Elizabeth Lee Smith Civil War Letters Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0953

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 116 letters written to Elizabeth Lee Smith during the American Civil War. The majority of the letters are from Jasper Newton Smith who Elizabeth would marry during the war. The letters concern the progress of the war and the budding romance between Jasper and Elizabeth. The remaining letters are mostly from Elizabeth and Jasper's family members.

Each letter has been transcribed alongside the original.

Jasper’s 92 letters detail the experiences of a soldier in the American Civil War. As he writes, he discusses battles, war strategy, and notable moments and people of the war. The letters also detail Elizabeth and Jasper's courtship before they were married April 10, 1864. In the midst of the war, Jasper uses his letters to court Elizabeth. He confesses his love to her throughout each letter, while discussing his current surroundings, health, friends and family, and war activity. Oftentimes, a poem or song is included in Jasper’s letters.

The other 24 letters included in this collection were written by the following people:

- Elizabeth's brother, Henry Lee (ENGINEER CORPS 1 ST BRIGADE, 2ND DIVISION, 16TH ARMY CORPS & COMPANY A 66TH REGIMENT VOLUNTEERS INDIANA) - Jasper's Brother, Christopher Smith (COMPANY A 66TH REGIMENT INDIANA) who was killed in action - Elizabeth's brother, Gregory Lee (COMPANY A 66TH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLUNTEER) - Elizabeth's nephew, Elijah Miller (COMPANY A 140TH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLUNTEER) - Elizabeth's cousin, CP Leatherman - Jasper's Lieutenant, Abraham Tengarden - Elizabeth's nephew, John A Smith - Elizabeth's Brother, Cam Ransom Lee (CORPORAL IN COMPANY A, 38TH INDIANA INFANTRY)

Dates

  • 1861 April 27 - 1865 July 23

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu.

Biographical Note - Jasper Newton Smith

Jasper Newton Smith was born in Saltillo, Indiana on January 19, 1843 to Andrew Smith and Elizabeth Broadway. Jasper enrolled in the Union Army on February 2, 1862 and was a member of the 53rd Regiment of the Indiana Infantry (Company K, 53rd Indiana Veteran Volunteer 1st Brigade, 4th Division Army Corps of Tennessee). He married Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Lee while Jasper was on furlough from the war on April 10, 1864 in Lawrence County, Indiana. They had 10 children. He died May 7, 1926 in New Cambria, Missouri.

Biographical Note - Elizabeth Lee Smith

Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Lee was born on March 19, 1847 in Indiana to Issac Lee and Henrietta Dorothy Leatherman. She married Jasper Newton Smith on April 10, 1864 in Lawrence County, Indiana. They had 10 children. She died February 14, 1932 in New Cambria, Missouri.

Extent

.63 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger; 1 Half-Hollinger box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains 116 letters written to Elizabeth Lee Smith during the American Civil War. The majority of the letters are from Jasper Newton Smith who Elizabeth would marry during the war. The letters concern the progress of the war and the budding romance between Jasper and Elizabeth.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Title
Elizabeth Lee Smith Civil War Letters Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Zach Johnson
Date
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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