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Letters of Cpt Morris Brown, Jr. (126th NY State Infantry Regiment)

Portrait of Lieutenant Morris Brown, Jr., 126th Regiment


This is a collection of letters either written by or to Cpt Morris Brown, Jr. during his military service in the 126th New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment (mustered out of Geneva, New York). Brown was a student at Hamilton College when he enlisted in the Army. The 42 letters by Lt. Brown in this collection reveal the troubles thoughts of a soldier caught in a brutal war that eventually took his life in 1864 at the age of 21.


Morris Brown, Jr. was born on August 22, 1842 and grew up in Steuben and Yates counties, New York, the son of the Hon. Morris and Maria C. Brown. While he was a student at Hamilton College the Civil War broke out and he left school to serve with the U.S. Army where he served with the 126th New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He quickly rose to the rank of Captain and saw fierce battle on several occasions. On June 22, 1864, at the age of 21, he was killed in battle near Petersburg, Virginia and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Additional Resources

About the military career of Capt. Morris Brown, Jr.

  1. Penn Yan's Morris Brown, Jr., is a Hero, by Wayne Mahood (2005)
  2. Fight All Day, March All Night, by Wayne Mahood (State University of New York Press, Albany, 2012), 236 p. ISBN 978-1-4384-4507-6, E523.5 126th .M33 2012
  3. Morris Brown, Jr. is featured in the following book:
    Written in Blood: a history of the 126th New York Infantry in the Civil War, by Wayne Mahood, Hamilton College '56 (Hightstone, NJ : Longstreet House, 1997), ISBN 0944413331, E523.5 126th .M34 1997


This collection includes digitized images of 72 original documents which are held by the Archives Department of the Hamilton College Library.


Most of the original manuscripts are readable, but we do hope to add full transcriptions at some future time. In the meantime you can find extensive extracts of them online [see Additional Resource 1] or in print [see Additional Resource 2].

(Reviewed: September 6, 2013)


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