Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence

Finding aid created by
KYle Garver, Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence
Creator: Bebee Family.
Inclusive dates: 1850-1865
Extent: 1 cubic foot (in 1 box)
Abstract:
Family Correspondence of Nelson Bebee

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 3114

Access Restrictions:

Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence Papers are open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence, # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

The collection is mostly organized alphabetically by the author’s name, then chronologically.


History

Biography:

Nelson W. (Nell) Bebee of Duplain (Clinton County, Michigan) enlisted in Company B, Michigan 4th Cavalry, at Ovid, Michigan, on August 4, 1862 at age 23. Nelson was mustered 24 days later. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on December 20, 1862. On July 1, 1863, Nelson was transferred to the Invalid Corps. On July 15, 1865, he was discharged at Cairo, Illinois, from Company H, 15th Regiment, the Veteran Reserve Corps.

John Bebee, Nelson’s younger brother, enlisted at Fort Wayne, Indiana, on August 6, 1861 in Company H, Michigan 5th Infantry at age 19. He was mustered on August 28, 1861. On December 15, 1863, John Bebee re-enlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia. He was mustered on December 27, 1863. John Bebee was killed in action near Petersburg, Virginia, on June 16, 1864.

Friends of Bebee documented in the correspondence include John W. Bradner and Andrew E. Ferdon. No information is available on another brother, Z. H. Harrison; E. E. Wilcox; or the Bebee sisters: Nell(ie), Maggie, Franie, Elvira, Phoebe, brother George, or their parents. The Bebee family apparently made and sold wooden bowls.

John W. Bradner enlisted at Duplain (Clinton County, Michigan) in Company G, Michigan 4th Cavalry on July 28, 1862 at age 26. He mustered a month later. Bradner was promoted to Sergeant on March 1, 1865 and later 1st Sergeant. On July 1, 1865, John Bradner was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee. He lived in St. Johns, Michigan, after the war.

Andrew E. Ferdon enlisted at Duplain (Clinton County, Michigan) in Company B, Michigan 4th Cavalry on July 28, 1862 at age 27. He was mustered a month later. Andrew was discharged for disability at Madison, Indiana, on November 5, 1863. (This information is from regimental histories.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

Most of the letters between John and Nelson and their sisters and friends concern their health, the weather, and news of family and friends both at home and in the service. John also wrote about picket duty (December 31, 1861); “killing niggers” (January 14, 1862); visiting girls (January 17, 1862, January 25, 1862); Jefferson Davis (February 17, 1862); George B. McClellan (April 23, 1862); and the Mechanicsville Battle (June 27, 1862).

Nelson wrote briefly and mostly that he was often ill and had the mumps and about Rebels fighting (both on April 16, 1863); the draft and the dead on battlefields (November 3, 1863, October 2, 1864); about Rebel POWs, some of whom joined the US Navy (“Navie”) (October 31, 1862, November 18, 1862, June 12, 1864, June 22, 1864, December 9, 1864); Copperheads and the 1864 convention (September 4, 1864, November 9, 1865). Letters about John’s death can be found from July 4 and 19, 1865.

There are also letters about Grant and Lee and fighting in Virginia, from Harrison to Nelson (1864?); about General Hooker, from Ferdon to Maggie (March 8, 1863); and about taking goods from Southern plantations (October 31, 1862).

John and Nelson both had bad penmanship and spelling skills. Several of the letters are badly faded and one is stained. One letter is only a fragment.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Beebe, Nelson W.
    • Beebe, John.
    • Ferdon, Andrew E.
    • Bradner, John W.
    • Beebe family.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Cavalry Regiment, 4th (1862-1865), Company B.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Cavalry Regiment, 4th (1862-1865), Company G.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 5th (1861-1865), Company H.
    • Ovid (Mich.)--History.
    • Clinton County (Mich.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Correspondence, Service record (copies) for Bebee family and friends, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Correspondence, (unknown), Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 9 September 1861
    Box   1 F   3
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan near Fort Lyons, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie) 13 December 1861
    Box   1 F   4
    Correspondence, St. Joseph Hospital, Central Park, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Brother (N.W. Bebee) 14 January 1862
    Box   1 F   5
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Minerva) 17 January 1862
    Box   1 F   6
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan Written by John Bebee Written to Dear Sister / Friend Nell 18 January 1862
    Box   1 F   7
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister Margaret Bebee 21 January 1862
    Box   1 F   8
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 25 January 1862
    Box   1 F   9
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister Maggie Bebee, 4 February 1862
    Box   1 F   10
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister Minerva Bebee 15 February 1862
    Box   1 F   11
    Correspondence, Camp Michigan, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 17 February 1862
    Box   1 F   12
    Correspondence, Camp Hamilton, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister 31 March 1862
    Box   1 F   13
    Correspondence, Camp Winfield Scott, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 8 April 1862
    Box   1 F   14
    Correspondence, Camp near Yorktown, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie) 23 April 1862
    Box   1 F   15
    Correspondence, Camp Fair Oaks, Virginia, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister 27 June 1862
    Box   1 F   16
    Correspondence, Fort Lyons, Written by John Bebee, Written to Maggie, 20 November 1863
    Box   1 F   17
    Correspondence, Fairfax Seminary, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 20 December 1863
    Box   1 F   18
    Correspondence, Camp near Brandy Station, Virginia, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Brother (N.W. Bebee), 7 April 1864
    Box   1 F   19
    Correspondence, Camp near Brandy Station, Virginia, Written by John Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 14 April 1864
    Box   1 F   20
    Correspondence, Detroit, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 21 September 1862
    Box   1 F   21
    Correspondence, Detroit, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 22 September 1862
    Box   1 F   22
    Correspondence, Detroit, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 24 September 1862
    Box   1 F   23
    Correspondence, Camp near Mumfordsville, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 31 October 1862
    Box   1 F   24
    Correspondence, Silver Springs, Maryland, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 18 November 1862
    Box   1 F   25
    Correspondence, Nashville, Tennessee, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie) 6 December 1862
    Box   1 F   26
    Correspondence, (Unknown), Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to (Fragment), (no day, month) 1862
    Box   1 F   27
    Correspondence, Murfreeboro, Tennessee, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 20 January 1863
    Box   1 F   28
    Correspondence, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Friends, 26 March 1863
    Box   1 F   29
    Correspondence, Camp Mintie, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 16 April 1863
    Box   1 F   30
    Correspondence, Camp Mintie, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 18 April 1863
    Box   1 F   31
    Correspondence, Murfreeboro, Tennessee (Stained), Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 21 April 1863
    Box   1 F   32
    Correspondence, Camp Minty, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 20 May 1863
    Box   1 F   33
    Correspondence, Field General Hospital, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 13 June 1863
    Box   1 F   34
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson, Written to Dear Sister, 31 July 1863
    Box   1 F   35
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 4 August 1863
    Box   1 F   36
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 3 November 1863
    Box   1 F   37
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 12 November 1863
    Box   1 F   38
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 14 November 1863
    Box   1 F   39
    Correspondence, Elmira, New York, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister,  4 December 1863
    Box   1 F   40
    Correspondence, Rock Island, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie) and Dear Brother, (John), 25 January 1864
    Box   1 F   41
    Correspondence, Rock Island, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 4 February 1864
    Box   1 F   42
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois (Faded), Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 25 March 1864
    Box   1 F   43
    Correspondence, Duplain, Michigan, Written by Nellie Bebee, Written to Dear Brother (Nelson W.) 20 April 1864
    Box   1 F   44
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 23 April 1864
    Box   1 F   45
    Correspondence, Ovid, Michigan, Written by Franie Bebee, Written to Dear Brother (Nelson W.) 27 April 1864
    Box   1 F   46
    Correspondence, (Unknown)(Faded), Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 6 May 1864
    Box   1 F   47
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 15 May 1864
    Box   1 F   48
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee. Written to Dear Sister, 22 June 1864
    Box   1 F   49
    Correspondence, Ovid, Michigan, Written by Z. H. Harrison, Written to Dear Brother (Nelson W.) 4 July 1864
    Box   1 F   50
    Correspondence, Duplain, Michigan, Written by Maggie Bebee, Written to Dear Brother (Nelson W.), 19 July 1864
    Box   1 F   51
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Maggie, 4 September 1864
    Box   1 F   52
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 20 September 1864
    Box   1 F   53
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 2 October 1864
    Box   1 F   54
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Maggie, 17 October
    Box   1 F   55
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 18 October 1864
    Box   1 F   56
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 5 December 1864
    Box   1 F   57
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 9 December 1864
    Box   1 F   58
    Correspondence, Ovid, Michigan, Written by Z.H. Harrison, Written to Dear Brother (Nelson W.), (no month, day) 1864
    Box   1 F   59
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois (Faded), Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie),  18 January 1865
    Box   1 F   60
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie), 22 January 1865
    Box   1 F   61
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister, 13 February 1865
    Box   1 F   62
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Beebe, Written to Dear Sister, 2 April 1865
    Box   1 F   63
    Correspondence, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Written by Nelson W. Bebee, Written to Dear Sister (Maggie) and Dear Sister (Minerva) 21 April 1865
    Box   1 F   64
    Correspondence, Camp near Minville, Written by J.W. Bradner, Written to Friend Maggie, 18 August 1863
    Box   1 F   65
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Dear Maggie, 1 January 1862
    Box   1 F   66
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Dear Maggie, 6 March 1863
    Box   1 F   67
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital, near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Dear Maggie, 8 March 1863
    Box   1 F   68
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Dear Friend Maggie, 7 May 1863
    Box   1 F   69
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Friend Maggie, 30 May 1863
    Box   1 F   70
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Friend Minerva, 4 October 1863
    Box   1 F   71
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Maggie and Minerva, 13 October 1863
    Box   1 F   72
    Correspondence, U.S. Hospital near Madison, Indiana, Written by A.E. Ferdon, Written to Friend Maggie, 29 October 1863
    Box   1 F   73
    Correspondence, Ada, Michigan, Written by E.E. Wilcox, Written to Dear Friend, 19 October 1863