Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Wolcott P. Marsh Family Papers, 1844-1876

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, April 2010

Summary Information
Title: Wolcott P. Marsh family papers
Creator: Marsh family
Inclusive dates: 1844-1876
Bulk dates: 1855-1863
Extent: 15 items
The Wolcott P. Marsh family papers contain the correspondence of several members of the Marsh family, between 1844 and 1876, with approximately half of the letters written by Wolcott P. Marsh. They document Marsh family news, business, Civil War service, and religious thought.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2662a3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Wolcott P. Marsh Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Items are arranged chronologically, with several undated items and miscellaneous envelopes at the end.


Wolcott Pascal Marsh was born March 15, 1839, in Brooklyn, New York. By 1860, he had moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and married Anna Thompson. For a short time, he worked selling knives. In April 1861, he enlisted in Rifle Company A, 1st Connecticut Infantry, was discharged after the First Battle of Bull Run, and was mustered into Company A, 8th Connecticut Infantry, as a second lieutenant. On December 24, 1861, Marsh was promoted to first lieutenant. Under Brigadier General Burnside in the North Carolina Expeditionary Corps, his unit fought at Roanoke Island, New Bern, and Fort Macon in the spring of 1862. Marsh was promoted to captain in December. After the Battle of Fredericksburg, Marsh received a medical discharge, probably for complications caused by malaria. By 1870, he had settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, with his wife and children and was working as a merchant.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Wolcott P. Marsh family papers are comprised of 13 letters and two miscellaneous envelopes, dating from 1844-1876. Wolcott P. Marsh, a merchant and Civil War captain, wrote seven of the letters, beginning with a letter concerning travel between several mid-Atlantic cities, written on September 21, 1855. On August 10, 1863, Marsh wrote to a cousin from camp at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and described the geography and residents of Fredericksburg. The remainder of his letters shed light on such topics as his support of Lincoln and his business ventures.

Marsh’s relatives wrote an additional six letters, some of which relate the growth of Battle Creek, Michigan (August 17, 1844), and Brooklyn, New York (December 26, 1847: “This village grows larger than it did when you visited. You will be surprised to see many buildings.”), as well as family news and religious advice.

Subject Terms

    • Battle Creek (Mich.) .
    • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
    • Fredericksburg (Va.)
    • Hartford (Conn.)
    • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
    • Merchants.
    • Presidents--United States--Election--1860.
    • United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 1st (1861)
    • United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 8th (1861-1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Willimantic (Conn.)
    • Winchester Center (Conn.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   38, Small Collections  
    Wolcott P. Marsh family papers [series]
    Folder   1  
      August 17, 1844-November 6, 1860
    Folder   2  
     February 16, 1861-April 10, 1876,  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Mercer, Sandra Marsh, and Jerry Mercer. Letters to a Civil War Bride: The Civil War Letters of Captain Wolcott Pascal Marsh. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2006.