Henry Benton Austin collection ([1861]-1862)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, July 2013
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Henry Benton Austin collection
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: [1861]-1862
Extent: 4 items
Abstract:
The Henry Benton Austin collection contains letters that Austin wrote to a woman named "Hettie" and a manuscript map depicting the Battle of Ball's Bluff. Austin commented on his experiences while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War and expressed his displeasure with a transient lifestyle.
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

Acquisition Information

2012. M-4942.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Henry Benton Austin Collection, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Arrangement

The undated items are placed at the end of the collection

Biography

Henry Benton Austin joined the Union Army around the beginning of the Civil War and served in the Army of the Potomac at and immediately after the Battle of Ball's Bluff. He later became a first lieutenant in Company C of the 16th Indiana Infantry Regiment.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Henry Benton Austin collection contains 3 letters that Austin wrote to a woman named "Hettie" and a manuscript map depicting the Battle of Ball's Bluff. The map, drawn with ink and pencil, shows geographic landmarks such as the Potomac River and the road to Leesburg, Virginia, as well as picket lines, battery positions, and the Confederate Army's furthest point of advancement ([1861]). Two of Austin's letters pertain to his war service (January 26, 1862, and undated). He reflected on the Battle of Ball's Bluff, which he referred to as "a day of human butchery," and described a boat carrying wounded soldiers. Austin reported that his unit had been equipped with Enfield rifles, complained about poor drinking water, and mentioned soldiers' difficulty drilling with heavy uniforms, knapsacks, and cartridge boxes in high heat. In his final letter, also undated and unsigned, Austin discussed his case of the "blues" and dissatisfaction with a "roving wandering kind of life."

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • Ball's Bluff, Battle of, Va., 1861.
  • United States. Army of the Potomac.
  • Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Subjects - Visual Materials:
  • Ball's Bluff, Battle of, Va., 1861.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Maps.
Contributors:
  • Austin, H. Benton (Henry Benton)
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Manuscript maps.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   97, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Henry Benton Austin collection [series]
Folder   40  
 [1861]; January 26, 1862; and  undated

Additional Descriptive Data

Bibliography

"Soldiers and Sailors Database." National Park Service. Web. 23 July 2013.