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Henry M. Riggs letters

 Collection — Folder: S1115
Identifier: S1115

Scope and Contents

There are four Civil War letters in this collection. They are all hand-written in ink to "Dear Parents" from Henry M. Riggs, in Company E, 39th Indiana Volunteer Regiment. The first letter is dated October 5, 1863, and is only one sheet written on both sides. He says that he "started from Indianapolis last Saturday."

The next letter, dated October 17, 1863, tells his parents that he is "well satisfied and as fat and harty as I ever was." He expects to get horses soon and start for Chattanooga. He asked his parents to send him a dollars worth of postage stamps because "we can't get them hear at all." Concerning food, he wrote: "we get corn wherever we can find it and when we find anything to eat we jest moderately pick it up and take it."

January 22, 1864, Henry wrote: "Well, we was out on a scout. We had lots of fun catching bush-whackers. We had about three hundred of our boys and the curnel was with us ... knew every fellow that had followed bushwhacking and we went for them and their horses and tricked them into a parley and then they had their trile [trial] and part of them was sent home and part of them was sent to Camp Chase and they kept five of them hear at camp to have their trile. They kept their legs chained together so that they can't run. They will be apt to be shot if all reports is true."

The last letter, dated February 16, 1864, in written on double-sided pages 232 and 233, taken from a ledger. Henry wrote: "The army soots me very well. I haven't had any sickness of any account. ... The boys have all been vacinated. They all took ... the boys are all well and enjoying themselves all but Dave Jackson. I can't tell anything of him. The last time I heard from him he was in the hospital and they couldn't get him to do anything." The doctor said Dave Jackson was out of heart and would not eat. Henry signed his letter from Washington "on the curier line."


  • 1863-1864

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Henry M. Riggs served in Company E, 39th Indiana Volunteer Regiment. He told his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Riggs, to direct his mail to Colonel Harrison in 1863 and to Lieutenant Ray in 1864. Henry was 22 years old when he registered for the draft on July 1, 1863. The registration shows that he was married and lived in Spice Valley, Lawrence County, Indiana, with the post office of Bryantsville. The 1870 census listed Henry, age 29, with Ann, age 17, living with the Goss family in Van Buren, Monroe County, Indiana. He died on March 25, 1923, at the age of 82, in Monroe County.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Elsa Eades on a date unknown.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2014/10/23 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Henry M. Riggs letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.