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.
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 African-Americans fleeing slavery
(“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.
* Note: letters with transcriptions are designated by an asterisk after the date of
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions
about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Daniel C. Currier Papers, 1841-1905,
MC 66, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire
Library, Durham, NH, USA.
|Box 1, Folder 1||Five letters, June 1862 - Oct
- 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.* Currier to
parents from Washington, D.C.: 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. Currier to
parents from Washington, D. C.: 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.* Currier to
parents from outside Washington, D.C.: 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
- October 30 and 31, 1862.* Currier
to parents from outside Washington, D.C.: Participates in a dress
parade and performs picket and guard duty. Comments upon the quality
of terrain. Appreciation for the letters he has received.
|Box 1, Folder 2||Three letters, Nov 1862 - Dec
- 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.* Currier to
parents from outside Washington, D.C.: 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. Currier to
parents from Camp Grover, Montgomery, Maryland: Participates in
morning drill and dress parade. Captain Bugbee dismissed. Worries
about not receiving pay and requests two dollars. 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
|Box 1, Folder 3||Two letters, Mar
- 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. Currier to parents
from Poolesville, Maryland.: 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.
|Box 1, Folder 4||Five letters, Jul 1863 - Aug
- 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. Currier to
parents from Washington, D.C.: 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. Currier to
parents from Camp Adirondack, outside Washington, D.C.: 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
- August 24 and 25, 1863. Currier to
parents from Camp Adirondack, outside Washington, D.C.: 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.”
|Box 1, Folder 5||Five letters, Sept 1863 - Oct
- 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. Currier to
parents from Camp Adirondack outside Washington, D.C.: 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.
Currier to parents from Camp Adirondack outside Washington, D.C.:
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
- September 27 and 28, 1863. Currier
to parents from Camp Adirondack outside Washington, D.C.: 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]. Currier
to parents from Camp Adirondack outside Washington, D.C.: Discusses
the mill business back home. Regiment inspected. Anticipating his
upcoming twenty-second birthday and his care package. Requests news
of Uncle Sam.
|Box 1, Folder 6||Five letters, Sept 1863 - Oct
- 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
- November 8, 11 and 12, 1863.
Currier to parents from Camp Adirondack, outside Washington,
D.C.: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
- November 18, 1863. Currier to
parents from Navy Yard Bridge outside Washington, D.C.: 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. Currrier
to parents from Navy Yard Bridge outside Washington, D.C.:
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. Currier to
parents from Navy Yard Bridge outside Washington, D.C.: Inspected by
Major Gardener. Observes fifteen African-Americans fleeing slavery
("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.
|Box 1, Folder 7||Three letters, Dec
- 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
- December 11, 1863. Currier to
parents from Navy Yard Bridge outside Washington, D.C.: 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. Currier to
Parents. Camp Adirondack, outside Washington, D.C. Colonel Wilson is
sick. Band plays. On guard at the Old Capitol Prison. Requests
father consent to drawing his full entitlement from next pay
|Box 1, Folder 8||Four letters, Feb 1864 - May
- 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
- March 20 and 27, 1864. Currier to
parents on board the Daniel Webster.: On way to New Orleans,
Louisiana from New York. Stowed like sheep in the hull. Stopped at
Port Royal, South Carolina.
- April 1864 [fragment]. Currier to
parents from Key West, Florida.: Description of Key West. Account of
gale off the Hatteras Islands, North Carolina.
- May 8 and 9, 1864. Currier to
parents from [Camp Parapet], Carrollton, Louisiana. Has not received
pay. Says that reading Northern papers is “a great comfort to the
|Box 1, Folder 9||Five letters, May 1864 - Aug
- 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. Currier to
parents from Camp at Algiers, Louisiana: Fish and potatoes for
dinner. Beans for breakfast. On board the Continental to City Point.
Leaville died and buried at sea.
- July, 1864* [fragment]. Currier to
parents from James River, Virginia: Dress parade and
- August 1, 1864.* Currier to parents
from Potomac River on the steamer D.B.Spaulding.: Accounts of the
voyage with the Twelfth Regiment of New York.
- August 20 and 21, 1864. Currier to
parents from camp near Charleston, West Virginia: Marching through
Cranesville, Hamilton, Leesburg and Berryville, Virginia. Eating
very well. Rebel guerrillas.
|Box 1, Folder 10||Two letters, Jan
- January 1865. 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. Currier to
parents from camp near Savannah, Georgia: Promotions. Encounters
with Sherman’s men. Reports hearing that Fort Fisher has been taken.
Description of Savannah. Account of community meeting in
|Box 1, Folder 11||Four letters, Mar 1865 - Apr
- 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
- March 22 and 24, 1865.* Currier to
parents from camp near Bastion G, Savannah, GA: 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.
African-American troops finish constructing the works that Sherman’s
- March 27, 1865.* Currier to parents
from Camp Bastion G, Savannah, GA: 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.* Currier to parents
from camp at Bastion G, Savannah, GA.: 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
|Box 1, Folder 12||Four letters, May
- 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.* Currier to parents
from camp near Augusta, Georgia: 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.* Currier to parents from
camp at Sand Hills, Augusta Burke County: 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.
|Box 1, Folder 13||Two letter fragments, Undated|
- 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.