Paxton (Thomas and Wilson N.) Papers, 1861-1863, 16 Items
Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet: email@example.com.
Cite As:Thomas & Wilson Paxton Papers, 1861-1863, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas
Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection
Scanned Copies on File: No
Accession Number: 2001.282
Processed by: Rosalie Meier, May 2004
Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.
Abstract: The collection consists of letters written by brothers Thomas and Wilson N. Paxton to a cousin (Ella or Ellie) between 1861 and 1863. Also included are 5 small envelopes all addressed to Miss Ellie (or Ella) Guthrie in Moundsville, West Virginia and a poem entitled “The Starving Child in Ireland” which does not appear to be in the handwriting of either of the brothers. There is also a letter written from Camp Stanton, dated March 30, 1862 to Mollie which does not appear to be in the handwriting of either Paxton brother.
Thomas Paxton enlisted on June 19, 1861 as a Sergeant and served in Company “D” of the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness on May 8, 1864. Wilson N. Paxton enlisted as a Second Lieutenant on August 22, 1862 and served in Company “G” of the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was taken prisoner on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg and was confined for 20 months in Libby Prison. He was discharged on May 17, 1865. The brothers were from Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Scope and Content Note
Thomas Paxton writes 11 letters between September 18, 1861 and April 5, 1864 to his Cousin, Ellie or Ella, in Moundsville, West Virginia. In his early letters, Paxton writes about a grand drill with 15000 troops and he describes McClellan as a “fine looking man...” In a letter dated July 29, 1862, Paxton relates an attack by Stonewall Jackson on June 26 at Mechanicsville, although it is not clear that Jackson actually participated in the attack on that day. He also writes about the battles of South Mountain and Fredericksburg although there are no detailed descriptions of any of the battles. By 1863 Paxton indicates that he is becoming tired of the war as he writes “this war cant always Last – And if it does thank fortune I have only another year to serve Uncle Sam. And if spared through it you may believe I will think awhile before they get another 3 years ... during the war on me.” In his letter dated October 5, 1863 he states “... our time will be out next May 15th” and “I have seen enough of war to do me all I ask is for to get out of this fix safe and sound.” His last letter was written April 5, 1864; he was killed at the Wilderness on May 8, seven days before he believed he was due to be discharged.