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Twelve Letters Written by Amherst College Graduates During the Civil War

 Collection — Box: Small Collections 1
Identifier: MA.00388

Scope and Contents

A collection of 12 letters written by Amherst College classmates to Benjamin Pettibone, Secretary of the Class of 1860. The letters appear to have been written in response to Pettibone’s call for a class reunion at Amherst to coincide with the 1863 commencement. The collection includes a letter by George Goodale, who became the first director of Harvard’s Botanical Museum and commissioned the making of the University’s legendary Glass Flowers collection, and letters by other notable graduates, most from the Class of 1860. In addition to some reminiscing about college days (most had been members of one of Amherst’s early student organizations and contributed to the student-run magazine Ichnolite), the letters contain much discussion of life and employment after college, including several references to the ongoing war. Horace Binney, who had joined the 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers, posted his letter from his Brigade headquarters on the Rappahannock, where he was serving as an aide to General Thomas H. Neill; and Justin Kellogg describes his most recent campaign with the 52nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers under General Banks in New Orleans.


  • 1863


Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.


12 items (12 letters in one folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Rachel Jirka
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299