Patton Family Papers, 1859-1894

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Patton Family

Title: Papers, 1859-1894

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 0.66 cubic feet

Locator Number: Mss./A/P322

Scope and Content Note

Collection includes correspondence consisting of approximately 300 letters, between Samuel Patton and his wife, Nellie, and other family members. Samuel, 1 st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment, and his brother-in-law, William Desmond, 129 th Illinois Infantry Regiment, saw action in several battles, including the Atlanta Campaign, Chickamauga, Lookout Mt. and Kennesaw Mt. Their letters provide details of their regiments’ involvement in the battles as well as several aspects of military life. Letters from Nellie describe the difficulties and challenges she faced daily while managing at home in Samuel’s absence. Typewritten and handwritten transcriptions of several letters are included in their respective folders or in two bound notebooks.

Biographical Note

Samuel Patton, was born in Brooke Co., Va., Sept. 3, 1833, the son of William and Susana Patton. Siblings included 5 sisters and 1 brother. At the age of 18, he began training in the blacksmith and machinist trades. In 1859 he moved to Chatsworth, Ill., as one of its first settlers, and established the first blacksmith shop. His future wife, Ellen (Nellie) Desmond, born in Mendon, New York in1842, moved to Chatsworth in 1860 and they were married 2 May 1861. A daughter, Minnie, was born in October 1862. In August 1862 Samuel enlisted in Battery ‘M’, 1 st Illinois Light Artillery Regt., and received training at Camp Douglas, Illinois. He was stationed in Kentucky from September 1862 to January 1863, seeing limited action. While Samuel was stationed in Tennessee, Minnie died 20 October 1863. His regiment saw action in the Battles of Chickamauga, where he narrowly avoided being killed, Lookout Mountain and Kennesaw Mountain. After participating in the north portion of the Atlanta Campaign and spending several months in a military hospital in Nashville, Tenn., recovering from suspected poisoning after drinking water from a rebel well, he spent the remainder of the war in east Tennessee. He was mustered out 25 July 1865 in Chicago. After the war, he returned to his blacksmith trade in Chatsworth and began working on the invention of a corn husking device for which he received a patent in 1868. Samuel and Nellie had 4 more children, none of whom survived to adulthood. In the 1880s Samuel was declared insane and lived out the remainder of his life at the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington, D.C. where he died 3 February 1912. Nellie died in a Chicago nursing home 16 August 1928.

William Desmond, Nellie’s brother, enlisted in the 129 th Illinois Infantry Regiment in September 1862. He saw action in the battle of Resaca and was killed by a sniper near Marietta, Georgia, 11 July 1864.

Folder List

Folder 1: Correspondence, 1859-1861, 27 items

Folder 2: Correspondence, January-September 1862, 29 items

Folder 3: Correspondence, October-December 1862, 43 items

Folder 4: Correspondence, January-February 1863, 26 items

Folder 5: Correspondence, March 1863, 22 items

Folder 6: Correspondence, April-July 1863, 45 items

Folder 7: Correspondence, August-September1863, 32 items

Folder 8: Correspondence, October-December 1863, 24 items

Folder 9: Correspondence, January-March 1864, 42 items

Folder 10: Correspondence, April-June 1864, 43 items

Folder 11: Correspondence, July 1864, 28 items

Folder 12: Correspondence, August -September 1864, 38 items

Folder 13: Correspondence, October-December 1864, 17 items

Folder 14: Correspondence, January-March 1865, 39 items

Folder 15: Correspondence, April-December 1865, 42 items

Folder 16, Correspondence, 1866-1868, 17 items

Folder 17: Correspondence, 1870-1894, 17 items

Folder 18: Undated and/or incomplete correspondence, 14 items

Folder 19: Documents, printed materials, newspaper clippings, sheet music, 28 items

Folder 20: Undated envelopes, scraps, 76 items

Folder 21: Handwritten transcriptions, 1862-1865 (bound notebook)

Folder 22: Handwritten transcriptions, 1864 (bound notebook)

Subject Headings

African Americans – Suffrage

Alcoholism – United States

Amnesty – United States

Atlanta Campaign, 1864

Camp Douglas (Ill.)

Cave Hill Cemetery (Louisville, Ky.)

Chattanooga (Tenn.) – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863

Confederate States of America. Army

Copperhead movement

Corn – Husking – Illinois

Dallas (Ga.) – History – Civil War, 1862-1865

Deception (Military science)

Desertion, Military – United States

Draft – New York

Education – United States – History – 19th century

Fort Donelson, Battle of, Tenn.

Foster home care – Illinois

Franklin (Tenn.) – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Georgia History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Gilbert, Charles Champion, 1822-1903

Granger, Gordon, 1822-1876

Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885

Halleck, Henry Wager, 1815-1872

Horticulturists – Illinois

Illinois – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Infants – Death

Inventions – United States

Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875

Kennesaw Mountain, Battle of, Ga., 1864

Kentucky – Description and travel

Kentucky – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Landscape gardening – Illinois

Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865

Lookout Mountain, Battle of, Tenn., 1863

Louisville (Ky.) – History – Civil War, 1861-1865


Methodist Church – Clergy

Military discipline

Missionary Ridge, Battle of, Tenn., 1863

Montauk (Ship)

Mount Vernon (Va.: Estate)

Nashville (Tenn.) – Description and travel

Nursery growers – Illinois

Pardon – United States

Patriotic music – United States

Patriotic poetry, American

Peoria (Ill.) – Description and travel

Poisoning – Georgia

Presbyterian Church – Illinois

Racism – United States – History -19th century

Religious thought – 19 th century

Resaca, Battle of, Resaca, Ga., 1864

Sugar trade – United States

Tennessee – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Thompson’s Station, Battle of, Thompson’s Station, Tenn., 1863

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 -African Americans

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Campaigns

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Casualties

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Civilian relief

United States – History – Civil War, 1982-1865 – Confiscations and contributions United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Deception

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Desertions

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Draft resisters

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Hospitals

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Medical care

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Naval operations

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Participation, Foreign

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Prisoners and prisons

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Poetry

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Protest movements

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Religious aspects

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Songs and music

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Underground movements

United States Christian Commission

United States Sanitary Commission. Chicago Branch

United States. Army – African American troops

United States. Army – Artillery

United States. Army – Barracks and quarters

United States. Army – Equipment

United States. Army – Military life

United States. Army – Officers

United States. Army – Transportation

United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Reg., 129 th (1862-1865)

United States. Army. Illinois Light Artillery Reg., 1 st (1861-1865)

United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 33 rd (1861-1865)

Wit and humor – Religious aspects

Wolford, Frank L. (Frank Lane), 1817-1895

Yates, Richard, 1815-1873

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