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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    Part 4, 2014: "The Soldier's Dream of Home"    Donohoe family collection, 1861-1865

Donohoe family collection, 1861-1865

Sergeant William T. Biedler, 16 years old, of Company C, Mosby's Virginia Cavalry Regiment with flintlock musket.

Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Location
Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Va. External Link
Background
The four eldest sons of Stephen George Donohoe (1809-1915), a Loudoun County, Va., justice of the peace, entered the Confederate Army in 1861 and recounted their experiences during battle in letters to family members. George Augustus Donohoe (1843-1861), who enlisted in the 8th Virginia Infantry, was killed by a gunshot wound at the Battle of Ball's Bluff on 21 Oct. 1861; Stephen Joseph Donohoe (1841-1864), who served in the 6th Virginia Cavalry, died on 14 May 1864 of wounds received during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House a week earlier (7 May 1864). John Carroll Donohoe (1838-1921), also a member of the 6th Virginia Cavalry, survived the war and later became a bookkeeper in Baltimore, Maryland. LeGrand Donohoe (1846-1920) served in the 35th Battalion and survived the war, but was bedridden for much of his later life. These four men frequently wrote letters home to their family, often to their aunts Amanda (1815-1901), Ann (1805-1894), and Mary E. Donohoe (1812-1899).
Contents
The collection is comprised of transcriptions of letters to and from various members of the Donohoe family, as well as the last will and testament of Stephen George Donohoe and the obituary of Stephen Joseph Donohoe. The letters, dating from July 1861 to March 1865, contain notes in the margins made by Mary Walton Livingston, granddaughter of Stephen George Donohoe. Letters from the soldiers in the collection describe poor food and conditions at camp, fighting in breastworks, and injuries and deaths during the Civil War. Battles mentioned include First Manassas (July 1861), Spotsylvania Courthouse (May 1864), Battle of the Wilderness (May 1864), skirmishes with Union troops near Petersburg, Va. (July 1864), and skirmishes between White's 35th Battalion and the Loudoun Rangers. Family members write with local news and express concern for those serving.
Quotation
From a letter dated Apr. 2, 1862 by Amanda Donohoe:
"Oh that this horrible, this unnatural war were at an end. We are cut off from nearly all communications with our friends, both North and South. We have a hope now of hearing from you and others north of the Potomac, but are ignorant of the fate of those south. John and Joe were at home on furlough when they heard the southern forces had evacuated Leesburg, and they set off immediately for the army, not having even a change of clothing with them, for they had sent them to Leesburg, expecting to go that way to Centreville. George and LeGrand too have fled from home with many other secessionists rather than take the oath of allegiance. George was very unwell when he left, and we have not heard from him since. They took the horses"

(See the NUCMC catalog record) (PDF, 46 KB)

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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    Part 4, 2014: "The Soldier's Dream of Home"    Donohoe family collection, 1861-1865
  The Library of Congress >> Cataloging, Acquisitions
   March 27, 2014
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