MS - 073: Alexander C. Barr, Battery F, 3rd Independent PA Light Artillery

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MS - 073: Alexander C. Barr, Battery F, 3rd Independent PA Light Artillery

(1 box, .27 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1864-1865

Processed by: Christopher Gwinn
June 2006

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF

Provenance Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum, 2005


Alexander C. Barr of Taylorstown, PA mustered into service as a private on February 25th, 1864 in Battery F, 3rd Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery.  Battery F was a veteran unit having been organized in October of 1861 and having participated in many of the campaigns of the Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac, including the battles of Cross Keys, 2nd Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The unit was consolidated with Battery C in June of 1863 and remained with that organization until the close of the war.

Alexander Barr joined the battery previous to their stationing on Maryland Heights overlooking Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The journey from Washington to Maryland Heights was an arduous one for Barr, who wrote, “When we were on the march we did not draw any rations but had to beg our way through. The Old soldiers in the Bat. say they never saw harder marching done...”   He will remain there till the spring participating in the defense of Harper’s Ferry and the Shenandoah Valley. In April of 1865 Barr will accompany the battery to the defenses of Washington where he will muster out with the rest of the remaining members on June 26, 1865.

Scope and Content Notes

The Alexander Barr collection consists of 17 letters written in between March 14, 1864 and June 3, 1865. The majority of the letters are addressed to his brother Charles in Taylorstown, PA, with the exception of at least one letter composed for his brother Jeff in April, 1864. Most of the letters in the collection date from the time Barr served on Maryland Heights and Harper’s Ferry. Included in the letters are Barr’s experiences as a new recruit in the artillery with topics ranging from the “very poor grub” at the artillery cookhouse, the oppressiveness of the summer weather and the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the evacuation of Richmond.  Also contained in the collection are 10 envelopes as well as a small photograph of Barr. Letters are arranged chronologically. 

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF