Alfred C. and Cordelia Arnold papers (1862-1865)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Alfred C. and Cordelia Arnold papers
Creator: Arnold, Alfred C., 1836-1918 and Arnold, Cordelia S., 1841-1916
Inclusive dates: 1862-1865
Extent: 26 items
The Alfred C. and Cordelia Arnold papers consists of Civil War-era correspondence that provides an intimate glimpse into the relationship of a young Connecticut couple, separated by the war.
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

1992. M-2767.

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

Alfred C. and Cordelia Arnold Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


This collection is organized chronologically.


Alfred C. Arnold (1836-1918) was born to William Stephen Arnold and Francis E. Smith on 23 April, 1836, in Stamford, Connecticut. Cordelia A. Smith (1841-1916) was also born in Stamford, Connecticut.

Beginning in August 1862, Alfred served 20 months in the Quartermaster's department at Fort Trumbull and spent the following year as a carpenter in the conscript camp there. During the Civil War, Fort Trumbull served at the 14th Infantry regiment's recruiting depot, where troops were trained and organized before being sent to the front. He joined the regiment in Richmond in May 1865, as the War was ending, and was discharged by June 1865. During this time, Cordelia lived in New London, Connecticut.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this collection consists of letters between Alfred “Charlie” Arnold and his wife Cordelia “Delia” Arnold. These letters offer little information on Arnold’s military activities, but do provide a glimpse of an intimate, loving relationship between a husband and wife separated by the war. The letters from Alfred trace his movements from New London, Connecticut, in 1862-1863, to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1864, and to Baltimore, Maryland, and City Point (now Hopewell), Virginia in 1865. They discuss family and friends, money issues, weather and health, and their feelings for one another.

Letters to the Arnolds from friends and family include one from Francis E. Arnold to her daughter-in-law; one from Delia's father to Alfred, and letters from Sister Jenny and their close friend Eliza.

Subject Terms

  • Connecticut--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Fort Trumbull (New London, Conn. : Fort)
  • Husband and wife.
  • New London (Conn.)
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   76, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Correspondence [series]
Folder   8  
 September 1862-July 1863 (8 items)
Folder   9  
 July 1863-June 1864 (9 items)
Folder   10  
 June 1864-April, 1865, and  undated (9 items)

Additional Descriptive Data


A brief account of Alfred Arnold's Civil War activities may be found in the Stamford Soldier’s Memorial (1869), by Eligah.B. Huntington, p.64.