This collection contains 12 letters from Union soldier Aaron Ingraham to his parents and sisters from 1861 to 1862, while he served in the 48th New York Infantry. Ingraham described his experiences at Camp Sherman in Washington D.C.; Annapolis, Maryland; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Camp Perry at Daufuskie Island, South Carolina; and Fort Pulaski, Georgia.
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: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
Aaron H. Ingraham Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Ingraham, Aaron H.
Rank : 1st Lieut.
Regiment : 48th New York Infantry Regiment (1861-1865)
Service : 1861 August-1864 June
Aaron H. Ingraham (c.1840-1864) was a poor farmer who served with the 48th New York Infantry from August 1861 until his death in June 1864. Before the war, Ingraham lived with his parents George W. and Electa Ingraham and three sisters in Amenia, New York. Aaron, the eldest son, supplemented his work on the family farm with teaching to help alleviate the family's financial problems. Ingraham entered the army as a corporal with Co. F of the 48th New York Infantry and, in July of 1863, became the acting quartermaster of Co. C while stationed at Fort Pulaski, Georgia. He achieved the rank of first lieutenant during his service. He led his company at the Battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and was killed.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Aaron H. Ingraham papers contain 12 letters from a Union soldier to his parents and sisters from 1861 to 1862, while he served in the 48th New York Infantry. In them, he provided a description of his daily activities and responsibilities, and included basic information on troop movements. As Ingraham traveled from Camp Sherman in Washington D.C. to Annapolis, Maryland, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Camp Perry at Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, and finally to Fort Pulaski, Georgia, he described each of these settings. For instance, he reported that Annapolis was "a mere nothing, the houses being of inferior size and quality. The streets narrow and running in every direction but straight and there is naut of life and activity which makes it seem like anything but a northern city." In a letter to his sister, he mentioned a conversation with a free African American woman in Annapolis about her children whom had been taken north (October 17, 1861). Later letters concern the fortifications of Hilton Head and the effectiveness of mail delivery to the forts. Though he often described the monotonous life of a soldier, and complained about poor food and his lack of money, he used his keen sense of observation to highlight interesting events in the forts. The January 20, 1862, letter provides a wonderful account of eating at the fort and his excitement about receiving ginger snaps and bread in the mail. In this letter he also mentioned a friend who drowned after walking over the side of a boat in his sleep. Letters from November 29, 1861, and February 12, 1862, both recount instances of friendly fire. Ingraham wrote the letter of March 30, 1862, from Fort Pulaski, just after the Union captured the fort. He reported a rumor that Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops, but he believed the rumors unfounded. While he held strong anti-Confederate views, he was not an abolitionist. In the final letter in the collection, he noted that slavery should simply be allowed to die out or at least contained in current slave territories.
The letter from January 9, 1862, has a red and blue patriotic engraved image of a woman carrying an American flag.
Annapolis (Md.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Daufuskie Island (S.C.)
Fort Pulaski (Ga.)--Siege, 1862.
Hilton Head (S.C.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Patriotism--United States--Pictorial works.
United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 48th (1861-1865)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Battlefields.