EVANS (SIMEON A.) LETTERS

(Mss. 1845)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS .............................................................................................................................. 8
CONTAINER LIST ........................................................................................................................ 9

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SUMMARY

Size.

93 items

Geographic locations.

Maine; Mississippi; Louisiana; Virginia

Inclusive dates.

1861-1864

Bulk dates.

N/A

Language.

English.

Summary.

Union assistant surgeon in the 14th Maine Regiment. Letters relate to Evans' experiences in the Civil War in Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His assignments included New Orleans (1862-1863), Port Hudson (1863), and Camp Bisland (1863).

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

None.

Copyright.

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

Citation.

Simeon A. Evans Letters, Mss. 1845, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

U:239

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Simeon A. Evans was a Federal Assistant Surgeon from Fryburg, Maine. He enlisted in the 13th Regiment, Maine Volunteers, as a hospital steward and transferred to the 14th Regiment in April 1863 when he received his commission as assistant surgeon.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Correspondence relates Evans' experiences at Ship Island, Mississippi; Fort St. Philip, below New Orleans; Bonnet Carre, and the Teche country in Louisiana; and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The letters relate his observations about local people, record his assignments in battles and skirmishes, and describe conditions and duties in hospitals. They mention problems with African American servants and identify various diseases and epidemics prevalent in camps.

Letters also describe travel on Federal transport boats including the steamships Fulton and Merrimac. They describe various assignments which include duties at Camp Beaufort, Maine (1861), Ship Island (1862), New Orleans (1862-1863), Belle Chasse Plantation, Plaquemines Parish (1863), Port Hudson (1863), Camp Bisland (1863), and Winchester and Cedar Creek, Virginia (1864).

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Date

Contents

Hospital Steward, 13th Regiment; (December 2, 1861- April 18, 1863)

December 2, 1861

Camp Beaufort, Maine, eye-witness account of colorful cavalry parade.

February 19, 1862

Merrimac House, Boston, “On the way to the seat of war.”

March 5-6, 1862

Steamship Fulton, off the Florida reef, over 1600 men aboard “packed like niggers on a slave ship.” Long and detailed description of living conditions, food, and social activities. Comments, …of course Neal Dow’s officers don’t touch the wine.”

March 18-July 4, 1862

14 letters from Ship Island, Mississippi, describe in detail battles off the island, number of men and health conditions on the island, mentions many military officers, food and shelter, hospital duties, surprised at torrential rains and wind, preparations for the capture of New Orleans, account of a trip to Pass Christian, diphtheria epidemic, many comments about General Benjamin F. Butler.

July 12, 1862

From steamer Creole, Lake Pontchartrain on the way to New Orleans, expecting to establish hospital in Fort St. Phillip.

July 15, 1862

New Orleans Mint, enjoying rest and good food.

August 12, 1862 April 18, 1863

25 letters from Fort St. Phillip, comments on routine duties, sickness and death, describes African American prayer meeting (August 21, 1862); articles from a plundering excursion, “the notorious Neal Dow has a wonderful faculty of making himself obnoxious to everybody with whom he comes in contact,” (October 6, 1862); describes his living conditions at the Fort (hospital) and more about General Dow (November 25, 1862); General Butler (February 6, 1863); General Sherman’s order for searching “all” vessels (February 7, 1863); 2 schooners bound for Mexico, loaded with supplies for Confederates, were detained.

Assistant Surgeon, 14th Regiment, Maine Volunteers; (April 22, 1863 July 12, 1864)

April 22-23, 1863

St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, waiting for order to come though for his appointment as assistant surgeon of the 14th Regiment, some description of the hotel; describes receipt of a box of food and clothing from family: “Everything came in pretty good shape. The old newspaper in which you wrapped the blueberries burst open of course, and everything had blueberries in it. The can of maple syrup leaked a very little but my slippers caught the most of it …the can

Date

Contents

Date

Contents

of honey I have given to my friend Surgeon [W.D.] Sanger, medical director, Sherman’s Division. He is a Bangor man…”

April 26, 1863

Belle Chasse Plantation, Plaquemines Parish. Provost Marshal’s Office, Lt. Enoch Foster “plantation … now owned by an old bachelor by the name of Zunts …” Tells of General [Nathaniel] Bank’s agreement with the planters and his nullification of all his contracts and promises because of adverse publicity in the New York Tribune and the uproar from abolitionists.

May 12 July 16, 1863

8 letters from Bonnet Carre, describes routine duties at the hospital, types of diseases (patients principally from Baton Rouge, Port Hudson, etc. area of fighting), information about Port Hudson, describes his living conditions with a French family, and considerable information about the Creole families in the neighborhood.

May 30, 1863

Letter from Port Hudson, apparently from the surgeon in charge, requesting hospital supplies and more doctors.

August 20-27, 1863

3 letters from Port Hudson and Baton Rouge, taking charge of the sick and distributing them to the various hospitals and convalescent camps, army in camp outside Baton Rouge waiting for another assignment.

September 5-26, 1863

New Orleans, on board steamer A.G. Brown, opposite Breashear City and Camp Bisland, Louisiana, on the way to New Iberia, with his regiment. Letter (September 7) tells of arriving at Sabine Pass and being ordered to return immediately, 2 gunboats destroyed by the Confederate Army from the shore, description of other steamers disabled (Battle of Sabine Pass, September 8, 1863); description of Brashear City (later Morgan City), his receiving $1,300 a year from the government as assistant surgeon; letter from Camp Bisland tells of the devastation in the area overrun by Bank’s Army the previous spring.

October 7, 1863-January 10, 1864

From New Iberia, Opelousas, and Vermillion Bayou, with headquarters in New Iberia, in camp with the artillery. Description of condition of troops, of the food received during the expedition, tells of dinner with friends in town, with wine and champagne being served; letter (January 10, 1864) tells of regiment re-enlisting and known as the 14th Maine Regiment.

March-April 1864

Evans received a furlough from February to April; letters (March 29, and April 8, from Augusta, Maine, and April 14, 1864) on the steamship Merrimac describe his voyage to New Orleans.

May 2-July 12, 1864

From Lake End, Morganza Bend, and Algiers, epidemic of smallpox but very light vaccinating everyone in camp; leaving for Fort Monroe.

14th Maine Volunteers, 19th Army Corps (July 20, 1864 Dec. 20, 1864)

July 20, 1864

On board transport Thomas W. Scott, Mouth of Chesapeake Bay, ship very overcrowded only 17 beds to accommodate about 40 officers; officers with fewer than two bars slept on the open deck.

July 24, 1864

Camp near Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, describing position of Federal and Confederate armies as being within pistol shot, fraternizing among soldiers; tells that all the African American servants left his regiment before it left for the North.

August 1 and 11, 1864

Washington, D.C., on march to Frederic City, Maryland.

August 6, 1864

Tenleytown, D.C., establishing a permanent camp under General Augur and comprising the defenses of Washington; very anxious to have his younger brother come and visit him.

September 22, 1864

Winchester, Virginia, Battle of Winchester, September 19, between 40 and 50 killed and wounded in his regiment, the 12th lost heavily.

October 12, 1864

Cedar Creek, Virginia, General Sheridan’s Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley; gives a description of the devastation, and describes losses at the Battle of Winchester.

November 28, December 8, 1864

Martinsburg, mentions locations of various corps.

December 9-20, 1864

Camp Russel, 4 letters principally concerning his future plans after he is mustered out of the Army December 30th.

INDEX TERMS

Belle Chase Plantation (La.)

Camp Beaufort (Me.)

Camp Bisland (La.)

Fort Saint Philip (La.)

Fulton (Steamship)

Merrimac (Steamer)

New Orleans (La.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Physicians--Maine.

Port Hudson (La.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Ship Island (Miss.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Surgeons--Maine.

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

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folders

Contents (with dates)

U:239

1

1-2

Hospital Steward, 13th Regiment; (December 2, 1861-April 18, 1863)

3-4

Assistant Surgeon, 14th Regiment, Maine Volunteers; (April 22, 1863- July 12, 1864)

5

14th Maine Volunteers, 19th Army Corps. (July 20, 1864-December 20, 1864)