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Leonard Drown Papers, 1759-1944

Title: Leonard Drown Papers, 1759-1944

Creator: Drown, Leonard, 1819-1862
Lincoln, Levi-1864

Accession / Call Number: 2015.037

Object ID: 2015.037

Date: 1759-1944

Physical Description: 2 boxes

Scope and Content: The core of the Leonard Drown Papers are the letters written home by Leonard Drown of New Hampshire (1818-1862) and Levi Lincoln of Massachusetts (c. 1840-1864), who were both Union soldiers during the Civil War. Other materials concern the family of Leonard Drown: correspondence among some of his siblings, deeds for family property in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, a few Drake family letters, deeds and military commissions (Leonard Drown's daughter Mary married Benjamin Drake). There are ephemera about Drown's death and funeral, and newspaper clippings about activities and deaths of some New Hampshire Civil War veterans. Leonard Drown was Captain of Company E, Second Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry and fell at the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862. There are about 75 letters to his wife Mary ("Molly"), written between his muster in 1861 and his death in May 1862. For much of that time he was encamped on the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland (among them: Camp Union, Bladensburg, MD; Camp Beaufort, MD; Camp Winfield Scott near Yorktown, VA). In addition to asking after her and their children and answering questions about managing things at home, he describes camp life -- daily routines, the health of his men, what they are eating, whether packages and letters have arrived or been sent, the construction of their cabins and how they keep warm during the winter, the weather, glimpses of President Abraham Lincoln, and his opinion of various commanding officers. Drown frequently reports about a younger soldier from Fisherville, NH, in his company, Hiram Durgin, who was ill in Washington, DC but recovered and rejoined the unit. Durgin was later killed at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862, though Drown did not live long enough to know this. There is a brief mention on December 31, 1861 of "Miss Dame of Concord, the Matron of the Hospital" and how grateful Drown is to her for her care and attention. There is no political discussion and little assessment of how the war in general is going, though he is sure it will be over soon. Leonard Drown's brother-in-law, Levi Lincoln, served in the Ninth Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery and died before Petersburg in June 1864. His approximately 17 letters were written to his sister, Mary Lincoln Drown and to her daughter, Lucy Drown. Lincoln's letters, like Drown's, are mostly about life in camp (Jamaica Plain, MA; Brandy Station VA; Centerville VA; Kelly's Ford VA; Minor Hill VA). He describes the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863), how he and his fellows manage winter in camp, weather, health, pay, etc. His letters are more specific than Drown's about military activities such as marches from place to place. He also offers positive assessments of senior officers (Hooker, Burnside) and thinks the war will be over soon.

Subjects: Deeds, United States-- History-- Civil War, 1861-1865, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns

Locations: Bladensburg, MD
Cohasset, MA
Penacook, NH
Sullivan, NH

People: Dame, Harriet P., 1815-1900

Organizations: United States. Army. Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery, 9th (1862-1865), United States. Army. New Hampshire Infantry Regiment, 2nd (1861-1865)

Credit Line: New Hampshire Historical Society purchase on April 23, 2015.

Restrictions: Available for research.

Level Description: Collection

Finding Aid Link: RS24952_Drown_Leonard_Papers_2015.037.pdf

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