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Burhaus Family papers


Burhaus Family papers
Burhaus Family
Collection number:
0.25 linear feet (14 items)
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

This collection consists primarily of correspondence of Herman Burhaus, who was a volunteer in the 4th New York Union Regiment during the Civil War stationed in various cities in the Washington, DC, area. It also contains photographs of various members of the Burhaus family.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Burhaus Family papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
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 and photographs in this collection are available at in the University of Maryland's Digital Collections.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

[Little is known about the Burhaus family. The following history is drawn from the collection itself.]

The Burhaus family appears to have been from the Brooklyn, New York area and to have consisted of ten children, seven boys and three girls. One of the sons, Herman, was a volunteer in the 4th New York Union Regiment in the Civil War. His regiment was stationed in various cities near Washington, D.C., and Burhaus fought and was injured in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862. He was shot in the neck and in the hip as he fought in Sumner's Corps, French's Division, Weber's Brigade, under General Burnside of the Army of the Potomac. The battle was a terrible loss for the Union forces.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Burhaus family papers cover the years 1862 to 1863. The papers consist of letters written by Herman Burhaus to one of sisters. Of particular interest are discussions of army life during the Civil War, including Herman Burhaus' thoughts on who should be fighting the war, and how it should be fought. Also included in the collection are a set of four photographs of family members.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Burhaus Family Papers were purchased from the 19th Century Shop of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Christopher Becker, July 1989.

Processing note:

The letters were unfolded and placed into an acid-neutral folder in an acid-neutral container. The photographs were transferred to the photographic collection.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Sarah Heim, May 11, 2004.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection has been divided into two series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1862-1863 (10 items)

Series I consists of ten letters sent from Herman Burhaus to one of his sisters. The letters are mainly personal, but often discuss aspects of military life in the Washington, D.C. area. One particularly informative letter discusses the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) and the Battle of Harper's Ferry. On October 9, 1862, Burhaus wrote: "I think the battle of Sharpsburg would have decided this war only for the traitor in command of Harper's Ferry. Miles should have held the place to the last man and he could have done so untill [sic] McLellan reinforced him, and the rebel army in Maryland would have been captured or destroyed..." Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Letters (Online), 1862-1863 series 1box 1folder 1

Series 2: Photographs, undated (4 items)

Series II contains four photographs: one cased ambrotype of Herman and his brother Sandy, one miniature photograph of their brother Cornelius Charles, and two photographs of unidentified individuals, one male, one female, presumed to be other family members.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Photographs (Online), circa 1861-1865 series 2box 1folder 1

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

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Names (Added Entries)