Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Sarah Leonard Combe Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Sarah Leonard Combe Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1861-1979
Bulk Dates: 1861-1868
Quantity: 1 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, memorabilia pertaining to the American Civil War.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Nothing is known of Sarah Leonard Combe other than what can be gleaned from the collection. She resided in Syracuse with her husband Hamilton R. Combe. Hamilton Combe served in the 12th New York as first lieutenant (May 12 to October 22, 1861) and then as captain (October 22, 1861, to October 27, 1862). An"Aunt Hannah" is mentioned but, it's uncertain whether she was Sarah's aunt by blood or by marriage.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Sarah Leonard Combe Collection consists of correspondence, memorabilia, and writings.

Correspondence contains military items connected with Company J of the New York Militia, stationed at Fort Tillinghast (near Washington, D.C.) between 1861 and 1862, and more than one hundred letters from Sarah Leonard Combe of Syracuse, New York, to her husband, Hamilton R. Combe, a lieutenant and then captain of Company J. Transcriptions were donated with the collection and are foldered at the end of each year; these have not been checked for accuracy.

There is also a flash drive containing electronic versions of the transcriptions.

Memorabilia contains a few newspaper clippings from the Syracuse, New York area, a photograph of an unidentified family group, and a printed lottery advertisement.

Writings contains Sarah Combe's diary for 1862, an essay by her on "The Future," and a biographical sketch of her written in 1979. Transcriptions of the diary and essay were donated with the collection and are foldered at the end of each year; these have not been checked for accuracy.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Other material is arranged alphabetically by type or title.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Combe, Hamilton R.
Combe, Sarah Leonard.

Corporate Bodies

New York (State). -- Militia. -- Regiment, 12th.


Soldiers -- New York (State)
Women -- Diaries.
Women -- New York (State) -- Social life and customs.


Fort Tillinghast (Arlington, Va.)
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- History.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Military records.
USB flash drives.

Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Sarah Leonard Combe Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alicia L. Watson, 2017.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 25 Jan 2018
Revision history:

Return to top


Box 1 List of letters, by date
Box 1 Military items, Company J, 12th New York Volunteers 1861-1862 - includes muster roll for April to June of 1862, list of men engaged in the battle at Gaines's Mill (also known as the First Battle of Cold Harbor or the Battle of Chickahominy River); with transcripts (2 folders)
Box 1 [General] 1861 - with transcripts (3 folders)
Box 1 [General] 1862 - with transcripts (4 folders)
Box 1 [General] 1863 - with transcripts (2 folders)
Box 1 [General] 1864 - with transcripts (4 folders)
Box 2 [General] 1865 - with transcripts (2 folders)
Box 2 [General] 1866-1868 - includes transcripts (3 folders)
Box 2 [General] undated - with transcripts (2 folders)
Box 2 Flash drive - contains electronic versions of lists (Excel) and transcripts (Word) mentioned above and in Writings below (ID#: combe_sl_001)
Box 2 Clippings 1850, 1911, undated
Box 2 Lottery undated - printed ad for lottery sponsored by a Baltimore, Maryland jewelry company
Box 2 Photograph undated - unidentified family portrait
Box 2 Diary, Sarah Combe 1862 (2 folders)
Small black leather-bound volume embossed with "DIARY 1862" in gold. An entry from 1 Nov 1862 reads, "To-day my heart was made glad by the unexpected return of my dear H., who says he is done soldiering and come to stay with me." At the back is a section of "Cash Accounts" pages. The second folder contains a full transcript.
Box 2 Essay, "The Future" by Sarah Combe undated - with transcript
Box 2 "Sarah Leonard Combe: A Victorian Woman" by Alicia Lathrop Kirkland 16 Dec 1979 - typed, 21pp; includes photograph of a portrait of Sarah Combe

Return to top