Guide to the Eltinge-Lord Family Papers (Peter Eltinge Papers), 1856-1871

Collection Overview

The Eltinge-Lord Family collection consists of the papers of two men related by marriage who served as Union officers in the Civil War. It has been organized into two divisions respectively centered on Peter Eltinge (ca. 1842-1877) of New Paltz, New York, and George P. Lord (ca. 1842-1866) of Camden, Delaware. Lord's marriage to Peter's sister, Mary Eltinge, formed the link between the two. Peter, a store clerk before the war, entered the 156th New Yolk Volunteer Infantry in August, 1862, and rose to the rank of captain. Most of his papers consist of correspondence with his father, Edmund Eltinge, an officer of the Huguenot National Bank in New Paltz, and the other members of his family. George obtained a naval commission in 1861, served with the Mississippi Squadron, and eventually became a lieutenant commander. The bulk of his papers consist of the official records of two of his commands, the U.S.S. Chillicothe and the U.S.S. Ozark . For a brief time in 1864, the two brothers-in-law served in the same theater and met while taking part in Banks' Red River campaign of that year. After the war Eltinge and Lord were partners in a grocery business in Memphis, Tennessee, until Lord's death in August, 1866. Peter Eltinge returned to New Paltz, where he worked in his father's bank and in insurance until his own death at the age of 35.

Filed in the first box of the Lord Division are a printed catalog of the contents of the various official naval records, a typewritten supplement of added material of similar nature, and copies of sketches of ships' histories as given in the U.S. Navy's Dictionary of American Fighting Ships. Filed in the first box of the Eltinge Division are copies of biographical sketches of individuals mentioned in both divisions. Other supplementary material filed at the beginning of the Eltinge collection includes a list of members of the 156th New York Volunteers and the service records of its officers as given in New York and the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865, Vol. 5. Researchers may also wish to consult Will Plank's Banners and Bugles, a popular history of the participation of Ulster County, New York, in the Civil War.

Researchers using the printed and typewritten guides to the Lord Division should be warned that those aids do not definitively describe the current order of those papers. Some material previously considered "undated" has been re-filed in appropriate places in the collection by date. Other peculiarities in both divisions include the filing of such items as general orders, printed materials, etc., in among correspondence and other categories. In such cases the material remains where originally filed and, in the instance of the Lord Division, as listed in the guides provided.

The most important part of the Eltinge Division is Peter's correspondence (1856-1871), which, although it includes one letter from 1856, does not begin with any continuity until 1859, or after he had already lived in New York City for a year. Another gap occurs between April, 1861, and September, 1862, for which there are no letters. The correspondence also becomes very thin after Peter closed his business in Memphis. Nine letters which appear after that date consist of exchanges with the War Department and Treasury concerned with clearing up minor discrepancies in accounts connected with military service. Other materials in the collection include typescripts of Peter's correspondence (1859-1871), a xerographic copy of a scrapbook, legal papers (1864-1865, undated), newspaper clippings (1863-1864), a picture of Eltinge in his officer's uniform, and a collection of miscellany (1865-1866). Researchers should be aware that the typescripts of the Eltinge correspondence reproduce only a portion of the letters for the years indicated and not always very accurately at that.

Most of the historically significant Eltinge material is contained in Eltinge's correspondence, particularly that dealing with the Civil War. Eltinge obtained a second lieutenant's commission in the fall of 1862 in the 156th New York Volunteer Infantry, a regiment recruited from Richmond County (Staten Island) and Ulster County, New York. The regiment saw service in several theaters and participated in General N. P. Banks' probe at and later seige of Port Hudson in 1863 and the Red River campaigns of 1863 and 1864 in the Department of the Gulf, as part of the 19th Corps relief force sent to defend Washington against Early, in Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campain , as paw of Schofield's army which moved westward from the North Carolina coast to meet Sherman at Goldsboro, and on occupation duty in Lexington, Georgia, after the war in 1865. Peter Eltinge saw comparatively little action for all that campaigning, as either his regiment was held in reserve, his company detailed as a headquarters guard, or he himself in the hospital or in New York on a stint of recruiting duty which allowed him to convalesce. Peter was present, however, for practically all of Sheridan's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, during which his regiment suffered heavy casualties.

The composition of the Lord Division provides very different material than that of Peter Eltinge. That portion of George Lord's personal correspondence reposited at Duke (1862-1867) consists of only one folder of letters, while xerographic copies of other personal letters (1862-1868) are only slightly more numerous. By far the largest part of the division consists of the official records of the U. S. naval vessels Chillicothe (1863-1867, undated) Ozark (1864-1865), and Osage (1863, undated), and other naval records. Those records pertaining to the Chillicothe are both plentiful and comprehensive, taking in official correspondence (1863-1867, undated), the reports of the chief responsible commissioned and noncommissioned officers (1863-1865), orders (1862-1865 , undated), commercial papers (1864-1865, undated), and a miscellany collected by or pertaining to the Chillicothe (1863-1865 , undated). Other portions of the division include oaths of allegiance (1864-1865), printed material (1863-1865), a logbook of orders (1864), a collection of miscellany (1864-1865 , undated), captured Confederate papers (1862-1865), clippings (1861-1862, undated), and photographs of naval officers, ironclads, and gunboats (ca. 1861-1865, undated).

The papers of the Lord Division are marked by a number of gaps and omissions. The personal correspondence and the copies of personal correspondence contain relatively few items for the years 1862 and 1863. Although Lord wrote only sparingly to Peter Eltinge and his own family in Delaware, he apparently undertook an extensive correspondence with his fiancé and later bride (See Eltinge Division, letters, Edmund to Peter Eltinge, Jan. 9, 1864, and Lord Division, personal letters, copies, Mary to Edmund Eltinge, May 2, 19, 1864), while Mary presumably wrote with equal frequency. Practically none of these letters are represented in the collection, although the absence of Mary's early letters to George can be explained by their probable destruction in the sinking of the Covington, one of George's ships, in the spring of 1864.

The records of the Chillicothe, although by far the most numerous of the several ships' records in the collection, are not fully complete. There are several large and obvious gaps - occasionally months long - in the morning reports and other sections of the several sets of officers' reports. It should also be noted that the earliest examples of the Chillicothe's official correspondence do not involve Lord, but rather his predecessor, Lt. Joseph P. Couthony. Most of the various specialized sections of the ship's records are devoted to narrow subjects.

George Lord had been a cadet at the Naval Academy for a short time in the 1850s. He obtained a commission as a master's mate at Cincinnati in 1861, and participated in the Belmont, Ft. Henry, New Madrid (Island No. 10), and Red River campaigns and served afterwards on the lower Mississippi River. Lord's official correspondence as commander of the Chillicothe late in the war chiefly pertains to the regulation of trade on the river. Some of the naval records also cover George's service as commander of the "Ironclad Fleet in Ordinary" in the late part of 1865, while some personal letters (copies) deal with his brief career as a grocer in Memphis.

A general review of the information contained in the Eltinge and Lord Divisions follows. Please see appropriate cards in the subject catalog for a complete list of dates and references for topics mentioned.

Descriptive Summary

Eltinge-Lord Family papers (Peter Eltinge papers) 1856-1871
Eltinge, Peter, ca. 1842-1877.
2,245 Items
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

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Collection is open for research.

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The status of the copyright interests in the Eltinge-Lord Family Papers is unknown. For more information, consult the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1856-1864 August 29
Box 1
Correspondence, 1864 Sept. 2-1871
Box 2
Correspondence (typescripts), 1856-1871
Box 3
Correspondence (typescripts), 1864-1865
Box 4
Correspondence (typescripts), 1865-1871
Box 5
Scrapbook (xerographic reproduction)
Box 5
Legal Papers, 1864-1865 and undated
Box 6
Miscellany, 1865-1866 and undated
Box 6
Clippings, 1863-1864
Box 6
Box 6
Personal Letters, 1862-1867 and undated
Box 7
Personal Letters (copies), 1862-1868 and undated
Box 7
Official Correspondence, 1863-1864
Box 8
Official Correspondence, 1865-1867 and undated
Box 9
Reports of the Master at Arms, 1863-1865
Box 10
Yeoman's Reports, 1863-1865
Box 10
Surgeon's Reports, 1863- 1865
Box 11
Daily Coal Reports, 1864-1865
Box 12
Engineer's Monthly Returns, 1864
Box 12
Gunner's Monthly Reports, 1863-1865
Box 12
Carpenter's Reports, 1863-1865
Box 12
Ordnance Reports, 1863-1865
Box 12
Statements that boxes brought aboard the Chillicothe contained no spirituous liquors, 1863-1865
Box 12
Orders, 1863-1865 and undated
Box 13
Commercial Papers, 1863-1865 and undated
Box 13
Miscellany, 1863-1865 and undated
Box 13
Records of the U.S.S. Ozark , 1864-1865
Box 13
Records of the U.S.S. Osage , 1863 and undated
Box 14
Oaths of Allegiance, 1864-1865
Box 14
Printed Material, 1863-1865
Box 14
Volume: Logbook of Orders and Cotton Shipments, 1864
Box 14
Miscellany, 1864-1865 and undated
Box 14
Confederate Papers, 1862-1865
Box 14
Clippings, 1861-1862 and undated
Box 14
Box 14
Memphis Daily Post, 1866 August 17
Oversize Folder 1
The New Paltz Times, 1864 June 3
The New Paltz Times, 1866 August 31
The Southern Illustrated Times, 1865 November 24

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eltinge-Lord Family Papers (Peter Eltinge Papers), David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Eltinge-Lord Family Papers were acquired by Duke University in 1976.

Processing Information

Processed by: Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Staff

Completed ca. 1976

Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.