This collection (42 items) contains letters that United States Army lieutenant (and later general) Amos Beebe Eaton wrote to his grandmother, Tryphena Cady of Canaan, New York, and to his wife, Elizabeth Selden Eaton.
Eaton wrote 6 letters to his grandmother between September 14, 1822, and March 26, 1826, while attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He described cadets' daily lives at the academy, including their physical regimen, and discussed the possibility of remaining in the military after graduation. Though he considered applying for the marine corps or becoming a doctor, he stayed with the army, and wrote 3 letters to his grandmother between April 16, 1828, and October 21, 1830, while he served at the Hancock Barracks near Houlton, Maine. The next group of 5 letters, written to his sister and grandmother from Fort Niagara, New York, between February 21, 1831, and November 8, 1833, concern his movements with the army and his family life, including news of his new wife and young daughters. He also described Fort Niagara and shared some of his opinions on enlisted men.
Between 1834 and 1836, Eaton wrote to his wife Elizabeth ("Betsy"), who remained in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, while he traveled in New York, Connecticut, Ohio, and Michigan, on military and personal business. He often mentioned visiting family members, and in one letter discussed foreign relations with France, as well as abolitionism (February 12, 1836). The collection also contains 2 letters that Eaton wrote while serving as Commissary General of Subsistence in 1867. Other material includes a letter addressed to Amos Eaton, one letter addressed to Elizabeth Eaton from a sibling (July 3, 1836), and a copied document signed by several recruits, stating that they had recently received pay (June 9, 1835).