William Clark Corson papers, 1861-1865
William Clark Corson around 1856
The Dietz Press
Jennie Hill Caldwell around 1862
The Dietz Press
- Virginia Historical Society (Richmond)
- This collection contains the wartime correspondence, 1861-1865, of William Clark Corson (1837-1895) of Company G of the 3d Virginia Cavalry Regiment. In letters to his fiancée, Jennie Hill (Caldwell) Corson (1844-1899), William Corson describes, in detail, incidents of camp life (including daily duties, entertainments, and drill) and his participation in the October 1862 cavalry raid into Pennsylvania and the Peninsula, Bristoe, Petersburg, and 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaigns. Also in the collection is a letter, Mar. 8, 1865, to William from Jennie Corson concerning the impending arrival of Union soldiers and her view of the Confederate cause in March 1865. The entire collection is printed in Blake W. Corson, Jr., ed., My Dear Jennie (Richmond, 1982).
In his letter to Jennie from Shenandoah County, Va., on Oct. 23, 1864, Corson wrote:
- "I wrote you a short letter from New-Market soon after reaching my command, promising to let you hear from me again in a few days, but I have defered writing from day to day, hoping that something good might turn up and that I might be able to record a victory or at least a partial success to our arms in the Valley; but it seems that disaster after disaster attends this army; that defeat and disgrace await us in in every conflict with the enemy and our once proud battle flag is doomed to trail in the dust. It is very galling for me to acknowledge all this, but at the same time I know 'tis folly to attempt to smooth things over. The truth will come out at some time. "
[Read William Clark Corson's letter of Oct. 23, 1864] (PDF, 2 p., 12.79 MB)
Virginia Historical Society, Mss1.C8184a61
(See the NUCMC catalog record)