Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Mead Family Papers, 1861-1863

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, March 2010

Summary Information
Title: Mead family papers
Creator: Mead family
Inclusive dates: 1861-1862
Extent: 28 items
The Mead family papers primarily document the Civil War experience of Henry Mead, of the 10th Connecticut Infantry, up to his death from typhoid fever in April 1862. Mead’s letters describe informal religious meetings, the battles of Roanoke and Newbern, and 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:

2000. M-4114.8.

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:

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


The Mead family papers are arranged chronologically.


Sanford Mead was born December 20, 1803, in Fairfield, Connecticut. On February 25, 1833, he married Cynthia Husted (b. 1812), also of Connecticut, and they settled on a farm in Fairfield. They had five known children: Alexander (b. 1835), Hannah (b. 1837), Henry (1840-1862), Peter (1843-1845), and Mary (b. 1846). In 1861, Henry was mustered into service with Company I, 10th Connecticut Infantry. After fighting in the battles of Roanoke Island and Newbern, he died of typhoid fever in Newbern, North Carolina, on April 20, 1862.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Mead family papers contain 28 letters written between October 10, 1861, and July 17, 1863. Henry Mead wrote 21 of the letters to his parents and siblings during his service in Company I, 10th Connecticut Infantry. Other letter writers include Henry’s friend William Long, who was also a member of Company I, as well as a soldier named Willis, likely Willis Mead of the 6th New Hampshire Infantry, and Henry’s father, Sanford Mead. George Pease, “Nellie,” and “Deak” contributed three additional letters; their connection to the Meads is unclear.

Henry Mead’s letters shed light on his six months of service with the 10th Connecticut Infantry, before his death from typhoid fever in April 1862. He provided details of camp life, drilling, sailing on the schooner E.W. Farrington , and the religious activities of soldiers. He was a dedicated participant in informal religious “meetings” held in tents, and discussed them throughout his correspondence. On December 10, 1861, he wrote, “there was one thing that made the meeting rather more solom to night was the loosing of our men last night… It made a deep thought on my mind for I thought why was it not I instead of him.” In his letter of October 29, 1861, he described getting his photograph taken in uniform and having money stolen from his pocketbook. Although Mead’s battle descriptions are sparse, he frankly expressed his anxiety and fear of death before fighting at Roanoke (February 8, 1862).

Subject Terms

    • Fairfield (Conn.)
    • New Bern, Battle of, New Bern, N.C., 1862.
    • Religion.
    • Roanoke Island (N.C.)--History--Capture, 1862.
    • Soldiers--Connecticut.
    • United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 10th (1861-1865)
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Religious aspects.
    • Long, William.
    • Mead, Henry H., 1840-1862.
    • Mead, Sanford.
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   93, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Mead family papers [series]
    Folder   5  
     1861 October 10-1861 October 29
    Folder   6  
     1861 November 1-1861 December 6
    Folder   7  
     1861 December 10-1862 January 18
    Folder   8  
      1862 January 21-1862 February 27
    Folder   9  
     1862 March 2-1863 July 17
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library holds items related to several other members of the 10th Connecticut Infantry: