William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
John R. Comfort Papers, 1863-1865
James S. Schoff Civil War CollectionFinding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, July 1995
John R. Comfort papers
The John Comfort papers consist of seven letters written at scattered times through his Civil War service with the 137th New York Infantry Regiment.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown.
John R. Comfort Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Comfort, John R.
Rank : Sgt.
Regiment : 137th New York Infantry Regiment (1862-1865)
Service : 1862 September 25-1865 June 9
The 137th New York Infantry Regiment was recruited by Colonel David Ireland in south-central New York State during the late summer of 1862. John R. Comfort, whose father, James, lived in Lanesboro, Pa., enlisted for a three year period on September 25th, eventually attaining the rank of Orderly Sergeant.
Comfort's regiment was sent to Virginia in October 1862, where they were attached to the 3rd Brigade, 2d Division, 12th Corps. After a relatively quiet first winter, the regiment was engaged at the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where they suffered heavy casualties, before being ordered south to join the drive for Atlanta. After participating in the night attack at Wauhatchie and the engagements near Chattanooga in December, 1863, the 137th Infantry took part in the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea and the March through the Carolinas before being mustered out in June, 1865.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The John Comfort papers consist of seven letters written at scattered times through the Civil War service of John R. Comfort with the 137th N.Y. Infantry Regiment. Because of the scant coverage, these letters do not build a clear picture of Comfort's attitudes or experiences, though occasional glimpses of both come through. Comfort provides some interesting soldiers'-eye observations on his commanding generals, particularly Henry W. Slocum, whom Comfort liked for not putting on the airs that other generals do, John W. Geary, Joseph Hooker, whom Comfort considered one of the most intelligent commanders in the Union army, and Alpheus S. Williams, whom he detested. Comfort's letter of August 13th, 1864, includes a useful account of the life in the Union lines before Atlanta, and his letter of January 21st, 1865, provides a brief but interesting description of the desperate Confederate effort to impede the advance of the Union XV Corps by flooding rice fields around Savannah.
- Atlanta Campaign, 1864.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 137th.
Additional Descriptive Data
Atlanta Campaign, 1864.Confederate States of America. Army--Artillery.Floods.Geary, John White, 1819-1873.Hooker, Joseph, 1814-1879.Marches--Virginia.Morale.Mud.Savannah (Ga.)Shenandoah Valley (Va.)Sherman's March to the Sea.Slocum, Henry Warner, 1827-1894.United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African-Americans.Williams, Alpheus Starkey, 1810-1878.