A Guide to the Zadock B. Springer Letter, 1864 Springer, Zadock B. Letter Ms2013-093

A Guide to the Zadock B. Springer Letter, 1864

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2013-093


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

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©2014 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Cort Rushton, Student Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Zadock B. Springer Letter, 1864
Physical Characteristics
0.1 cu. ft. 1 folder
Springer, Zadock B., October 12 1835 - October 24, 1905
This letter was written by Zadock B. Springer in 1864 to Martha Caroll at the time he was a prisoner of war in a Confederate prison in Danville, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Zadock B. Springer Letter must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Zadock B. Springer, Ms2013-093, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Zadock B. Springer Letter was purchased by Special Collections in 2013.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Zadock B. Springer Letter was completed in January 2014.

Biographical/Historical Note

Zadock Beeson "Zed" Springer was born to Jonathan D. Springer and Elizabeth Fulton on October 12, 1835 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Sometime prior to 1860 he married Susannah Leonard and, together, they had 6 children: Elizabeth, Leona, Annabelle, Jonathan, Agnes and Alice. He married Ophelia Kefover prior to 1880 and they had 6 children together: Zadock, Daisy, Ann Louise, Saretta Mundell, Catherine Wyona Victor, and Nellie Brown Honsaker.

Zadock B. Springer enlisted on April 7, 1864 as a 2nd Lieutenant and commissioned into "K" Co. of the Pennsylvania 116th Infantry, later recognized as members of the "Irish Brigade." He was captured at Reams' Station, Virginia, along with much of his regiment and was listed as a POW on August 25, 1864. They were held at a Confederate prison in Danville, VA until rescued. On June 3, 1865, Zadock was promoted to the position of Quartermaster and mustered out with his company on July 14, 1865 upon which he returned to live in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He reportedly owned a farm store on Beeson Boulevard in Uniontown until his death on October 24, 1905.

The 116th Infantry was originally recruited from among the Irish Americans living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1862 with Dennis Heenan serving as their first Colonel. The regiment was recruited to join the "Irish Brigade" in the Army of the Potomac and fought in the Shenandoah Valley, at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, and Battle of Gettysburg. The Regiment is attributed with aiding in the rescue of the 5th Maine Battery at the Battle of Chancellorsville, resulting in Lieutenant Colonel St. Clair A. Mulholland being awarded the Medal of Honor. However, over the course of these battles, the 116th lost many men and was required to recruit the regiment back to full strength by 1864, the time that Zadock Springer enlisted. Over the next year, the regiment suffered heavy losses due to fighting in the Overland and Appomattox Campaigns as well as aiding in the Siege of Petersburg. The A, B, C, and D companies were mustered out in June, 1865 and the remaining companies, including "K" of which Zadock Springer was Quartermaster, mustered out in July of 1865.

Zadock B. Springer, "Find A Grave"
History of the 116th PA

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a letter from Zadock B. Sprinter to Martha Caroll in 1864. This letter provides insight to life inside a prison camp during the Civil War, hardships a prisoner may have faced, and items they would have desired or not had access to. Sent from Danville, Virginia, Zadock B. Springer details relations and conditions of family members, as well as his own health and condition as a prisoner of war in a Confederate prison camp. In addition, he asks Mrs. Caroll to send him some basic items such as blankets, socks, and food. As a result of not having adequate clothing and blankets, Zadock reportedly caught a very bad cold. As evidenced by his personal documents and family history, he survived imprisonment and mustered out in 1865.

Index Terms


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

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Springer, Zadock B., October 12 1835 - October 24, 1905

Contents List

Folder 1
Letter, 1864