Guide to the Lewis F. Henderson Letters, 1862-1865
Corporal in the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 32nd Regiment (3rd reserve), Company D. Letters from Corporal Lewis F. Henderson to an unidentified friend in Philadelphia contain accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Battle of Cedar Creek; and the Battle of Lynchburg. Other topics include Union hospitals; the burning of Virginia Military Institute and Governor John Letcher's home; Union and Confederate desertions; and "copperheads" in Philadelphia. Letters provide description of Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and the last days of the Civil War.
- Collection Number
- Lewis F. Henderson Letters
- Henderson, Lewis F.
- 0.2 Linear Feet, 12 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Letters from Corporal Lewis F. Henderson to an unidentified friend in Philadelphia contain accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Battle of Cedar Creek; and the Battle of Lynchburg. Other topics include Union hospitals; the burning of Virginia Military Institute and Governor John Letcher's home; Union and Confederate desertions; and "copperheads" in Philadelphia. Letters provide description of Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and the last days of the Civil War.
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[Identification of item], Lewis F. Henderson Letters, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Letter discusses hardships, illness, and privations of camp life. Henderson's regiment left Sharpsburg on a Friday night, crossing the Potomac River to "sacred soil of the F.F.V."
Letter describes process of vaccination, Belle Plains, Alexandria, and the death of a young soldier, who was "the life of the whole regiment." Also refers to Philadelphia as "our Quaker City."
Letter describes marching, General Hooker, Secesh prisoners, and the Convalescent Camp. Henderson also mentions the Col. and his staff hunting a house in town for headquarters.
Letter describes hospital accommodations and Pennsylvanian politics, particularly Governor Curtin. Henderson was interested in knowing if Curtin is to be re-elected: "This is a great question at the present time with us ... for the soldiers friend as Curtin is familiarly called by us."
Letter describes Battle of Gettysburg, including Lee and Meade; position which Lee had determined to occupy outwitting the Rebel General, and showing them that this time they did not have General Pope to fight against. He writes that the army had captured a large number of prisoners.
Letter describes Thanksgiving Day in camp. "I think my best plan should be to hunt up a Virginia girl and marry her... We have no news from General Meade."
Letter describes Christmas as "very dull," and further describes some of the African Americans working in the camp. "We have got to be quite aristocratic... having a mulatto girl for cook, or as the original ebony colored Africans call the yellow ones. We have a copper colored wench... and another yellow wench."
Letter mentions that "700 men of the 183rd Penn Volunteer Regiment arrived here yesterday". Henderson then writes about Veteran Regiments, being stationed at Martinsburg, and Texas and General Banks: "I can't understand what the idea of the Government is."
Letter mentions that "on June 14th we left Lexington for Lynchburn, and on the 16th captured Liberty the great hospital town of the Rebels in the Valley. The sick and wounded were all paroled... got a few miles near Lynchburg--much fighting...."
Letter describes move into "My Maryland". Henderson describes Generals Early, Hooker, Pope, and Johannies, and also discusses Cedar Creek, calvary, Berryville, etc. The letter contains a good description of the Shenandoah Valley campaign in the last year of the war.
Letter mentions Rebel General Lomax, Copperheads at home, ladies, Lincoln and Johnson. Henderson is sure of Lincoln's re-election.
Letter contains a good description of the final days of the war, and Henderson's impression of the rapid decline of the Confederate cause. Also includes comments on Lincoln's second inauguration ceremonies in Washington, soldier pay and lifestyles, Philadelphia, etc. The letter notes that one of Henderson's friends (from the North) had joined the Confederate cause, fighting for the army and being captured at the Battle of Franklin. Henderson also discusses desertions from the Union army and executions "almost every day, the culprits being principally from the 10th Connecticut...." He also mentions the desertions of Confederate troops, and claims that Georgians and Virginians are more likely to desert, while South Carolinians were considered more loyal and reliable.
Lewis F. Henderson was a corporal in the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 32nd Regiment (3rd reserve), Company D.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Henderson, Lewis F.
- United States. Army. Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 32nd (1861-1864). Company D
- Cedar Creek, Battle of, Va., 1864
- Copperhead movement
- Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863
- Lynchburg, Battle of, Lynchburg, Va., 1864
- Shenandoah Valley Campaign, 1864 (August-November)
- Shenandoah Valley Campaign, 1864 (May-August)
The Lewis F. Henderson Correspondence were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1983.
Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, May 1993
Encoded by Meghan Lyon, February 2011