Folsom, Charles W. Collection Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865 Ms.2013.085

Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865 Ms.2013.085


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

Betsy Reed, Graduate Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist

Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865
0.4 Cubic Feet, 1 box; 1 oversize folder
Folsom, Charles W., 1826-1904
English .
This collections contains papers relating to Charles Folsom who served as a Quartermaster with the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry in the latter years of the American Civil War.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Charles W. Folsom Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Charles W. Folsom Collection, Ms2013-085, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased by Special Collections in 2013.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Charles W. Folsom Collection was completed in October 2013.

Biographical Note

A trained civil engineer born to Harvard's librarian in 1826, upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Charles W. Folsom, Jr. entered the military. He was mustered in July 1, 1861 as a 1st Lieutenant in Company S of the Massachusetts 20th Infantry Regiment of Volunteers. He was eventually promoted to full Captain an March 13, 1865. He was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Volunteers Quartermaster's Department Infantry Regiment where he became Chief Quartermaster of the Nottoway District, Petersburg, Virginia, at the end of the War. He mustered out of the military on August 31, 1868.

Scope and Content

Charles Folsom served as a Quartermaster with the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry. The collection includes 4 letters, 13 payroll sheets (mostly relating to the rebuilding of Campbell's and Pocahontas bridges near Petersburg), 33 pieces of ephemera (notes, receipts), and 47 newspaper clippings (in envelope). Materials date from July-November of 1865. Much of the materials in this collection concern the rebuilding of the Pocahontas and Campbell's bridges in the Petersburg area. Pocahontas Bridge was damaged badly and Cambell's Bridge was completely destroyed when Confederates fired on the bridges as they evacuated Petersburg in 1865.

The four letters in this collection include three written by Capt. Charles W. Folsom and one other written by a Capt. Fiss. They all concern the work conducted on the bridges, asking for reports, need to transport things by train, figures for wood cutters, expenditures, etc. The thirteen payroll sheets list the names, occupations, period of service (dates and amount of days) rate of pay, pay per month, amount received, and signatures. It is highly possible that some of the workers were African-American.

The thirty-three pieces of ephemera include accounts of the "Civil Fund," accounts for Pocahontas Bridge and Campbell's Bridge; accounts for lumber and wood cutting; accounts of "Street Cleaning Fund," short small notes for work crews assembled, weekly reports of wagons, ambulances, harness; Pillow Family payments, etc. The forty-seven newspaper clippings primarily concern the Freedman's Bureau, its operations in the south and troubles between whites and freed slaves.


The collection is arranged by material type.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War
  • Petersburg (Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Container List

box-folder 1 folder: 1
folder 1
Payroll Forms