Manuscript Group 373, Franklin Jones, (d. 1865), Civil War soldier Papers, 1843-1868 (Bulk dates: 1864-1865)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 373, Franklin Jones, (d. 1865), Civil War soldier

Papers, 1843-1868 (Bulk dates: 1864-1865), 0.1 linear feet / 29 items

Call Number: MG 373



Primarily letters from Jones, a private in the l0th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, to his wife and children.  Most of the letters were written from Virginia during the Petersburg Campaign.   Jones  contracted “chronic diarrhoea” and died on May 19, 1865.

Gift of Mrs. Daniel Maher, 1957.

Biographical Note:

Franklin Jones (d. 1865) was a New Jersey resident and Union soldier during the Civil War. He served as a private in the 10th Regiment of New Jersey following his conscription on November 28, 1864, and was ultimately stationed near Petersburg, Virginia. Virtually nothing is known about his childhood, occupation, or home life. Jones possessed a fundamental education, as is apparent in his letters, and a marginal degree of financial stability.

At the time he left for Trenton in 1864 Franklin Jones had five children with his wife, Ruhamah: Margaret (b. 1852), Susanna (b. 1853), Elizabeth (b. 1855), George H. (b. 1860), and Charles (b. 1862). During Franklin’s absence the children suffered repeated illnesses, including scarlet fever, which, coupled with the irregularity of his military paychecks, necessitated Ruhamah cashing in several bonds. On January 27, 1865 Ruhamah Jones gave birth to their sixth child who she named after his father; Franklin Jones Sr. died without ever seeing his son.

In early April, 1865 Franklin Jones began to suffer from bouts of diarrhea accompanied by excessive weight loss. He was finally hospitalized for chronic diarrhea on May 1, 1865. Jones was transferred to Colombian Hospital in Washington DC on May 18, 1865, and died the following day.

Provenance Note:

The Franklin Jones Papers were a gift of Mrs. Daniel Maher in 1957.

Scope and Content Note:

The Franklin Jones Papers consist of one folder of correspondence and other materials related to Private Jones’s military career. The documents date from 1843 to 1868, with bulk dates from 1864 to 1865. Items are arranged chronologically and include a small bible published
in 1843 which is listed in a receipt of personal effects of the deceased. Twenty-four of Jones’s letters to his wife and children constitute the bulk of
the material. In them he relates his experiences as a soldier in the 10th Regiment stationed in Virginia: the camp environment, his diet, reports of
Confederate desertions and deteriorating morale, the Petersburg Campaign, and his declining health.

The papers also contain a letter from Reverend Theodore C. Bancroft, dated May 19, 1865, to Mrs. Jones informing her of her husband’s death at Colombian Hospital in Washington DC; a certificate of military enrollment; and a pension certificate issued by the Department of the Interior.

Processed by Jeffrey V. Moy, Rutgers University Intern, April, 2000


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