Most of the letters are written to Levi and Elizabeth Hanford of Hobart, Delaware County, N.Y., by four of their nephews: James Oscar Hanford, Horace S. Hanford, Chauncey D. Hanford and Crandal B. Hanford; Chauncey and Crandal are half-brothers. These men served in the 144th New York Volunteer Infantry, a Delaware County Regiment during the Civil War. In August and September of 1862, the Regiment, which was organized into 10 companies, drilled at "Camp Delaware" located near Delhi, New York. It was sworn into Federal service on September 27, 1862 and mustered out at Elmira in July of 1865.
Others letters are written by Nancie Hanford, Chauncey's wife, and Raymond S. Champlin who appears to be a family friend. A couple of the letters are written to Charles Hanford, son of Levi and Elizabeth Hanford. A person named George, also serving in the Civil War, is mentioned in some of the letters; he is a brother to James Hanford.
James O. Hanford was born in Harpersfield, N.Y. and worked as a farmer. On August 27, 1862 at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Regiment as part of Company C. He was promoted to Corporal on October 1, 1864 and mustered out of service on June 25, 1865.
Chauncey D. Hanford was born in Davenport, N.Y. and was employed as a carpenter. He joined Company C on August 18, 1862 at the age of 24. On October 1, 1863 he died of consumption in New York City.
Horace S. Hanford was born in Delaware County, N.Y. and worked as a farmer. He enlisted in the Regiment as part of Company I on August 30, 1862 at the age of 25. He died in Beaufort, S.C. on August 23, 1864.
Crandal B. Hanford was born in Harpersfield, N.Y. and worked as a farmer. On September 1, 1864 at the age of 20, he enlisted in the Regiment as part of Company H. He mustered out of service on June 25, 1865.
George Hanford was born in Harpersfield, N.Y. and worked as a farmer. He enlisted in the Regiment on September 1, 1864 at the age of 22 as part of Company H. He mustered out of service on June 25, 1865.
Raymond S. Champlin was born in Blenheim, N.Y. and worked as a farmer. On August 27, 1862 at the age of 34, he enlisted in the Regiment as part of Company C. He mustered out of service on June 25, 1865.
The following source was used for compiling the historical note and part of the biographical note for this finding aid: Descriptive Book of the 144th Regiment, U.S.
The collection consists of 38 letters written between 1862-1865 to both Mr. and Mrs. Levi Hanford of Hobart, Delaware County, N.Y.; a couple of them are written to their son Charles. Most of the letters are written by 4 of their nephews and a family friend all serving in the Civil War; others are written by Nancie Hanford, Chauncey Hanford's wife Two of the letters have incomplete dates and two are unsigned.
The letters discuss various aspects of camp life such as living conditions, weather, illness among the recruits, religious services, drills and going out on picket. They also write about family concerns as well as their feelings concerning the war and the politics and issues surrounding it. .
In addition to the letters, the collection contains two copies of The New South, a newspaper published out of Port Royal, South Carolina (dated April 9 and July 23, 1864) and a copy of The Palmetto Herald, another newspaper published out of Port Royal, South Carolina (dated April 7, 1864).
The letters are in chronological order.
The collection is open for research.
The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.
These records are indexed under the following headings in the Bates College Library catalog. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Hanford, Chauncey D.--Correspondence
Hanford, Crandal B.--Correspondence
Hanford, Horace S.--Correspondence
Hanford, James Oscar--Correspondence
United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 144th (1862-1865)
Military and War __ __ __ __ __MACON
Soldiers--New York (State)--Correspondence
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
On long-term loan from Peter Townsend (Class of 2000). Mrs. Levi Hanford was the donor's paternal great-grandmother and the letters were passed down through the family. Accession No.: N/A.
Hanford Civil War letters, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.
Processed by Elaine Ardia, Archives Assistant, Nov. 2003.
|Return to the Table of Contents|
Page author: Jim Hart
Feedback and Suggestions
© Bates College. All rights reserved.