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Henry Goddard Thomas correspondence

Identifier: SC 01822

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

The collection contains letters received by Colonel Henry Goddard Thomas, the commander of the U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War. The letters were sent to Thomas from two individuals, German immigrants Lewis C. Henser and Rudolph Tensler (Teusler). In his two letters, Hensler outlined news of funding and his town of residence. In his single letter to Thomas, Tensler spoke mostly of family affairs. The letters contain content pertaining to funding, personal and family life, and news of the war.


  • Creation: 1869-1876

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

General Henry Goddard Thomas, born April 5, 1837 in Portland, Maine, enlisted in the Infantry as a Private in the United States Army during the Civil War (1861-1865). In 1863, Thomas was comissioned Colonel of the 2nd and 19th Regiments, U.S. Colored Infantry, and rose to take command of the latter in 1864, becoming the first officer of the Regular Army to act as Colonel in an African American regiment. His younger brother, William, was a Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and the American Minister to Sweden and Norway during the Civil War. On January 23, 1897, Henry Goddard Thomas died at the age of 59.


0.1 Linear Foot (One legal sized folder. )



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased with the Harrison R. Tyler Library Endowment.

Processing Information

The collection received container level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions and acquisitions to the collection.

Guide to the Henry Goddard Thomas correspondence
Under Revision
Kendall McKinley
February 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository