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James H. Wilson Letter,

Identifier: Ms-2014-012

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a letter from retired Union Army Major General James H. Wilson to Edgar T. Welles of New York. Writing from Stockford, his home in Wilmington, Delaware, Wilson briefly requests that Welles send him an overcoat that the two seem to have previously discussed and mentions an impending trip to New York during which he foresees visiting with Welles. The Edgar Welles to whom Wilson writes is likely the same Edgar Welles who was a son of U. S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.


  • 1894 - 1894


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from James H. Wilson Letter must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Note

Born in Illinois on September 2, 1837, James Harrison Wilson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1860. After receiving his commission, Wilson was assigned as an assistant topographical engineer at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory.

During the Civil War, Wilson initially served as a Union Army topographic engineer. He later served as an aide to General George B. McClellan before joining the staff of General Grant in the Western Theater in November 1862. Promoted to brigadier general, Wilson in 1864 transferred to the cavalry. He is credited with being in command of the forces that captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Andersonville Prison commandant Henry Wirz at the end of the war.

After the war, Wilson worked as a railroad engineer and official and devoted a great deal of time to writing on various subjects, most of his books relating to military matters and world events . In later years, he would serve as a major general of volunteers during the Spanish-American War and in the Boxer Rebellion. James H. Wilson died on February 23, 1925.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



Letter from retired Union Army Major General James H. Wilson to Gideon Welles, of New York, briefly discussing an overcoat and an impending visit.

Acquisition Information

The James H. Wilson Letter was donated to Special Collections in 2005.

Physical Characteristics

0.1 cu. ft. 1 folder

Processing Information

The processing and description of the James H. Wilson Letter commenced and was completed in October 2014.

A Guide to the James H. Wilson Letter, 1894
A collection in Special Collections.
John M. Jackson
©2014 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
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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