Scope and arrangement
The bulk of this collection consists of letters written from Charles O'Neill to his wife, Carrie (Caroline, nee Bartholomew), 1860-1864. Some of the letters are accompanied by transcriptions, but the transcriptions are sometimes incomplete or inacurate. O'Neill records his movements during the war, particularly through Louisiana, 1862-1864, and briefly through Virginia in 1864. His letters describe the battles he witnessed at Ship Island, Georgia Landing, and Port Hudson, relate details of army life and his reasons for joining the Union Army, and express concern for his wife back home. He often enclosed poems clipped from newspapers with his letters.
Other items in the collection include an 1842 letter from Carrie's father to her mother, letters from Lieut. Perkins Bartholomew, 14th Connecticut Vols., to his mother and sister Carrie, 1864, a letter from the headquarters of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers to Carrie providing details about the death of her brother Perkins in battle in Virginia in 1864, and a letter to her regarding her membership in the Pilsbury Chapter of the Eastern Star dated March 7, 1885. There are also some pieces of Republican Party campaign ephemera listing candidates for 1872 elections in Connecticut and three issues of the newspaper The Soldiers' Record of Hartford, Connecticut. The issue dated July 18, 1868 announces the birth of a son on July 2 to Lieutenant Charles O'Neill, Junior "late of the 12th C.V." Present also are a few receipts and some genealogical notes prepared by the donor of the collection.
The O'Neill Family Papers are organized in the following series:
- Letters, 1842, 1860-1899
- Receipts, 1897, 1899
- xxThe Soldiers' Recordxx, 1868 Jul-Aug
- Republican Party campaign ephemera, undated
- Notes on O'Neill family genealogy, undated