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The letters of Thomas B. McGaffick, a corporal in Company F of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry range in date from January 19th, 1861 to February 11, 1863. The collection contains twenty two pieces of correspondence, including two fragments of letters along with a number of official documents relating to McGaffick’s discharge from the army. The letters are all addressed to members of Thomas’s family, including his sisters Belle and Mary, his brother Benjamin and his parents. The letters address a variety of subjects ranging from the rigors of army life to McGaffick’s constant battle with his own health. Thomas rarely received enough correspondence to keep him satisfied and was constantly after family members to write more. He described his thoughts on General McClellan, his desire to return home and the various women to whom he wrote during the conflict. Also of interest is McGaffick’s view towards the African Americans he encountered while in the south. “If I thought I was fighting to free the niggers I would go home and let and let Lincoln fight it out himself.”

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Publication Date

June 2006


Civil War, 101st Pennsylvania, Peninsula Campaign, Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Williamsburg, Battle of Seven Pines, Battle of Malvern Hill, Army Life


History | Military History | Social History | United States History

Document Type

Finding Aid

MS-074: Thomas B. McGaffick, Co. F, 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry