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James Stepter papers

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1294

Abstract

Title:
James Stepter papers
Author/Creator:
Stepter, James F.
Collection number:
97-37
Size:
0.25 linear feet (21 items)
Bulk dates:
1862-1864
Inclusive dates:
1862-1864
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

James F. Stepter served as a private in the Union army during the Civil War. On August 14, 1862, he enlisted in Company B of the 6th Maryland Regiment Infantry, a company recruited from Cecil County. In the months before his death in 1864, he wrote numerous letters home to his wife Amanda from Harper's Ferry and various Union encampments. This collection consists of twenty-one of Stepter's letters which outline his personal observations on the war and military life, politics, and family concerns.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

James Stepter papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Alternate formats:

Digital copies of the letters in this collection are available at http://digital.lib.umd.edu/ in the University of Maryland's Digital Collections. Transcriptions were created by Jack Fallin, 2011.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

James F. Stepter served as a private in the Union Army during the Civil War. On August 14, 1862, he enlisted in Company B of the 6th Maryland Regiment Infantry, a company from Cecil County. Stepter was wounded and captured on May 5, 1864, at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia. He died while a prisoner of war at Andersonville, Georgia, allegedly on October 4, 1864.

The Stepter family lived in Elkton, Maryland, in Cecil County, prior to the Civil War. According to the 1860 federal census, James F. Stepter was twenty-seven-year-old weaver. His was Amanda was twenty-six years old at the time of the census, and the couple had a three-year-old son named William (Will) and a one-year-old daughter named Sarah E. (Ema). A third child named Sean was born before Stepter's enlistment. At some point after James Stepter entered the Union army, his wife and family moved to Chester, Pennsylvania. Amanda Stepter was born in Pennsylvania, and Chester may have been her hometown. Although Amanda Stepter traveled to Elkton on at least one occasion, it appears that the family remained in Chester for the period covered by these letters.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of James F. Stepter consist of twenty-one letters which span the period 1862 to 1864. All of the letters were written by James Stepter to his wife Amanda from Harpers Fell and Union encampments near Brandy Station, Cullet Station, Bealton, and Berryville, Virginia. Major topics include Stepter's personal observations on the war and military life, politics, and family concerns.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland at College Park Libraries purchased the papers of James F. Stepter from Charlels Apfelbaum in 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Pamela Alsop, October 1996.

Processing note:

All materials have been placed in an acid-free folder within an acid-free box.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Janna Robinson, February 22, 2005.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized as one series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1862-1864 (21 items)

This series contains twenty-one letters written between 1862 and 1864 by James F. Stepter to his wife Amanda. By the time Stepter entered the Union army, the couple had three children named Will, Ema, and Sean, all of whom figure prominently in James's letters. He clearly expresses his bitterness at the separation from his wife and children. Throughout the period during which these letters were written, Stepter waited for a furlough to visit his family. He even threatened to take a French (i.e. unauthorized) leave if a furlough was not granted, although he discusses the fact that deserters were not regarded highly by fellow soldiers. Sadly, he did not receive a furlough and never saw his family again.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Correspondence (Online), 1862 series 1box 1folder 1
Letter (Transcription) (Online), March 28, 1862 series 1box 1folder 1item 1
Letter (Transcription) (Online), undated series 1box 1folder 1item 2
Letter (Transcription) (Online), November 6, 1862 series 1box 1folder 1item 3
Letter (Transcription) (Online), December 11, 1862 series 1box 1folder 1item 4
Correspondence (Online), 1863 series 1box 1folder 2
Letter (Transcription) (Online), January 7, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 1
Letter (Transcription) (Online), January 25, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 2
Letter (Transcription) (Online), February 2, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 3
Letter (Transcription) (Online), February 8, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 4
Letter (Transcription) (Online), February 24, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 5
Letter (Transcription) (Online), March 18, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 6
Letter (Transcription) (Online), March 22, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 7
Letter (Transcription) (Online), March 30, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 8
Letter (Transcription) (Online), April 29, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 9
Letter (Transcription) (Online), October 27, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 10
Letter (Transcription) (Online), November 6, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 11
Letter (Transcription) (Online), December 18, 1863 series 1box 1folder 2item 12
Correspondence (Online), 1864 series 1box 1folder 3
Letter (Transcription) (Online), January 15, 1864 series 1box 1folder 3item 1
Letter (Transcription) (Online), February 19, 1864 series 1box 1folder 3item 2
Letter (Transcription) (Online), March 20, 1864 series 1box 1folder 3item 3
Letter (Transcription) (Online), April 4, 1864 series 1box 1folder 3item 4
Letter (Transcription) (Online), April 19, 1864 series 1box 1folder 3item 5

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