Skip to main content

Correspondence on Boston Relief Mission to Savannah, Georgia

Identifier: MSS-4269

Scope and Contents

This collection contains four letters and one other document regarding a mission organized by citizens of Boston to deliver relief supplies to the occupied city of Savannah, Georgia, in January 1865. The items include a five-page copy of a letter sent to R. D. Arnold, mayor of Savannah, on behalf of thirty Boston citizens, explaining the relationship between the two “Sister cities on the Atlantic.” There is also a two-page copy of a letter from committee members William Gray, E. R. Mudge, John A. Blanchard, Nathan Crowell, and William Glidden to Major General W. T. Sherman, explaining that the supplies will be transported to Savannah by “agents” Harrison O. Briggs, Julian Allen, and William H. Baldwin. This letter assures Sherman that the envoys “will, of course, be in all respects subject to your direction.” The collection also contains a three-page letter appointing Briggs, Allen, and Baldwin to do their task; a three-page typed account of a public meeting in Savannah discussing the city’s gratitude to “the citizens of New York and Boston,” signed by mayor Arnold and inscribed to Baldwin; and a two-page letter from Arnold to Baldwin, sent in February 1865, reflecting on the changes that have come about in the South, such as economic collapse, damaged railroads, and “the sudden dissolution of the relations of Master and Servant.”


  • 1865

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections.

For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

On December 21, 1864, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman and his forces captured the Confederate city of Savannah, Georgia, during the tenure of Savannah mayor Richard Dennis Arnold. Sherman and the Union Army occupied Savannah until early 1865. The capture of Savannah came at the end of Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” a destructive campaign during which Union soldiers laid waste to farmland and infrastructure across the state of Georgia. The war officially ended in April 1865.

William Henry Baldwin (1826-1909) was a Boston businessman and philanthropist. He was president of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union (1868-1907), director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and a member of many other charitable and religious organizations, including the Ward 11 Boston Soldiers' Relief Commission. He was part of a committee of Boston citizens who sent emergency supplies to aid the people of Savannah in January 1865. His son, railroad president William Henry Baldwin Jr., was a trustee of Tuskegee University, Alabama.


0.3 Linear Feet


This collection contains correspondence and other documentation regarding a mission by citizens of Boston to send supplies to Savannah, Georgia, in January 1865, while the city was occupied by William Tecumseh Sherman and his Union troops during the US Civil War.

Custodial History

The documents in this collection belonged to businessman, philanthropist, and Citizens of Boston Committee member William H. Baldwin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries acquired the Correspondence on Boston Relief Mission to Savannah, Georgia, in 2019.

Related Materials

See: Baldwin, William Henry. Papers, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School. Accessed February 03, 2020

Processing Information

Processed by Erin Ryan, February 2020.
Guide to the Correspondence on Boston Relief Mission to Savannah, Georgia
Erin Ryan
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266