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Henry L. Gray Letters,

Identifier: Ms-2001-002

Scope and Contents

This collection contains letters to Henry L. Gray's family in Bradley, Maine chronicling his time with the USS Cambridge and their activities throughout the Civil War. Included in the correspondence are notes on the locations of the ship, proximity to rebel forces, capture of Charleston by the Union Army, and the rebel blockade in Savannah, Georgia. He also references such historical events as the death of Lincoln and the surrenders of General Lee and General Wheeler as well as a first-hand account of the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Vice President. Gray documents where Davis and the Vice President were sent after their capture and how he was a member of their escort to Washington, D.C in 1865. Along with these historical events, Gray documents eating habits of soldiers, process of requesting furlough, and general life of a soldier during the Civil War from 1863-1865. Included in the collection are Henry Gray's proof of enlistment and request of a pension from the Department of the Interior and Surgeon General as well as a letter from his brother to the pension office explaining Henry's suspension from duty due to an injury.


  • 1863 - 1886
  • Majority of material found within 1863 - 1865


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Henry L. Gray was a Union soldier enlisted as a private from 1863-1865 in the 14th Maine volunteer infantry Company G. His family lived in Bradley, Penobscot County, Maine. Gray served on the USS Cambridge and traveled to a variety of Union camps including Gosport Navy Yard in Virginia, Beaufort, North Carolina, Camp Coburn in Augusta, Maine, Boston Harbor, and Savannah, Georgia. For further information on the involvement of the 14th Maine infantry in the Civil War reference the National Park Service Civil War database.

Source: National Park Service, Henry L. Gray


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)


The collection includes correspondence by Henry L. Gray, written primarily between 1863-1865. There are also some official documents from Gray's military activities.


The correspondence is arranged chronologically with Henry L. Gray's proof of enlistment and personal documents at the end.

Source of Acquisition

The Henry L. Gray Letters were purchased by Special Collections in 2001.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Henry L. Gray Letters by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Henry L. Gray Letters was completed in October 2013. Preliminary processing had been performed during 2001 when collection was acquired.

Henry L. Gray Letters, 1863-1886
Cort Rushton, Student Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
2013 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-02: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US