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William F. Schafer Civil War letters

William F. Schafer Civil War letters

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Open Finding Aid

Finding aid for the William F. Schafer Civil War letters

BC.MSS.15.82

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700
arkinfo@cals.org

January 10, 2017



Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Schafer, William F., 1833-?
Title: William F. Schafer Civil War letters
Dates: 1861-1863
Quantity: 0.21 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains thirty-nine letters or fragments of letters written by William F. Schafer of the 46th Indiana Infantry to his wife and one letter written to Schafer by his sister Anna.
Identification: BC.MSS.15.82
Language: English

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains thirty-nine letters or fragments of letters written by William F. Schafer to his wife and one letter written to Schafer by his sister Anna in Philadelphia. The letters begin shortly after Schafer left his home in Wabash County, Indiana, and continue for two years. Some letters are undated and have been assigned a date based on the content of the letter and the history of the 46th Indiana Infantry Regiment. Schafer’s name is spelled several different ways in the historical record. This collection uses the spelling that he used in signing his letters.


Biographical Information

William F. Schafer was a farmer in Wabash County, Indiana. He was born about 1833 in Pennsylvania and moved to Indiana at least by the early 1850s. By 1855 he had married Sarah, and the couple had a daughter named Anna. By the time Schafer enlisted in the army in November 1861, they had another child, a son he calls Manny.

Schafer enlisted in Company I of the 46th Indiana Volunteer Infantry at Logansport, Indiana, on November 22, 1861. This regiment, as part of Gen. Pope’s Division, took part in battles at Benton and New Madrid in Missouri, as well as actions to open up that section of the Mississippi River. This culminated in the fall of Island No. 10 in April 1862. They were then garrisoned at Helena until the spring of 1863, when they left to take part in the campaign against Vicksburg

The last two letters in the collection were written in the fall of 1863. It is obvious from the content that Schafer had been home in the meantime, possibly deserting to get there. He talks about having been arrested and taken back south to Memphis, where he was released. He is still uncertain as he writes the letter on November 5 whether he will actually have to face charges. He is driving a wagon in a supply train and is detached from the regiment.

It is reported on the roster of the 46th Indiana that Schafer was discharged at the expiration of his service on December 1, 1864. He died sometime before 1880, when Sarah Schafer is listed as a widow, living with her children in Chester Township, Wabash County.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Camp Wickliffe (Ky.)
Clarendon (Ark.)
Helena (Ark.) -- History
Indiana Infantry, 46th Regiment (1861-1865)
Island 10, Battle of
Louisville (Ky.)
Point Riddle (Mo.)
Port Gibson (Miss.)--History.
Ross, Leonard, 1823-1901
Schafer, William F., 1833-?
Scott County (Mo.)--History.
St. Charles (Ark.)
Tallehatchie Expedition
Wabash County (Ind.)
Yazoo River (Miss.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William F. Schafer Civil War Letters, MSS.15.82, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute.


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