This is a collection of letters either written by or to Capt. 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, class of 1864, when he enlisted in the Army. The 42 letters by Capt. 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.
This collection includes digitized images of 72 original documents which are held by the College Archives in the Hamilton College Library. Most of the letters are readable, but we do hope to add full transcriptions at some future time.
Morris Brown, Jr. was born on August 22, 1842 and grew up in Stueben 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. For an account of his military career see Resources.
The Brown Letters were acquired through purchase in 1991.
These materials were scanned using a flatbed scanner producing bmp files, date: 2002, agent: Hamilton College Archives Department. Action: The bmp files were converted to TIFF files for processing, date: 2011, agent: Systems Department; Action: metadata created, date: 2011, agent: Peter Bailey and Peter MacDonald; Action: TIFF files converted to JPEG2000 format for delivery purposes, agent: Hamilton College Library Systems Department.
We hope to add full transcriptions of the letters later in 2011. In the meantime you can find extensive extracts of them in the article Penn Yan's Morris Brown, Jr., is a Hero, by Wayne Mahood.
About the military career of Capt. Morris Brown, Jr.
About the 126th New York State Volunteer Regiment
Katherine Collett, Archivist
Telephone: (315) 859-4471
Hamilton College Archives
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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