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Letters to Lemuel P. Foss

Identifier: MSS-4304

Scope and Contents

This collection contains thirty-eight letters sent to Lemuel P. Foss, a Union soldier with Company F of the Thirteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, during the US Civil War. The bulk of the letters were written in 1863 from his hometown of Strafford, New Hampshire, by his parents, especially his father; his brother Edwin Frank; and his sisters Jane Victoria and Sarah (also spelled Sara). There are several other letters from his sister Margaret in Barnstead, as well as two letters from friends, one letter to a Mr. Barton from H. E. Burleigh(?) in East Sandbornton, New Hampshire, and an unfinished letter in the same hand addressed to "mon ami." Several family letters were written both to Lemuel and his brother Amaziah, who had also enlisted in Company F. Letters discuss news from home and local reactions to the progress of the war, including people's attitude toward the military draft in New Hampshire. In one letter, their father says that he is "very glad to hear the news is you have gone to Kentucky" (April 12, 1863), while a June 12 letter from Margaret a few months later indicates that she heard the "sad, sad news" of Amaziah's death. A letter from Edwin Frank dated May 21, 1865, notes: "The days of fighting our 'erring brethren' are passed and the happy days of peace are now dawning over our so lately distracted nation." Many of the family letters include missives from different individuals on the same sheet of paper.


  • 1862-1865

Physical Description

Several of the letters are stained and discolored.

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

Lemuel Perkins Foss was born on November 12, 1841, to Woodbury Marden Foss and Eliza Foss in Strafford, New Hampshire. Lemuel joined Company F of the Thirteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, at Strafford on August 22, 1862, for a period of three years. He was twenty years old when he began service on September 19, 1862. His brother Amaziah, age twenty-three, enlisted in the same company but died on May 7, 1863, in Suffolk, Virginia. Lemuel Foss was discharged from the service on June 28, 1865. Cemetery records indicate that Private Lemuel Perkins Foss died on January 19, 1871; there is also a New Hampshire death certificate stating that a Lemuel P. Foss, with the same parents, died in Strafford of consumption at age twenty-six on July 19, 1871. The death certificate lists his occupation as "photographer." (Information taken from records accessed through


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Language of Materials



This collection contains letters sent to Lemuel P. Foss, a Union soldier during the US Civil War, from his family and friends in New Hampshire.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries acquired the Letters to Lemuel P. Foss in 2019.

Physical Description

Several of the letters are stained and discolored.

Processing Information

Processed by Erin Ryan, June 2021.
Guide to the Letters to Lemuel P. Foss
Erin Ryan
June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266