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Joseph Jermain Slocum letters, 1862

 File — Box: SC1850-1899.007, Folder: 4295.01

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Joseph Jermain Slocum Letters comprise five letters that Slocum wrote between March 26 and June 1, 1862, while he was serving in the US Army in Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama. The letters describe his life as a captain in the US Volunteers Commissary Department Infantry Regiment. He signs his letters as J. J. Slocum.

He wrote the first letter to his father-in-law, S. S. L’Hommedieu in Cincinatti, Ohio, where his wife and children seemed to be staying with her family. Written directly to his wife, the remaining four letters contain more personal messages to her and their children, Bertie and Tiny (an infant). Slocum wrote the first letter on March 26, 1862, when he first arrived in Nashville--which he sardonically called “Gnashville”--from Bowling Green where Union forces had taken control from the Confederates. He talks about people on the train with him who were “somewhat anxious about being captured by [General John Hunt] Morgan.”

His letters to Sallie show that he was in some measure sympathetic to the plight of Southerners and did not always take advantage of his position as an officer in an invading army. One finds evidence of this in his letters that recount giving horses back to their Southern owners. In fact, he tells Sallie that “our army is behaving badly about taking horses . . .” and in another letter says that “the people here suffer from friend and foe--both armies have robbed them of nearly everything.” Towards the end of his March 30th letter he tells Sallie that “there is one thing I want to impress upon your mind & that is that I am willing to resign when you say so.”


  • 1862

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Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.


From the Collection: .1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English