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James D. Marshall Civil War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: Civil War 1, Folder: 10, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2015-003-w-rd

Content Description

This collection is available through Chapman University's Digital Commons:

This collection contains two correspondence written by Corporal James D. Marshall to his mother and sister during the Civil War. Marshall served in Company P of the 1st Regiment, Maine Heavy Artillery for the Union Army.

The first letter is dated November 18, 1864 and written near Washington, D.C. Marshall states that "there is not much fighting here now except picket fireing [sic]." It is unclear if that is because the war is coming to an end or because it is almost winter. He describes many Confederate soldiers coming to terms with the notion that they are losing the war: "The Rebs are doing quite a business of deserting to our Army. There is some come over every night....Our Reg. took some Prisoners a while ago. They was all very ragged and they said they all was getting in the same way they is awful sick of the War. I don’t think the war will last more than 4 years longer.” Marshall also takes some time to discuss the 1864 presidential election, and some possible family tension over whom he voted for: “Perhaps you would like to know how I voted last election day…I voted for Abe Lincoln. I don’t think Pa will have to say that he had rather follow me to my grave than have me vote for Abe Lincoln again this year. I don’t think he need to have said it when he did be that as it may I can’t help thinking of it once in a while.”

The second letter is dated 1865 and was written near Petersburg, VA. Marshall describes his health as generally good despite having a poor appetite and a lame hip. He again reflects on the war coming to an end: “I suppose the folks down that way think that this war is about wound up. It does look something like it now but I am afraid that we have got to fight them one summer more before they will give up.” He also informs his mother he was promoted: “I believe I never told you that I was a Corporal…to be sure it is not a very high office but it is better than a private.”

He wrote a second letter on the back of this paper to his sister Eliza.


  • 1864 November 24 - 1865 February 16

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.


0.025 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains two letters written by Cpl. James D. Marshall of the Union Army to his mother and sister during the Civil War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Original donor unknown. Legacy collection from Andrew Carroll.
Finding Aid for the James D. Marshall Civil War correspondence
Lauren Menges
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States