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This collection consists of 47 letters written by Henry P. Clare to his brother, William Keating Clare, with the exception of one letter addressed to Lieutenant Colonel M.T. McMahon, Assistant Adjutant General, and one written from a George E. Hyatt to William. The letters in this collection range from January 4, 1863 (although they are mislabeled by Henry to be January 1862) to December 6, 1863. Henry talks mostly of his life in the camp, gives his opinion of the war, and of the Army’s and the nation’s leadership. Many of the letters are sharply critical of leaders, including Lincoln, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade, and of the way the war is being handled. He admits in one letter that he is a Copperhead, although the term is not looked upon kindly in the army. Letter 18, which is written by another soldier to William, letting him know that Henry is safe after the battle of Chancellorsville, and Letter 26, dated July 5, 1863, details what Henry and his regiment experienced during the Battle of Gettysburg. He occasionally mentions other members of the 83rd, including Colonel Joseph A. Moesch, their regimental commander, with whom he seems well acquainted. Henry is quite a character, and his letters express his unique personality wonderfully, as well as giving insight into some of the politics of soldiering.

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Collection Size

.27 cubic feet

Publication Date

December 2005


letters, William Keating Clare, Colonel M. T. McMahon, George E. Hyatt, Copperhead, Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Joseph A. Moesch, Lincoln, Burnside, Hooker, Meade


Military History | United States History

Document Type

Finding Aid

MS-068: Henry P. Clare Letters, Co. D., 9th New York State Militia