Guide to the

James Pitt Craig Letters, RG 168

Listed by: CJD

Date: October 16, 1969

Date Span: 1856-1873

Scope / Content: Photocopies of Craig family correspondence, including letters to Isabella Craig from her nieces (1858-59); from Craig to Mrs. Benedict (1861-64) and to his daughters in school (1873); and to Craig from William A. Phillips, a friend in Salina, Kansas (1860).

Biographical Sketch: Craig emigrated from Scotland to Illinois, where he married Isabella Bond, a daughter of Shadrach Bond, Illinois's first governor. After her death in 1860, their children lived with Mrs. Isabella Benedict. During the Civil War, Craig served as a surgeon with the U.S. 1st Missouri Cavalry in Arkansas.

SERIES 1:  J.P. Craig Correspondence, 1861-1864.  All written to Mrs. Isabella Bennedict.

February 12, 1861 - Springfield [Ill.] to "Dear Friend." Relates Lincoln's having left Springfield; attitude of people and "serious prospects of the future," expects to go to Washington; family news.

March 8, 1861 - Washington City, hopeful of securing job in Washington.

October 6, 1861 - California, Mo. Acting Assistant Surgeon with the 1st Regt. Missouri Calvary, describes feelings and conditions.

April 10, 1862 - Cross Timbers, Arkansas to Mrs. Bennedict, Chester, Ill. Sending money home; been detailed surgeon of Regt. since "Pea Ridge [6-8 March 1862]; reports falling back and [Gen. Sterling] Price getting around them again; voices necessity for more Northern enthusiasm.

September 10, 1862 - Medical Purveyor's Office, Helena, Ark. Acting as medical purveyor, Army of the South West, describes duties; reports war as hears of it and gives opinion of McClellan and the Northern attitude and also personal expression of patriotism.

February 23, 1864 - Headquarters 1st Mo. Calvary Little Rock [Arkansas] - Sending $200 home, doesn't expect to get home til April.

The other three letters, one undated, are written to his daughters and primarily contain family news.

SERIES 2: Miscellaneous Letters; 1858-1876 - 8 letters

These letters from miscellaneous persons, 1858-1876, written to various members of the family contain mostly family news with items relating to schools, churches, social affairs. Of particular interest are these:

August 20, 1876 from Philadelphia author describes the Centennial Exposition

August 17, 1860, written by William A. Phillips from Salina, Kansas Territory in which he gives good account of the political and economic conditions there.

SERIES 3: Miscellaneous items

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