HUTCHINSON (EDWIN AND FAMILY) PAPERS

(Mss. 751)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2010

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTE ............................................................................. 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
SERIES DESCRIPTIONS .............................................................................................................. 5
CROSS REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 7
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 10

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SUMMARY

Size.

221 items

Geographic locations.

Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, New York

Inclusive dates.

1861-1872

Bulk dates.

1861-1865

Language.

English

Summary.

Letters to members of his family and copies of official army orders of Edwin Hutchinson, son of Holmes Hutchinson, a medical cadet at the U.S. General Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland and an army surgeon attached to the 3rd Maryland Volunteers, and the 137th New York Volunteers during the campaigns in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia of the Civil War.

Organization.

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access.

Photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

Charles W. Hutchinson and Family Papers, Mss. 1865

Copyright.

Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation.

Edwin Hutchinson and Family Papers, Mss. 751, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

U:159, OS:H, Mss.MF:H

BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTE

Edwin Hutchinson was a medical cadet at the United States General Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, and an army surgeon attached to the 3rd Maryland Volunteers and the 137th New York Volunteers during campaigns in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia in the Civil War. His father, Holmes Hutchinson (d. 1865), was an engineer working on New York State canal projects. Holmes was the president of the Oswego and Syracuse Railroad Company, and a director of the Ontario Steamboat Company. Edwin's brother, Charles W. Hutchinson, was a commission merchant and art collector from Utica, New York.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection is comprised chiefly of letters from Edwin Hutchinson to his family which describe his duties at military hospitals and on battlefields during the Civil War. Letters (1861-1862) from Fort McQuade, Arlington Heights, Virginia, comment on military life in camp and his internship at the U.S. General Hospital in Annapolis. Letters (1862-1863) describe his duties during the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Gettysburg. Also described are his experiences caring for the wounded after battles, during campaigns in northern Virginia, and near Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in the U.S. Army hospital at Stevenson, Alabama. Letters reflect on General Sherman's evacuation of Atlanta (1864), Sherman's march to the sea (Dec. 1864-March 1865), General Lee's surrender, and President Lincoln's assassination. Letters from New York City pertain to the settlement of Holmes Hutchinson's estate and Edwin's courses at medical school. Other papers include official orders and appointments to medical duties during the war, a diploma from Columbia College (1866), and two certificates of merit for services during the war (1872).

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

[The collection is arranged chronologically, but like items are described in groups below. See the Container List for description reflecting physical arrangement]

Series I, Correspondence, 1861-1865, undated

Earliest correspondence is made up of letters from Hutchinson to his mother and father while attached to the 14th Regiment, New York Volunteers, Army of the Potomac, stationed at Fort McQuade, Arlington Heights, Va. He discusses camp personnel, hospital supplies, health of soldiers, water conditions, and quality of food. Because he receives no pay for his services, he repeatedly states his need for money (1861-1862). In letters from July 1862, Hutchinson notes the lack of patriotism in the North and expresses his belief in the need to support the government.

A number of letters are written from battlefields and discuss positions of troops, numbers wounded, interaction with the Southern forces, routine and living conditions in the camps, morale of the soldiers, description of the countryside, reactions of the townspeople, and numbers of deserters (1862-1863). In one letter, written after the Battle of Antietam, Hutchinson mentions dressing the wounds of General Joseph Hooker (September 18, 1862). Another letter is written to Hutchinson's father from a fellow soldier, J.M. Stevenson, who tells that Edwin was taken prisoner during the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 7, 1863). This is followed by two letters from Edwin Hutchinson to his mother telling her of the battle itself and his time as a prisoner (May 7 and 16, 1863). Hutchinson also writes to his parents following the Battle of Gettysburg. He describes the progression of the fighting, the extent of the wounded, and marching through smaller towns after the battle (July 1-9, 1863). One letter mentions coming across a “Rebel spy” hanging from a tree (July 9, 1863).

Subsequent letters describe the journey through Kelly's Ford, Va., Louisville, Ky., and Murfreesboro, Tenn. (August-December 1863). A letter to Hutchinson's mother talks of visiting Nickajack Cave in Alabama (October 27, 1863), and letters to his father discuss the Battle Wauhatchie and contain an attached map drawn by Hutchinson showing the line of battle from Kelly's Ferry to Chattanooga, Tenn. (November 6, 1863), and the battle with General Bragg's army at Mission Ridge (November 30, 1863). He also writes to his father describing the war as a “slaveholder's rebellion,” and that the only way to defeat the enemy is to get rid of slavery. He believes, “where there is no slavery, there can be no insurrection” (December 4, 1863).

Beginning in 1864, letters from Hutchinson are written from his post as Surgeon in charge of the Division Hospital in Stevenson, Alabama. He writes to his family of the high prices of food in Alabama, shortsightedness of the Generals in failing to maintain an adequate transportation system in order to move food and clothing to the fighting men, and recreation of the soldiers at the hospital (January-May 1864). As a member of the 20th Army Corps under Gen. Hooker, Hutchinson writes in detail of the campaign through Georgia as well as his impressions of the people and the countryside (May-August 1864). In letters from Atlanta, Georgia, he describes conditions in the city, soldiers' attitude toward the National election, and mentions Gen. Sherman's orders for citizens to evacuate the city (September-November 1864). Letters from Savannah, Georgia, tell of the destruction of the countryside, the campaign from Atlanta to the coast, a description of the city, and activity at the U.S. General Hospital at Savannah (December 1864February 1865).

On April 9, 1865, Hutchinson was detailed for duty as Surgeon-in-Charge of the Division Hospital at Goldsboro, North Carolina. A letter from Raleigh, N.C. tells of the march pursuing General Joseph Johnston's Army and the news of Lee's surrender to Grant (April 27, 1865). Hutchinson's last letter as a member of the Union Army is written from Richmond, Va., dated May 9, 1865.

Letters from New York City pertain to the settlement of Holmes Hutchinson's estate, discuss Edwin Hutchinson's school and hospital work, and provide general family news (October-December 1865, undated).

Series II, Military Papers, 1861-1872

Military papers include notification from the Surgeon General's office that Hutchinson passed his examination as a medical cadet, (September 24, 1861) as well as a document signed by Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, certifying that Hutchinson was accepted as a medical cadet (October 3, 1861). Also included is his appointment to the General Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, (October 7, 1861). Special orders No. 215 from the Adjutant General's Office discharge Hutchinson from the service in order to enable him to accept a commission as Assistant Surgeon of the 3rd Maryland Volunteers, (September 6, 1862). Other papers include Hutchinson's appointment to surgeon of the 137th Infantry Regiment, N.Y.S. Volunteers, from the Surgeon General's Office, Albany, New York (August 25, 1863), his appointment as Surgeon-in-Charge of the Division Hospital at Stevenson, Alabama, (January 1, 1864), and his appointment as Surgeon-in-Charge of the Corps Hospital of the 20th Corps (January 10, 1865);

Other papers include Hutchinson's diploma from Columbia College (1866) and two certificates of merit for services during the Civil War (1872).

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Alabama--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Hospitals.

Jan.April, 1864

11 letters describing conditions at the hospital, care of the sick, personnel, visits of U.S. Army general.

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862.

Sept. 1862

2 letters describing battle and duties during battle

Atlanta Campaign, 1864.

May–Nov., 1864

19 letters written during the campaign and from Atlanta. 20th Army Corps, 2nd division, Brig. Gen. John W. Geary.

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876.

Nov. 1863

6 letters re: Chattanooga Campaign

Chancellorsville, Battle of, Chancellorsville, Va., 1863.

May 1863

4 letters describing his duties during, and as a prisoner treating the wounded

Chattanooga, Battle of, Chattanooga, Tenn., 1863.

Oct.–Nov., 1863

6 letters re, mentioning Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge

Fort Ellsworth (Va.)

July 1861

Mention of Marshall House, Colonel E. Elmer Ellsworth and Fort Ellsworth

Fort McQuade (Va.)

Aug. 1861

7 letters from, regarding military life in camp, strong fortification, poor water supply

Geary, John White, 1819-1873.

May–Nov., 1864

19 letters written by surgeon with,

Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Civilian relief.

1864

Atlanta, September 1864

Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863.

June–July, 1863

6 letters describing march to and the battle of, duties, contact with Confederate soldiers

Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination.

May 1865

Letter, May 9, re march to Washington assassination of President Lincoln

Medical colleges--New York (State)--New York.

Oct. 1865

6 letters chiefly concerning settlement of father's estate

Medical students--Maryland--Annapolis.

Sept. 1861- Sept. 1862

44 letters, description and location of buildings, living conditions, servant necessary, course of study, duties, number of patients

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.

April 1865

2 letters, letter of April 27, tells of news of Lee's surrender

Prices--United States.

1864

Complaint by US Army surgeon, January 7

Savannah (Ga.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Dec. 1864March 1865

7 letters describing Sherman's march to the sea and conditions in Savannah

Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891.

Sept. 1864

Letter, September 10, re. Sherman's order to evacuate the city,

Letter, September 29, re.

Sherman's March to the Sea.

Dec. 1864March 1865

7 letters describing Sherman's march to the sea and conditions in Savannah

Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.

Oct. 1863

Description of trip form Virginia to, 2 letters

United States. Army. Maryland Infantry Regiment, 3rd (1861-1865)

1864

Letter, January 17, describing personnel of

United States. Army. Maryland Infantry Regiment, 3rd (1861-1865)--Surgeons.

Oct. 1862 May 1862

36 letters

United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 33rd (1862-1865)--Bands.

Oct. 1864

Concert by 33rd Massachusetts Volunteers at Atlanta, Georgia, October 10

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 137th (1862-1865)

1864

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 137th (1862-1865)--Surgeons.

Oct. 1863

2 letters describing trip of surgeon in US Army

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.

1861-1865

Treatment of Federal and Confederate soldiers and civilians

United States--History--Civil

1862-1863

Letters of US Army surgeon to members of his family

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

War, 1861-1865--Public opinion.

complaining about lack of support from civilians to Civil War cause.

Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Civilian relief.

1862-1863

Virginia, October 1862 May 1863

Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.

Oct. 1862 May 1862

36 letters

Washington (D.C.)--Description and travel.

July 20, 1861

Some description of the city and camp at,

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents (with dates)

U:159

1a-1b

1-7

Series I, Correspondence, 1861-1865

Series II, Military Papers, 1861-1865

OS:H

--

1

Diploma from Columbia College (1866),

Two awards of merit for services during the Civil War (1872)

Mss.MF:H

--

--

2 reels - 1861-1865