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Henry Patterson and James Patterson papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Patterson

Scope and Content of the Collection

Henry Patterson’s Civil War correspondence from 1862-1863 and his brother, James Patterson’s Civil War correspondence from 1862. Also included are photocopies of military documents, maps, and photographs.

Many of the letters are on stationery decorated with woodcut patriotic emblems--shields, stars, eagles, flags--in red or blue. Illustrations on the other letters include lithographs by A.M. McLean of Camp Benton, St. Louis, and the St. Louis Fair Grounds.

The letters describe camp life, encounters with rebels, marches, the weather, life in camp, requests for mail, the cost of stamps, foraging in the Arkansas countryside, Arkansas inhabitants, James' December death in the battle of Prairie Grove, and Henry's tenure in the hospital in Springfield. In particular, the early letters--many with their post-marked envelopes, addressed to their mother, Eleanor Patterson, and sisters Sarah and Sue--describe army life at Camp Siegle near Rolla, Missouri, the marches and encampments, food, past-times, state of health, weather, and the surrounding countryside. Henry writes to his mother and sisters on Dec. 20, 1862 from the hospital, having just received notice of James’ death.

Accompanying the letters are ten unbound leaves containing photocopies of military documents pertaining to the Pattersons, including Henry’s muster-in rolls for the company and the hospital; James’ muster-in roll, casualty sheet, official certification of death in action, and inventory of his personal effects; photocopies of photographs of Union and Confederate officers who fought at Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove; photocopied maps of the movements of the 19th Regiment and of the Battle of Prairie Grove.


  • Creation: 1862-1863



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Henry Patterson and James Patterson papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum, and items in each folder will be counted before and after delivery to the patron (Priority I).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Henry Patterson and James Patterson papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Henry Patterson and James Patterson

Civil War soldiers in the 19th Regiment Iowa Infantry, Company I.

Henry, aged 19, and James, aged 21, were born in Adams, Pennsylvania and were living and farming in Bonaparte, Iowa, when they were mustered into the army at Keokuk, Iowa on Sept. 2, 1862. The Pattersons began their careers at Camp Siegle near Rolla, Missouri. They moved with their regiment to Springfield, Missouri and into Arkansas, to Cross Hollows and Ozark. Around the middle of November, Henry became ill, and ultimately was sent back to the hospital in Springfield where he remained during a long convalescence. James remained at a camp on the James River and moved to Camp Curtis, Wilson’s Creek, Arkansas. He was killed on Dec. 7, 1862 during the Battle of Prairie Grove. Henry was later discharged for disability on February 6, 1863 and was mustered out on July 10, 1865.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Correspondence of brothers Henry Patterson and James Patterson, both privates in the 19th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I, during the Civil War. Also includes muster rolls for Henry and his brother James as well as James’ death certificate.


The letters are arranged chronologically, followed by accompanying material.

Collection Stack Location

1 27 2

Other Finding Aids

See also catalog cards for individual authors, filed in the Newberry Library Manuscript Card Catalog.


Purchase, Charles Apfelbaum, 1994.

Processed by

Marisa Bell-Metereau, 2009.

Inventory of the Henry Patterson and James Patterson papers, 1862-1863
Marisa Bell-Metereau
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States