A Guide to the Horace Holcomb Letter, 1865 Holcomb, Horace Letter Ms2011-042

A Guide to the Horace Holcomb Letter, 1865

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2011-042


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/

© 2011 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Horace Holcomb Letter, 1865
Physical Characteristics
0.1 cu. ft. 1 folder
Holcomb, Horace, b.1844
Letter from soldier in 10th New Hampshire Infantry during the Civil War.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Horace Holcomb Letter must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Horace Holcomb Letter, Ms2011-042, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Horace Holcomb Letter was purchased by Special Collections in 2011.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the Horace Holcomb Letter commenced and was completed in March, 2011.

Biographical Note

Horace Holcomb was born in New Hampshire in 1844. He enlisted as a private in Company A of the 10th New Hampshire Infantry in 1862, and was promoted to corporal on January 1, 1864. Holcomb was wounded on October 2, 1864 at Fort Harrison, Virginia and was taken prisoner at Fair Oaks, Virginia later that month. He was paroled on March 20, 1865, and promoted to sergeant on June 1 before mustering out with his regiment at Richmond three weeks later. The 1880 census lists a 36-year-old machinist named Horace J. Holcombe living in the Concorde (Merrimack County), New Hampshire home of his father-in-law, John G. Warren. Also in the home is Hattie E. Holcombe, 35, presumably Holcombe's wife. The census record shows that both Holcombes had been born in New Hampshire.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of an eight-page letter written by Horace Holcomb, a corporal in the 10th New Hampshire Infantry during the Civil War. Written from a camp in Manchester, Virginia, the letter is addressed to Holcomb's friend Jennie. Holcomb briefly describes the ruins of Richmond and notes that he has been assigned to oversee the repair of a bridge connecting Manchester with Richmond. After describing the work, Holcomb writes, "I have brought my writing material with me, and while the men are working, I am writing, too deeply impressed with my Corporal's disgnity to assist them..." Holcomb also comments on the capture of Jefferson Davis, then lists the punishments that he would inflict on Davis, given the opportunity. Holcomb mentions that he has made the acquaintance of a local widow and her daughters and also discusses male-female relationships, nature, and religion, particularly focusing on a friend in the company who "is an avowed infidel."

Index Terms


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

Contents List

Folder 1
Letter, 1865.