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A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Townsend Heaton letters W.0091


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2013


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-05T16:47-0600

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Townsend Heaton letters

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.2 Linear feet (30 letters)




The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Letters written by Dr. Townsend Heaton, a member of the 70th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War


Heaton, Townsend, 1837-1902


Williams, A. S., III

Access Restrictions:


Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

General note

Title on box spine: Letters of Dr. Town Heaton

Preferred Citation:

Townsend Heaton letters, A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Donnelly Walton, 2013

Biographical/Historical note

The son of Joseph Heaton and Mary Ann Evans Heaton, Townsend Heaton was born in June 1837, in Ohio.

According to the Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio, Heaton enlisted in Company B of the 70th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers in October 1861. In March 1862, he was promoted to full hospital steward, and on January 22, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of full first lieutenant. The 70th Regiment participated in several major Civil War battles, including the battle of Shiloh, the capture of Corinth, the battle of Missionary Ridge, and the siege of Atlanta.

After the war ended, Heaton returned to Ohio and resumed his medical practice. According to 1880 census records, Heaton was a physician in Aberdeen, Brown County, Ohio. He married Mary Louise Winters, and the couple had four daughters and two sons. One daughter and one son died in infancy. Heaton died in 1902 in Brown County, Ohio.

Sources: Census and military records accessed via

Scope and Contents note

This collection includes a series of thirty letters written by Dr. Townsend Heaton, a member of the 70th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Documenting Heaton's Civil War service from his enlistment in October 1861 to his return to civilian life in December 1864, the letters provide first-hand accounts of camp life, desertions, hospital and ambulance operations, and battles. Most of the letters are addressed to his brother, John Heaton, and his father, Joseph Heaton. The collection includes letters written at military encampments in Corinth, Mississippi; Holly Springs, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; LaGrange, Tennessee; Camp Sherman, Mississippi; Bridgeport, Alabama; Scottsboro, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Notable correspondence includes a letter written on June 1, 1862, describing the battle of Corinth, and a series of letters describing the siege of Atlanta and the evacuation of the city's residents.

Related Archival Materials note

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection and the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library hold several other collections of Civil War letters. Please see staff for assistance.


Heaton, John, 1832-1918 (local)

Heaton, Joseph, 1795-1866 (local)

Williams, A. S., III (local)

Alabama--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

Corinth, Battle of, Corinth, Miss., 1862 (lcsh)

Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

Health, Medicine and Welfare (localbroad)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Mississippi--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

Soldiers--Ohio--Correspondence (lcsh)

Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

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

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

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives (lcsh)

Typed excerpts of correspondence Box W0091.01 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1861-1862 Box W0091.01 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1863-1864 Box W0091.01 Folder 3