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Bucknam Family

Papers, 1811-1920

MC 228

1 box (.20 cu.ft.)

Accession #: 2013.09

Processed: May 2013 by Mahala Ruddell

About the Bucknam family

John Bucknam (of Medford, Massachusetts) and Susan Ann Warren (of Concord, New Hampshire) married in the spring of 1830 in Massachusetts. Their first son, John William Bucknam was born later that year in Brighton, Massachusetts, but died of scarlet fever in 1834. Their second son, Warren Fay Bucknam was born around 1833, and a third son, George Henry Bucknam, was born in 1836. In the fall of 1838, Susan, Warren, and George moved – without John – from Brighton to Concord, New Hampshire, where they lived as boarders in the home of John Brown. In the fall of 1860, Warren married Susan Emma Parkhurst of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. George enlisted in the New Hampshire Volunteer Army in 1861. He fought in the Civil War as a private in the 5th Regiment, Company A and was wounded by a gunshot to the side in 1862 and spent a number of months at David’s Island Hospital, near New York City. In 1863, he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head at Gettysburg. Warren and Susan had at least three children together, Fannie P. (born 1863), Gertrude W. (born 1867), and Arthur E. (born 1879).

About the Bucknam Family Papers

The Bucknam Family Papers span the years 1811-1920 and primarily consists of correspondence between George Bucknam and his friends and family members while he served as a soldier in the Civil War. The collection also contains one folder of genealogical notes and material about the Bucknam family, copies of George Bucknam’s service records, and miscellaneous other papers. There is one box of sixteen folders containing twenty-two letters written to and from various Bucknam and Warren family members between 1811 and 1856, thirty-four letters with or about George from between 1861-1865, and seven letters between Bucknam and Warren family members between 1866 and 1920. Additionally, there is one folder containing ten undated letters, some of them from George. The collection also contains several folders of copies or transcriptions of the original letters (made by family members) and the envelopes the original letters were mailed in. Not every original letter has a corresponding copy or transcription.

The correspondence relating specifically to George Bucknam’s service in the Civil War dates from November 10, 1861, the year he first joined the New Hampshire Volunteers, to a letter describing his death at Gettysburg written on August 12, 1863. Most of the letters are from George himself, either to his brother Warren or to his sister-in-law Susan, and they include details about food rations, Rebel prisoners, a soldier’s duties, life in camp and the various deaths of fellow soldiers. The correspondence written between June 11, 1862 and August 14, 1862 describes life in David’s Island Hospital just outside of New York City, where George was recuperating from the wound he suffered at the Battle of Fair Oaks. Subjects include food shortages, patient neglect, poor medical care, and the process of recovering from war injuries. The letter dated June 16, 1862, written by Capt. E. E. Sturtevant of Company A, 5th Regiment (Bucknam’s company), gives details of the Battle of Fair Oaks.

Folder Listing

f.1 October 1811-April 1832 (8 letters)
f.2 July 1832-July 1843 (6 letters)
f.3 December 1847-December 1856 (9 letters)
f.4 June 1861-June 1862 (16 letters)
f.5 July 1862-March 1863 (8 letters)
f.6 May 1863-May 1865 (10 letters)
f.7 April 1866-July 1920 (8 letters)
f.8 Undated (11 letters)
f.9 Copies and transcriptions of above correspondence, March 1826-January 1855
f.10 Copies and transcriptions, June 1861-August 1862
f.11 Copies and transcriptions, October 1862-August 1863
f.12 Envelopes and postal covers
f.13 Envelopes and postal covers
f.14 Envelopes and postal covers
f.15 Genealogical records and notes, including George Bucknam’s service records
f.16 Miscellaneous handwritten materials, including a composition on the principle events in the life of George Washington written by Warren Bucknam, the definition of the word “agnostic,” a list of contributors to Mr. Bucknam for services rendered, a collection of proverbs, a newspaper clipping of a poem