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Silas Morrison letters, 1862-1865

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Morrison, Silas.
Title: Silas Morrison letters, 1862-1865
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 385
Extent: 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Microfilm copy of the letters of teacher and Union Army sergeant Silas Morrison during the Civil War.
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)], Silas Morrison letters, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by EK, 1961.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Silas Morrison was sergeant, Co. B, 110th Ohio Regiment. The donor of the letters, who is his great-niece, says that he had been a school teacher before going into the army. In 1862 - 1863 he was in western Virginia in the Winchester and Strasburg area. In 1864 he was in Co. K, 3d Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps, awaiting assignment in the vicinity of Washington, D. C. In May of that year he had been in an army hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, but the letters give no indication of when or how he came to be hospitalized. In 1865 he was in camps in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, waiting to be discharged. He was quite well educated and wrote at some length. He was apparently related to David Hamilton, whose letters are also on reel 280. Both men seem to have been of Maryland background.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a microfilm copy of nine letters of Silas Morrison from 1862-1865. All but the first of which were written by Silas Morrison to his brother, John L. Morrison. The first letter is from John Kough, a Maryland cousin. From December 9, 1862-May 31, 1863, Silas wrote four letters from camps in Virginia. In the first (Camp Jessie, New Creek, Hampshire County, Virginia) he gives a lengthy description of the location of the camp, makes derogatory comments about officers, says he is studying "phonography" and teaching it to another soldier. The effect of his remarks about officers and the leadership of the Union Army in general is that the common soldiers are willing and able, but that the cause is suffering from incompetent military leadership on high levels. (This was before Grant took command in the East.) The next 3 letters were written from camp near Winchester, Virginia, January 2, 1863 and he tells about a march from Petersburg to Moorefield in December 1862, and a scouting party towards Strasburg on which they had to climb the Branch Mountains. He describes conditions in the Shenandoah Valley at that time. On May 20, 1863 he speaks of the reactions in camp to Vallandigham's arrest. Again on May 31, 1863 he mentions his feeling that if the army had better leadership the war would soon be over. On May 22, 1864 he writes from the U. S. General Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, but does not say how or when he came to be hospitalized. He had been transferred from the Seminary U. S. General Hospital at Columbus, Ohio. By this time John Morrison was also in the army. The remaining letters (November 24, 1864-July 2, 1865) were written after Silas Morrison's transfer to the Veteran Reserve Corps. On December 8, 1864 he writes from Depot Camp, V. R. C., Cliffburne Barracks, D.C., where he is waiting for assignment to duty. On May 8, 1865 he is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, still in the army. He speaks of his sorrow at Lincoln's death and pays an eloquent tribute to Lincoln. In his July 2, 1865 he is at a Depot Camp at Hartford, Connecticut, awaiting his discharge from the army.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

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