Robert R. Newell Correspondence
Collection — Container: MS 7112
Call Number: MS 7112
Scope and Contents
This collection of ninety-three letters, date between 1863 and 1865, documents the experiences of Robert R. Newell in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. The majority of the letters consist of correspondence from Newell to his mother, his father William Newell, his sisters Fan and Jenny, and his brothers Will and Kirk. There are two letters addressed to Robert Newell, one from his father, William Newell, and one from F.I. Child, one of his Harvard professors. Newell writes from Jacksonville, Florida and various places in South Carolina, including Charleston, Morris Island, Hilton Head, and Fort Green on Folly Island. Newell provides detailed descriptions of daily life in the camps, campaigns and expeditions, encounters with Southern soldiers, and mentions of senior officers, particularly a Colonel Hallowell and Captain Walton. Of particular interest are Newell’s discussions of the African-American troops in his regiment and the issues they faced related to lack of payment and the problems and discontent related to that. The collection also contains a copybook of nine letters written to friends between 10 January and 6 June 1864 and a photograph of a daguerreotype of Robert Newell.
- Newell, Robert R. (Person)
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The collection is open for research.
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Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.
Biographical / Historical
Captain Robert R. Newell was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 22, 1843. He was a student at Harvard when he was commission into the Union Army on December 12, 1863. He joined the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, a regiment of African-American soldiers, in January 1864 where he served until the end of the war in 1865. After the war he returned to Harvard to complete his degree. He also graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to practice law in Boston. Newell died in Cambridge in 1883.
Language of Materials
Method of Acquisition
Purchased from Skinner in 2001.
Processed by Rachel Stanton, June 2013.
This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.
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- Robert R. Newell Correspondence
- Rachel Stanton, June 2013.
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