Back to top

Search Constraints

Start Over You searched for: Places Vicksburg (Miss.)--History--Siege, 1863. Remove constraint Places: Vicksburg (Miss.)--History--Siege, 1863.
Number of results to display per page
View results as:

Search Results


Alexander Thompson papers, 1793-1932

1.5 linear feet

The Alexander Thompson papers consist of the papers of three generations of Thompsons: Captain Alexander Thompson (1759-1809), Colonel Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1793-1837), and Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1822-1895). These papers document the military service of Captain Thompson in United States army (1793-1809); Colonel Thompson's military service (1819-1837); attempts by Colonel Thompson's widow Mary Thompson to secure a military pension (1838-1849); and the career of Reverend Thompson, a Union Army chaplain and Presbyterian minister, along with his family letters (1850-1932).

The Alexander Thompson papers (653 items) consist of the papers of three generations of Thompsons: Captain Alexander Thompson (1759-1809), Colonel Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1793-1837), and Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1822-1895). The collection is comprised of 494 letters and documents, 1 diary, 25 photographs, 103 religious writings and hymns, and 30 items of printed material. These papers document the military service of Captain Thompson in the United States Army (1793-1809); Colonel Thompson's military service (1819-1837); attempts by Colonel Thompson's widow, Mary Thompson, to secure a military pension (1838-1849); and the career of Reverend Thompson, Union Army chaplain and Presbyterian minister, along with his family letters (1850-1932).

The Correspondence and Documents series (494 items) is made up of three subseries, one for each Alexander Thompson represented in the collection.

The Captain Alexander Thompson subseries (255 items) consists of letters and documents related to Thompson's army career, including 37 military records (pay rolls, musters, and accounts) and 14 provisional returns. The bulk of the letters are to and from the war office in Philadelphia and from fellow army officers. These provide administrative documentation for the fledgling American military, as well as specific details on Thompson's assignments at Governor's Island, West Point, Fort Niagara, and Detroit. Topics covered include his efforts to provision and pay his troops, fortify his outposts, and recruit soldiers.

Items of note include:
  • April 19, May 7 and 24, and June 20, 1795: Letters from Thompson to New York Governor George Clinton, concerning the French navy and the fort at Governor's Island
  • July 9, 15, and 18, 1795: Letters between Colonel Louis de Tousard and Thompson concerning prisoners, troops, and musicians at Governor's Island
  • December 5, 1795: Letter fromThompson to Alexander Hamilton concerning a lawsuit involving Thompson's professional conduct at Governor's Island
  • March 29, 1796: Letter to Thompson warning of a mutiny on Governor's Island
  • September 14, 1800: Letter from Thompson to John Jacob Ulrich Rivardi concerning small pox at Detroit
  • February 17, 1801: Letter from Thompson to Major Moses Porter, concerning filling the United States officer corps with Americans instead of foreign commanders
  • January 20, 1803: May 1 and August 24, 1807: Letters and bills to and from Thompson and Secretary of War Henry Dearborn concerning payments for travel
  • October 15, 1804: Instructions from Thompson to Doctor Frances La Barons concerning trading for pelts at Michilimackinac
  • September 1807: News from a friend in St. Louis describing army activities there

The Colonel Alexander R. Thompson subseries (137 items) documents his post-War of 1812 military career, and his wife's efforts to secure a pension after his death. These include letters from fellow officers and friends, a few retained copies of Thompson's letters, and 55 letters to and from Mary Thompson and various prominent government officials concerning military pensions. In many of Mary's letters she described episodes in her husband's military career, including wounds and sicknesses suffered while on duty.

Items of note include:
  • November 27, 1816: Captain Kearny at Sackets Harbor to Thompson concerning securing pay to Mrs. Niblock for washing clothes for the army
  • January 12, 1817: Major W.J. Worth at Sackets Harbor to Thompson describing a celebration at the newly build Madison Barracks
  • May 13, 1833: George Brooke at Fort Howard (Green Bay) to Thompson describing his journey across Lake Huron
  • August 28, 1833: Benjamin F. Larneal to Thompson concerning shipping a piano to Michigan
  • April 28, 1836: Thompson to his nephew Alexander Thompson, describing the encampment and fortifications at Camp Sabine, Louisiana, and the lawless state of Texas - "the country is consequently infested with robbers and pirates
  • February 21, 1837: Mary Thompson to General Winfield Scott seeking a promotion for her sick husband
  • March 6, 1840: Mary to her brother-in-law William Thompson, relating her difficulties securing a pension
  • 1842-1845: Letters to and from Mary Thompson to New York Governor Hamilton Fish and members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, including John Jordan Crittenden and Thomas Hart Benton
  • October 8, 1847: E. Backay at San Juan to Mary Thompson containing a description of the Mexican-American War
  • March 13, 1853: Department of the Interior to Mary Thompson concerning her request for a land bounty

The Reverend Alexander R. Thompson subseries (102 items) contains Thompson's letters and 25 of his children's letters. Of note are the items documenting his Civil War service as chaplain of the 17th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers and at the Roosevelt Hospital. These include many letters from solders and former parishioners serving throughout the country. Also present are letters discussing Thompson and his family's travels around New York and New England, and to the Canary Islands, Quebec, and San Francisco. The post-1872 letters largely concern Thompson's children.

The subseries includes:
  • November 28, 1861: Albion Brooks to Thompson describing the soldier's Thanksgiving dinner at Burnside Camp, Annapolis, Maryland
  • January 16, 1862: Leonard Woolsey Bacon to Thompson concerning chaplains' aids
  • July 2, 1863: A small diagram of the Union fleet on the Mississippi River in front of Vicksburg
  • June 4, 1864: Moses Smith of the 8th Connecticut Regiment to Thompson describing the battle at Cold Harbor
  • September 25, 1865: E.A. Russell to Thompson describing hearing Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on board a steam ship: "I feel like after hearing it sung like one inspired for the work. I do think it is very near Gods work."
  • September 27, 1865: Five verses of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" copied on board the Steamship United States
  • September 23, 1871: Gin Bon, secretary of the Chinese Young Men's Christian Society of San Francisco, to Thompson concerning his support of the group and enclosing four photographs of members

The Diary series (1 item, 372 pages) is the personal journal of Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson for 1861. The diary is deeply personal and includes Thompson's thoughts on personal, spiritual, and political matters, as well as his thoughts on the outbreak of the Civil War and his decision to join the army as a chaplain. In the back of the diary are 5 newspaper clippings concerning New York University commencements.

Notable entries include:
  • April 13 and 16, 1861: Thoughts on the siege and bombardment at Fort Sumter
  • July 22 and 24, 1861: Thoughts on First Bull Run
  • August 31, 1861: Discussion of seeing a hippopotamus at Barnum's Museum

The Photographs series (25 items) contains undated family pictures, images of houses and landscapes, and commercial photographs of buildings in Europe.

Four additional photographs are located with the letter of September 23, 1871. These are portraits of Chinese Americans, one taken by Chinese photographer Lai Yong of San Francisco, and one of letter writer Gin Bon, secretary of the Chinese Young Men's Christian Society. Gin Bon's portrait contains watercolored highlights. The hymn book for the Roosevelt Hospital in the Printed Materials series contains family photographs, including a group picture in which many of the sitters are holding tennis rackets.

The Religious Writings series is composed of two subseries: Sermons and Ecclesiastical History Notes, and Hymns. Though largely undated and unattributed, these writings were all likely created by Reverend Thompson. The Sermons and Ecclesiastical History notes subseries (61 items) contains 58 sermon notes that Thompson wrote in the 1890s, much of which was written on Roosevelt Hospital stationery. Some of these are outlines while others are fully formed sermons. He also wrote notes on ecclesiastical history in two notebooks dated 1881 (232 pages), and on the Hebrew language in an undated notebook (58 pages). The Hymns subseries (42 items) contains 9 manuscript hymns, 16 printed hymns, and 17 volumes of manuscript hymns. They consist of transcribed and translated hymns, Bible quotations, and ballad lyrics. Two of the printed hymns, both Christmas carols, include music for four voices.

The Printed Material series (30 items) is comprised of 18 newspaper clippings and 12 miscellaneous printed items. The newspaper clippings are an essay by Reverend Thompson entitled "The Burial of Moses," and an address from Thompson delivered at the unveiling of a Gettysburg monument for the 17th Connecticut Volunteers. The Miscellaneous Printed Items subseries contains 12 items, including ephemera related to New York University commencements; an engraving of author, nurse, and charity organizer Isabella Graham; an annual report for the Brooklyn Nursery (1888); and a Roosevelt Hospital hymnal in which someone has inserted photograph clippings of Reverend Thompson, his wife, and others.


Christopher Howser Keller letters, 1861-1865 (majority within 1862-1865)

192 items

This collection is made up of letters that Christopher H. Keller of the 124th Illinois Infantry Regiment and Albert C. Cleavland of the 42nd Illinois Infantry Regiment wrote to the Keller family and to Caroline M. Hall during the Civil War. The soldiers described their experiences in the South, including engagements with Confederate troops and guerillas, interactions with local civilians, travel between posts, and life in military camps. They occasionally discussed their feelings about the war and about political issues such as the presidential election of 1864.

This collection is made up of letters written that Christopher H. Keller of the 124th Illinois Infantry Regiment and Albert C. Cleavland of the 42nd Illinois Infantry Regiment wrote to the Keller family and to Caroline M. Hall during the Civil War. The soldiers discussed their experiences in the South throughout the war.

The bulk of the collection is letters that Christopher H. Keller wrote to his parents, George H. and Esther Keller of Batavia, Illinois, and to his future wife, Caroline Matilda Hall of St. Charles, Illinois, between September 2, 1862, and August 14, 1865. He described his travels between camps and other posts in Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, commenting on the weather, the scenery, and destruction caused by the war. His letters provide detailed descriptions of everyday aspects of military life, such as camp conditions, rations and supplies, religious services, and medical care; in February 1863, he described his stay at Overton Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Keller occasionally expressed his opinions on military doctors, conscripted soldiers, and the war, and reflected on soldiers' deaths. He sometimes shared stories about his interactions with Confederate civilians.

Keller participated in skirmishes throughout his service. Two groups of letters concern his experiences during the Siege of Vicksburg in mid-1863 and the Union campaign for Mobile in the spring of 1865. In March 1865, he visited New Orleans. In 1864, he briefly commented on Abraham Lincoln's presidential nomination and noted his regiment's overwhelming support for Lincoln as they voted; in 1865, he reacted to news of Lincoln's assassination and the death of John Wilkes Booth. Keller's final letters, written from Mobile just after the end of the war, include mentions of freed Confederate prisoners and freedmen. Keller's enclosed a dogwood blossom in his letter of April 10, 1865.

A small number of items in the collection are incoming letters to Christopher H. Keller and, to a lesser extent, Caroline M. Hall. Keller received one letter from Albert N. Hall about Hall's experiences at Pittsburg, Tennessee (March 25, 1862). Albert C. Cleavland wrote letters about his service with the 42nd Illinois Infantry Regiment from 1861-1865. He served in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, and his letters include descriptions of skirmishes near Chattanooga, Tennessee, in October 1863, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and a visit to Atlanta after its destruction by Union troops. His later letters sometimes include comments about Confederate civilians, the fall of Richmond, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Cleavland wrote his final letters from Port Lavaca, Texas, in late 1865. The final item in the collection is a letter that Mary Chind of St. Charles, Illinois, wrote to Caroline Hall Keller on December 31, 1865, congratulating Keller on her marriage and enclosing a pamphlet by Theodore L. Cuyler, "A Flaw in the Wedding Link."

The collection includes undated newspaper clippings from the Montgomery Daily Mail and an unknown paper, pertaining to troop movements and the restoration of telegraph services, respectively, and a tintype portrait of an unidentified Union soldier in uniform, posing beside a United States flag.


Clinton H. Haskell Civil War collection, 1841-1895

120 items

Clinton H. Haskell Civil War collection contains miscellaneous letters, military orders, telegrams, and documents related to the Civil War.

Clinton H. Haskell Civil War collection (120 items) contains miscellaneous letters, military orders, telegrams, and documents related to the Civil War from 1843 to 1895. The bulk of the collection is comprised of letters written by army officers and politicians, both Union and Confederate, during and after the Civil War.


Eaton-Shirley family papers, 1790-1939 (majority within 1850-1906)

1,903 items (5 linear feet)

The Eaton-Shirley family papers consist of personal diaries, correspondence, military papers, legal and business documents, printed materials, and photographs. A primary figure in the collection, John Eaton, Jr., was Civil War Superintendent of the Freedmen and later Commissioner of Education under Grant. The papers also contains substantial material from other Eaton family members, including military papers and correspondence of his brother, Lucien B. Eaton, and papers of the Shirley family (the family of John Eaton, Jr.’s wife, Alice E. Shirley).

The Eaton papers consist of 1,903 items, dating from September 1790 to July 30, 1939. The bulk of the collection falls between 1850 and 1906. The papers contain 318 letters, 9 diaries/journals, 60 personal documents of John Eaton Jr., 275 legal documents and business papers, 112 military documents, 923 photographs, 84 printed items, and 122 miscellaneous items.

The majority of the correspondence is personal and relates to family matters. The 168 letters of John Eaton, Jr., contain extensive biographical information. Of particular interest are 44 Civil War-era letters including information about the freedmen, three letters pertaining to the publication of The Post, and two with content regarding the Ku Klux Klan. The collection also contains 22 letters to and from Alice (Shirley) Eaton, 31 letters to and from Lucien Eaton, and 32 miscellaneous letters from members of the Eaton family. Of the 30 letters written by Alice Eaton's parents (James and Adelaine Shirley), 10 letters regard compensation for the damage done to the Shirley House during the Civil War. Various other members of the Shirley family wrote 15 letters, and 20 letters are from other people unrelated to the Eaton and Shirley families.

John Eaton Jr.’s aunt, Ruth Dodge Eaton, wrote two diaries which consist almost entirely of Christian hymns and essays. John Eaton Jr.'s uncle, Horace Eaton, wrote one diary that contains Christian material written while he attended Dartmouth College. John Eaton, Jr., wrote two diaries, one of which he wrote as a youth, and the other as a student at Dartmouth. Other journals include two by John Eaton Jr.'s brothers, Frederick and Charles, and a household account book, kept by his sister Christina. Of particular importance is Alice Shirley’s diary, in which she described pre-civil war tensions between the north and the south, speculation on the upcoming Siege of Vicksburg, the early stages of the Siege of Vicksburg, and very personal feelings regarding her marriage to John Eaton, Jr.

The 60 personal papers of John Eaton Jr. include 17 documents regarding his appointments and titles, two documents about freedmen, and 41 miscellaneous address cards and invitations (including an invitation to the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge).

Of the 275 legal papers, 74 documents pertain to the sale of land in Mississippi; 7 concern Robert M. Jones’s claim to Choctaw Nation lands; and 25 relate to estate papers, deeds of trust and documents about the proceedings of Adelaine Shirley’s post-war relief claims; and a receipt for the sale of an African American woman. The remaining 176 legal papers are miscellaneous financial documents, such as tax documents, checks, and receipts.

Of the 112 military documents, 58 pertain to John Eaton, Jr., 7 of which are about freedmen. The military documents of Lucien B. Eaton number 54.

The 923 photographs consist of six photo albums, 31 cased daguerreotypes and ambrotypes, 144 cabinet cards, and 421 loose photographs and snapshots all depicting members of the Eaton and Shirley families, scenic locations, and the Shirley House.

Of the 84 printed items in the collection, 49 newspaper clippings pertain to the occupational and personal activities of John Eaton, Jr., and 9 miscellaneous clippings relate to the Eaton family. The remaining 26 items are published pamphlets, including addresses and reports concerning John Eaton, Jr.; a sermon written by Horace Eaton; a report of proceedings of an Ohio Brigade reunion; an Anti-Slavery Almanac from 1838; and an incomplete piece describing the history and restoration of the Shirley House.

The 122 miscellaneous papers of the John Eaton, Jr., collection consist of 53 recipes and 69 miscellaneous items including a partial autobiography of Alice Eaton.


Elliot N. and Henry M. Bush papers, 1863-1864

6 items

Elliot and Henry Bush, brothers who served in the 95th Illinois Infantry, wrote several letters home regarding the operations of the regiment in Mississippi and Tennessee.

The six Bush letters in the collection represent a small part of their correspondence to relatives at home, relating to the operations of the 95th Illinois in Mississippi and Tennessee. Both brothers are exceptionally well written and reflective, and there must originally have been a far greater number of letters. Each of Elliot Bush's four letters, in particular, is a gem, from his first, in which he writes about tough conditions on the march in Mississippi, about parrying with Van Dorn's cavalry near Holly Springs, and the desire of soldiers in his company for destroying and pillaging rebel property and his duty, as an officer, to prevent them; to his last, in which he describes the effect of Union occupation on the women and men of Natchez, Miss.

Perhaps the best letter in this small collection is the one in which Elliot describes the fortifications at Vicksburg, the thoughts that run through his mind during battle, conditions inside the town, and an armistice during which Confederate and Union soldiers mingled, sharing canteens and locating relatives and neighbours in the opposing army.


Eugene B. Payne collection, 1861-1888 (majority within 1862-1867)

0.25 linear feet

This collection contains correspondence, journals, military documents, and ephemera related to Eugene B. Payne's service in the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

The Correspondence series (25 items) consists primarily of 16 letters that Payne wrote to his wife Delia during his military service. He provided news of the army's movements and recent engagements, such as the Siege of Vicksburg (June 14, 1863), and shared his opinions about the war. Payne also commented on Nathaniel P. Banks, African American army units, and abolitionists. On one occasion, he recorded scathing remarks about a fellow officer who had volunteered to lead an African American Regiment (September 2, 1863), and he shared similarly negative remarks about abolitionists who wanted slaves not only to be freed but also to have "all the rights of the white race" (July 30, 1864). In addition to Payne's outgoing letters, the collection has 1 letter that Payne received from his brother Frank; 2 letters from Payne to his commanding officers; and 6 postwar letters concerning Payne's political career, of which 2 are by Elihu Washburne.

Eugene B. Payne kept 3 Journals, which recount most of his military service with the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Loose documents and notes laid into the volumes relate to several aspects of his time in the army.

The Documents series contains 4 items related to Eugene B. Payne's time in the army, including 2 documents regarding unauthorized absences from headquarters, a chart providing the names of promoted men from the 37th Illinois infantry regiment, and a copy of Payne's military record (1888). The Ephemera series contains a cardboard menu for a reunion dinner of the 37th Illinois infantry regiment, held on March 6, 1885 at The Palmer in Chicago.


Isaac Jackson papers, 1862-1865

95 items

Isaac Jackson's letters provide details about the daily life of a soldier in the 83rd Ohio Infantry, with particularly good descriptions of the Vicksburg Campaign, the Teche expedition, and the munitions explosion in Mobile, Ala.

The Isaac Jackson papers are an outstanding example of the Civil War correspondence of an ordinary soldier. While Jackson may not have been a literary giant, and while he was "merely" a rank private, his letters are crammed with interesting details about the daily lives and extraordinary moments of a soldier's life. Although possessed of deep moral convictions and a keen interest in the politics of his fragmenting country, Jackson was not inclined to introspection or lengthy moralizing. His letters are instead chronicles of his activities -- all of his activities -- spiced with his thoughts of the moment. Whether lamenting the lack of patriotism at home, extolling the virtues of southern fruits and vegetables, or discussing his meals, Jackson brings a keen eye for observation to nearly every topic. His observations on the southern citizenry, camp life and regimental politics, or the movements of troops are evocative and unfailingly interesting, and the last letter in the collection (1865 May 28) is one of the best descriptions available of the massive munitions explosion that rocked Mobile.

The most detailed letters in the collection are those written during the Vicksburg Campaign, and particularly during the siege, proper, when Jackson was almost constantly occupied with military matters. His letters from the Teche expedition are equally important, and are perhaps more so, in that they document a far lesser known series of events. Throughout, Jackson maintained an optimistic, even cheerful attitude, and unlike many of his fellow soldiers, seldom elected to focus on the blood in which he was immersed.

The Jackson papers were edited by Isaac's grandson, Joseph, and published almost in their entirety in 1961 (see above for reference). Seven letters that currently reside in the Clements' collections were not included (1862 August 14, 18, 22, 25; 1863 April 23; 1864 September 4; and 1865 May 28), two of which (1863 April 23 and 1864 September 4) were written by William Hedges, a friend in the 83rd Ohio. Two letters contained in the published volume were not included in the donation, 1862 November 1 (to Ethan A. Jackson), and 1863 February 27 (to Sarah Jackson).


James R. Woodworth papers, 1862-1864

151 items (0.5 linear feet)

The James R. Woodworth papers contain the letters and diaries of a Union soldier in the 44th New York Infantry during the Civil War (1862-1864). Woodworth provides detailed reflections on life as a soldier and on his regiment's part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

The James R. Woodworth papers (151 items) contain the letters and diaries of a Union soldier in the 44th New York Infantry during the Civil War (1862-1864). The collection consists of 143 letters, four diaries, one poem, and a bundle of 37 envelopes. In both the letters and the diaries, Woodworth provided detailed reflections on life as a soldier, his regiment's part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and the horrors of war.

The Correspondence series (143 items) consists of 122 letters from James Woodworth to his wife Phebe, five from Phebe to James, three from friends and relatives to James, one from a friend to Phebe, and 12 fragments written by James and Phebe.

Woodworth's letters to Phebe contain descriptions of his war experiences. Topics include foraging, gambling, homesickness, lice, prostitutes, singing, sickness (fever, dysentery, smallpox, typhus fever, scarlatina), food (alcohol, beans, beef, bread, coffee, and hardtack), and opinions on religious matters. Woodworth was well educated and a skillful writer who often provided emotional and perceptive observations on life in his regiment and the aftermath of battles. Woodworth also frequently discussed his wife's struggles on the home front, raising their young son and running their farm in Seneca Falls, New York. This series also contains a printed poem by William Oland Bourne entitled "In Memoriam, Gettysburg, July 1-4, 1863."

The Diaries series (4 volumes, 426 pages) contains Woodworth's wartime diaries covering the period from his arrival in Virginia in October, 1862, to a few weeks before his death in 1864. Though the entries are often brief, they provide complementary information for the letters and often fill in gaps concerning travel and troop life. Of particular note are Woodworth's reflections on the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

The third diary contains two additional items, stored in a pocket in the back of the volume. One item is a small volume entitled "The Soldier on Guard," which explains the responsibilities of a Union soldier on guard duty (64 pages). The other is a 3-page printed item entitled "Rules for Dr. Gleason's Patients," which contains advice for healthy living.


Jefferson Davis collection, 1861-1883

0.25 linear feet

The Jefferson Davis collection contains political and military correspondence of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. Most of the letters are from congressmen, governors, cabinet officers, generals, and local politicians to Davis.

The Jefferson Davis collection (91 items) contains political correspondence of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. The collection consists of 10 letters written by Davis, including three to Robert E. Lee, and one document signed by Davis. The remaining 80 items are letters to Davis from congressmen, governors, cabinet officers, generals, and local politicians. They offer a variety of opinions and advice on the Confederacy and the war effort related to both political and strategic matters. Other topics discussed include military and political promotions and appointments, Southern public opinion of the war, intelligence and updates from the battlefield, prisons and prisoners, political support in Europe, and Confederate finances.

Selected items include:
  • January 17, 1861: Jefferson Davis to George Lunt, stating that secession was forced upon the South by Northern aggression and not caused by Lincoln's election
  • September 3, 1861: Simon Bolivar Buckner to Davis recommending that they take decisive military action in Kentucky
  • November 2, 1861: James B. Chesnut to Davis explaining his part in the planning of the battle at Manassas
  • April 9, 1862: Stephen Russell Mallory to Davis concerning iron-clad ships
  • September 3, 1862: Robert E. Lee to Davis recommending that his army invade Maryland
  • October 8, 1862: Two letters to Davis concerning the suspension of habeas corpus
  • April 6, 1763: Joseph Christmas Ives to Davis containing an inspection report on Vicksburg and other forts
  • July 29, 1863: James Phelan to Davis on enforcing the Conscription Act
  • July 21, August 3, 8, 14, 1863: Letters concerning calls to remove John C. Pemberton from office
  • October 12, 1863: John H. Reagan to Davis advising that the army cut off Rosecrans in Tennessee and predicting Union gains if they fail
  • November 18, 1863: George W.C. Lee to Davis recommending that Davis visit Robert E. Lee and his army
  • June 11, 1864: Davis to the Confederate Senate concerning the destruction of the gunboat Cairo
  • August 9, 1864: Herschel Johnson to Davis explaining that the Confederate army must defeat Sherman and protect Atlanta, Georgia
  • February 2, 1865: Act written by Thomas Bocock and Alexander Hamilton Stephens to "regulate the pay…of certain female employees of the government," signed by Davis
  • March 28, 1865: George A. Trenholm to Davis arguing for the Confederate government to purchase cotton

John B. Stickney papers, 1862-1865

33 items

The John B. Stickney papers consist of letters written by a Union soldier in the 35th Massachusetts Regiment, to his family in Massachusetts. Stickney wrote about the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, South Mountain, and Vicksburg.

The John B. Stickney papers (33 items) consist of letters written by a Union soldier in the 35th Massachusetts Regiment to his family in Massachusetts. Stickney wrote about the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, South Mountain, and Vicksburg. Though the bulk of the letters are addressed to his parents, Stickney also wrote to sister Mattie and to his future wife, Carrie Rust.

In his letters home, Stickney described life as a lieutenant in the Union army, which, in the early days, he enjoyed. He detailed his division’s experiences with travel, food, shelter, and sickness, and reported on their official activities, such as constructing fortifications near Big Black River (July 1, 1863). He also discussed leisure activities; for example, in a letter to his sister, Stickney mentioned playing euchre with his friends (September 28, 1862). In three letters, he mentioned an African American servant named David Silver, who accompanied him during the first months of the war (August 30, 1862; September 28, 1862; December 30, 1862). Though Stickney enjoyed good health throughout his service, his regiment saw action in many battles and he lost many friends. He commented that, "Only Berry and myself remain of all our circle of friends that came out together" (May 31, 1863).

Stickney often discussed news from the front, though he was skeptical of rumors, particularly when they were of Union successes. However, after the battles of Antietam and Vicksburg, he was optimistic that the war was coming to a close.

The following are items of particular interest:
  • August 30, 1862: He traveled from Boston to Arlington, Massachusetts, and wrote details about the itinerary, food, and sleeping conditions; he passed on rumors from the Battle of Bull Run.
  • September 28, 1862: Stickney gave an account the Battle of South Mountain and Antietam, and described President Lincoln and Secretary Chase reviewing the troops to help build the army’s morale. He also described ladies of Massachusetts nursing the wounded after the battle. Of the aftermath he wrote, "The Rebel dead and wounded were piled up in heaps…the destruction of the Rebels was awful."
  • December 16, 1862: Stickney reported on the aftermath of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • June 7-July 6, 1863: Stickney described the conflict at Vicksburg, including the capture of 27,000 Rebel prisoners on the 4th of July and shared his opinion about the danger of a raid on Washington by Robert E. Lee.
  • August 3, 1863: Stickney relayed news about the state of the army in Mississippi and mentioned a laudatory letter that General Grant had sent to his corps.
  • June 9, 1864: Friend Joseph Gottlieb described the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, and mentioned troop movements in the region surrounding Richmond.
  • August 3, 1864: Stickney wrote about a policy for the payment of soldiers that would benefit recruiting efforts for the Union.