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Watson Brothers Civil War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: Civil War 1, Folder: 14-15
Identifier: 2015-006-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains six correspondence from James Harvey Watson and Jason Lee Watson. They write to their cousin, Elisha Watson. The sixth letter is addressed to "Dear Brother" but it is unsigned. James and Jason were Corporals in Company E, 33rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry for the Union Army. They enrolled in the fall of 1861. In March 1862 they joined the main army of General Curtis at Batesville, Arkansas. They spent the winter in southern Missouri. In the spring of 1863 they traveled south along the Mississippi River and engaged in the Battle of Vicksburg. On May 22, 1863, Jason was killed in action. His body was found the following day by his brother James.

In their letters they describe the conditions in the camp, the weather, the morale of the soldiers, their health, and some skirmishes with Rebels they were involved in. In the letter dated May 9, 1862, James writes "I would be very glad to see the end of this war and see this country once more united under the same old flag under which our fathers fought and bled when throwing off the yoke of oppression." He also describes his opinions of the south's cause, saying that the people who are too poor to own slaves have been misled by educated slave owners into believing the north is imposing on their way of life, but laments the fact that these poor people are too ignorant to realize this.


  • Majority of material found within 1862 January 20-1864 October 15

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.


0.1 Linear Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains six correspondence from brother James Harvey and Jason Lee Watson to their cousin Elisha during the Civil War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Laura May Beattie. Legacy collection from Andrew Carroll.

Condition Description

One letter has two small holes
Finding Aid for the Watson Brothers Civil War correspondence
Lauren Menges
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States