Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Carmany Family Papers, 1862

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, August 1992

Summary Information
Title: Carmany family papers
Creator: Carmany family
Inclusive dates: 1862
Extent: 6 items
This collection contains six letters from the Carmany brothers and William Murray to their family members in Pennsylvania during the Civil War. They include an account of the Battle of Fredericksburg and discussions of camp life.
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:

Donated,1992. M-2857.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.


Copyright status is unknown.


The Carmany brothers' letters were donated to the Clements Library by Dr. and Mrs. Logan W. Hovis in August, 1992.

Preferred Citation:

Carmany Family Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Carmany, Adam, d. 1862?

Rank : Cpl.

Regiment : 127th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Co. E (1862-1863)

Service : 1862 August 13-1862 December 13 (missing in action)

Carmany, William P.

Rank : 1st Lt.

Regiment : 127th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Co. E (1862-1863)

Service : 1862 August 14-1863 May 29

Murray, William W.

Rank : Capt.

Regiment : 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Co. C (1861-1865)

Service : 1861 October 21-1862 October 1

The Carmany brothers and William W. Murray, probably an uncle, were from Lebanon County, Pa. Murray had enlisted in 1861 as Captain of the 93rd Pennsylvania, a regiment that participated in most of the major engagements of the Army of the Potomac after 1st Bull Run, but resigned his commission due to poor health one year later. The Carmanys enlisted in August, 1862, in the Lebanon County company of the 127th Pennsylvania, a nine months' regiment recruited primarily in Dauphin County.

The 127th Pennsylvania was mustered into service in the middle of August, 1862, and nine of the ten companies had left for the vicinity of Washington by the end of the month. In the aftermath of the failed Peninsular Campaign, the 127th were posted to guard Chain Bridge, where they remained until called into Burnside's Army as it advanced on Fredericksburg. On the night of December 10th, as pontoon bridges were laid across the river, the regiment supported artillery batteries bombarding the city. When this failed to dislodge the enemy resisting the crossing, the 127th were one of the regiments called on to storm across in boats, succeeding in their efforts with comparatively few casualties, and skirmishing their way through town as evening fell. Shortly after noon on the 13th, the regiment took part in the disasterous assault on Marye's Heights, approaching within 75 yards of Confederate lines before dropping in the lee of a ridge. During the engagement, at least one company of the 127th broke and ran to the rear in panic, and regimental casualties overall were severe, with 257 reported killed, wounded, or missing. Adam Carmany was reported wounded by a fellow soldier, and was officially listed as missing in action.

William Carmany continued with the regiment through the winter, and, though wounded at Chancellorsville, remained with the regiment until it mustered out in May, 1863.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains six letters, three from Adam Carmany, two from Murray and one from William Carmany, all written to family members in Lebanon County. Each of the three are fine, literate writers.

William Murray's letters were written at a time when he was making efforts to resign his commission.Noteworthy are Adam Carmany's description of pillaging horses and anything alive and edible during the march to Fredericksburg, "we killed every thing we met, went into pig stables took out all the pigs and killed them, also all the chickens, turkeys, geese, calves, oxen, and in fact everything we met that was fit to eat." He also provides an interesting discussion of camp shortly after the regiment's arrival outside of Washington, including horse stealing and foraging, and an account of the vaccination against smallpox for those members of the regiment who were not already taken with the disease. By far the highlight of the collection, however, is William Carmany's account of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the rout of his company under fire, and his grisly description of burial detail under a flag of truce. Most of the bodies of Union soldiers, he reported, had been stripped naked, and the Confederates assigned to burial duty, "the hardest looking men I ever did see," were wearing an odd assortment of Union blue and Confederate grey.

Subject Terms

    • United States. Army. Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 127th (1862-1863)
    • Fredericksburg, Battle of, 1862.
    • Foraging--Virginia.
    • Pillage--Virginia.
    • Soldiers' Bodies, Disposition of.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Missing in action.
    • Carmany, Adam, d. 1862?
    • Carmany, William P.
    • Murray, William W.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   42, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Carmany family papers,  1862 August 26-December 19 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Mark, P. G. Red, white, and blue badge, Pennsylvania veteran volunteers, a history of the 93rd regiment... Harrisburg, 1911.

    History of the 127th regiment Pennsylvania volunteers. Lebanon, Pa., 1902.

    Partial Subject Index
    • 1862 December 19
    Carmany, Adam, d. 1862?.
    • 1862 December 19
    • 1862 December 19
    • 1862 September?
    • 1862 September?
    • 1862 December 10
    Fredericksburg, Battle of, 1862.
    • 1862 December 19
    Fredericksburg (Va.)
    • 1862 December 10
    Horse stealing.
    • 1862 December 10
    Howard, Oliver Otis, 1830-1909.
    • 1862 December 19
    • 1862 December 10
    • 1862 December 19
    Picket duty--Virginia.
    • 1862 September?
    • 1862 December 10
    • 1862 December 19
    • 1862 September?
    Soldiers' Bodies, Disposition of.
    • 1862 December 19
    Soldiers--Confederate States of America.
    • 1862 December 19
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.
    • 1862 September?
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Missing in action.
    • 1862 December 19
    • 1862 September?
    • 1862 September?