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William T. Foster Letters

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Foster

Scope and Content of the Collection

Seven letters from William T. Foster to his family in Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois addressed to “Dear Sir” and to an uncle during the Civil War, 1862-1863.

Foster sent letters to his family from Louisville, Kentucky, Camp Silver Springs, Tennessee, and Whiteside Station, twenty miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well as from a hospital in Quincy, Illinois. A quick, yet enthusiastic writer, he dashed off letters on marching, skirmishes, the high price of food, girls, and camp life. A letter of April, 1863 finds Foster at the hospital in Quincy, Illinois.


  • Creation: 1862-1863



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The William T. Foster Letters 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 William T. Foster Letters 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.

Biography of William T. Foster

William T. Foster was a Civil War soldier in the 84th Illinois Regiment, Company F, from Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois.

William T. Foster enlisted with Company F of the Illinois 84th Volunteer Infantry in 1862 as a private. During the war he traveled from Louisville, Kentucky through contested territory to Silver Springs and Whiteside Station, Tennessee. Though he spent time in a hospital due to an ankle injury that rendered him unable to walk, he survived the war and was mustered out June 8, 1865 with the rank of Corporal.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Union soldier who served in Company F, Illinois 84th Volunteer Infantry. Seven letters, dated between Oct. 7, 1862 and Dec. 26, 1863, from Foster to his uncle and possibly his father ("Dear Sir"), describing military life as Foster moves from Louisville, Kentucky to Camp Silver Springs, Tenn., to the hospital in Quincy, Ill., and back to Whiteside Station, Tenn., 20 miles outside of Chattanooga.


Letters arranged chronologically.

Collection Stack Location

1 19 5


Charles Apfelbaum, purchase, 2001.

Processed by

Jane Venanzi, 2009.

Inventory of the William T. Foster Letters 1862-1863
Jane Venanzi
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