Arthur A. Harmon papers, 1861-1863

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zd54

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Harmon, Arthur A., d. 1863.
Title: Arthur A. Harmon papers, 1861-1863
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 388
Extent: 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Microfilm copy of the papers of Union soldier Arthur A. Harmon of Portland, Maine, who served in Company E, 17th Maine Infantry Regiment.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Loaned for microfilming, 1961.


[after identification of item(s)], Arthur A. Harmon papers,, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by RHP, 1964.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Arthur A. Harmon was a Union soldier from Portland, Maine. He enlisted in Company E, 17th Maine Infantry Regiment during August of 1862 to serve for three years. The 17th was assigned to Hiram G. Berry's Brigade of David D. Birney's First Division of the Third Corps. From the latter part of October until December of 1862, Harmon was in a hospital in Washington, D. C., suffering from diarrhea, an ailment common to soldiers. The regiment took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, but apparently Harmon was in the hospital at that time. Late in December, he returned to the 17th, which was then encamped near Falmouth, Virginia.

On May 2 and 3, 1863, Harmon was actively engaged in the Chancellorsville Campaign; he appears to have been serving on detached service with an artillery battery. By July 2, 1863, he was back with the 17th at Gettysburg. The 17th Maine was by now in Colonel Philip P. D. de Trobriand's Third Brigade of Major General D. B. Birney's First Division of Major General Dan E. Sickles' Third Corps. Harmon was killed during the second day of fighting at Gettysburg. This occurred when the Confederate Generals Hood and McLaws attacked Sickles' overextended lines in the area below the Round Tops.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a microfilm copy of the papers Arthur A. Harmon from 1861-1863. The collection includes nineteen letters: fifteen written by Arthur A. Harmon to his parents and a friend describing his experiences in the military service, including hospital stays and his feelings about war. Other letters include one from his captain, Ellis M. Sawyer, notifying Harmon's parents of his death at Gettysburg; one from a buddy, George E. Ross, describing the circumstances of Harmon's death; one from Miss Laura Fry of Washington, D. C. asking Arthur's whereabouts; and one from S. Watson of the Maine Soldiers' Relief Association notifying Arthur Harmon's brother, Charles, that the Association had a bundle of Arthur's clothing.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
MF1 1 August 25, 1861, to his parents before enlistment, from Hiram, Maine
MF1 2 October 31, 1862, to his parents, from hospital in Washington, D.C.
MF1 3 November 13, 1862, to his parents, from hospital in Washington, D.C. Has met a Mrs. Fry who brought him apples
MF1 4 November 13, 1862, to his brother, Charles, from hospital in Washington, D.C. Largely concerned with brotherly talk about friends in Portland
MF1 5 November 20, 1862, to his parents, from hospital in Washington, D.C. In low spirits, all he eats is bread and tea, tells of another visit from Mrs. Fry
MF1 6 November 27, 1862, to his parents, from hospital in Washington, D.C. Had Thanksgiving at the home of Mrs. Fry
MF1 7 December 21, 1862, to his parents, from hospital in Washington, D.C. He is about to report back to his regiment
MF1 8 February 16, 1863, to his parents, camp near Falmouth, Virginia. Many in his regiment are sick
MF1 9 March 1, 1863, to his parents, camp near Falmouth, Virginia. Charges that the quartermaster is dishonest
MF1 10 March 8, 1863, to his parents, camp near Falmouth, Virginia. Has received box of food from home, but its contents were spoiled
MF1 11 March 26, 1863, to his parents, camp near Falmouth, Virginia. In low spirits, wants to pay doctor to give him a discharge
MF1 12 April 25, 1863, to a friend, Joseph, camp near Falmouth, Virginia. Expresses strong religious feelings.
MF1 13 May 10, 1863, to his parents, from Falmouth. Describes the battle of Chancellorsville and discussion he had with some Confederate prisoners after the battle
MF1 14 May 22, 1863, to his parents, from Falmouth. Has heard that Jefferson Davis has died and discusses Chancellorsville
MF1 15 May 29, 1863, to his parents, from Falmouth. Talks about Hooker and Grant. Says that he hears there will be a big fight [Gettysburg]
MF1 16 July 13, 1863, Ellis M. Sawyer (Company E) to James W. Harmon. States Arthur was killed almost instantly on the 2nd July at the Battle of Gettysburg
MF1 17 August 26, 1863, George E. Ross (Private, Company E), to James W. Harmon. Discusses details of Arthur’s death
MF1 18 February 2, 1864, Laura Fry to James W. Harmon from Washington, D.C., Writing to find the whereabouts of Arthur
MF1 19 July 21, 1867, S. Watson (Maine Soldier’s Relief Association) to Charles S. Harmon (Arthur’s brother). From Washington, D.C. Has a bundle of Arthur’s clothing and wants to know what to do with them