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Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesC
Date Range
1848-1860
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The thirteen documents in this series cover the period between the end of the Mexican War and the outbreak of the Civil War. The series consists of letters written by Thomas Welsh to his wife Annie, invitations to a number of social events in Columbia, and observations related to various political issues of the era. A successful businessman and community leader, a business card in the series also identifies Welsh as a Justice of the Peace and as agent for the Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company and the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1848-1860
Creation Date
1848-1860
Year Range From
1848
Year Range To
1860
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Extent
13 items
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to excellent
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesC
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/21/2020 by HST
Provenance: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-61
Date Range
1861
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The fifteen documents in this series cover the year 1861 and consist of letters written by Thomas Welsh to his wife and children describing his experiences as an officer in the Union Army. The series also includes letters written by Welsh's wife and children describing events at home in Columbia. The letters show Welsh to be a devoted husband and father and his family to miss him very much. Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County. The regiment served most of its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley from where many of the letters were written. The series also includes a pass for Camp Curtin, Dauphin County where Welsh served as Commandant and a letter from Otter Island, South Carolina where Welsh later served as a Colonel in the 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1861
Creation Date
1861
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Letters
Personal correspondence
Search Terms
Civil War
Letters
Correspondence, Personal
Extent
16 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to good
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-61
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/23/2020 by HST
Provenance:
Most passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
MG0828_SeriesD-61_F15 is a transcription provided by Dennis Buttacavoli via email. The original is presumed by donor to be in his possession.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-62
Date Range
1862
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The twenty-two documents in this series cover the year 1862 and consist of letters and official papers related to the military activities of Thomas Welsh, in command of the 2nd Brigade of General Orlando Willcox's 1st Division, General Burnside's 9th Army Corps, command consisting of Regiments 45th and 100th Pennsylvania, 46th New York, and 8th Michigan. The series includes letters written by Welsh to his family and letters from his family written to him. Welsh's command participated in several battles during the year including South Mountain and Antietam. Official correspondence includes reports by General Willcox and others as well as Willcox's recommendation that Welsh be promoted to Brigadier General for his bravery and conduct in battle.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1862
Creation Date
1862
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Letters
Personal correspondence
Search Terms
Civil War
Letters
Correspondence, Personal
After action reports
Extent
22 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to excellent
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-62
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Location of Originals
The original of MG0828_SeriesD-62_F20 is in the Antietam National Battlefield Library, 45th Pennsylvania Regimental File.
Transcription of MG0828_SeriesD-62_F21 is in the Antietam National Battlefield Library, 45th Pennsylvania Regimental File. Original claimed to be in the collection of Dennis Buttacavoli.
Notes
Added to PP 12/26/2020 by HST
Provenance:
Some items: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Some items: Transcription and photocopy acquired from Antietam National Battlefield Library, 45th Pennsylvania Regimental File.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-63
Date Range
1863
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
This collection of thirty-three documents covers the year 1863 and consists of letters and official papers related to the military activities and death of Thomas Welsh. The series continues the exchange of letters between Welsh and his family until his untimely death on August 14, 1863. Military correspondence includes Senate confirmation of Welsh's field promotion to Brigadier General on March 13, 1863 and Welsh's new command of the 1st Division of General Burnside's 9th Army Corps. Welsh participated in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, but took ill soon after. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio. Correspondence includes condolences offered to the family of General Welsh by individuals and members of the Union Army present at his death.
Note: Original series also contained two photographs.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1863
Creation Date
1863
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Letters
Personal correspondence
Telegraph
Military orders
Search Terms
Civil War
Letters
Correspondence, Personal
Telegrams
Military orders
Extent
35 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Poor to excellent
Condition Date
2020-12-26
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesD-63
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/26/2020 by HST
Provenance:
Most items passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Transcription of MG0828_SeriesD-63_F15 provided by Dennis Buttacavoli via email. The original is presumably in his possession.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesE
Date Range
1866-1925
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
This collection of eight documents covers the years 1866 through 1925 and consists primarily of recollections by various family members of the life of Thomas Welsh. The series also includes a family history and poems written by Thomas Welsh and his daughter Effie Welsh.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Organized by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1866-1925
Creation Date
1866-1925
Year Range From
1866
Year Range To
1925
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
Poetry
Biography
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Letters
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Search Terms
Civil War
Genealogy
Family history
Mexican War
Poetry
Biography
Letters
Extent
8 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Poor to excellent
Condition Date
2020-12-29
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesE
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/29/2020 by HST
Provenance: Most items passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesF
Date Range
1815-1938
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
This collection of documents, newspapers, and newspaper clippings covers the years 1815 through 1929 as well as genealogy and ephemera from the Welsh family Bible, 1850 through 1938. In addition, the series also includes 2 scrapbooks - the first containing articles from the late nineteenth century pertaining to Thomas Welsh and his family; the second containing newspaper articles and ephemera related to Thomas Welsh and his family from 1854 through 1936.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Folders 1-35 organized by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1815-1938
Creation Date
1815-1938
Year Range From
1815
Year Range To
1938
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
Condolence notes
Letters
Genealogy
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Search Terms
Condolence notes
Letters
Correspondence
Mexican War
Genealogy
Civil War
Extent
35 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Poor to excellent
Condition Date
2020-12-29
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesF
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Boxes 1-2
Notes
Added to PP 12/29/2020 by HST
Provenance: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend.~~Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesB
Date Range
1846-1848
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The fourteen documents in this series cover the period 1846 through 1848 and chronicles Welsh's military service during the Mexican War. The series consists of letters written by Thomas Welsh to various family members, friends and government officials (including James Buchanan) describing his experiences as a volunteer soldier, the wounds he received at the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847 and his efforts to secure a pension for the injuries he received in battle. The series also includes documents related to his subsequent appointment as a second lieutenant, his ongoing support for the war despite the injuries he received and his desire to continue to serve in the peacetime army.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1846-1848
Creation Date
1846-1848
Year Range From
1846
Year Range To
1848
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Search Terms
Mexican War
Extent
14 items
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to good
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesB
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/19/2020 by HST
Provenance: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828
Date Range
1839-1932
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The General Thomas Welsh Family Papers is a collection of original correspondence, official documents, and ephemera. Many of the papers were created by or directed to Thomas Welsh between approximately 1843 and his death in 1863. They provide glimpses into his youth, his experiences in the Mexican War, his life in Columbia between the wars, and his rise in rank to Brigadier General during the Civil War.
The collection contains correspondence with his wife and family from 1861-1863. There are also official correspondence and documents related to Welsh's military service, autobiographical pieces, correspondence following his death, obituaries, and family papers into the early twentieth century. Other items in the collection include genealogy pages from the family bible, photographic images of Thomas Welsh and family members, two scrapbooks, newspaper issues and newspaper clippings, written notes from recollections of one of Welsh's daughter, and a biographical sketch of Welsh written by his son.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Almost all of the papers have been passed down through successive generations of Welsh's descendants, from Thomas Welsh's wife and children to his granddaughter, Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin, to her daughter Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. After Nancy Townsend's death, her son Charles Townsend passed them on to his cousin, Richard Wiggin (grandson of Emilie Benson Wiggin) in 2015.
A few papers passed out of the family's possession and found their way into other collections. Richard Abel of Columbia, PA began collecting Welsh papers and artifacts some years ago, and subsequently transferred this collection of Welsh materials to Richard Wiggin in 2012.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1839-1932
Year Range From
1839
Year Range To
1932
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Welsh, Annie Eunice Young
Welsh, Blanton Charles
Welsh, Effie
Welsh, Lilian
Welsh, Mary Young "Mazie"
Buchanan, James
Subjects
Letters
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Military orders
Military promotions
Personal correspondence
Political campaigns
Presidents--Election
Speeches, addresses, etc.
United States. Army--Military life
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Search Terms
Civil War
Correspondence, Personal
Letters
Mexican War
Military life
Military orders
Military promotions
Political campaigns
Presidential elections
Speeches
United States Army
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to good
Condition Date
2020-12-18
Condition Notes
Items are in fair to good condition.
Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pa.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesA
Date Range
1839-1845
Description Level
Series
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The twenty-three miscellaneous writings in this series cover the period 1839 through 1845 before Welsh enlisted in a Kentucky regiment when the Mexican War broke out in 1846. The series consists of original writings and poems as well as poems transcribed by Welsh from newspapers, books, and other primary sources. The collection also includes an autobiography most likely written by Welsh in his late teens. The series concludes with an itinerary of his travels from Washington, D.C. to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1844 and to Fort Smith, Arkansas as an itinerant laborer on the on the eve of outbreak of war with Mexico.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1839-1845
Creation Date
1839-1845
Year Range From
1839
Year Range To
1845
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
Autobiography
Poetry
Search Terms
Autobiography
Poetry
Extent
2 folders
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to good
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesA
Parent Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/19/2020 by HST
Provenance: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact research@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Less detail
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesA_F01_It01a
Date Range
1840/06/23 to 1843/08/29
  1 document     1 image  
Description Level
Item
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
Miscellaneous notes and sketches written by Thomas Welsh, including: 1) A sketch about the amount of money the public had to pay for Queen Victoria's wedding, evidently copied from the Philadelphia Ledger. 2) A notice of the death of General Thomas Sumpter [Sumter] of South Carolina, evidently copied from the Philadelphia Ledger, June 23, 1840. 3) A note about the population of Lowell, Mass. being top heavy in favor of females, evidently from the Times, Philadelphia. 4) A note about the suicide death (by starvation) of John Jordan, from the Columbia Spy. 5) A mock newspaper article about Thomas Welsh leaving Columbia August 29, 1843 for Baltimore and Washington.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men. See MG0828 for more biographical information.
Custodial History
Cataloged by Richard C. Wiggin prior to donation.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1840/06/23 to 1843/08/29
Creation Date
1840-1843
Year Range From
1840
Year Range To
1843
Creator
Welsh, Thomas, 1824-1863
People
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain
Jordan, John
Sumter, Thomas
Welsh, Thomas
Subjects
Death notices
Philadelphia ledger
Transcription
Columbia Spy
Times (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Newspaper clippings
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Search Terms
Death notices
Philadelphia ledger
Transcription
Columbia Spy
Times (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Newspaper clippings
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Extent
1 item, 1 page to scan
Object Name
Article
Language
English
Condition
Good
Condition Date
2020-06-25
Condition Notes
Reasonably good condition, with slight discoloration and some edge deterioration. It is bound as part of a packet that includes TW-A-XX-01 through TW-A-XX-01(u). This is on the backside of TW-A-XX-01.
Object ID
MG0828_SeriesA_F01_It01a
Parent Object ID
MG0828_SeriesA
Other Numbers
TW-A-XX-01(a)
Classification
MG0828
MG0828_SeriesA
Location
LancasterHistory, Lancaster, PA
Room
Archives North
Container
MG0828 Box 1
Notes
Added to PP 12/19/2020 by HST
Provenance: Passed down through the family, Blanton Charles Welsh to Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin to Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. Acquired from: Chuck Townsend, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2016/05/15.
Access Conditions / Restrictions
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Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Images
Documents
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