W. Orville Tift letters, 1862-1863

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Tift, W. Orville
Title: W. Orville Tift letters, 1862-1863
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 375
Extent: 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Microfilm copy of the letters of Union soldier W. Orville Tift, who served in the 26th Connecticut Infantry Regiment 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)], W. Orville Tift letters, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by EK, 1961.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

W. Orville Tift, soldier in Company K of the 26th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, was a resident of Mystic Bridge, Connecticut. His father was Amos C. Tift. W. Orville Tift was related to Nelson Tift, the founder of Albany, Georgia, and to the Tift for whom Tifton, Georgia was named. Some members of the family supported the Union cause and some the Confederate. He survived the war. There is no indication of what his occupation was at the time he joined the Army nor of what he did after the war.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a microfilm copy of the letters of W. Orville Tift from 1862-1863. There are six loose letters, November 1862-June 1863; a bound volume containing seven hand-copied letters, December 1862-January 1863; a single page soldier newspaper, "Twenty Sixth Extra," June 22, 1863, New Orleans, Louisiana; and one manuscript poem. The letters begin with one from Camp Buckingham, Brooklyn, New York, where the regiment was stationed before shipping to Louisiana. In December 1862 the regiment boarded the steamer "Empire City" and sailed from New York. Tift's letters during the voyage describe crowded conditions on the ship, life on board ship, food, weather, etc. Tift's knowledge of the sea and of nautical terms is evident. He describes passage up the Mississippi to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The regiment was stationed at Camp Parapet, and he describes the camp, its fortifications, the burial ground, living conditions, etc. He tells of his first experience of going on picket duty, describes a visit to New Orleans, a African American "meeting" which he attended, a Washington's Birthday celebration in a Zouave camp in February 1863. In January 1863 his regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, Sherman's Division. In June 1863 he writes that he is helping to care for the wounded in the army general hospital at Baton Rouge. This is the last letter. The soldier newspaper consists of a list of members of the 26th Connecticut killed or wounded between certain dates. Authorship of the manuscript poem is not indicated.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

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