Finding aid created by: -
|17 Jun 2010||converted to EAD (MRC)|
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Maseker, Alexander D.|
|Title:||Alexander D. Maseker Letters|
|Quantity:||1 folder (SC)|
|Abstract:||Union soldier during the Civil War. Letters addressed to "Amanda" from "M" (1847-1848), and from Maseker to his wife Margaret while he was a soldier in the 1st Long Island Regiment (1861-1862).|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Little is known of Alexander D. Maseker beyond the information given in the collection. Letters to his wife have a Newark, New Jersey address, but Corporal Maseker evidently served with the 1st Long Island (New York) Regiment as part of Graham's Brigade. His unit participated in the siege of Yorktown and the Battle of Fair Oaks during General George B. McLellan's peninsular campaign.
The Alexander D. Maseker Letters consists of 18 letters written by a Union soldier during the Civil War.
The two letters from 1847 and 1848 are love letters, addresed to an unidentified "Amanda" and simply signed "M." The first is a love poem; in the second he writes, "And do you really wish to break off our acquaintance that has given me so much pleasure for months, cruel cruel one?...Henceforth I will put no trust in Woman, they are hollow-hearted, caught by glare and glitter, selfish and cruel..." Both letters originate from New York.
The letters from 1861-1862 are addressed to "My dear wife" Margaret and their children. The letters contain descriptions of army life in the camps and on campaign. Referencing the Battle of Fair Oaks (May 31 - June 1, 1862), Masekes writes, "The 31 wea had one awful fite...When wea went into the fite wea numbered in our company 63 men and when wea mustard men the nex day wea only had 29 men." (3 Jun 1862)
These letters originate from Washington DC and numerous locations in Virginia (Lewinville, Yorktown, Fair Oaks, and encampments on the Pamunkey and James Rivers). There is also one written from Blackwell Island Hospital.
There is no internal evidence that the "M" of the first two letters is in fact the "Alexander Maseker" of the later letters. Although the handwriting is similar the style (spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure) is quite different, as is evident in the excerpts cited above.
Letters are arranged chronologically.
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.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections of Civil War era letters and correspondence. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.
Maseker, Alexander D.
United States. -- Army -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
Fair Oaks, Battle of, Va., 1862 -- Personal narratives.
Peninsular Campaign, 1862 -- Personal narratives.
Soldiers -- United States.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Sources.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
United States -- History, Military -- To 1900 -- Sources.
Genres and Forms
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Alexander D. Maseker Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries