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Joseph Perrin Burrage letters, 1862-1863

 Collection — Box: 1, Box: 1
Identifier: MSS-16215

Scope and Contents

The Joseph Perrin Burrage letters consist of one document box, .04 cubic feet, and contain 88 of his letters to his family describing his activities and lifestyle in the Thirty-Third Massachussetts Volunteers during the Civil War from 1862 to 1863. Most of the letters are accompanied with a typed transcript and the original mailing envelope. Some of the folders contain several letters while most have only one per folder.

His letters describe the details of camp life, including marching and traveling with his unit from Virginia to Alabama, and mention of General Joseph Hooker, General Ulysses S. Grant, General William Rosencrans, and General Robert E. Lee. He writes without comment or description that men are being killed all around him. He was passionate about defending the United States Army, and his crusade for morality, temperance, and abolition. The letters also contain brief descriptions of the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, and Gettysburg. Also mentioned is his younger cousin, William "Willie" Allen Burrage.


  • Creation: 1862-1863

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Perrin Barrage was the eldest son of a Boston merchant, and a student at Harvard College who had trained for a career in the ministry and then enlisted in the 33rd Massachussetts Volunteers in Northern Virginia from 1862 to 1863. After marching and fighting in Virginia, he died leading his company in a nighttime bayonet charge up a steep mountain slope in Tennessee. (Biography extracted in part from


.04 Cubic Feet (1 document box with 80 folders) : 88 letters

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in chronological order. Most of the folders came with one letter per folder although a few of them have two letters.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was a gift from David Radcliffe to the Special Collections Libary at the University of Virginia in August 2016.

Joseph Perrin Burrage letters
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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