Paul collection of Civil War papers and related ephemera

Collection 3689

1860-1894, undated
(0.2 Linear feet , 1 box)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Paul, James Caverly Newlin and Margaret Morris Clausen.
Paul collection of Civil War papers and related ephemera
1860-1894, undated
0.2 Linear feet , 1 box
Finding aid prepared by Cary Hutto
Text [Box]
The Paul collection of Civil War papers and related ephemera, housed in seven folders in one box, primarily consists of over 100 transcribed letters from and concerning Richard Henry Morris, who served with the 9th New York Infantry during the Civil War. Along with a few other items, additional materials in the collection include a biography and memorial of Ulric Dahlgren and a handwritten account from 1888 of the assassination of President Lincoln titled "A Story of a Great Crime."

Preferred Citation note

[Indicate cited item or series here], Paul collection of Civil War papers and related ephemera (Collection 3689), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Biographical/Historical note

Richard Henry Morris was born in Philadelphia in 1840 to Richard Morris and Selcy Dorrance. He was raised in Bristol, Pennsylvania, and was educated in Bucks County and Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1884 he married Alice Vanuxem of Bristol. Morris enlisted with the Union Army during the Civil War and served in the 9th New York Infantry, which traversed areas mainly in Virginia and North Carolina. He died in Bristol in 1894.

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Scope and Contents note

Making up the bulk of the collection are transcriptions of Richard Henry Morris's letters, which are on fragile, onion-skin paper (Folder 2). Use photocopies of these documents have been made, and researchers are asked to consult the photocopies first (Folder 1). In his letters, Morris presented detailed and vivid accounts of his war service, though it is unclear to whom he wrote them as none of the transcriptions (which are undated) contain either salutations or signatures. In addition to the 1861-1863 letters, there is one letter dated 6 February 1865 and three letters from 1860 that appear to have been written by someone other than Morris, perhaps his wife or another family member.

Throughout his service, Morris traveled to numerous camps, including Camp Butler, Newport News, Virginia; Fort Hatteras, North Carolina; and Camp Parke, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Two of his letters from 1862 were written from vessels off the North Carolina Coast, the transport Eagle and the gunboat  Shrapnel. He participated in an 1861 clash at Fort Hatteras and the 1862 Battle of Roanoke Island. He also wrote about many other minor skirmishes with Confederate troops in addition to general camp life--rations, other soldiers, using African Americans as "servants," warding off disease, and morale. He usually ended his letters asking about friends and family in Philadelphia and Bristol and frequently mentioned a place called "Oaklands."

In addition to these letters, the collection contains an 1864 memorial sermon and three-page typed biography of Ulric Dahlgren (Folder 3), who was a Bucks County native and studied law in Philadelphia before the outbreak of the Civil War. Folders 4 and 5 contain two programs from a reunion of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association and a partial document with the Philadelphia city seal, respectively. Following this is a handwritten account of Abraham Lincoln's assassination by Captain Richard S. Collum (Folder 6), who was originally from Indiana but was stationed in Philadelphia for the last six years (1891-1897) of his United States Marine Corps career and died there in 1905. Finally, Folder 7 contains a memorial from the Military Order of the Loyal Legion for Richard Henry Morris.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2012

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.


Gift of Henry Lafayette Collins, III, on behalf of Mr.and Mrs. James C. N. Paul, 2009.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has many collections that contain letters from Civil War soldiers and relate to the war in general. Please consult our Civil War Manuscripts & Newspapers subject guide, which is available on our website and in our library, for a comprehensive list and further information.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Hawkins' Zouaves Association.
  • New York Infantry 9th Regiment, 1861-1863.

Personal Name(s)

  • Collum, Richard S. (Richard Strader).
  • Dahlgren, Ulric, 1842-1864.
  • Morris, Richard Henry, 1840-1894.


  • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Camp Life.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Civilian Accounts.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Ephemera.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal Correspondence.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Soldiers perceptions.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Troop movements.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Richard Henry Morris letters [originals and photocopies] 1860, 1861-1863, 1865 

1 1-2

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Ulric Dahlgren - memorial, typed biography, and print "Attack of Fredericksburg by Union Cavalry" 1864, 1872, undated 

1 3

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Hawkins' Zouaves Association reunion program [2 copies] 1886 

1 4

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Partial document with Philadelphia city seal 1869 

1 5

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"A Story of a Great Crime," by Richard S. Collum 11 January 1888 

1 6

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Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States memoriam for Richard Henry Morris 20 December 1894 

1 7

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