Contents and Arrangement

Bacon, Lavinia, Letter to George, 1863 April 18

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists mostly of Lieutenant Commander George B. Bacon's letters to wife, Lavinia, during his service with the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. In his letters, Bacon writes about battles and engagements in which he was directly involved as well as other battles and events, strategic plans, and personal matters, among other things.

A fair number of letters document his time stationed off the coast of South Carolina as commander of the USS Commodore McDonough when he participated in several engagements. In recounting an attack on Fort Wagner during the Battle of Morris Island, Bacon writes, "The Storming Party from our side made the attack and then commenced one of the most terrible fights I ever expect to witness. Our regiment got on the walls of the Fort, but the Rebels being strongly reinforced, we were at last driven from it with the loss of about one thousand officers and men killed and wounded. All of our Generals were wounded except Gen. [Quincy A.] Gillmore and after service this morning I went on shore to see the wounded. Oh it was a terrible sight.(July 19, 1863)"

Also included in the collection is official wartime correspondence, including letters and orders from Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee to Bacon written during the latter's service with the Mississippi Squadron towards the end of the war. There are also a few letters that predate the war documenting Bacon's early service with the Navy. A couple of these document Bacon's voyage to the west coast of Africa on the USS Relief in relation to the slave trade.

There are also transcriptions of many of Bacon's letters to his wife as well as biographical materials such as clippings, research, and accounts of Bacon's life, most likely written and compiled by his daughter, Mary Bacon Brown.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No material was separated during 2014 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Bacon, Lavinia, Letter to George; George B. Bacon Civil War Correspondence, C0383, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1