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Albert G. Fuller reminiscences, [1930s]

1 item

This collection consists of Clarice A. Bouton's transcriptions of the Civil War reminiscences of her grandfather, Albert G. Fuller. Fuller, a native of Reading, Michigan, served in the 78th New York Infantry Regiment, Company K, and participated in actions including the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of Gettysburg, and Sherman's March to the Sea.

This collection consists of Clarice A. Bouton's transcriptions (8 pages) of the Civil War reminiscences of her grandfather, Albert G. Fuller. Fuller recounted many incidents from his time in the 78th New York Infantry Regiment, which he joined on March 20, 1862, with three friends from his hometown of Reading, Michigan: Lemuel Wisner, William Herrington, and William Green, all killed during the war. He discussed his regiment's movements and marches, his time in hospitals recuperating from bullet wounds, and his participation in battles, skirmishes, and Sherman's March to the Sea. He described wounded soldiers lying in their tents, nursed by other soldiers; the interruption of his meal immediately prior to the Battle of Peachtree Creek; the harsh treatment and execution of three deserters; and the Union Army's destructive practices while marching from Atlanta to Savannah.

Fuller noted the deaths and disappearances of his hometown friends and recalled his recuperation in hospitals in York, Pennsylvania, after the Battle of Gettysburg, and Savannah, Georgia, in 1864; while in York, he attended a political speech that was disrupted by gunfire, resulting in a panic and further injuries to his wounded leg. Fuller's account ends with his discharge on June 2, 1865, and his return to the family farm on June 20, 1865, where he resumed work immediately upon his arrival.


Crittenden family papers, 1837-1907 (majority within 1849-1889)

4 linear feet (approx. 1300 items)

The Crittenden family papers contain the letters of a Kentucky family living in the California and Nevada frontiers. The material centers on the family of Alexander Parker Crittenden and his wife Clara Churchill Jones, and includes letters from their parents, siblings, and children. The collection also contains diaries, documents and financial records, and family photographs (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cabinet cards, cartes-de-visite, and other paper prints). The collection documents the murder of Alexander Parker Crittenden as well as family members who fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War and who participated in mining and prospecting in the West.

The Crittenden family papers contain the letters and documents of the family of Alexander Parker Crittenden and his wife Clara Churchill Jones Crittenden. The bulk of the collection consists of personal correspondence between members of the extended family, including Mr. and Mrs. Crittenden, seven of their eight (surviving) children, Clara’s parents and siblings (the Jones family), and Mary Crittenden Robinson (Alexander's sister). In addition to correspondence, the collection contains diaries, documents and financial records, and 96 family photographs (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cabinet cards, cartes-de-visite, and other paper prints), including one carte-de-visite of Laura Hunt Fair.

The Correspondence series (approximately 1,280 items) covers several topics of interest. The letters by Clara and Alexander Parker Crittenden (hereafter A.P.C.) illustrate the passionate courtship and strained marriage of a couple living in California in the 19th century; Laura Crittenden Sanchez’ correspondence presents a picture of a woman’s life on the 1860s western frontier in California and Nevada; and Ann Northey Churchill Jones’s letters to her daughter Clara provide frank commentary on womanhood. The following summary is a brief description of the collection’s major correspondents and the content of their letters.

The collection includes over 260 letters from his wife Clara, which span the length of their relationship, from their first meeting until his death. The courtship letters are full of expressions of youthful passion. Especially valuable are A.P.C.'s letters describing San Francisco in the early 1850s, which contain information about the Gold Rush and early statehood, and include discussions about women in California, and troubles he experienced from not having a wife present to care for him. The 1860s letters written from Nevada to Clara in California provide a good account of early Nevada, as well as insight into their deteriorating marriage. However, the twenty letters written during Clara's 1870 transcontinental trip to the East Coast, exhibit an apparently genuine change of heart in Crittenden, who had purchased and redecorated a lavish new home as a surprise for Clara on her return. Almost every letter begs her to cut the trip short and return.

A.P.C.'s eldest son, Churchill, is represented by 62 letters to him from his father, and 62 letters written by Churchill to his parents and siblings, largely from 1858 and 1861, while he was studying at Hanover College. While at Hanover, Churchill developed Union sympathies, which upset his Kentucky-born father. Of note is a letter from A.P.C., who at the time was the leader of the southern wing of the California Democratic Party, to Churchill defending southern rights for secession (December 10, 1860). Churchill wrote six letters while in the Confederate Army. The collection also contains 60 letters from James Love Crittenden. His early letters discuss school life, ante-bellum politics, and family relations. He wrote 10 letters while fighting with the Confederacy.

Clara Jones Crittenden wrote 19 letters in the collection: two to her husband, one to her eldest son, Churchill, and sixteen to her daughter Annie (“Nannie”). The letters to Annie are almost all dated November-December 1864, and reflect the deep gloom Clara felt following the murder of her son Churchill in October 1864.

Laura Crittenden Sanchez wrote 71 letters to her mother, 87 to her sister Nannie, and a few to other family members. They present a view of domestic life on the 1860s western frontier. Of note are Laura’s routine comments that reflect the values of a woman raised to believe in the Southern ideals of gentility and womanhood. However, she also held advanced ideas on women’s rights and divisions of duties in the home. Her husband, Ramon B. Sanchez, shared these beliefs and described his role in housework and his ideas of manhood, in his letter to Nannie Crittenden (July 25, 1862).

This series holds 16 letters from A.P.C. to his daughter Nannie, 6 to her husband Sidney Van Wyck, and many letters of condolence received by the family at the time of Parker’s murder. Van Wyck, who held evangelical beliefs, was deeply concerned about the well-being of his pregnant wife. He sent 117 letters to Nannie between January and May 1870, while she was in San Francisco and was he in Hamilton, Nevada, attempting to strike it rich prospecting for silver. He gave a rich account of life in a snowy Nevada mining town. The collection also includes approximately 40 business letters concerning Sidney's mining interests between 1879 and 1882. After 1874, the collection constitutes letters addressed largely to members of the Van Wyck family, including 8 letters from Nannie's daughter Clara Van Wyck to her brother Sydney Van Wyck, Jr.

Mary Crittenden Robinson, A.P.C.'s older sister, wrote 23 letters to Clara Crittenden, almost entirely in 1863. They are domestic in content, with occasional references to politics and society. Mary also wrote to A.P.C., and to various nieces and nephews, and her children are represented as well: Mary, Kate, and Tod, Jr.

The collection also contains letters from Clara Jones Crittenden's parents and siblings.

Clara's father Alexander Jones, Jr., wrote 5 letters to Clara, including one offering consolation on her husband's murder (November 7, 1870), and 3 to his granddaughter Nannie. Ann Northey Churchill Jones, Clara's mother, sent her seven letters from 1839-1841. She provided a frank commentary on womanhood and discussed childbirth, the proper preparation of breasts for nursing, a mother’s role in fixing children’s values, marital relations and what a wife could do to improve them, and how a woman should deal with an unworthy husband.

Clara's brother Alexander Jones III wrote 21 letters to A.P.C. and Clara (1849, and 1857-1870). These describe frontier Texas, news of the Civil War, and Confederate patriotism. In one notable letter, he described life in Brownsville, Texas, and advised using birth control (January 30, 1860). Clara's sister Mary "Mollie" Farquhar Jones Joliffe wrote 15 letters, 1858-1870, primarily made up of family news. Her wartime letters are a window onto the hardships of Confederate civilian life. William Marlborough Jones is represented by 13 Civil War and Reconstruction era letters, which reflect on the costs of the war to both the family and the nation. Of note is a 12-page account of the war near Jackson, Mississippi (November 7, 1870), and his report on the fall of Vicksburg (July 7, 1863). Sister Rebecca Churchill Jones Craighill, wrote 13 letters (1858-1899) to multiple recipients. In 1866, she composed excellent reflections on the war and criticized a Virginia friend who had eloped with a Yankee officer.

The collection also contains letters from two of Clara’s uncles: 8 from Marlborough Churchill and 2 from George Jones.

The Journals series (2 items) contains an official transcript of a journal of Elizabeth Van Wyck, and a diary kept by Sydney Van Wyck. The Elizabeth Van Wyck journal is a transcript of a reminiscence of her life from age 7 until November 12, 1808, when she was 26. The copy was made in 1925, at the request of Elizabeth's great-grandson, Sidney M. Van Wyck, Jr. The second item is a detailed journal kept by Sydney Van Wyck during his time at school in the 1840s. In it, he described his life at school and many of his family members.

The Documents and Financial Records series is made up of four subseries: Estate Papers, Insurance Papers, Legal and Financial Documents, and Account Books.

The Estate Papers subseries contains 11 items concerning the property of A.P.C. and 24 items related to Howard J. Crittenden. These include A.P.C.'s last will and testament and court records surrounding his murder and the handling of his estate (1870-1875). The Howard J. Crittenden items document Howard's financial holdings at his death and how his estate was divided.

The Insurance Papers subseries (3 items) includes a record of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company (1871) and a fire insurance policy from Pacific Insurance Company for Clara Crittenden (1872).

The Legal and Financial Documents subseries (16 items) consists of bank notes, telegraphs concerning business dealings, receipts for goods and payments, contracts, and personal tax bills. Of note are contracts signing over gold and silver claims in Nevada to Howard Crittenden. These include locations in White Pine, Nevada, such as "Lucky Boy Tunnel" and "Adele mining ground" (1869).

The Account Books subseries (3 items) contains a 12-page account book for A. Hemme (1873), a 20-page account book for S. M. Van Wyck (1873-1874), and a mostly empty National Granit State Bank account book of Thomas Crittenden (1874).

The Photographs and Illustrations series contains 106 photographs of Crittenden family members. These include cartes-de-visite, tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, cabinet cards, and several modern reproductions. They depict many of the Crittenden family members, including several Crittenden men in Confederate uniform, Clara Crittenden, Clara Van Wyck, and Laura Fair, among others. See Additional Descriptive Data for the complete list.

In addition to the photograph, this collection also contains an ink sketch of the floor plan of a San Francisco cottage (in the letter dated July 4, 1852).

The Miscellaneous series (9 items) contains school report cards, Laura Van Wyck's application to become a Daughter of the Confederacy (which includes a heroic account of Churchill Crittenden's death in the Civil War), Nannie Crittenden Van Wyck's address book (with contacts in Saint Louis, Chicago, Kentucky, New York, and Brooklyn), a newspaper clipping about mining in Nevada, and 3 unattributed writing fragments.

The folder of supplemental material relates to Robert E. Stewart's publication Aurora Ghost City of the Dawn, Las Vegas: Nevada Publications, 1996, including a copy of the book and 10 photographs taken by Stewart of Aurora and the Ruins of the Sanchez home.


Randal Crouse papers, 1908-1919 (majority within 1917-1919)

0.25 linear feet

This collection consists of letters that Lieutenant Randal H. Crouse wrote to his mother, Lillie M. Crouse, while serving with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Crouse described his experiences at Camp Hancock, Georgia, and in France, where he often commented on life near the front. The collection also has postcards, documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

This collection contains 85 letters that Lieutenant Randal H. Crouse wrote to his mother, Lillie M. Crouse, while serving with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. The collection also has 4 letters by other writers, 9 postcards, 4 documents, 15 photographs, and 29 newspaper clippings (including 7 duplicates) related to Crouse's time in the military.

The Correspondence series (89 items) comprises the bulk of the collection and consists mostly of the letters that Randal Crouse sent to his divorced mother, Lillie M. Crouse, from Camp Hancock, Georgia, and France between September 1917 and April 1919. At Camp Hancock, he discussed the reorganization of his Pennsylvania National Guard unit into the 112th Infantry Regiment and mentioned several specific training exercises, including some involving gas masks (January 27, 1918). He described other aspects of camp and military life and, upon his arrival in France around May 1918, provided his impressions of the scenery and people, as well as descriptions of his experiences at the front. Soon after his arrival, he reported hearing nearby artillery fire and shared his awe at the multicultural makeup of the allied forces, which included soldiers from a number of foreign countries (May 27, 1918). Though he remained optimistic about the war's imminent end, Crouse mentioned his participation in some difficult fighting, credited the Germans with putting up a strong resistance, and described airplane crashes he had witnessed (August 17, 1918). By October 30, 1918, he expressed his relief at being transferred to a safer area following weeks of hard fighting, and on November 3, 1918, he described a one-day visit to Paris.

Following the signing of the Armistice, Crouse revealed more details about military actions he had participated in, including movements near Metz, and expressed his surprise upon hearing of the large scale of the influenza epidemic, from which the war had distracted him. In his letter of December 4, 1918, he copied several pages from a captured German diary that described the advance on Paris in September 1914; the letter also encloses a printed map of a portion of the Western Front near the end of the war. Throughout the spring of 1919, Crouse continued to discuss his travels through France and his anticipation of a return to the United States.

The series has 4 letters by other correspondents, including 3 by Lillie M. Crouse, who wrote a letter to her son while he attended a summer camp (July 13, 1908), prematurely reported Germany's surrender (November 7, 1918), and expressed her wish for military volunteers to displace active service veterans (March 31, 1919). Jordy L. Stafer, a soldier, also wrote a letter to Lillie M. Crouse, whom he knew from York (October 9, 1918).

The Postcards and Greeting Card series (7 items) contains mail that Randal Crouse sent to his mother during the war. The postcards show scenery in Germany and in Glasgow, Scotland, and one is a photographic postcard of Crouse in uniform. The Christmas card has a drawing of an American soldier reading with a young girl.

Documents (4 items) include a memorandum by W. H. Hay commending the service of the 28th Division of the United States Army, as well as 2 items related to the allotment of Randal Crouse's pay to his mother. Also present is a photographic card identifying Crouse as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces.

The Photographs series (15 items) has 6 snapshots of soldiers, including 2 taken in front of a cannon; 2 larger formal portraits of Randal H. Crouse; and 7 small snapshots of a soldier smoking a cigar and an old European building.

Newspaper clippings (29 items) primarily concern the actions of the 28th Division of the United States Army, including several reprinted letters that Randal Crouse sent to his mother while serving overseas, taken from the Gazette and Daily (York, Pa.) and other papers. Seven of the items are duplicates.


Robert Lackhove papers, 1915-1946 (majority within 1942-1945)

2.25 linear feet

This collection primarily consists of around 500 letters that Lieutenant Robert N. Lackhove of Altoona, Pennsylvania, wrote to his girlfriend and future wife, Myrle Hoffman of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, between 1942 and 1945. Lackhove, a bombardier with the United States Army Air Forces, described his training in Texas, his experiences while stationed in Lavenham, England, and his participation in combat missions.

This collection primarily consists of around 500 letters that Lieutenant Robert N. Lackhove of Altoona, Pennsylvania, wrote to his girlfriend and future wife, Myrle Hoffman of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, between 1942 and 1945. Lackhove, a bombardier with the United States Army Air Forces, described his training at camps throughout Texas and his experiences while stationed in Lavenham, England, where he flew combat missions.

The Correspondence series comprises the bulk of the collection. Three letters pre-date the war, including one letter from 1915 and two letters that Lackhove wrote to Myrle Hoffman in 1938. The bulk of his correspondence with Hoffman began in January 1942. He occasionally wrote about his work in York, Pennsylvania, until December 1942, when he joined the United States Army Air Forces. Lackhove corresponded regularly with Hoffman throughout his military service, and often wrote once every two or three days. He provided his initial impressions of military life and described his daily routine at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center in San Antonio, Texas, which included frequent interactions with upperclassmen, drills, and classroom work. He continued to write after his transfer to Bruce Field in Ballinger, Texas, and during bombardier training in San Angelo, Texas. He participated in practice bombing runs and often mentioned his flying time and other activities. Some of Lackhove's letters from this period include drawings of his uniform, bombing targets, and additional subjects. Lackhove was promoted to second lieutenant in January 1944, and attended a training course in Laredo, Texas, until around March, when he was assigned to Tampa, Florida; Avon Park, Florida; and Georgia, where he awaited overseas deployment.

In July 1944, Lackhove reported his arrival in England, where he was based throughout his time overseas. Though censorship prevented him from sharing many details, he mentioned his participation in bombing runs and recalled hearing German radio propaganda aimed at English speakers. He also provided detailed descriptions of people and occasionally mentioned trips to London. On August 6, 1944, he enclosed Icelandic currency in his letter to Myrle. After flying his required number of missions, he returned to the United States in early 1945.

Lackhove was briefly stationed in Miami Beach before being transferred to Midland, Texas, where he remained until June 1945, when he moved to Childress, Texas. He continued to attend navigation classes and to comment on daily camp life. His leisure time became more frequent, and he attended movies and played golf with his friends. Lackhove increasingly mentioned his feelings for Myrle, and urged her to make preparations for a wedding; the couple wed during one of his leaves in May 1945. After V-E Day, he began to anticipate his return to Pennsylvania, and after V-J Day he looked forward to a discharge. His final military letter is dated September 11, 1945, and he wrote one additional personal letter to Myrle in July 1946.

Though the vast majority of the correspondence consists of Lackhove's letters to Myrle, occasional letters from other family members and friends are interspersed throughout the series. Lackhove's parents, Louis and Mary, occasionally wrote letters to Myrle, and she also received letters from other acquaintances. Lackhove also enclosed letters from his parents and, on at least one occasion, a friend, in some of his letters to Myrle. A small number of letters that she wrote to Lackhove are also included, particularly after his return to the United States in 1945. She discussed her feelings about their upcoming wedding and her life in Camp Hill.

The Poetry series contains three typed poems relating to love and separation.

The Ephemera series contains 21 greeting cards that Robert Lackhove sent to Myrle Hoffmand and to his parents, celebrating birthdays and other holidays. The series also has an invitation, an announcement, and a thank-you card. Additional items include a photograph of a small girl named Vickie holding a telephone, a document regarding Robert Lackhove's military salary, and stamps.