A Guide to the Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865 Folsom, Charles W. Collection Ms2013-085

A Guide to the Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2013-085


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

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/

© 2013 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Betsy Reed, Graduate Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Charles W. Folsom Collection, 1865
Physical Characteristics
0.4 cu. ft. 1 box; 1 oversize folder
Folsom, Charles W., 1826-1904
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

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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

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.

Index Terms


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

Contents List

Box-folder 1-1
Papers, 1865
Folder 1
Payroll Forms, 1865