A Guide to the

William B. Durie Letter, 1864

SC 0013

Compiled by: Dillon Thomas, October 2016

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: William B. Durie Letter, 1864

Collection No.: SC 0013
Creator: William B. Durie

Extent: 1 legal folder; .08 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: Letter written by William B. Durie, a Union Private during the American Civil War, to his sister dated December 27, 1864. Durie writes to his sister about his state of being, conditions in camp, and personal information about Christmas during the Siege of Petersburg.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], William B. Durie Letter, 1864, SC 0013, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: James Madison University Special Collections Library acquired this document at auction from Cohasco, Inc in January 2016.

Bio/Historical Note:
William Brittin Durie (1840-1916) enlisted as a private in the Union Army on August 28, 1862. On September 17, 1862 Private Durie was mustered into Company B, 30th New Jersey Infantry Division. On June, 27, 1862 he was mustered out of service in Flemington, New Jersey. Durie was promoted to Corporal on April 12, 1863. On October 6, 1864 Durie was mustered into Company C, 39th New Jersey Infantry Division in which he served out the remainder of the war. He was mustered out of service again on June 17, 1865. Following the war, Durie remained in New Jersey until his death on January 16, 1916. William signed this particular letter as “W.B.” All official documentation of Durie reference his given name ­- “William.” Spelling variations of his surname include Durrie and Duryee.  

Scope and Content:

This letter, dated December 27, 1864, was written by Cpl. William B. Durie to his “Dear Sister” during the Siege of Petersburg. This letter gives a glimpse at camp life during late 1864. Durie is writing shortly after Christmas to inform his sister that he is alive and well. He goes on to describe the conditions of the camp and the front, as well as details on his state of being. He tells her of the cold weather that the men are enduring during the Siege of Petersburg during Christmas. Durie also informs his sister of his ongoing dental problems and that his tooth was pulled the day before Christmas. Durie mentions that his paper supply is running low with only four pieces remaining. He also reveals some personal details when he informs his sister that he no longer has money to send to her, only having twenty-five cents remaining.

Arrangement:
One letter housed in a legal folder.

Bibliography:
American War Research Database. Accessed November 10, 2016. http://civilwardata.com

Ancestry.com. Accessed November 8, 2016.

Related Material:
William B. Durie Papers, 1862, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas.

Margaret B. Burruss Collection, 1786-1912, SC 2097, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Oliver H. Chalker Collection, 1864, SC 2082, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Contents:

Folder Title Box : Folder
William B. Durie Letter, 1864 1:1