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Henry B. Walker Letters

An inventory of his correspondence at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: EFB
Date: Apr 1971

Biographical History

Henry B. Walker was a native of Cooperstown, New York who served with the 121st New York Volunteers during the Civil War. He received a battlefield commission as a lieutenant at Marye's Heights, Virginia, on April 30, 1863, in action which was part of the battle of Chancellorsville, being wounded in the left shoulder on the same day. He spent the period of the Gettysburg campaign in hospital in Washington, D.C., and returned to his regiment after Lee retreated behind the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers in Virginia. He was active in the maneuvers of the army in that area during the fall of 1863. Early in 1864 he was discharged from the army, returning to his home near Cooperstown.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henry B. Walker Letters (January 1863 - March 1864) consist of 43 outgoing letters from Union soldier Henry B. Walker. Though addressed and sent to members of his family, they were apparently intended for general circulation among his friends at home. The letters primarily contain descriptions of his life in the army camp, at the hospital after he was wounded, and during the maneuvers of the army around the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. The letters include descriptions of tents, food, marches, illnesses, the excitement of battle and the tedium of camp life, as well as friendships, religious services, and political and military opinions.

The bulk of the letters originate from the following Virginia locations: White Oak Church, Falmouth, Potomac Creek Bridge Station, Balford Heights, New Baltimore, Warrenton, Culpepper, Cedar Mountain, Mitchell Station, Rappahannock Station, and Welford's Ford. There are three letters from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. (while Walker was in hospital). The last three letters are written from Elmdale, New York after he arrived home, and are accompanied by transcripts.

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged chronologically. Envelopes are in a single folder at the end of the collection.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has many collections relating to the Civil War, as well as other collections of soldiers' letters. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Walker, Henry B.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Army -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
United States. -- Army -- Military life -- 19th century.
United States. -- Army. -- New York Volunteers, 121st.


Soldiers -- United States.


United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
United States -- History, Military -- To 1900 -- Sources.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Henry B. Walker Letters
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1963.

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