Guide to the Jason L. Doten Papers, RG 343

Listed by: Dwayne Cox
Date: 10/6/99

Date Span: 1862

Size of Collection: 7 items

Biographical Sketch: Doten served in 3rd Battery, 1st Battalion, Maine Light Artillery during the Civil War.

Scope / Content: The papers consist of seven letters written between February 8 and October 10, 1862,  and sent to Doten’s parents in Cooper, Maine, from Fort Lincoln, Maryland, Falmouth, Virginia, and Washington, D. C.


February 8, 1862.  Fort Lincoln, Md.  He has sent some army clothing home that is unsuitable for winter conditions.  His health is good.  He has little contact with officers, even those from home, for he doesn’t have much respect for them.

March 8, 1862.  Augusta, Md.  He has recovered from the measles.  He thinks his unit is to move again soon.

April 30, 1862.  Falmouth, Va.  He is now near Gen. McDowell’s headquarters on the Rappahannock River.  On 31 march they came to Aquia Creek, moved to BelPlain on 24 April, moved to Falmouth on 29 April.  His unit is on engineer duty to prepare a pontoon bridge for crossing the Rappahannock.

May 18, 1862.  Falmouth, Va.  His unit is busy with bridge building and other activities.  He does not think his unit will ever be a mounted artillery battery.  A forward movement by Gen. McDowell’s army is expected.  The skirmish lines are having much fighting and some prisoners.

May 28, 1862.  Falmouth, Va.  Some of his unit have been discharged due to ill health.  The unit has had no chaplain for a long time.  The army now has 60,000 men, but still has not moved forward.  The food is okay, but not as good as home fare.

July 19, 1862.  Washington, D.C.  He describes for his mother in considerable detail what a pontoon bridge is, and what a pontoon bridge train is.  They dismantled the large bridge they had built on July 5, and moved it and their unit back to Washington, D.C.  He is not sure what his unit will be doing next.

October 18, 1862.  Fort Lincoln, Md.  He has bee n in the hospital, and has dropped in weight.  From 170 to 145 pounds.  They are working on forts around the city and mounting guns, but he doesn’t think the fort will ever be needed. The army in Virginia doesn’t seem to be doing anything.

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