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|Size||About 40 items|
|Abstract||Private William A. Collins of Statesville, N.C., served in Company C of the 48th North Carolina Infantry Regiment from March 1862 until his death in December 1862. The collection is chiefly letters that William A. Collins sent to his family in Statesville, Iredell County, N.C. Collins's letters discuss camp life; the Regiment's first combat action against Union gun boats at City Point on the James River near Petersburg, Va., 16 June 1862; and actions in northern Virginia and Maryland in the course of which he was wounded and captured at the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862. After being paroled, Collins was confined to Chimborazo Hospital No. 4 in Richmond, Va., where he died. There are also a few messages from others, including the unit's captain, and later materials, among them a poem that appears to have been written by Collins's sister in 1865.|
|Creator||Collins, William A., 1841-1862.|
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William A. Collins of Statesville, N.C., was born into a family of farmers on 21 August 1841. Although little is known about his education beyond the fact that he pursued a course of religious studies with his friend and pastor, Reverend J. M. Smith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, it is worth noting that Collins had fine handwriting.
Like many of the young men from Iredell County, Collins enlisted on 26 February 1862 and his term of service parallels the early and, indeed, even the pre-history of North Carolina's 48th Infantry Regiment. While serving in Company C, he participated in a series of engagements in and around northern Virginia. He was wounded in the leg and captured by Union forces at the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862. After being paroled, he was confined to Chimborazo Hospital No. 4 in Richmond, Va., where he died of gangrene on 14 December 1862.Back to Top
The bulk of this collection is comprised of the letters that Private William A. Collins, Company C of the 48th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, sent back home to his family in Statesville, Iredell County, N.C., during his term of Civil War service, which began in March 1862 and ended with his death in December 1862. Collins's letters provide a generally good-spirited, if critical, assessment of Company C's camp life replete with complaints about the uncertainty of their orders, the quality and quantity of the food and water, the lack of tents, the piney green fire wood, and the high cost of provisions such as fresh foodstuffs and soap. He also gave a brief description of the 48th Regiment's first combat action against Union gun boats at City Point on the James River near Petersburg, Va., on 16 June 1862. The letters go on to mention his unit's actions in northern Virginia and Maryland in the course of which he was wounded and captured at the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862. After being paroled, he was confined to Chimborazo Hospital No. 4 in Richmond, Va. While in the hospital, Collins wrote of having suffered thefts, demanded a lengthy list of provisions from home, and eventually even begged for someone to come get him.
Within this series of letters, Collins's uncle, Jesse Lippard (d. December 1862) of the same unit, occasionally wrote a brief note home. Other letters are from Company C's captain, Arthur Walker, who wrote to warn the family of Collins's dire medical state and need of rescue from Chimborazo Hospital, and a letter from the hospital detailing Collins's final days accompanied by his death certificate. Also in April 1863, Sergeant William Cascaddon (d. December 1863), a possible relation, wrote to the Collins family about their son's effects and the monies he was owed.
Also included are a series of excepts from Collins's letters, prayers, and a poem that appear to have been written by one of Collins's sisters in 1865.Back to Top