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Henry Brown Collection

Identifier: MS-2117

  • Staff Only

The letters of Henry Brown describe life in the Army of the Ohio during 1861 and most of 1862. All but three of the letters are complete. The letters mention camp life, battles, weaponry, army food, casualties, the yearning for home, fatherly advice to a son, and experiences that amused Brown such as a woman who disguised herself in men's clothing to participate in the war. Brown wrote a majority of the letters on eye catching stationary. Most of the stationary used included patriotic images and Union heroes such as George B. McClellan, Winfield Scott, William S. Rosecrans, Nathaniel Lyon, and Henry Halleck. Several pieces of stationery depict Confederate President Jefferson Davis unkindly. A transcription of every letter is included in the collection.


  • 1861-1862

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 quarter box)


This is a collection of over fifty civil war letters written by Harry Brown to his wife from August 1861 through September 1862.

Biographical/Historical Note

Henry Brown was born on June 11, 1821 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Caroline took their wedding vows in Perry County, Ohio on December 23, 1847. Brown became a Private in Company A of the 31st Ohio Infantry in the summer of 1861. Under the command of Colonel Moses B. Walker, the 31st Ohio left Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, on August 4, 1861 and moved into Kentucky. The 31st Ohio served in the Army of the Ohio until that army was renamed the Army of the Cumberland in January, 1863. The regiment participated in the battles of Perryville, Stones River (Murfreesboro), Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Betonville, and many other engagements in the western theater. The 31st Ohio mustered out on July 20, 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky. Two hundred and thirty three men of the 31st Ohio died as a result of battle, wounds, or disease. Henry Brown succumbed to disease on November 22, 1862, in Nashville, Tennessee. A family register of the Brown family is included.


Collection consists of ten folders in one box. The material is divided into four series:

  1. Series I: Personal and Biographical
  2. Series II: Correspondence
  3. Series III: Original Materials
  4. Series IV: Transcriptions

Acquisition Note

The Special Collections Library purchased this collection in 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA