Elliott Family Correspondence Elliott Family Correspondence, 1864-1871 Ms.1990.021

Elliott Family Correspondence, 1864-1871 Ms.1990.021


Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Business Number: 540-231-6308
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

John M. Jackson

Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Elliott Family Correspondence 1864-1871
0.1 Cubic Feet, 1 folder
Elliott family
The materails in the collection are in English.
Nine wartime letters of Joshua L. and Thomas A. Elliott, brothers from Hanover County, Virginia, and privates in Company B, 24th Virginia Infantry during the American Civil War, written to Mary F. Page of Hanover County; together with a postwar letter from Oden B. Elliott to Page, and a letter from Page to her sister Elizabeth Mallory while a patient in Virginia's Eastern State Hospital (Williamsburg).

Administrative Information

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Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], Elliott Family Correspondence, Ms1990-021, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The Elliott Family Correspondence was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1990.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the Elliott Family Correspondence commenced and was completed in September, 2022.

Biographical Note

Brothers Joshua, Thomas, and Oden Elliott were sons of Henry and Nancy Elliott. The 1850 census lists the three, all born in Virginia, living in Bedford County, Virginia with their parents and three other Elliott children. The Elliotts continue to be listed as Bedford County residents in the 1860 census, with Joshua (22) employed as a carpenter and Oden (18) working as a farm laborer. Thomas Elliott had apparently left home.

Joshua L. Elliott enlisted in Company B, 24th Virginia Infantry at Lynchburg on May 23, 1861. He was detailed to the Commissary Department in January, 1862 and admitted to Chimborazo Hospital (Richmond) on May 12, 1862 with diarrhea. Joshua L. Elliott was killed at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff on April 19, 1864.

Like his brother, Thomas A. Elliott (born ca. 1839) enlisted in Company B, 24th Virginia Infantry at Lynchburg on May 23, 1861. No further record could be found.

Oden B. Elliott enlisted in Company G, 34th Virginia Infantry in Bedford County, Virginia on March 3, 1862. Company rolls list him as sick in April, 1862; then present October, 1862 to the final roll; and in the Richmond Hospital on March 5, 1865. He was captured at Farmville on April 6, 1865, and held prisoner at Newport News before being released on July 1. Oden B. Elliott married Nannie E. Evans in Roanoke County, Virginia on February 15, 1866. The 1870 census lists a 24-year-old railroad worker named "Oten Elliot" living in Salem (Roanoke County), Virginia with wife Nancy and a young son. Oden B. Elliott died before 1900.

Mary F. Page of Hanover County, Virginia, seemingly had a romantic attachment to at least two of the Elliott brothers. The 1850 census lists a 22-year-old Mary F. Page living in the Hanover County home of Mordecai A. and Elizabeth Page. Also in the home are two younger Page children, Joseph and Lucy. In the 1860 federal census, Mary F. Page, 32, appears in the Hanover County home of 66-year-old Elizabeth Page, together with Lucy E. Page, 22. Mary Frances Page, 38, and Henry Morris Ammons, a 60-year-old native of Charles City County, Virginia and resident of Richmond, were married in Hanover County on November 14, 1866. The contents of Mary Page Ammons' July 1871 letter suggest that she was involuntarily committed to Virginia's Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg around July 1867. Henry M. Ammons is described in the 1880 federal census as a widower, living in Henrico County, Virginia with two adult daughters.

Scope and Content

This collection contains nine wartime letters from Thomas A. Elliott and Joshua L. Elliott, brothers serving in Company B, 24th Virginia Infantry during the American Civil War, written to Mary F. Page of Hanover County, Virginia. The letters commence with Thomas writing to Mary from a camp near Goldsboro, North Carolina on January 26, 1864. Elliott complains of having to drink swamp water, of being away from his love, and of North Carolina in general ("I never was as sick of any one place as I am of N.C. for it is the last place with me in this world..."). Three successive letters, dated in January and February, were also written from the Goldsboro camp, one by Thomas and two by brother Joshua. The focus of the letters is largely personal, with only brief mentions of the regiment's movements and other activities. Thomas A. Elliott writes two letters from a camp near Kinston, North Carolina in late February. On February 28, he complains of having been denied a furlough that he had requested for the purpose of coming home to marry Mary. On March 19, Thomas writes from Fort Caswell, North Carolina and mentions having guarded a blockade runner that had run aground. Writing again from near Goldsboro on March 30, Joshua predicts that the regiment will soon be moving again: "[W]e expect to get orders to go to Virginia every day for I think that it is Gen Lees intention to pay the Pensylvanians a visit in a short time and I think that he will invite us to acompany him on his visit as we are his pets." He also notes being afflicted with boils and hopes that Mollie is still single and waiting for him. In an undated letter fragment, Joshua again complains of being in North Carolina: "[W]e had rather be old Gen Lees pets than to stay down here where we can only see tallow faced women...," but he notes that the regiment is enjoying plentiful rations.

The collection also contains a letter from Oden B. Elliott, written from Gish's Mills (today Vinton), Virginia on January 18, 1866, to Mary Page, in which Elliott seems to accuse Page of being deceitful with him ("why did you tell me that you would marry me .. as you was only after fooling me ...") and asks for the return of his letters, his "likeness," and a silver ring. Also in the collection, written on the reverse side of Thomas A. Elliott's March 19, 1864 letter, is a letter written by Mary F. Page Ammons to her sister, Elizabeth H. Mallory. Writing in July, 1871 from what is today the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, Mary describes at length her suffering and cruel treatment during the first four years of what was apparently an involuntary commitment. Also within the collection is a handwritten copy of the poem "The Gallant Hussar," a brief note written in code, and seven envelopes addressed to Mary F. Page of Verdon, Hanover County, Virginia.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Elliott Family Correspondence by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 ( https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/ ).

Container List

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