TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Creator:||John C. Westervelt and Jasper Westervelt|
|Title:||John C. Westervelt and Jasper Westervelt, Civil War Soldiers Letters|
|Abstract:||Consists of letters written by John C. Westervelt and Jasper Westervelt, a father and son who both served in the New Jersey Infantry, 22nd Regiment, Company D, during the Civil War.|
|Quantity:||0.03 linear feet (3 folders)|
|Collection Number:||MG 1597|
John C. Westervelt was a Captain in the New Jersey Infantry, 22nd Regiment, Company D and his son, Jasper J. Westervelt, was a Sergeant in the same company. Both took part in the Battle of Chancellorsville on September 2, 1862. While there are no records of their injuries during this battle, both men were resigned to hospitals in the following weeks: John to Seminary Hospital at Georgetown and Jasper to the General Hospital at Acquia Creek, Virginia. In one of his letters to Jasper, John Westervelt mentions the Invalid Corps. The United States War Department organized the Invalid Corps in April 1863. The Corps consisted of disabled and injured officers or men of the army, and was separated into two divisions. The first division included men who could still carryout duty and assume weapons, while the second division was reserved for the severely disabled to serve in the hospitals. It would later be renamed the Veteran Reserve Corps in March 1864, and was abolished during the summer of 1866.
This collection consists of nine letters written by John C. Westervelt to his wife, mother, and son. It also includes five letters written by Jasper Westervelt, Captain John Westervelt's son, to his father, mother and grandmother, and two by Lieutenant Walter H. Ramsey also of the New Jersey Infantry, Regiment 22nd addressed to Captain John Westervelt during the latter's recovery period in the hospital. Transcripts of the letters and brief summaries including historical background accompany the letters. The collection is organized into three groups by author and chronologically therein. The first set includes the nine letters of John C. Westervelt written while he was a Captain in Company D, depicting the daily tasks of a Civil War solider. He writes to his family about his decision not to pursue a dismissal but to continue his service, with updates on his health as well as the health of friends and fellow soldiers. A letter to his son dated April 29, 1863 reveals a sentimental father appraising the difficulties of family separation during wartime. Several other letters to his son include questions of military operations, the success of these operations, and the progress of the war. His messages also include a discussion about the formation of the Invalid Corps reporting that it was created for injured and crippled soldiers. The second set includes five letters written by his son, Sergeant Jasper Westervelt. These letters express well wishes for his family at home and his father in the service. They include updates on his health and that of his father, and contain only a small amount of military information. The final set of letters includes two letters written by 1st Lieutenant Walter H. Ramsey also of the New Jersey Infantry, 22nd Regiment. The letters, addressed to John C. Westervelt, reveal information on the progression of the Division, including the announcement of the death of Adjutant Post.
|The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.|
|Ramsey, Walter H.|
|Westervelt, John C.|
|United States.--Army.--Invalid Corps.|
|United States.--Army.--New Jersey Infantry Regiment, 22nd (1862-1863)|
|United States.--Army.--Veteran Reserve Corps|
|United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.|
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1597, John C. Westervelt and Jasper Westervelt Letters, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Purchased by the New Jersey Historical Society in October 2002.
Many of the letters in this collection are worn, some with pages torn. These letters are fragile and should be handled with care.
Letters and Transcripts of Letters
|1||1||Letters (9): John C. Westervelt. Four letters written to his wife and mother detailing the daily life of a soldier. They describe the trials of a traveling soldier as well as his health and the health of his son. The remaining five letters are written to his son, Jasper Westervelt, also a member of Company D. These include mention of military movements and battles, the Invalids Corps created in 1863, and the difficulties of family separation during the war.||1862 Dec. 24-1863 June 4|
|1||2||Letters (5): Jasper Westervelt. Three letters are written to his mother and grandmother describing his health and his desire to return home. They offer insight into the daily life of a soldier recovering from injury. Two letters are written to his father, Captain John C. Westervelt, reporting on the improvement of his health, announcing the delay of his return, and referring to military operations||1863 Jan. 13-1863 May 28|
|1||3||Letters (2): Walter H. Ramsey. Addressed to Captain John C. Westervelt, these letters reveal the status of the New Jersey Infantry, 22nd Regiment while Westervelt is recovering in Washington, D.C. The first letter reports that a soldier is unable to leave with their original draft plans without being dishonorably charged and the second letter describes the weariness of the Division and announces the death of Adjutant Post.||1862 June 2-1863 May 21|
|1||4||Transcripts: typed transcripts of the letters with historical background.||2003|
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