover 1864. In these, he discussed the severe treatment of Union prisoners at the hands of Confederates (March [14], 1864), the health of the company (April 24, 1864), and money that he sent home to his family (November 9, 1864). On December 16, 1864, he wrote about the regiment's arrival in Savannah, Georgia, and noted that "all approaches to the city are closely guarded and…it can neither be reinforced or evacuated." He also noted that he felt very isolated from news and happenings in the North.

In 1865, Van Tuyl participated in Sherman's March through the Carolinas. In a letter of January 25, 1865, he stated that Sherman was currently in the camp, and "his presence indicates action." He also mentioned the construction of a portable trestle to be used for river crossings. In a later letter, he described the slog through North Carolina's swamps and quicksand and frequent travels over difficult "Corduroy Road[s]." He worried about contracting yellow fever, which he called the "great Hydra Headed monster promised by the Rebels from the beginning" (March 25, 1865). Van Tuyl's correspondence closes with a letter announcing his readiness to return home, dated July 3, 1865, the day before he was mustered out.