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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the John E. Curry Collection MSS.0386

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Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

February 2009

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-26T13:45-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

February 2013
Collection Title:

John E. Curry Collection

Unit ID:

MSS.0386

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.05 Linear feet (2 Items; photocopies)

Dates:

1846-1864

Abstract:

Photocopies of letters from David H. Vinton, Assistant Quartermaster in New York, to Lieutenant Josiah Gorgas at Watervliet Arsenal, refusing to grant Gorgas’s request for supplies to be sent to Pensacola, and from University of Alabama cadet John H. Marshall in Tuscaloosa, discussing the possible role of the cadets in the defense of the state, the fainting of several cadets during a dress parade, and inquires about his family.

creator

Marshall, John H.

creator

Vinton, David Hammond, 1803-1873

Acquisition Information:

Gift of John E. Curry

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains photocopies of letters collected by Curry. The first is dated 23 May 1846, from David H. Vinton, Assistant Quartermaster in New York, to Lieutenant Josiah Gorgas at Watervliet Arsenal, refusing to grant Gorgas’s request for supplies to be sent to Pensacola by the vessel Kentucky. The second is dated 17 June 1864, from University of Alabama cadet John H. Marshall in Tuscaloosa, to his unnamed brother at their Aunt Bella’s plantation, discussing the possible role of the cadets in the defense of the state, the fainting of several cadets during a dress parade, and inquires about his family.

Biographical/Historical note

David H. Vinton (1803-1873), a career military officer, was a West Point graduate (1822). After initial service in ordnance, he specialized in quartermaster duties from 1835 until his retirement at the end of the Civil War. He served on the Canadian frontier of New York (1838-1843), during a period of Anglo-American tensions. From 1846-1848 he was Quartermaster at New York, efficiently organizing shipments to the US Army in Mexico. He was Chief Quartermaster of the Department of the West, headquartered at St Louis (1851-1856). Imprisoned briefly at San Antonio when Texas seceded from the Union, Vinton was paroled, and again served as Chief Quartermaster in New York City throughout the Civil War. He was brevetted to brigadier general before his 1865 retirement.

Josiah Gorgas was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from West Point in 1841 and was assigned to the Ordnance Department. He served in the Mexican-American War and was promoted to captain in 1855. In 1853, he married Amelia Gayle, daughter of former Alabama governor John Gayle. Gorgas served in arsenals in different parts of the country before the Civil War broke out. Early in his career, Gorgas served at Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York, and at the Detroit Arsenal. Following the Mexican-American War, Gorgas served in Pennsylvania and in November 1851 was transferred to Fort Monroe in Virginia. There he began his association with the Tredegar Iron Company, which would become an important Southern foundry once the Civil War began. Gorgas went on to serve at the Mount Vernon Arsenal north of Mobile, Alabama beginning in 1853. He was commanding the Frankford Arsenal when he resigned from the United States Army on March 21, 1861 (effective April 3). He was one of the few Northern-born Confederate generals and was later president of the University of Alabama.

Access Restrictions:

None

Usage Restrictions:

None

Preferred Citation:

John E. Curry Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

C. Doughty, 2009; updated by Martha Bace, 2013

Source(s)

Gorgas, Josiah, 1818-1883 (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

Civil War (localbroad)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Students (localbroad)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Military life (lcsh)

University of Alabama (localbroad)

War and Military (localbroad)

Letters Bin 2814