About Daniel C. Currier (1870-1945):
Daniel C. Currier was born on October 22, 1841 in Springfield, NH. He was the son of Hiram and Julia Colby. The family later moved to Grantham, NH where Hiram and Daniel were sawyers. On August 8, 1862, at the age of 21, Currier enlisted. He became a Corporal in I Company of the 14th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers and was mustered out on July 8, 1865 in Savannah, Georgia. Currier returned to Grantham and he married Sarah and they had six children: Mary, Gary, Wesley, Udo, Clarence, and Connor. After the war, Currier made his living as a sawyer and a farmer. He died on February 22, 1905.
About the Daniel C. Currier Letter collection:
The collection consists of forty-nine letters and letter fragments written in the period between 1862-1865 by Daniel C. Currier to his parents while he was serving in the 14th New Hampshire Volunteers during the Civil War. These letters contain information about his life as a corporal in I Company. He comments upon daily life, duty, politics, money, and encounters with “contraband” and Confederate soldiers. For the majority of the war the 14th New Hampshire was assigned to duty in defense of Washington, D.C.
The regiment served picket duty along the upper Potomac from November 1862 to April 1863. Afterwards, they performed picket duty and guard duty at various strategic locations around Washington. This included the Old Capitol Prison, where prisoners of war were imprisoned, and the Navy Yard Bridge (now called Anacostia). On March 20th the regiment sailed for Louisiana. They served at Camp Parapet, Carrollton and Jefferson City until June 1864. They then returned to Virginia for service at Fortress Monroe and Berryville until the end of July. From August to December, the regiment participated in Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign and was involved in three engagements at the battles of Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek. Towards the end of the war the regiment was stationed outside Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. They were mustered out in Savannah on July 8, 1865.
Also included in this collection are letter transcripts, supporting documents pertaining to people and places mentioned in Daniel’s letters, and clippings of Daniel C. Currier’s hair. Not all of the letters have been transcribed. Transcribed letters are designated by an asterisk after the date of the letter.
|f.1||June 8, 1862.
Currier to parents from Soldiers’ Home, Boston, Massachusetts.
Left behind in Boston by the enlisted men he was traveling with to Washington, D.C., he is afraid he will be marked as a deserter. Asks his parents for money and promises responsible spending from that point on.
October 20, 1862.*
Stationery with print of Capitol building and text “14th Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, Col. Wilson, Company I.” Travels from Concord, New Hampshire to Washington, D.C. with stops in Newark and Trenton, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland. Unsure of future orders for the regiment. Will try to visit friends in the New Hampshire Sixth Regiment at Harper’s Ferry.
October 22, 1862.
Same stationery as above. Quartered a mile east of the Capitol. Visits the Capitol building. The regiment has received orders to go to Seneca, Virginia. There are peddlers in camp selling pain cure and apples. Gives a list of the six men in his tent over whom he is corporal.
October 26-29, 1862.*
Fragment letter. Does guard duty in the rain. The first death in the regiment has occurred, the drowning of a corporal in F Company. Observes rockets in the sky.
October 30 and 31, 1862.*
Participates in a dress parade and performs picket and guard duty. Comments upon the quality of terrain. Appreciation for the letters he has received.
|f.2||November 5 and 6, 1862.
Currier to parents from Camp Chesapeake, Rockville, Maryland.
Inspected by Brigadier General Grover. Requests news about the war, “for we cant(sic) find out what is going on in the army, except for our vicinity”. Requests information about his Uncle Sam of the Sixth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers.
December 23, 1862.*
Recounts the daily activities of his tent mates and guard duty. Describes a local Episcopal Church. Participates in breaking into local Merchant Store. Takes coffee, tobacco and a box of blacking. Ten barrels of alcohol destroyed by officers of the regiment. Request for postage stamps and two dollars.
December 28, 1862.*
Participates in morning drill and dress parade. Captain Bugbee dismissed. Worries about not receiving pay and requests two dollars.
|f.3||March 19, 21 and 22, 1863.
Currier to parents from Poolesville, Maryland.
Recovering from illness and just moved out of the hospital. Congratulates father on majority votes at recent town meeting. Took a carriage ride for sick soldiers. Many have the measles. Longs for the care of his mother.
March 28 and 29, 1863.
Complains about Maryland rain, a lack of news, remaining unpaid for three months, and medical expenses. Hopes for home, “but I am willing to stay out here if I can do anything for my country.” A man, Robins, has been discharged and may visit.
|f.4||July 11, 1863.
Currier to parents from Washington, D.C.
Regiment moves to Washington to replace the Thirty-ninth and Thirty-fourth regiments. Visits Capitol building. Impressed with quarters and food. Requests three dollars.
July 24 and 25, 1863.
Mentions compliments given by the Superintendent and Provost Marshall on the Regiment’s service in Washington, D.C. Saw General McClellan. Mentions victories at Vicksburg and Port Hudson.
August 6, 1863.*
Currier to parents from Camp Adirondack, outside Washington, D.C.
Very passionate letter about “traitors at home” and his feelings regarding the men who would pay to “shurk” their duty. Glad to hear that his parents have received his enlistment money, requests two dollars and leaves the rest to his father.
August 19 and 20, 1863.
Shocked that his last letter (August 6, 1863) was read to the public and expresses shame over its poor grammar. Mourns the death of Lieutenant Dudley Pillsbury. Recounts duty at Old Capitol Prison.
August 24 and 25, 1863.
Miller, a fellow soldier, has died. Reflects on his “band of brothers.” Recounts guard duty at Old Capitol Prison and escorting two hundred and fifty-four men to Lookout Point. Two hundred and fifty men at the prison take the oath of allegiance and some express interest in joining Union Army. Ladies of the Sanitary Commission visit camp, “one of them I am sparking a little, at the present time.”
|f.5||September 2, 1863.
Currier to parents from Camp Adirondack outside Washington, D.C.
Courting Miss Mary T. Murry, the daughter of a wealthy widow. Commends his cousin Gill for “giving the copperheads fuss.” Expresses negative sentiment toward copperheads. Requests care package from family with boots, shirts, socks, drawers and food. Mentions new drummer boy, fourteen and very good new band instructor.
September 6, 1863.
First Lieutenant Chandler promoted to Brigadier General Martindale’s staff. Recounts preparation for winter and poor nature of the Second District Regiment. Comments on draft in New Hampshire.
September 13, 15 and 16, 1863.
More negative sentiment toward copperheads. Gets paid. Receives clothes allotment. Expresses anger toward Corporal Hadley whose fake illness has him standing guard duty. Discusses elections in Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Major Samuel Duncan was appointed Colonel of black regiment.
September 27 and 28, 1863.
Remembers joining the regiment just one year ago. Tired of Washington and wishes to go to the front. The weather is getting cooler.
October 1, 1863. [fragment]
Discusses the mill business back home. Regiment inspected. Anticipating his upcoming twenty-second birthday and his care package. Requests news of Uncle Sam.
|f.6||November 1, 1863.* [Fragment]
Currier to parents from Camp Adirondack, outside Washington, D.C.
Men from the regiment escort deserters to General Meade’s headquarters in Sulpher Springs. A request for more men to escort deserters to Sulpher Springs raises the sore question of company idleness.
November 8, 11 and 12, 1863.
Discusses officer promotions. Prisoners taken to Baltimore. Regiment receives order to escort seventeen hundred prisoners to Old Capitol Prison and then escorts them to Point Lookout. On return trip they pass Mount Vernon and Fort Washington. Benway of Corinth dies. Some conscripts tried to run away. Rebel officers escorted to Sandusky, Ohio.
November 18, 1863.
On guard at the Navy Yard Bridge. Watches people practice throwing pontoons across the river. The Navy yard, where they keep captured Rebel vessels, is nearby. It is cold.
November 26 and 28, 1863.
Thanksgiving day. One hundred officers have passed through. Good news of General Grant. Women ordered to leave camp, but Thomas’ wife allowed to stay. Hopes to be home in 1864.
November 30, 1863.
Inspected by Major Gardener. Observes fifteen contraband passing through, including two women with children. Spoke to young man, “no fool”, who recounts ill use at the hands of his master. Currier expresses outrage. Two Southern ladies from Georgia pass through and give accounts of prices in the South. Rebels try to run the blockade of the Potomac.
|f.7||December 2, 1863.*
Currier to parents from Navy Yard Bridge outside Washington, D.C.
Visited Navy Yard. Saw the Monitor class USS Sangamon and gives description. Relays that the Goddess of Liberty was lifted onto the Capitol Building.
December 11, 1863.
Recounts illness. Five thousand horses broke loose, two hundred drowned in the river. Congress is in secession. A policeman caught rebel spies. Congress to pass through the Bridge to observe fleet.
December 24-27, 1863.
|f.8||February 10-12, 1864.
Currier to parents from Smith Hill, near Harper’s Ferry.
Regiment brigaded under General Sullivan. Description of the country side. Temporarily attached to Third Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Corp of the Army of the Potomac. Rebels hold Charleston ten miles east. Drill and dress parade. Camp guard. Moving to better quarters. Description of the Calvary.
March 20 and 27, 1864.
On way to New Orleans, Louisiana from New York. Stowed like sheep in the hull. Stopped at Port Royal, South Carolina.
April 1864. [fragment]
Description of Key West. Account of gale off the Hatteras Islands, North Carolina.
May 8 and 9, 1864.
|f.9||May 27 and May 30, 1864.
Currier to parents from Camp Parapet, Carrollton, Louisiana.
News that Grant and Sherman are doing well. Received new regulation hat, gun cleaning, drilling, dress parade and guard duty.
July 12 and 20, 1864.
Fish and potatoes for dinner. Beans for breakfast. On board the Continental to City Point. Leaville died and buried at sea.
July, 1864.* [fragment]
Dress parade and inspection.
August 1, 1864.*
Accounts of the voyage with the Twelfth Regiment of New York.
August 20 and 21, 1864.
Marching through Cranesville, Hamilton, Leesburg and Berryville, Virginia. Eating very well. Rebel guerrillas.
Currier to parents from winter quarters (?).
Fragment letter. Henry H. Currier and First Sergeant Page died. Complains about Major Gardener. Reports that Thomas is getting promoted to Lieutenant. Complains about family letter writing.
January 19, 1865.
Promotions. Encounters with Sherman’s men. Reports hearing that Fort Fisher has been taken. Description of Savannah. Account of community meeting in Savannah.
|f.11||March 20, 1865.
Currier to parents from camp in Bastion G. South of the City.
Recalls the Battle of Cedar Creek and Battle of Winchester. Same old camp life. Regiment election. Disease in Manchester and Concord, New Hampshire. Sherman and Sheridan are “bricks”! Comments on New Hampshire election results.
March 22 and 24, 1865.*
Savannah, Georgia. Members of congress visit on the steamer Fulton at one thousand dollars per day. Suggests that they should spend the money paying the soldiers instead. Observes that blacks are beginning to raise crops for themselves. Hopes to be home in six months. Colored troops finish constructing the works that Sherman’s troops began.
March 27, 1865.*
Fragment letter. Five men and a lieutenant belonging to the Rebel Army gave themselves up. Dress parade and new recruits from Bradford, New Hampshire. Paper reports that Sherman and Schofield are doing well. Expresses pity for Confederate Soldiers. Looks forward to going home.
April 26, 1865.*
Savannah, Georgia. On fatigue duty. Grand review by General Gilmore. Encounter with Confederate Florida regiment. Rebel troops going home. Meeting past Saturday to express sympathies in regards to the assassination of President Lincoln. Request for suspenders, towel, writing paper, envelopes, good cheese and butter. Mentions charging the town for these supplies.
|f.12||May 1 and 2, 1865.*
Currier to parents from camp at Bastion G, Savannah, GA.
Picnic. Received orders to drill and learn military tactics. Relays the surrender of Johnston’s Army. Received orders on how to mourn President Lincoln, which include draping the flag in mourning and wearing black crepe on arm for six months.
May 16 and 18, 1865.*
Lost while marching to Augusta. Marched into city “with our flags flying and our bands playing their national airs.” Stationed near wharf depot and ordered to keep outsiders away from train carrying Jefferson Davis. Description of the city, “no army here to mar its beauty in the least.” Discussion of money: specie, green backs and Confederate script. Met Colonel Thomas Hardeman, Jr., member of Congress before secession. Admits cause defeated, willing to submit. Hardeman burned thirty thousand dollars of Confederate script. Complements plantations and countryside. Expects to leave soon.
May 29, 1865. Currier to parents from camp at Daniel Hills, Augusta, Georgia.
Troops haven’t been paid. “Citizens were losing their pigs, chickens.” Sends confederate bill.
May 30, 1865*.
The people are docile. Many men from Massachusetts and New Hampshire around. Expresses wish to own a plantation and sentiment for five year men. Sending paper from Augusta home. Regiment received orders to return to Savannah.
|f.13||Fragment letter A, undated.*
Has received six letters and written twenty-one to parents. Thanks them for the four dollars. Recounts friend’s pay roll mishap.
Fragment letter B, undated.*
Weather is hot. Good news about army to the north and west.
|f.14||Transcriptions, in chronological order, of letters above with an asterisk after the date.|
III. Supporting Documents
|f.15||Soldier Histories from American Civil War Research Database:
Daniel C. Currier, Elihu Thayer Rowe, Cuvier Grover, Robert Wilson, Sylvester M. Bugbee, William Henry Chaffin, William Welch, Luther J. Fitch, Abial L. Haven, Nathaniel L. Chandler, William Henry Thayer, Dudley J. Pillsbury, Newton Clough, David Z. Robbins, Lyman P. Saunders, Thomas J. Morrill, Freeman S. Stowell, George H. Stowell, Marshall Perkins, Alexander Gardiner, Wareham M. Miller, Samuel Augustus Duncan, Ezekial H. Hadley, Carroll D. Wright, Reuban T. Benway, Charles H. Leavitt, Benjamin Walker, Horace F. Brown, Samuel Currier, Harlan P. Hunter, Hollis C. Brockway and John Choate.
Historical information about the Fourteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, the Forty-fifth Regiment of Georgia, Old Capitol Prison, Point Lookout Prison, the Monitor USS Sangamon, Jefferson Davis’ imprisonment and the Statue of Freedom.
Photographs of Great Falls, Maryland, Old Capitol Prison, General Martindale and Russel, Navy Yard Bridge, USS Sangamon, and City Point railroad landing.
Drawings of Steamboat Daniel Webster, Steamship S. R. Spaulding and Steamship Fulton.
Information about politicians, a list of Maine governors and biographies from The Political Graveyard: Andrew Gregg Curtin, John Brough, and Thomas Hardeman, Jr.
|f.16||Daniel C. Currier, hair clippings.|