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Morris E. Boss letters

Identifier: W-0078

Scope and Contents

These thirteen letters were written between 1861 and 1865 by Morris E. Boss of Binghamton, New York, and members of his family. Most of the letters were sent from Morris E. Boss to his brother, Homer B. Boss. A member of the Sixty-first New York Infantry, Morris's letters include brief accounts of the Battle of Seven Pines and Chancellorsville. His letters also describe camp life, including notable discussions of payroll backlogs, the draft, and the execution of deserters. In his last letter, dated June 20, 1865, Morris describes the discharge process and notes that he is owed $575.00 in back pay.

The remaining letters are written by or addressed to other members of the Boss family; these letters also relay war news and updates on Morris's health and wellbeing. A letter from Charles Boss to Homer B. Boss written in December 1861 discusses Morris's enlistment and lists the names of other local recruits. Another letter from S. E. Sarrabu presumably addressed to Morris's sister Louisa M. Boss (incorrectly addressed as S. M. Boss) reports that Morris is missing and presumed injured after a shell exploded near him during a skirmish at Appomattox.

Transcriptions of the letters are included, although there is no information as to who provided the transcriptions.


  • 1861 - 1865


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Biographical / Historical

The son of carriage maker Ela W. Boss and Louisa Butler Boss, Morris E. Boss was born on April 7, 1844, in Fabius, New York. On November 6, 1861, he enlisted in Company I in the New York Sixty-first Infantry, later transferring to Company F. During the war, Morris received two commissions, advancing to full corporal on March 11, 1863, and full second lieutenant on December 15, 1864. He was discharged on July 15, 1865.

After the war, Boss returned to New York, settling in Binghamton. City directories published between 1883 and 1899 list Boss as the owner and proprietor of a a number of hotels, billiard parlors, and saloons. Boss died between 1899 and 1900.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Thirteen letters written by Morris E. Boss and members of the Boss family of Binghamton, New York.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Materials

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection and the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library contain other Civil War era letters from soldiers to their families and friends. Please see staff for further assistance.


Title on phase box spine: Union Soldiers' Letters

Processed By

Haley Aaron and Martha Bace, 2013



Guide to Morris E. Boss letters
November 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266