A Guide to the John W. Jellison Papers, 1862-1863 Jellison, John W., Papers Ms2010-057

A Guide to the John W. Jellison Papers, 1862-1863

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2010-057


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2010 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Josh Howard, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
John W. Jellison Papers, 1862-1863
Physical Characteristics
1 folder0.1 cu. ft.
Collection contains letters written to family by John W. Jellison, 27th Regiment, Maine Infantry. Also included are Jellison's discharge papers.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the John W. Jellison Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: John W. Jellison Papers, Ms2010-057, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The John W. Jellison Papers were purchased by Special Collections in March 2010.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the John W. Jellison Papers commenced and was completed in July 2010.

Biographical/Historical Information

John W. Jellison was a private in the 27th Maine Infantry, Company E, on September 30, 1862. He mustered out in June 1863.

The 27th Maine was notable for soldiers voluntarily staying beyond their original enlistment period in 1863 to guard Washington D.C. against Lee's offensive into Pennsylvania. However, these volunteers only remained in defense of the capitol for four days and returned to Maine in time to muster out with the rest of the regiment. Still, Congress awarded the entire regiment of more than 850 men the Medal of Honor. The awards were purged by Congress in 1917 as the "actions of the regiment did not meet the criteria for receiving such a medal." Although the medals were not taken away, the names of the recipients were stricken from the roll.

Scope and Content

The collection contains seven letters written by Jellison to his wife and his mother. In addition, the collection includes Jellison's his discharge papers.

Despite the short duration of his service, Jellison's letters were written from a variety of locations in Virginia, Washington, DC, and aboard the gun boat St. Louis. All the letters are dated, but not all include the year, so the sequence is unclear. For the most part, Jellison writes of his regiments marches and camps, and news of the war from nearby regions.

Excerpt from December 15, 1862, Camp Vermont Near Alexandria: "...We had a pleasant time on picket we took three prisoners we had to shoot one. It was hared to stand and see a man shot down it was on my post and I ordered it was my duty to do so..."


The correspondence is arranged in its likely chronological sequence, based on the movements of Jellison's regiment in 1862 and 1863. Discharge papers are filed after the letters.

Index Terms


  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Folder 1
Letters, 1862-1863.
Folder 1
Discharge papers, 1863.