Fox (John A.) Papers, 1862-1865, 4 Items

Administrative Information

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Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet:

Cite As:Fox (John A.) Papers, 1862-1865, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection

Location: 1-S2

Transcription(s): Yes

Scanned Copies on File: No

Accession Number: 2004.461

Processed by: Megan Jorgeson, June 2005

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.

Abstract: Two letters, commission papers, and mustering certificate (1862-1865) document the Civil War military career of John Andrews Fox, a member of the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The first letter (January 7, 1862) announces Fox’s commission as 2nd lieutenant. The second letter (May 31, 1864), written a few weeks after the battle of Resaca, discusses the battle and Fox’s confidence in the Union Army.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

John A. Fox, baptized on May 1, 1836, was the third of five children born to Reverend Thomas Bayley and Feroline Pierce Fox. Born in Newbury Port, his family moved to Boston in 1845 and eventually settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Fox was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company I, then later Company F. Fox was promoted to 1st lieutenant on August 8, 1862 and then to adjutant on January 1, 1863, when he was transferred from Company F to Field and Staff. He received two brevet promotions on March 13, 1865, one of captain and one of major. Fox mustered out on July 14, 1865. After the war, Fox returned to Boston and started his own architecture business. He helped found the Boston chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1870, and was a member in the Boston Society of Architects. He was also the secretary of the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteers Association for over fifty years, until it was disbanded in 1916. In 1878, Fox married Josephine Clapp. Fox died in 1920.

Scope and Content Note

In the first letter, written on January 7, 1862, Fox writes to a friend to inform him that he has been commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant into the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, and will receive his marching orders the next day.

In the second letter, written on May 31, 1864 to the same friend, Fox writes about his regiment’s recent activities. His regiment has just ended a two day march from Resaca, Georgia, where they had “whipped our share of the rebels with great ease and did them some damage- They don’t laugh at Potomac troops here as they used to before the fighting began.” Fox mentions the death of his friend, Adjutant Henry Bond, who had died at the battle of Resaca. Fox’s own regiment had lost two men and 21 wounded in the battle, but he remains positive. “I have great confidence in the present management of the Army- If the people only look at thing sensibly and supply money and men and give up talk about ‘destroying’ the rebel force in one battle, and look upon the taking of Richmond and Atlanta as only important steps in the great work and not as the end, we may with the blessing of God, finish the hard fighting by next fall.”

Special Order No. 9 is an order for the recently commissioned Fox to report for duty to the commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers. The order is dated January 13, 1862, almost one week after Fox’s letter of January 7, 1862, in which he mentions that after he receives his commission the next day, “about a week more will be allowed me to complete my preparations.”

The final document in this collection is a mustering certificate, dated July 27, 1865. The certificate states that “John A. Fox late 1st Lieutenant and Adjutant of the Second Regiment, Mass. Vol. Infantry who was mustered out of the Service of the United States, with his Regiment on the fourteenth day of July 1865, has rendered all required returns and accounts of property of the United States, for which he has been accountable since the date of his Muster-in.” It is signed by John Fox and both Mustering Officer of the U.S. Mustering and Disbursing Office, and Justice of the Peace of Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110. Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet: