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Guide to the Lewis F. Henderson Letters, 1862-1865

Abstract

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.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Henderson, Lewis F.
Title
Lewis F. Henderson Letters 1862-1865
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.2 Linear Feet, 12 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

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.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letter, 1862 Dec. 25, Camp near Stafford Court House, Va.

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."

Folder 1
Letter, 1863 Mar. 6, Upton's Hill, Va.

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, 1863 May 26, Camp near Alexandria, Va.

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, 1863 Sept. 22, Philadelphia, Pa.

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, 1863 Oct., Alexandria, Va.

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, 1863 Dec. 15, Alexandria, Va.

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, 1864 Jan. 28, Alexandria, Va.

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, 1864 Feb. 26, Alexandria, Va.

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, 1864 July 30

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, 1864 Sept. 6

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, 1864 Oct. 13

Letter mentions Rebel General Lomax, Copperheads at home, ladies, Lincoln and Johnson. Henderson is sure of Lincoln's re-election.

Letter, 1865 Mar. 7, Chapin's Farm, Va.

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.

Historical Note

Lewis F. Henderson was a corporal in the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 32nd Regiment (3rd reserve), Company D.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lewis F. Henderson Letters, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Lewis F. Henderson Correspondence were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1983.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, May 1993

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, February 2011

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.