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Charles I. Eaton papers--addition 1

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 12204

Content Description

One carte de visite photograph of Union soldier Charles I. Eaton in uniform. This collection is an addition to MSS 12204 Journals of Charles I. Eaton. See external documentations below for a link to that collection.


  • Creation: circa 1864

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Charles I. Eaton was born in 1837 in Rindge, New Hampshire. He was a Union soldier in the Co. K, 1st Colorado Cavalry, who was trained as a shoemaker and went to the Colorado frontier (near Denver) in 1861. He wrote two volumes of diaries about his travel home (on furlough) from Fort Lyon to New Hampshire in 1864 and his return trip in 1866.

He describes his journey noting a flood on the Platte River, burned buildings in Lawrence, Kansas, after Quantril's raid, Arapaho and Cheyenne people as "thrifty" farmers, rumors about wars with the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes, an ambush at Fort Larned, where two survivors were scalped, a visit from Arapaho Chief Left Hand who said he "has always tried to be friendly with the whites." Also mentioned is the Massacre at Sandy Creek (although he was injured and not able to fight) and his commander, Edward Wynkoop, who became sympathetic with the Arapapho and Cheyenne. He also mentions debauchery in camp life, the murder of Major Lyman Kellogg, the fall of Charleston and mourning the death of President Lincoln

After the Civil War, Eaton settled in Waltham, Massachusetts, worked at the Waltham Watch Factory, and married Emmar Barton in 1871. In later years he was a janitor at the local high school. He died on June 5, 1920.

"He was in some ways a typical soldier of his era. He endured danger, bad food, unhealthy living conditions, and extreme boredom... Yet he differed from many serving in the west by his enterprise and thrift, avoidance of alcohol, focus on the future, and by not even considering desertion."


Pankin, Mary Faith. "Missing the Massacre: Charles I. Eaton's Civil War Service in the West." Heritage of the Great Plains. Volume XL Spring/Summer 2007 No. 1. Emporia State University

Cataloging record


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift from Demaris Yearick to the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on October 20, 2019.

Charles I. Eaton papers
In Progress
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States