MS-133: John F. Kent Collection, Company D, New York First Cavalry Regiment

MS-133: John F. Kent Collection, Company D, New York First Cavalry Regiment

Link to Full Finding Aid (PDF)

(2 Boxes, 0.7 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1842-1925

Processed by: Julia Marshella’13

February 2013

Provenance: Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum, 2008


John F. Kent was born In Scotland on December 22, 1837. In 1843, he came to America with his parents, settling in Trumbull, Fairfield County, CT.  At the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, he resided in Manhattan and enlisted as a private in Company D, New York First Cavalry Regiment on July 16, 1861. Eventually, Kent was promoted to Full Corporal and then Full Sargent in 1863.  He was mustered in on July 1, 1863, and mustered out August 16, 1864 at Harpers Ferry, WV. On September 26, 1864, he married his first wife Frances E. Hawley.  In

1870, they resided in New York City working at a restaurant. In 1880, they moved to Jersey City, NJ where Kent worked as a shoe cutter.  On May 19, 1881, Frances died In Trumbull, CT. After her death, Kent relocated to Sparta, Chippewa, Minnesota where he married his second wife, Helen P. Lund, on January 1, 1883. He opened and operated a confectionary shop in Montevideo, Minnesota. Kent passed away on November 14, 1923.

Scope and Content:

The John F. Kent Collection contains two manuscript diaries of his experiences during the Civil War.  The first was written in 1862, the second in 1863. The entries are brief and mention battles in passing, casualties and skirmishes with the rebels. There are 16 letters, one to his parents during the war, 9 between Helen Lund and her sister Francesca, and six between John Kent and Caroline Kitchel about purchasing plots of land in a cemetery.  There are assorted documents, ranging from Kent’s father’s naturalization certificate, to recipes, to pension certificates. There are nine photographs, six that are mounted, and three that are in small cases, ranging from portraits to group photos. It also contains Kent’s Grand Army of the Republic Veteran kerchief.

Link to Full Finding Aid (PDF)

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