Guide to the Edwin W. Arnold Correspondence, 1862 December 2 - 1894 September 2


Providence Public Library, Special Collections
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-455-8021
Fax: 401-455-8065
email: special_collections@provlib.org

Published in 2014

Collection Overview

Title: Edwin W. Arnold Correspondence
Date range: 1862 December 2 - 1894 September 2
Creator: Arnold, Edwin W.
Extent: .25 linear feet
Abstract: This collection consists of letters written by Edwin W. Arnold to members of his family during the period of December 22, 1862 – November 1, 1865.
Language of materials: English
Repository: Providence Public Library, Special Collections
Collection number: MSS 006

Scope & content

This collection consists of letters written by Edwin W. Arnold to members of his family during the period of December 22, 1862 – November 1, 1865. Arnold kept up regular correspondence with his family during this time, writing two or three letters a month, except for the period of December 12, 1864 – April 1, 1865 from which this collection contains no letters. Most of the letters are written to Arnold’s mother, several are addressed to his father, two to his younger brother George, and one to his cousin Mary Whipple. Each of the letters is signed “Boy Ned,” which must have been Arnold’s nickname within the family.

The early letters, from December 22, 1862 to July 15, 1863, are written from or near the convalescent camp in Washington D.C. where Arnold was recovering from an illness. The content of these letters is mainly about family affairs, doctor’s visits and daily life in the camp. Two letters of note contain references to President Lincoln. In the letter dated May 5, 1863, Arnold wrote to his mother, “President Lincoln has just been through the ward and shook hands with every man.” On July 2, 1863, writing from Camp Anderson near Washington, D.C., Arnold mentions that a few days earlier the president made a speech to the troops there. Arnold had just been assigned a position in the Invalid Corps., which Lincoln referred to in his speech as the “Honor Corps.” and was to later be renamed the Veteran Reserve Corps.

The letters dating July 31, 1863 – November 1, 1865 were written while Arnold was stationed in New Hampshire as a member of the Veteran Reserve Corps. Again, most of these letters are about family affairs, requests for things from home and Arnold’s daily life as a soldier. Arnold mentions standing guard, provost duty, and dress parade among his responsibilities but did not go into great detail describing any of these things. Arnold served at a camp in West Lebanon, New Hampshire from August 1863 until January 1864. Many of the letters from this time describe the hard life of establishing a camp there, including sleeping in tents during wintry weather before the barracks had been built.

In January 1864, Arnold was transferred to a camp in Concord, New Hampshire where he would serve the rest of his time in the military. The letter dated June 6, 1864 describes a notable incident involving “subs, “ or soldiers who were paid to serve as substitutes for conscripted soldiers. On this day, according to Arnold, 300 substitutes who were newly stationed at the camp violently attempted to escape. Arnold describes how the rest of the men had to capture and detain substitutes. Many of the letters of this period describe work which involved Arnold looking after conscripted and substitute soldiers. Another incidence of violence among Union soldiers is described in the letter dated August 1, 1964. In a letter dated October 13, 1965, Arnold describes to his father a controversial letter which the soldiers had presented to the commanding officers demanding to be discharged from service. The letter was met with disapproval by the commanding officers and the soldiers threatened to go over their heads and send it to Washington. Many of the letters toward the end of Arnold’s time in Concord describe the frustration of having to remain in the army after the war’s end and the anticipation of being mustered out.

Please note that one letter in this collection, dated October 9, 1895, is authored by Arnold's wife, Louisa. It is the only lettered not written by Edwin W. Arnold.

Arrangement

The contents of this collection are housed within one box. Each letter is housed within its own folder which has been labeled with the date of the letter. Envelopes in which the letters were mailed and other accompanying enclosures are included inside the corresponding folders. Each folder is arranged in ascending order by date. Three letters appear to have been dated incorrectly by Arnold stating the year to be 1863 instead of 1864. These letters are in the folders 1/24/1864, 2/12/1864, and 3/1/1864. One folder is labeled 8/?/1865 because Arnold did not record the exact date of the letter. The folder 1/24/1864 contains two letters marked with same date.

Biographical note

Edwin Whipple Arnold was born in Rhode Island on June 28, 1844 to his parents Russell G. Arnold and Sarah Phillips Arnold (maiden name Whipple). He had two older brothers, Frederick and Henry, and one younger brother George. The family resided at 113 Friendship Street in Providence, RI.

During the Civil War, Arnold joined the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment of the Union Army on October 1, 1861. He served as a Private in Company D of that regiment until September 1862, when he took ill at U.S. General Hospital. He spent time recovering at a convalescent camp in Washington D.C. until July 1863. On July 16, 1863 he became a member of the Invalid Corps., or as it was later renamed, the Veteran Reserve Corps. He served as a Corporal in Company F of the 13th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. in West Lebanon and Concord, New Hampshire until November 1865. On November 13, 1865, he was mustered out of the Union Army.

In August of 1865, while serving his time in New Hampshire, Arnold met and married Louisa Armand, a French-Canadian. There is no record of the couple having children. Arnold died in Providence, Rhode Island on September 22, 1904. He is buried with the rest of his family in Pocasset Cemetery in Cranston, RI.

Access & Use

Access to the collection: There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Providence Public Library Special Collections department.
Use of the materials: Researchers are requested to cite the collection name and the Providence Public Library in all bibliographic references.
Preferred citation: Edwin W. Arnold Correspondence, MSS 006, Providence Public Library, Special Collections.
Contact information: Providence Public Library, Special Collections
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-455-8021
Fax: 401-455-8065
email: special_collections@provlib.org

Administrative Information

ABOUT THE COLLECTION  
Acquisition: The Edwin W. Arnold correspondence was donated to the Providence Public Library Special Colletions department.
ABOUT THE FINDING AID  
Author: Tom Frawley processed this collection in 2009, with additions made by Janaya Kizzie in 2011.
Encoding: Finding aid encoded by Stacie M. Parillo 2014 September 09
Descriptive rules: Finding aid based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Additional Information

Related material: Providence Public Library Special Collections: Arnold Family Papers, Arnold MSS, 1861-1904. Arnold, Elisha Stephen. The Arnold memorial : William Arnold of Providence and Pawtuxet, 1587-1675, and a genealogy of his descendants (Rutland, VT: The Tuttle Pub. Co., 1935).

Inventory


Folder 1 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1862 December 22
Folder 2 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 January 16
Folder 3 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 January 25
Folder 4 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 February 4
Folder 5 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 February 14
Folder 6 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 February 16
Folder 7 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 March 4
Folder 8 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 April 3
Folder 9 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1863 April 10
Folder 10 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 April 12
Folder 11 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 May 15
Folder 12 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 May 25
Folder 13 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 June 07
Folder 14 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 June 19
Folder 15 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 July 2
Folder 16 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 July 4
Folder 17 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 July 15
Folder 18 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 July 31
Folder 19 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 1
Folder 20 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 6
Folder 21 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 13
Folder 22 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 20
Folder 23 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 22
Folder 24 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 August 25
Folder 25 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 September 2
Folder 26 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 September 15
Folder 27 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 September 21
Folder 28 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 October 1
Folder 29 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 October 11
Folder 30 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 October 12
Folder 31 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 October 25
Folder 32 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 November 1
Folder 33 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 November 13
Folder 34 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 November 21
Folder 35 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1863 December 7
Folder 36 Arnold, Edwin W. to family
1863 December 25
Folder 37 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 January 4
Folder 38 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 January 10
Folder 39 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 January 24
Folder 40 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 February 12
Folder 41 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 March 1
Folder 42 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 March 10
Folder 43 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 March 21
Folder 44 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 March 31
Folder 45 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1864 April 25
Folder 46 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1864 June 05
Folder 47 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 June 07
Folder 48 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 June 12
Folder 49 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 June 20
Folder 50 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 July 02
Folder 51 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 July 25
Folder 52 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1864 August 1
Folder 53 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 August 12
Folder 54 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1864 September 15
Folder 55 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 October 02
Folder 56 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, George R.
1864 November 09
Folder 57 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 November 13
Folder 58 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1864 November 20
Folder 59 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, George R.
1864 December 12
Folder 60 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 April 1
Folder 61 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 May 25
Folder 62 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 June 18
Folder 63 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 July 25
Folder 64 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 August
Folder 65 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 August 6
Folder 66 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 August 9
Folder 67 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 August 10
Folder 68 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 August 15
Folder 69 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 September 3
Folder 70 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 September 16
Folder 71 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 September 21
Folder 72 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 September 22
Folder 73 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
1865 September 23
Folder 74 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 September 25
Folder 75 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 October 2
Folder 76 Whipple, Mary to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 October 9
Folder 77 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 October 13
Folder 78 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 October 16
Folder 79 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Russell G.
1865 October 25
Folder 80 Arnold, Edwin W. to Whipple, Mary
1865 November 1
Folder 81 Arnold, Edwin W. to brother
1894 September 2
Folder 82 Arnold, Edwin W. to Arnold, Sarah P.
October 17