University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Thomas family letters, 1868-1889

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection consists of a collection of over 200 letters sent to U.S. Army pay master Major Henry Goddard Thomas by his mother Elizabeth Goddard Thomas, sister Eliza, wife Nell, daughters Mary (Molly) and Louise, and son Harry. The collection also has one letter from father William Widgery Thomas. Notes, believed to be made by Henry, on the top of the letters indicate who sent them, the date received and the fort at which he was stationed.

Biographical/Historical Note

Henry Goddard Thomas was born in Maine. He graduated from Amherst College in 1858 and entered the Civil War as a private, rising through the ranks to reach brigadier general by war’s end. He was involved with the recruitment and organization of Negro troops in the Union army. Thomas retired in 1891 and died in 1897.