Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Warren H. Cudworth Papers, 1862-1865

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009

Summary Information
Title: Warren H. Cudworth papers
Creator: Gile, Fannie Cudworth
Inclusive dates: 1862-1865
Extent: 11 items
The Warren H. Cudworth papers consist of 11 Civil War era letters, the bulk of which are from Warren Cudworth to his sister Fannie. Cudworth served as a chaplain for the First Massachusetts Regiment, Cos. F and S.
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:

1995. M-3171.1.

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:

Warren H. Cudworth Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


This collection is organized chronologically.


Warren Handel Cudworth was born to Warren and Angeline Cooper Brown Cudworth in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1825. He had one older sister, Angeline Mozart Cudworth. They were raised by their mother, after their father died in 1827. Warren was encouraged to sing and play the organ, and at age 16 was employed at the Lowell Unitarian Church as an organist. Cudworth attended Phillips Andover Academy and graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1851. He was ordained in 1852 and helped establish a Unitarian church in East Boston. His influence was felt outside of the church; he was active on the committee for public schools and organized aid to the sick and the poor. In 1861, with the fall of Fort Sumter, Cudworth left his church and became a chaplain for the First Massachusetts Regiment, Cos. F and S. He published an account of his experiences in the Civil War in 1865, entitled History of the 1st Regiment (Massachusetts Infantry).

After the war, Cudworth was welcomed back by his church in East Boston. With growing numbers of parishioners, he helped to raise the funds to build a larger church in 1868. In 1880 he embarked on a trip around the world with two generous church members, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard, who paid for the trip. On Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1883, Cudworth died of a stroke, as he was leading his church in prayer.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Warren H. Cudworth papers contain 11 Civil War era letters. The first 8 letters are from Warren to his sister Fannie Gile. Warren writes from Harrison's Landing, James River; a camp near Alexandria, Virginia; Rikers Island, New York; and a camp at Brandy Station. He discussed his movements and the situations he encountered, such as: seeing a demonstration of the breech-loading Armstrong guns (October 5, 1863); and marching close to Washington to find rebels retreating under General Meade (October 23, 1863). In a letter from September 11, 1862, Cudworth criticized the Union Generals for being the cause of the army's misfortunes and "not [being] equal to the positions they are called upon to fill and consequently, as the rebel generals are, they have got the worst of it in nearly every battle." In his last letter, Cudworth mentioned the lack of transport out of Savannah, Georgia, and the unhealthy living conditions, which caused many of the men to become sick as they waited to return home from the war.

Two letters, one from 1864 and one from 1865, are from Jesse L. Osgood to his uncle John and Aunt Fannie, respectively. Osgood, who was in the Union Army stationed in Charleston, commented on McClellen's nomination to the Democratic ticket for the presidency, but thought "that Lincoln is as good a man as they will find” (September 1, 1864). Another letter was from Dr. James F. Upham, who seemed to know Jesse Osgood. Upham wrote of being stationed outside Washington and anticipated being discharged, because the war was coming to an end.

Subject Terms

    • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
    • McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885.
    • Meade, George Gordon, 1815-1872.
    • Rikers Island (N.Y.)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Cudworth, Warren H. (Warren Handel), 1825-1883.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   92, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Warren H. Cudworth papers [series]
    Folder   23  
     July 29, 1863
     September 11, 1862
     October 10, 1862
     October 27, 1862
     October 5, 1863
     October 23, 1863
     February 18, 1864
     March 31, 1864
     September 1, 1864
     May 8, 1865
     September 6, 1865
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library owns the following books by Warren H. Cudworth:

    The William Tipton album contains images of survivors from the 1st Massachusetts Infantry on pages 54-55. This photo album is located in the Clements Library Graphics Division.