The Boggs Family Papers

The Boggs Family Papers comprise twenty-one letters, two photographs and four pieces of related materials. Eleven of the letters were written by William R. Boggs, and ten of these were to his brother and sister, Maggie and Adam Boggs, while he was in the Union Army from 1863 - 1865. (Note: The William R. Boggs whose letters are in this Collection should not be confused with the Confederate Brigadier General of the same name.) There are two photographs of William Boggs and they appear to date from the same era. The remainder of the correspondence mostly dates after the Civil War and relates to the Boggs family, mainly William and Maggie's generation. A majority of this correspondence is written either to or from members of the Boggs family. Among the related correspondence are two brief letters and one brief legal document from the late 1830's, all three of which relate to minor family affairs.

The ten letters from William Boggs during his service in the Union Army, nine to his sister, Maggie, and one to his brother, Adam, form the most interesting part of the Collection. In them we follow Boggs from various camps in Pennsylvania as a regular soldier, where he describes picket duty, raids by the "Johny Rebs" and camp conditions. Eventually he moves south, and in a letter from Maryland he describes winter conditions in the camp and tells the tale of a cousin who was taken prisoner by the Confederates. The Confederates were not feeding their prisoners enough, and his cousin said he had to "trade his gun blanket for two crackers...and (that he) saw men...picking up crackers in the mud that others had thrown away." Eventually William Boggs becomes Commander of his company as Lieutenant, and heads south to Virginia. In Virginia he is seriously wounded in the foot and remains in the hospital for two months until he is discharged from the Army. In these letters from Chesapeake Hospital in Ft. Monroe, we see the physical devastation the War had on soldiers, as his handwriting becomes shaky and he is only able to write a few lines at a time. He describes the hospital briefly, mentioning his helplessness and the fact that there are many Union soldiers there with him. It is also interesting to see how Boggs' tone changes from optimistic and excited in his first letters, when he is out in the field, to weak and dispirited once he enters the hospital. Throughout, however, he remains fiercely loyal to the Union's cause.

Because the set of letters from William Boggs during the Civil War comprise the longest and most consistent set of corrrespondence in the collection, I placed them in the first nine folders. I arranged the remiander of the material according to chronology and how closely it related to William Boggs and his immediate family. Among them are three pieces from the 1830's, one of which was signed by a William Boggs (folder 11). The final two folders contain materials related to the Boggs family and stretch into the 1920's. Most of this material consists of gossip and family related news. We see from these folders that the Boggs family spread out across the Midwest in later years, yet remained close.

* * * * * * *

Number of Boxes: 1
Extent: .25 linear feet
Provenance: Vicki R. Boggs, December 26, 1986
Processed by: Michael North
Date: July 25, 1988

FOLDER LISTING
Box 1 Folder 1
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "I have just finished..."
Date span: 11 Apr 1863
Description: ALS from WRB to MB from Creek Landing (Pa.?). Discusses Union camp conditions. Troops reviewed by Lincoln. Mentions raids by rebels at Charleston and nearby Stonman's Station. Sends regards to Adam and James Boggs. Mentions illness.


Box 1 Folder 2
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "Since I last wrote..."
Date span: 3 Jul [1863?]
Description: ALS from WRB in Carlisle (Pa.?) to MB. Describes a Confederate attack on Carlisle and picket duty.


Box 1 Folder 3
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "It is with pleasure..."
Date span: 20 Sep 1864
Description: ALS from WRB to MB from Camp Cadwalader, near Phila. He is now Commander of his company; is anxious for the company to leave camp; discusses camp conditions. Mentions seeing an old schoolmate. Refers to self as Lieut. in 203 Reg. Regards to James Boggs.


Box 1 Folder 4
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs, Wm. Boggs to Adam Boggs
Date span: 20 Nov 1864
Description: Two ALS from WRB to MB and AB on same sheet. To MB, mentions Confederate raid on Bermuda Hundred & Dutch Gap, Va.; discusses Lincoln/McClellan presidential race; mentions father (PB). To AB, thanks him for a letter; mentions picket duty; sends regards to Uncle James (Boggs?).


Box 1 Folder 5
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "Once more I take..."
Date span: 6 Jan 1865
Description: Brief ALS from WRB to MB from on board the steamer Verrona on the James River on the way to Wilmington. Mentions illness, toothache and the slowness of the mail. Refers to "Uncle Sam", Sgt. Benjamin Bailey, infighting among the Confederate army and Jefferson Davis.


Box 1 Folder 6
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "As I feel..."
Date span: 8 Feb 1865
Description: ALS from WRB in Chesapeake Hospital in Ft. Monroe, Va. to MB. Clearly very weak, describes a recent, serious foot wound. Describes hospital and mentions that many in the Union Army are sick. Refers to Sgt. Ben Bailey.


Box 1 Folder 7
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "I received your welcome..."
Date span: 26 Feb 1865
Description: Brief ALS from WRB at Chesapeake Hospital to MB. Clearly very weak, he writes that his wounded foot is healing slowly. Describes hospital. Refers to Sgt. Ben Bailey.


Box 1 Folder 8
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "I received your welcome..."
Date span: 26 Mar 1865
Description: ALS from WRB at Chesapeake Hospital to MB thanking her for a letter. Describes the healing of his foot wound; mentions his discharge from the army. Refers to Stephen Boggs, Gen. Sheridan and James and Mary Boggs.


Box 1 Folder 9
Wm. Boggs to Maggie Boggs: "I received your letter..."
Date span: undated
Description: ALS from WRB in Maryland Heights to MB. Describes winter conditions in camp and the experiences of a cousin taken prisoner by the Confederates. Refers to Sgt. Ben Bailey, James Boggs and other relatives.


Box 1 Folder 10
Photograhphs of William R. Boggs
Date span: undated
Description: Two undated photos of WRB. The first is WRB in Union Army uniform with sword, taken in Coatesville, Pa. The second is WRB in civilian clothes, taken in Wilmington, Del.


Box 1 Folder 11
Receipt; Letters Price Boggs to Stephen
Date span: 28 Mar 1837 - 25 Mar 1839
Description: One ADS by WRB and PB showing receipt of money from the estate of Eliz. Boggs from SB. Two ALS from PB to his son, SB: one about sending a trunk from PB in Ohio to SB in Pa.; the other about sending money.


Box 1 Folder 12
Ann Boggs to Stephen & Wm. Boggs, Wm. Boggs to A. Boggs
Date span: 24 Jan 1870 - 22 May 1877
Description: ALS from AJB to her sons, WRB and SB; mostly relates to local (Pa.?) gossip, many references to MB and Garner. ALS from WRB in Batavia, Iowa to AB; refers to SB and his wife, Hattie Boggs.


Box 1 Folder 13
Related correspondence, 1874 - 1891
Date span: [1867?] - 11 Aug 1891
Description: ALS from the Carsons in Batavia, Ia. to AB in Pa. giving news about Boggs family in IA: ref to WRB & children Ernest Ray, MB2; SB & EB. ALS from Mary Avatt (MB's dau?) to Uncle SB & Aunt Mattie, ref to Mary & Mode (Boggs?). TLS from D. A. Hanna to Uncle SB & AJB. ADS, minutes of annual meeting of Upper Octovaro Church. AMsS of poem by Ann Withers.


Box 1 Folder 14
Related correspondence, 1909 - 1923
Date span: 21 Sep 1909 - 2 Nov 1923
Description: 2 ALS from Susan Hayes to Ellis Lester about money she owes, ref to MB2(?). ALS from ECB to WRB about dividing (AJB's?) papers, etc., ref to SB, EB, AB, MB(2?) & "Ellis". ALS from "Wm. F. B(oggs?)" to "Uncle". ANS to WRB about signing papers, possibly from a lawyer. 4 envelopes from unidentified correspondence.


INDEX

Avatt, Mary [ALS to SB] 1: 13

Bailey, Benjamin, Sgt. reference 1: 5
- 1: 6
- 1: 7
- 1: 9

Bermuda Hundred 1: 4

Boggs, Adam [ALS from WRB] 1: 4
- reference 1: 1 - reference 1: 12
- refernce 1: 14

Boggs, Ann Jane [ALS to WRB, SB] 1: 12
- reference 1: 13

Boggs, Elizabeth reference 1: 11
Boggs, Emma C. [ALS to WRB] 1: 14

Boggs, Ernest Ray (son of WRB?) reference 1: 13

Boggs, Eva reference 1: 13
- reference 1: 14

Boggs, James reference 1: 1
- reference 1: 3 - reference 1: 8
- reference 1: 9

Boggs, Maggie [ALS from WRB] 1: 1
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 2
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 3
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 4
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 5
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 6
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 7
- [ALS from WRB] 1: 8
- reference 1: 12

Boggs, Maggie (d. of WRB?) reference 1: 13
- reference 1: 14

Boggs, Mary reference 1: 8

Boggs, Mattie reference 1: 12

Boggs, Price reference 1: 4
- [ADS, ALS to SB] 1: 11
Boggs, Stephen [ALS from AJB] 1: 12
- [ALS from PB] 1: 11
- [TLS from D.A.Hanna] 1: 13
- reference 1: 8
- reference 1: 12
- reference 1: 13
- reference 1: 14

Boggs, William R. [ADS] 1: 11
- [ALS from AJB] 1: 12
- [ALS to AB] 1: 4
- [ALS to MB] 1: 1
- [ALS to MB] 1: 2
- [ALS to MB] 1: 3
- [ALS to MB] 1: 4
- [ALS to MB] 1: 5
- [ALS to MB] 1: 6
- [ALS to MB] 1: 7
- [ALS to MB] 1: 8
- [ALS to MB] 1: 9
- [ANS from lawyer] 1: 14
- photographs 1: 10
- reference 1: 13
Carlisle, (Pa.?) 1: 2
Chesapeake Hospital 1: 6 - 1: 7
- 1: 8

Creek Landing, (Pa.?) 1: 1

Davis, Jefferson reference 1: 5
Dutch Gap 1: 4
Fort Monroe, Virginia 1: 6
- 1: 7
- 1: 8
Hayes, Susan [ALS to E. Lester] 1: 14

James River 1: 5

Lester, Ellis [ALS from S. Hayes] 1: 14
Lincoln, Abraham reference 1: 1
- reference 1: 4
Maryland Heights, Maryland 1: 9
McClellan, George B. reference 1: 4
Sheridan, Philip H., Gen. reference 1: 8
Stonman's Station, (Pa.?) 1: 1

"Uncle Sam" reference 1: 5

Upper Octovaro Church minutes 1: 13


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