FINDING AID

AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES


Guide to the George L. Berry Papers, RG 367

Listed by:   Paul Martin & Michelle Nelson
Date:   February and March 2001


Date Span:   1857-1864

Size of Collection:  48 items

Biographical Sketch:   Berry served with Company D, 5th Maine Infantry, during the Civil War.

Scope / Content:   These papers consist of two series of materials.  The first is 26 letters from George L. Berry to his brother Cyrus Berry between 1857 and 1864.  In two letters of 1857, he is serving on a whaling ship off the coast of Brazil.  The remaining letters from 1861-1864 cover his service in the Civil War.  The second group of items (folders 27-43) contain primarily photographic materials of Berry family and Newton family members.  Two items are not photographic:  a cemetery lot certificate, and a baptism certificate.


SERIES 1:  LETTERS

March 4, 1857.  A small ship from Massachusetts went down with all hands except the Captain.  Expects to come home in the fall or next spring.

Sept. 11, 1857.  His is still on board the Bark Charles Edward.  They have 200 barrels of oil, and are now  in port on the coast of Brazil.  He wants to come home and learn the Joiner's trade.

Aug. 1, 1861.  Came near Alexandria, Va.  He thinks Gen. McDowell is a "secessionist" who marched the soldiers where "masked" confederate batteries could kill many union soldiers.  Losses where much higher than newspapers indicated.  His unit was last to leave the field.

Aug. 21, 1861.  Alexandra.  He is in Ft. Elsworth, and has a bad cold, and his brigadier (Gen. Davis) has a bad reputation.  They have not been paid, and are short of uniform clothing.

Sept. 30, 1861.  Camp Vernon.  His unit is going down river to rout a rebel masked battery.

Dec. 1, 1861.  Camp Vernon.  His unit had a skirmish with Rebel Cavalry near Fairfax Court House.  Rations are not good, and they are horse meat for Thanksgiving day.

Jan.1, 1862.  Camp Franklin.  He will send some money home as soon as he is paid.  He has been sick, and used what money he had to buy food to eat in lieu of salt beef and bread.

Jan. 8, 1862.  Camp Franklin.  He was paid and is sending ten dollars home.

Jan. 18, 1862.  Camp Franklin.  He heard firing during the night, and thinks some ships were trying to break through the river blockade.

Jan. 31, 1862.  Camp Franklin.  Camp routine prevails, and he is well.  He hopes to be paid by the end of February.

Feb. 15, 1862.  Camp Franklin.  He explains to his brother why he canít send as much money as another soldier from home, who recently sent one hundred dollars.

Mar. 2, 1862.  Camp Beal Relay House.  His unit is guarding the Baltimore and Washington railroad.  They are housed in good barracks.

June 15, 1862.  Mechanicsville, Va.  His unit was on picket duty so close to the Rebel pickets that their voices could be heard, but no firing took place.

July 4, 1862.  Harrison's Landing, Va.  He is well after seven days of battles.  The regiment lost some eighty men, including the Lt. Colonel.

Aug. 9, 1862.  Harrison's Landing.  He is mad about getting no letters from home, and will write no more until he gets a response.

Jan. 27, 1863.  Camp Whit Oak Church, Va.  Burnside is stuck in the mud.  His unit marched 25 miles in 6-inch deep mud, and returned to the same location.

Feb. 14 1863.  Camp, 5th Maine Regt.  He hopes Gen. Hodker will do something when the mud dries.

Feb. 17, 1863.  Camp.  A large snow storm has made life in their tents uncomfortable.

Feb. 23, 1863.  U.S. Army Hospital, Baltimore.  He is better and expects to rejoin his regiment soon.

Apr. 11, 1863.  Camp, 5th Maine Regt.  His cold is still bad.  He has not been paid in six months.

Aug. 10, 1863.  Kellyís Ford, Va.  He has noted the drafting of persons he knows at home.

Sep. 24, 1863.  Camp near Culpepper, Va.  His unit has received orders to move to the front.

Apr. 24, 1864.  New Orleans, La.  He is now working at a soldier redistribution center, in good quarters, and hopes his field duties are over.

Mar. 15, 186-?  Camp Franklin.  Their unit is to march to reinforce Burnside.

Dec. 15, 186[4]   Jessups Cut. with 150,000 troops in Virginia, surely victory can't be far off.

May 26, 186-?  Rockport, Mass.  They are drilling with 85 men in the company.


SERIES 2:  PHOTOGRAPHS AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Photoplate of Cyrus Berry.

Photos (2) on card stock-Cyrus Plummer Berry.

Photoplate of Lucy Cole Berry

Photos (2) of Lucy H. Berry

Photos on card stock (2) of Maude Berry Newton

Photos on card stock (2) of Henry Newton, with Banjo

Cemetery certificate, 21 Nov. 1981, H.O. Newton

Photo Plate, Angie Berry

Photo Plate, George W. Berry

Photo, George W. Berry

Photos (2), Leonard Berry

Photos (2) Hannah Berry

Photo plate, Addie Berry

Photo plate, Willie Berry

Photos (2), Archie Clyde Newton

Photo, Marie C. Newton

Photo, Rae Newton, 4 months


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