Guide to the Bucknam Family Papers, 1811-1920

Collection number: MC 228
Size: 1 box (0.33 cu.ft.)

About the Bucknam Family

John Bucknam (of Medford, Massachusetts) and Susan Ann Warren (of Concord, New Hampshire) married in the spring of 1830 in Massachusetts. Their first son, John William Bucknam was born later that year in Brighton, Massachusetts, but died of scarlet fever in 1834. Their second son, Warren Fay Bucknam was born around 1833, and a third son, George Henry Bucknam, was born in 1836. In the fall of 1838, Susan, Warren, and George moved – without John – from Brighton to Concord, New Hampshire, where they lived as boarders in the home of John Brown. In the fall of 1860, Warren married Susan Emma Parkhurst of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. George enlisted in the New Hampshire Volunteer Army in 1861. He fought in the Civil War as a private in the 5th Regiment, Company A and was wounded by a gunshot to the side in 1862 and spent a number of months at David’s Island Hospital, near New York City. In 1863, he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head at Gettysburg. Warren and Susan had at least three children together, Fannie P. (born 1863), Gertrude W. (born 1867), and Arthur E. (born 1879).

About the Bucknam Family Papers

The Bucknam Family Papers span the years 1811-1920 and primarily consists of correspondence. Most of the correspondence is between George Bucknam and his friends and family members while he served as a soldier in the Civil War and includes information about food rations, prisoners of war, soldiers' duties, life in camps, and the Battle of Fair Oaks. Several of the letters sent from George during his service were sent from David's Island Hospital, near New York City, where he was recuperating from wounds suffered at the Battle of Fair Oaks. There is one letter written in August 1863 by a fellow serviceman detailing George's death at Gettysburg. Other correspondence is between various members of the Bucknam and Warren families and their friends. Also included are several folders of copies or transcriptions of the original letters (made by family members) and the envelops the original letters were mailed in. Not every original letter has a corresponding copy or transcription. The collection also contains one folder of genealogical notes and material about the Bucknam family, copies of George Bucknam’s service records, and miscellaneous other papers.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bucknam Family Papers, 1811-1920, MC 228, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation: Susan Bucknam and Charles Bucknam, Jr., April 12, 2013 (Accession number: 2013.09)

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Oct 1811-Apr 1832 (8 letters)

Letters are primarily between various Bucknam and Warren family members.

Box 1, Folder 2July 1832-July 1843 (6 letters)

Letters are primarily between various Bucknam and Warren family members.

Box 1, Folder 3Dec 1847-Dec 1856 (9 letters)

Letters are primarily between various Bucknam and Warren family members.

Box 1, Folder 4June 1861-June 1862 (16 letters)

George Bucknam joined the 5th New Hampshire Regiment, Company A in November 1861 and left to fight in the Civil War. Letters in this folder between November 1861 and June 1862 are primarily from George to either his brother Warren or his sister-in-law Susan and focus on his service in the War. Beginning in June 1862, he wrote from David's Island Hospital just outside of New York City where he was recuperating from a gunshot injury to his side. The letter dated June 16, 1862 was written to Warren Bucknam from Capt. E. E. Sturtevant of Company A, 5th Regiment, and gives details of the Battle of Fair Oaks, where George was wounded.

Box 1, Folder 5July 1862-Mar 1863 (8 letters)

Letters are primarily from George to Warren or Susan and focus mainly on his service in the Civil War. Letters written between July and August 1862 were sent from David's Island Hospital just outside of New York City. Subjects include food shortages, patient neglect, poor medical care, and the process of recovering from war injuries.

Box 1, Folder 6May 1863-May 1865 (10 letters)

Letters written between May and August 1863 continue to include details about food rations, Rebel prisoners, a soldier’s duties, life in camp, and the deaths of fellow soldiers. A letter dated August 12, 1863 was written to inform Warren Bucknam and the Bucknam family of George's death and details the events leading to his death from a gunshot wound to the head sustained on the battlefield at Gettysburg.

Box 1, Folder 7Apr 1866-July 1920 (8 letters)

Letters written between various members of the Bucknam and Warren families.

Box 1, Folder 8Undated (11 letters)

Letters written between various members of the Bucknam and Warren families and their friends. Includes some undated letters written by George Bucknam.

Box 1, Folder 9Copies and transcriptions of above correspondence, Mar 1826-Jan 1855
Box 1, Folder 10Copies and transcriptions, June 1861-Aug 1862
Box 1, Folder 11Copies and transcriptions, Oct 1862-Aug 1863
Box 1, Folder 12Envelopes and postal covers
Box 1, Folder 13Envelopes and postal covers
Box 1, Folder 14Envelopes and postal covers
Box 1, Folder 15Genealogical records and notes, including George Bucknam’s service records
Box 1, Folder 16Miscellaneous handwritten materials, including a composition on the principle events in the life of George Washington written by Warren Bucknam, the definition of the word “agnostic,” a list of contributors to Mr. Bucknam for services rendered, a collection of proverbs, a newspaper clipping of a poem