Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the Brigadier General William Wallace Burns Papers:

1848-1910; (bulk: 1861-1889)



Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Burns, William Wallace
Title Inventory of the Brigadier General William Wallace Burns Papers
Dates 1848-1910 (bulk: 1861-1889)
Abstract William Wallace Burns (1825-1892) was born at 3 Sept. 1825 in Coshocton, Ohio and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1847. Posted to the United States Army Infantry, Burns served during the Mexican American War (1846-1848) on recruiting duty, then spent several years at various Indian posts in theWest and Southwest. In 1858, he was commissioned Captain in the Commissary of Subsistence. Burns served with the United States Army of the Potomac in the first months of the Civil War as General George B. McClellan's Chief Commissary in the West Virginia Campaign, and was later appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers 28 September 1861. In the Peninsular Campaign (Mar.-Aug. 1862), Burns commanded a Brigade of General John Sedwick's 2nd Divison, 2nd Corps, and, after recovering from wounds, commanded the 1st Divison, 9th Corps at the Battle of Fredericksburg (11-13 Dec. 1862). On 20 March 1863, Burns resigned his Volunteer commission and reverted to his staff rank of Major and Commissary. He served as Chief Commissary in the Department of the Northwest until the close of the Civil War. Breveted Brigadier General 13 March 1865 for gallant and meritorious services in the Civil War, William Wallace Burns retired 3 Sept. 1889 and died 19 April 1892 at Beaufort, South Carolina. Burns was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Papers consist chiefly of correspondence (1858-1888) in which Burns gives detailed accounts of Civil War battles fought during the Peninsular Campaign (Mar.-Aug. 1862), particularly the Seven Days Battles (25 June-1 July, 1862 ), including Peach Orchard, Allen's Farm, Savage Station, Glendale, Nelson's Farm, and Malvern Hill. Burns discusses military strategy, troop movements, military surgeons, weather conditions during battles, building pontoon bridges, building defense works, and and capturing Confederate works. One letter is present from the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Correspondents include President Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, General Henry W. Halleck, General Winfield Scott Hancock, General George McClellan, General William Starke Rosecrans, and Major General Edwin Vose Sumner, as well as Emil Schalk, who was a war journalist. Topics include slavery, as well as the conduct and outcome of the war. Some correspondence (1888-1904) was written just before and after Burns' death among family members, notably his grandchildren Lloyd Burns Magruder, who was a cadet at the United States Military Academy, and Pauline Magruder, as well as William Wallace Burns' sister Mabelle Burns, usually called "Mab." A substantial group of letters to Mabelle Burns is from her suitor for marriage, B. L. Prince. A few of the family letters from Pauline Magruder to her Aunt Mabelle Burns are written in French from Paris, France. Also included are copies of military orders and official reports focused on Burns' thwarted ambitions to become Major General and lead a Division in the Army of the Cumberland under the command of General Rosecrans. A few financial records and documents from legal procedings concern disputed rights to the "Sibley Tent," an invention whose patent royalties were eventually shared by Burns with Henry Hastings Sibley are present, as are a few documents concerning Texas real estate transactions. Transcripts of correspondence (1848-1889) cover all of Series 1. Military Correspondence, with a few letters (Box/Folder 1/6/doc.a-c) from Series 2. Personal Correspondence with professional colleagues, and a few (Box/Folder 1/7/doc.a-h, and k) from Series 3. Personal Correspondence with family and friends.
Identification Ragan MSS 00116
Extent 1 linear foot.
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

William Wallace Burns (1825-1892) was born at Coshocton, Ohio3 September 1825. At age17 he was appointed to the United States Military Academy from which he graduated in 1847. He was posted to the United States Army Infantry and served during the Mexican American War (1846-1848) on recruiting duty, then spent several years at various Indian posts in theWest and Southwest. In 1858, he accepted a staff commission as Commissary of Subsistence with the rank of Captain.

Remaining with the U. S. Army, Burns served with the Army of the Potomac in the first months of the Civil War as General George B. McClellan's Chief Commissary in the West Virginia Campaign. Burns was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers 28 September 1861 and, beginning the following Spring in the Peninsular Campaign (Mar.-Aug. 1862), commanded a Brigade of General John Sedwick's 2nd Divison, 2nd Corps, during which Burns was wounded and favorably mentioned by McClellan. On sick leave for some months, Burns subsequently commanded the 1st Divison, 9th Corps at the Battle of Fredericksburg (11-13 Dec. 1862).

On 20 March 1863, Burns resigned his Volunteer commission and reverted to his staff rank of Major and Commissary. He served as Chief Commissary in the Department of the Northwest until the close of the Civil War, and later discharged with distinction the same duties in various Southern departments.

Following the Civil War, Burns was promoted in the Commissary service, first to Lieutenant Colonel (1874), then to Colonel (1884). In the meantime he had been breveted Brigadier General 13 March 1865 for gallant and meritorious services in the Civil War. William Wallace Burns retired 3 Sept. 1889, and died 19 April 1892 at Beaufort, South Carolina. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Bibliography
  • "William Wallace Burns, Brigadier General, United States Army."Arlington National Cemetery Website. [Viewed 10/15/02:12:22PM at: ]


Scope and Content Note

Chiefly correspondence (1858-1888) in which Brigadier General William Wallace Burns, of the United States Army, gives detailed accounts of Civil War battles fought during the Peninsular Campaign (Mar.-Aug. 1862), particularly the Seven Days Battles (25 June-1 July, 1862 ), including Peach Orchard, Allen's Farm, Savage Station, Glendale, Nelson's Farm, and Malvern Hill. Burns discusses topics such as military strategy, troop movements, military surgeons, weather conditions during battles, building pontoon bridges, building defense works and, and capturing Confederate works. One letter is present from the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Also included is personal correspondence with high-ranking officials such as President Abraham Lincoln, U. S. Secretary of War Charles Stanton, General Henry W. Halleck, General Winfield Scott Hancock, General George McClellan, General William Starke Rosecrans, and Major General Edwin Vose Sumner, as well as Emil Schalk who was a war journalist. The latter correspondence concerns political viewpoints on the causes of the war, primarily slavery, as well as the conduct and outcome of the war.

Some correspondence (1888-1904) was written just before and after Burns' death among family members, notably his grandchildren Lloyd Burns Magruder, who was a cadet at the United States Military Academy, and Pauline Magruder, as well as William Wallace Burns' sister Mabelle Burns, usually called "Mab." A substantial group of letters to Mabelle Burns is from her suitor for marriage, B. L. Prince. A few of the family letters from Pauline Magruder to her Aunt Mabelle Burns are written in French from Paris, France.

Also present is a substantial group of copies of military orders and official reports focused on Burns' thwarted ambitions to become Major General, and lead a Division in the Army of the Cumberland under the command of General Rosecrans. Apparently Burns believed political maneuverings of high governmental officials obstructed his promotion to Major General, and precipitated his resignation as Brigadier General in 1863.

A few financial records and documents from legal procedings are included concerning disputed rights to the "Sibley Tent," an invention whose patent royalties were eventually shared by Burns with Henry Hastings Sibley. Also present are a few documents concerning Texas real estate transactions.

Transcripts of correspondence (1848-1889) cover all of Series 1. Military Correspondence, with a few letters (Box/Folder 1/6/doc.a-c) from Series 2. Personal Correspondence with professional colleagues, and a few (Box/Folder 1/7/doc.a-h, and k) from Series 3. Personal Correspondence with family and friends.


 

Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 6 series.
Series 1. Military Correspondence, ca. 1848-1889.
Series 2: Personal Correspondence with professional colleagues, 1858-1893.
Series 3: Personal Correspondence with family and friends, 1880-1905.
Series 4: Financial and Legal documents, 1854-1902.
Series 5. Miscellaneous Documents, 1880-1903.
Series 6. Transcriptions of Correspondence, 1848-1889.

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Restrictions

Access

No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Online Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Names
Burns, Mabelle--Correspondence.
Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872--Correspondence.
Hancock, Winfield Scott, 1824-1886--Correspondence.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Correspondence.
McClellan, George Brintow, 1826-1885.
Magruder, Lloyd Burns--Correspondence.
Magruder, Pauline--Correspondence.
Prince, B. L.--Correspondence.
Rosecrans, William S. (William Starke), 1819-1898--Correspondence.
Schalk, Emil, b. 1834--Correspondence.
Sedgwick, John, 1813-1864.
Sibley, Henry Hopkins, 1816-1886.
Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869--Correspondence.
Sumner, Edwin V. (Edwin Vose), 1797-1863--Correspondence.
Organizations
United States. Army of the Cumberland.
United States. Army of the Potomac.
United States Military Academy--History.
Subjects
Fortification, Field.
Fredericksburg, Battle of, Fredericksburg, Va., 1862.
Malvern Hill, Battle of, Va., 1862.
Mexican-American War, 1846-1848.
Military promotions.
Military supplies.
Peninsular Campaign, 1862.
Pontoon bridges.
Seven Days' Battles, Va., 1862.
Strategy.
Surgery, Military.
Tents.
Places
Paris (France)--Description and travel.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
West Point (N.Y.)--Description and travel.

Related Material

The United States Military Academy also holds a small collection of materials related to William Wallace Burns, including official correspondence and reports, some sketches, maps, newspaper clippings pertaining to McClellan's death, an 1885 Commencement address by Burns to West Pont Academy alumni, a speech delivered to the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, and a draft of work on McClellan entitled McClellan's Own Story. Correspondents include General George B. McClellan, attorney and historian George Ticknor Curtis, and General Ambrose Everett Burnside. The West Point Museum also holds an oil portrait of William Wallace Burns. Collections are cited as follows:

Burns, William Wallace, 1825-1892. Papers, 1861-1890. 1 box. U. S. Military Academy Library, Special Collections. United States Military Academy. West Point, N.Y. 10996, USA

Major General William W. Burns [portrait, artist unknown]. Oil on canvas. West Point Museum Accession no. 10,376. Presented by Mrs. D. Lloyd Magruder. United States Military Academy. West Point, N.Y. 10996, USA


Administrative Information

Provenance

Received from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Goade of Lake McQueeny, Tex. 30 Nov. 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Liticia J. Salter in September 2002, with additional processing by Aletha Andrew and Amber Amescua in October 2002.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Series 1. Military Correspondence, ca. 1848-1889

Correspondence and communications concerning military engagements and appointments including chains of command, orders, appointments, transfers, reassignments, promotions (or anticipation thereof), resignation, and retirement. Also present are narratives of field conditions, tactical descriptions, battle plans, and narratives of military maneuvers.
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1/1/doc.a Field Notes. Burns' account of activities in Northern Mexico and Texas borderlands. Handwritten-very difficult to read, 1 leaf, 1 page, ca. 1848-1849
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1/1/doc.b Letter from W. W. Burns to Major F. J. Porter. Letter from Burns to his commanding officer appealing a negative decision concerning leave requested. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 10 August 1858.
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1/1/doc.c "Special Orders" from War Department for Captain William W. Burns. Orders for Burns to take over duties in Subsistence Department at Leavenworth KS. Handwritten Formal Document. 1 leaf, 1 page, 16 February 1861.
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1/1/doc.d Orders from Head Quarters Dept. of the Ohio for Capt. Wm Craig. Orders for man to transfer-copied to Burns. Handwritten Formal Document. 1 leaf, 1 page, 21 June 1861.
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1/1/doc.e Letter to Capt. W. W. Burns from R. Macfeely. Letter concerns a discussion about rations and of transferring funds for Volunteers. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 5 August 1861.
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1/1/doc.f Letter from Burns to an unspecified General. Letter discusses troop movements-unsigned, a draft? Handwritten, 1 leaf, 23 January 1862.
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1/1/doc.g Confidential letter to Burns from S. Williams. Letter requests an explanation in regard to a letter written the 23rd-(refers to item 1/6 possibly). Handwritten letter, 1 leaf, 3 February 1862.
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1/1/doc.h Letter to unspecified General. Letter fully explains the situation requested in item previous. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 7 February 1862.
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1/1/doc.i General Orders No. 13. Command to troops to "March toward the enemy." Handwritten, 1 leaf, 15 April 1862.
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1/1/doc.j Letter (copy) to "Captain J. H. Taylor" from John Sedgwick. Report discussing military maneuvers and strategy. Handwritten, 2 leaves, 31 May 1862 - 1 June 1862.
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1/1/doc.k Note from J. H. Taylor to "Gen" (copy). Short note discusses a bridge to be built and a wounded officer. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 5 June 1862.
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1/1/doc.l Letter/ report to Sedgwick from Burns. Discusses military movements and casualties. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 4 leaves, 2 pages, 5 June 1862.
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1/1/doc.m Letter from S. Williams to Burns. Order to move troops. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 5 June 1862.
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1/1/doc.n Battle Narrative "Seven days Fight before Richmond." Journal entries describing battles at Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill,Peach Orchard, Savages Station, etc. Handwritten, 2 leaves, July 1862.
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1/1/doc.o Battle Narrative: "Report of the Battles at Orchard Station, Savages, Glendale & Malvern." Lengthy description of engagement. Handwritten. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 4 July 1862.
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1/1/doc.p Battle Narrative. Description of engagement of June 29th and 30th as well as July 1st and 2nd. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 5 July 1862.
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1/2/doc.a Notebook section. This is a torn-away portion of a ruled notebook (5 ½ X 8 ½). This was written well after the fact and is a report of actions during several battles + copies of letters. Handwritten, 6 leaves, 12 pages, 6 July 1862.
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1/2/doc.b " Special Orders" from Head Quarters Dept. of the Potomac granting medical leave for W. W. Burns. Orders for twenty-day medical leave. Formal Printed Document filled-in with handwritten specifics. 1 leaf, 7 July 1862.
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1/2/doc.c General Order. This appears to be a draft of Burns' farewell to troops after being relieved. Handwritten. 1 leaf, 1 page, 8 July 1862.
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1/2/doc.d Letter from Brig. General John Sedgwick to S. Williams recommending promotion for Burns. Letter recommending numerous people, including Burns, for promotion. Handwritten Formal document. 1 leaf, 11 July 1862.
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1/2/doc.e Letter from Burns to Maj. F. A. Walker. "Application for the command of the division now commanded by Brig Genl French." Handwritten, 1 leaf, 29 October 1862.
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1/2/doc.f Letter from Burns to Adjutant Genl. 9th Corps. Letter describes detail of battle and tactical maneuvers. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 15 December 1862.
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1/2/doc.g Letter from Burns to Senator John Sherman. Request for recommendation for confirmation of appointment to Major General. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 10 January 1863.
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1/2/doc.h Letter from Burns to John Sherman et al. Correspondence surrounding Burns' appointment to Major General. Handwritten letters and facsimile transcription (apparently) of other documents-all in Burns' handwriting. 5 leaves, 10 January 1863.
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1/2/doc.i Fragment of copy of a telegram from Rosecrans to Burns with Burns' note. Writing concerns the request for Burns to join Rosecrans with a note but this is an incomplete set. Handwritten, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 24 January 1863.
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1/2/doc.j Letter from Burns to Butterfield. Letter of formal request for transfer to Rosecrans. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 4 February 1863.
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1/2/doc.k Special orders: relieving Burns of duty by Hooker . Copy of order in Burns' handwriting. Handwritten formal document, 1 leaf, 7 February 1863.
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1/2/doc.l Special orders: relieving Burns of duty by Hooker. This is the same text as 1/27, with some discrepancies-an original? In Burns' handwriting but modified? Handwritten formal document. 1 leaf, 7 February 1863.
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1/2/doc.m General Orders: Burns' farewell to troops before joining Rosecrans. Letter to troops from Burns thanking them for service. Handwritten formal document. 1 leaf, 8 February 1863.
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1/3/doc.a Resignation sent to President A. Lincoln. *This is problematic set of papers. They are mimeographed (20th century) copies of documents that chronicle the misfortunate events leading to Burns never receiving his supposed appointment to Major General and his resulting decision to resign. Additionally, there is a footnote written by possibly him but in the third person. There is a typed "copy" (undated) that was allegedly to have been written by Sedgwick recommending the appointment. Mimeographed copies of handwritten formal documents and one type written copy of a document on file. 7 leaves, 6 March 1863.
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1/4/doc.a Letter from Isaac Wistar to Burns. This letter is from an apparent colleague and implores Burns to reconsider resigning. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 14 March 1863.
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1/4/doc.b Letter from Isaac Wistar to Burns. This letter is an expansion of the thoughts expressed in the A/ 15 letter. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 21 March 1863.
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1/4/doc.c Letter from Burns to "Schalk." This may have been written to an Emil Schalk who wrote a book called Summary of the Art of War (1862 or 63?) Lengthy description of Seven Days and Fredericksburg Battles. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, 15 May 1863.
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1/4/doc.d Letter (apparently) from Burns to a {Fry?}. Rather tersely written letter of inquiry to someone who was, it seems, an intermediary in the non appointment dealings-possibly James Barnet Fry. Handwritten letter, no signature. 1 leaf, ca. 1863.
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1/4/doc.e Letter written by Winfield Scott Hancock after the failed attempt to capture Petersburg by tunneling under the Union lines. It is a first hand account and is very difficult to read. Handwritten. 1 leaf, 2 pages, 3 August 1864.
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1/4/doc.f Letter-believed to be from Burns by handwriting comparison-to unknown General. Letter discusses an accompanying campaign document (not with letter)and references individuals who could either hinder or help. Handwritten letter, no signature. 1 leaf, 21 October 1864.
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1/4/doc.g Narrative written by Burns. This is another account of his non-appointment debacle. 1 leaf, 4 pages, ca. 1865
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1/4/doc.h Special Orders for Burns. Orders to transfer to Hilton Head S. C. with Subsistence Department. Printed form filled-in with handwriting, 1 leaf, 8 December 1865.
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1/4/doc.i Letter from James B. Fry to Burns. Letter to Burns in support of his getting an appointment. Handwritten letter. 1 leaf, 2 December 1865.
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1/4/doc.j Letter from Dent to Burns. Letter refers to someone's sentiments toward Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 17 February 1868.
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1/4/doc.k Letter from Burns to E. R. S. Canby. Letter refers to some miscommunication concerning relief of Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 19 February 1868.
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1/4/doc.l Special Orders No. 195. Orders for Burns to report to duty to Division of the Pacific. Printed Notice, 1 leaf, 26 November 1873.
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1/4/doc.m Letter from O. E. Babcock to W. W. Burns. Acknowledgement of receipt by President of document (undoubtedly related to the mysteriously missing appointment) from Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 8 August 1874.
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1/4/doc.n Letter to O. E. Babcock from Wm. W. Belknap, Secretary of War. Letter is a follow-up to an apparent inquiry made by Babcock on behalf of Burns and his unfulfilled appointment. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 3 October 1874.
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1/4/doc.o Commission Notice. Form notification from Adjutant General's Office of Burns' being appointed Assistant Commissary General of Subsistence with the rank of Lieutenant Col. Printed form filled-in blanks, 1 leaf, 16 February 1875.
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1/4/doc.p List of Officers of the Subsistence Department. Printed list includes name of William W. Burns under Lieutenant-Colonels and as "Chief C. S. Mil Division of the Pacific, and the Department of California. Purchasing and Depot C. S. at San Francisco." Printed list, 1 leaf, 1 May 1876.
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1/4/doc.q Memorandum from War Department. Memo is a printed form with blanks to be filled-in concerning missing information on actions in the civil war. This requests information from Burns on the Siege of Yorktown. Printed piece with handwriting, 1 leaf, 28 August 1876.
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1/4/doc.r Report of the Operations of BurnsBrigade at Yorktown to Hon. J. D. Cameron,Secretary of War. Lengthy retrospective and description that was apparently requested by the Secretary's office. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 4 pages, 6 September 1876.
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1/4/doc.s Clarification letter from Vincent to Burns. Notice of clarification in an erroneous record of absence. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 8 September 1876.
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1/4/doc.t Burns' journal entry. This is, possibly, a copy of entries taken from the Army Register, but includes and unsigned commentary-handwriting is that of Burns-two copies, one appears to be a draft but has material changes made to the content of the commentary. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1879.
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1/4/doc.u Letter from Burns to Hancock. Personal letter. Handwritten. 1 leaf, 3 September 1880.
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1/5/doc.a Unsigned letter to Committee on Military Affairs from Burns. Possibly a draft of a letter-in Burns' handwriting but unsigned. Handwritten, 1 leaf, ca. 1880s.
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1/5/doc.b Letter from Burns to W. S. Hancock. Lengthy letter of explanation of "what happened" concerning his promotion, or lack thereof. Handwritten, 3 leaves, ca. 1880.
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1/5/doc.c Narrative concerning the Peninsular Campaign. This appears to be an incomplete draft of something written to answer someone's inquiry (Urbb? Webb?). Handwritten, 3 leaves, 3 pages, ca. 1881.
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1/5/doc.d Letter from Burns to General W. L. Sherman. Another appeal concerning Burns' non-appointment. Handwritten letter, 1 leaf, . February 1881
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1/5/doc.e Letter to Burns from General W. L Sherman. An apparent response to item 1/55. Handwritten letter, 2 leaves, 20 February 1881.
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1/5/doc.f Letter from M. Halstead to W. W. Burns. Letter is a copy of another, presumably, because it is in Burns' handwriting. 1 leaf, 11 June 1881.
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1/5/doc.g Letter to "The President" from W. D. Bickham. Letter of reference for Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 30 June 1881.
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1/5/doc.h Letter from Burns to "The President." Letter of appeal for Major General commission. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 July 1881.
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1/5/doc.i Statement. Journal entry type writing but does not appear to be Burns' handwriting. Handwritten. 3 leaves, ca. 1881.
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1/5/doc.j Letter from Burns to General Rosecrans. Letter of explanation and reassurance that the battle of Chickamauga was not his fault. Handwritten letter. 3 leaves glued along edge to bind together, 25 February 1882.
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1/5/doc.k Notice. Formal notice to Burns of commission as Colonel and Asst. Commissary General of Subsistence. Form filled-in with handwriting. 1 leaf, 8 January 1885
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1/5/doc.l Letter from Burns to Sec of War, Endicott. Another appeal concerning the non-appointment to Major General. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 21 January 1886.
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1/5/doc.m Formal Notice of Burns' retirement. Printed notice of retirement from active duty "by command of Major General Schofield: Chauncy McKeever, Acting Adjutant General." NOTE: *Backside of notice has lengthy handwritten statement in what seems like that of an older person… in pencil. It reads like psychological or character profile describing the personality and habits of, presumably, Burns? Author unknown but could be Burns' own synopsis of himself. Printed and Handwritten in pencil, 1 leaf, 4 September 1889.
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1/5/doc.n Retrospective narrative of Burns' career. Written in the third person, this incomplete narrative was written by Burns (judging from handwriting). Handwritten. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, ca 1889.
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1/5/doc.o "Extract from Cincinnati Commercial."Burns apparently copied a portion of a news article from the newspaper. Handwritten, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.p Incomplete letter from Burns; receiver unknown. Narrative concerning battle at Malvern. Handwritten. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 1 page, undated.
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1/5/doc.q Statement in Burns' handwriting concerning his retirement. Reads like a draft of a legislative resolution. Handwritten, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.r Copied battle description. This appears to be a copy made by Burns in his later years-possibly an excerpt from a book written by Charles Banes. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, undated.
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1/5/doc.s Statement in Burns' handwriting concerning retirement having been wounded in action. Reads like a draft of a legislative resolution. Handwritten, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.t Copy of battle description almost verbatim to 1/69. This document is another copy from, presumably, the book written by Charles M. Bane titled: The History of the Philadelphia Brigade… . Handwritten, 1 sheet, four leaves, 2 pages, undated.
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1/5/doc.u Statement in Burns' handwriting concerning retirement and retention of rank. Reads like a draft of a legislative resolution. Handwritten, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.v S"tatement made to Genl McClellan upon which he wrote his endorsement of Genls Sumner and Sedgwick's recommendation." This is a report of Savages Station and Glendale made to McClellan. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, undated.
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1/5/doc.w Printed copy of Act. Same as referred to in 1/72 along with handwritten revision as a footnote by Burns. Handwritten page, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.x "Salient Points to Peninsular Campaigns." Memorandum written by Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, undated.
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1/5/doc.y Personal statement. Seems to be a portion of something larger…narrative of Burns' career. Judging by the T-bars in the handwriting, this is a match to that in 1/64 and is most likely not that of Burns. Handwritten page, 2 leaves, undated.
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1/5/doc.z Personal statement. Narrative written by Burns. Handwritten page. 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.aa "Etat de service in Command of Volunteer Troops… ." A lengthy partial chronology of Burns war-time career (1861-1863). Handwritten, 2 Sheets, 8 leaves, 8 pages, undated.
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1/5/doc.bb Notebook section. This is a torn-away portion of a ruled notebook (5 ½ X 8 ½). This was written well after the fact and is a report of actions during several battles + copies of letters. Handwritten, 6 leaves, 12 pages, undated.
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1/5/doc.cc Statement in Burns' handwriting concerning his retirement. Reads like a draft of a legislative resolution. Handwritten, 1 leaf, undated.
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1/5/doc.dd "Savages Station" and "Nelson's farm- 'Glendale'." Brief descriptions of these two battles. Handwritten, 2 leaves, 1 page, undated.
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1/5/doc.ee Map showing unknown battlefield layout. Hand-drawn in pencil with ink notations, 1 leaf, 1 page, undated.



 

Series 2: Personal Correspondence with professional colleagues, 1858-1893

Letters from friends, colleagues, and professionals concerning the subjects of Burns' resignation, his opinions on the war and the political situation of the time. Includes his letters to and from others such as U. S. Grant, J. A. Garfield, Abraham Lincoln, W. B. Franklin, and General George McClellan. Letters of congratulations, appreciation, clarification, and expression of political viewpoints can be found in this series.
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1/6/doc.a Letter to Burns from unknown. Exceedingly difficult to read letter written to Burns from someone who appears to have worked with him…or will soon work with him in the subsistence department. There are hints of problems in the operations. Handwritten. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, ca. 1858.
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1/6/doc.b Letter from Burns to an unknown individual. This letter discusses the political issues of the time with someone who must be in a leadership position. Handwritten. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 22 May 1861.
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1/6/doc.c Letter to Burns from a W. D Bickham. The letter discusses the political climate as well as extends many compliments to Burns. Handwritten. 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, 9 July 1862.
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1/6/doc.d Letter from Burns to an unknown woman, possibly a writer. This letter is written in defense of McClellan and appears to be written in response to an editorial. Handwritten. 1 leaf, 1 page, 18 November 1862.
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1/6/doc.e Letter from Thomas J. Blakeney. Letter concerning Burns' resignation and written by someone who was possibly a fellow officer. 13 March 1863.
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1/6/doc.f Letter from James S. Griffiths to Burns. This letter is from a soldier who was apparently under Burns' command at the time he was relieved. The letter expresses affection and admiration for Burns. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 29 March 1863.
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1/6/doc.g Letter from Emil Schalk to Burns. This letter is from a war journalist to Burns and expresses disappointment in Burns' resignation from his position as Brigadier General. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 1 April 1863.
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1/6/doc.h Letter from Emil Schalk to Burns. Letter apparently responds to one from Burns and discusses other Union generals as well as personal observation. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 5 October 1863.
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1/6/doc.i Letter from Burns to an unnamed General. Letter presumably accompanied an "extract of service" in which Burns offers to embellish this general's "succinct, concise, terse and nervous style." Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 24 February 1864.
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1/6/doc.j Letter from a publisher to Burns. Letter requests a "short sketch of your life" for an upcoming book on the history of Ohio's participation in the War of the Rebellion. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 20 February 1865.
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1/6/doc.k Letter from an illegible name. Letter discusses a change in command and is on stationery from Headquarters Second Military District, Charleston, S. C. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 19 February 1868.
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1/6/doc.l Letter to Burns from W. B. Franklin. Letter discusses apparently a mutual friend, "Baldy,"who is going to Egypt and Europe. The letter also discusses briefly concerns about the economy and President Grant. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages. 23 October 1873.
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1/6/doc.m Letter from J. A. Garfield to Burns. Letter responds to a letter written by Burns and casually discusses the financial market at the time. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 27 October 1875.
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1/6/doc.n Letter to U. S. Grant from Burns. Letter expresses that he felt Grant lacked confidence in him but that he would support Grant in his rise to the top. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 1 August 1876.
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1/6/doc.o Letter from W. B. Franklin to Burns. Letter discusses political situation within the Service. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 24 June 1878.
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1/6/doc.p Letter from Mary {N?} Banning to "Mab." Letter acknowledges receipt of a package and goes on to describe the family Christmas holidays. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 28 December 1878.
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1/6/doc.q Letter from M. {N?} Banning to "Mab." Letter discusses travel plans and is chiefly social commentary. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 5 May 1879.
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1/6/doc.r Letter from M. {N?} Banning to "Mab." Letter discusses household issues such as trouble with servants and children. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 3 leaves, 5 pages, 14 July 1879.
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1/6/doc.s Letter from Burns to Dr. Henry {Coppee?} from Burns. Letter appears to be a copy and is a strong editorial concerning the goings on at West Point. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 188?.
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1/6/doc.t Letter to an unnamed General from Burns. Letter appears to be a draft and outlines good faith effort on the part of Burns to build the reputation of the unnamed person being addressed in this letter and gives reassurance of friendship-possibly to McClellan? Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 9 June 1880.
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1/6/doc.u Letter from Burns to "Mr. Elect,"J. A. Garfield. Letter is an editorial concerning the idea of centralization of government. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 15 November 1880.
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1/6/doc.v Letter from Burns to "Mr. President." Letter describes his misfortunate non-appointment to Major General. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, ca. 1881.
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1/6/doc.w Letter from Burns to "Mr. President." Letter appears to be a draft similar in content to 3/22 of this series. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, ca. 1881.
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1/6/doc.x Letter from {Hancock?} to Burns. Letter is extremely difficult to read but discusses a friendship with Burns and offers encouragement. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 15 July 1881.
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1/6/doc.y Letter from Burns to "Corbin" (Garfield). This letter is a frank political discussion. In {someone else's?} pencil handwriting, there appears to be a guest list for a dinner party. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 13 August 81.
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1/6/doc.z Letter from {McCartery?} to Burns. This letter is written on watermarked and engraved "City of Charleston" stationery in apparent response to Burns' complaint about a news article; the letter is bitingly frank about the political situation. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 8 December 1882.
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1/6/doc.aa Note from Hancock to Burns. Appears to have been a cover note with an attachment (not present). Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 12 November 1884.
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1/6/doc.bb Letter to Burns from "Editor" of The Century Magazine. This appears to be a note acknowledging an inaccuracy of a name and its correction in an article. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 1 leaves, 4 pages, 6 June 1885.
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1/6/doc.cc Letter to McClellan from Burns. This letter discusses and article that McClellan wrote in Century concerning a battle fought on June 29, 1862 (23 years after) and how it was "too general" in its content. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 18 June 1883.
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1/6/doc.dd Letter from W. B. Franklin to Burns. This letter is a request that Burns clarify, in an editorial he was getting published in The Century Magazine, that Franklin ordered certain troops during the Savage Station fight. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 15 May 1885.
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1/6/doc.ee Letter to Burns from {"RPS?"}. This letter is from someone in Texas and is a detailed description of goings on in the area-implies that Burns might have been interested in buying land there. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 20 May 1885.
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1/6/doc.ff Letter to Burns from {"Muckle?"} . This is a note that appears to have accompanied a set of newspapers (The Public Ledger, Philadelphia) containing an article that Burns wrote. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 4 November 1885.
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1/6/doc.gg Letter from C. A. Whittier to Burns. Letter is an apparent response to a letter from Burns from an apparent close acquaintance. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 1 May 1886.
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1/6/doc.hh Letter from Burns to Mrs. Geo. B. McClellan. This is an expression of admiration for McClellan and undying defense of his record-posthumous? 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 25 December 1886.
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1/6/doc.ii Letter from H. M. Black to Burns. This appears to be a letter from a former classmate at the U. S. Military Academy ( 1847?) and seems to be some sort of clarification concerning his rank in the war. 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 24 January 1887
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1/6/doc.jj Letter from W. B. Franklin to Burns. This letter is very specific in clarifying certain events from the war and discusses Senate testimony. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 22 February 1887.
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1/6/doc.kk Letter from Burns to H. V. Buckley. Response to an announcement of a formation of an association of the Philadelphia Brigade. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 26 February 1887.
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1/6/doc.ll Letter from William Prior, Secretary to Burns. Note of explanation that apparently accompanied an obituary of a soldier who had possibly served with Burns. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 7 March 1888.
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1/6/doc.mm Letter to Burns from jeweler Bailey, Banks, and Biddle. Letter accompanied a proof set of buttons for West Point to be approved by Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 29 October 1888.
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1/6/doc.nn Letter from {M. ???} to Burns. Signature line is illegible but letter is on letterhead from "Society of the Army of the Cumberland - Office of the Corresponding Secretary" and discusses General Rosecrans and injustices. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 31 January 1889.
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1/6/doc.oo Letter from James Quinlan to Burns. Letter announces that he has received the Congressional Medal of Honor and credits Burns for making it possible. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 13 March 1891.
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1/6/doc.pp Letter from William S. Stockton to Burns. Letter requests Burns' contribution to a History of the California Regiment written on letterhead from the Association of Survivors 71st Penna. Vols. (California Regiment). Handwritten, 3 sheets, 6 leaves, 3 pages, 18 August 1891.
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1/6/doc.qq Letter from J. B. Alvord to Burns. A very informative letter describing memories of the battlefield and conveying the kinship these men apparently shared. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 4 pages, 24 November 1891.
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1/6/doc.rr Letter from James J. Quinlan to Burns. This is a response to a letter from Burns, apparently, and discusses how Burns was responsible for the ultimate victory by McClellan at Savage Station. Letterhead: Meagher's Irish Brigade Association Headquarters, 69th Regiment Armory. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 29 December 1891.
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1/6/doc.ss Letter from H.M Holmes to Burns. This is a rather confrontational letter from an attorney in Mason, Texas to Burns concerning a dispute over some land rights in Texas. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 2 pages, 11 May 1892.
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1/6/doc.tt Letter from J. B. Allen to Mrs. Burns. Letter refers to "your late husband, Genl W. W. Burns" and expresses appreciation to her having sent copies of his papers to be read at a meeting of the Brigade Association. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 15 May 1893.
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1/6/doc.uu Letter (very difficult to read) with an illegible signature to {Sen?}. This letter seems to refer to an election. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 1 November {year ?}.
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1/6/doc.vv Notes by Burns. Handwriting indicates that this may have been written when he was quite elderly/feeble. It describes "Mexican Pensions" and makes several comments that indicate that he thought U. S. Military Academy graduates had been bypassed or discriminated against. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, undated
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1/6/doc.ww Notes by Burns. Although this is unsigned, it is most likely written by Burns. It is an apparent draft of a note to an editor asking why an article had not been published and implies bias against McClellan. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, undated
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1/6/doc.xx Notes by Burns. It is unclear what this is but it is in Burns' handwriting. It may be a transcription of something he saw but it regards a Broadway playwright named E. A. Sothern and a Chicago lawyer who wrote him a letter. It is in verse. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, undated.
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1/6/doc.yy Letter from Burns to "Messrs Editors." This letter adamantly asserts certain historical inaccuracies in a news article and attempts to provide information. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 3 leaves, 3 pages, undated



 

Series 3: Personal Correspondence with family and friends, 1880-1905

This correspondence is chiefly between immediate family members and a few close friends. Some of the correspondence is to or from General Burns, but most is to or from his unmarried sister "Mab" who apparently lived with the family and corresponded with her niece, Pauline Magruder, and nephew, L. Burns Magruder, frequently as they grew up. There are numerous letters and notes from Burns that range in styles and dates from his very early child-like script through his West Point graduation. Several of the letters from Pauline Magruder are in French and written while she was studying in Paris. There are also several letters from a B. L. Prince who was, it seems, intent on marrying the General's sister, "Mab" Burns.
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1/7/doc.a Letter from {A.?} Johnstone to "Miss Burns." Social letter with references to Arizona and Westward ho! movement; awareness of world events; advocates "outdoor exercise." [light copy; difficult to read] Handwritten, 1 leaf, 4 pages, 10 July 1880.
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1/7/doc.b Letter from "Ben" to "Mousey." Personal letter between an uncle and niece (possibly Burns' daughter?)-notation in another's handwriting that it was written by Ben Atkinson. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 13 July 1880.
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1/7/doc.c Letter from A. Johnstone to "Miss Burns." Letter is of a general nature and discusses the weather in Washington and the area of Wilmington at the time. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 10 September 1881.
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1/7/doc.d Letter (possibly from Burns' daughter or daughter-in-law) to their children. This letter is written in an unusual printed case probably intended for reading ease by children and is a farewell note in advance of trip she and her husband were about to take. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 23 July 1890.
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1/7/doc.e Letter from "Grand Papa" to "Burns & Sweet Pau-line." Letter apparently from General Burns to his (grand?) children, written in the printed case that his wife used (possibly she wrote it for him) from a hotel in New York. Letter thanks them for a letter and sends best wishes. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 9 November 1890.
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1/7/doc.f Letter from "Grand Papa" to "My Dear Grand Boy." A get well note to his grandson and message to the mother of the child also. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 2 May1891.
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1/7/doc.g Message from A. B. Hancock to Burns. Difficult to read message on a black-bordered calling card. Handwritten (3" X 3" card), 1 leaf, 2 sides, 12 July 1889.
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1/7/doc.h Message (fragment) to Burns. This is the same type of stationery as in item 4/7 but it is unsigned. The message is incomplete. Handwritten, 1 leaf (4" X 6" card), 2 sides, 5 September 1887.
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1/7/doc.i Message from {Ellen? Nellie?} M. McClellan to Burns. Message is written on black-bordered cards like items 4/7 and 4/8. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 23 March {1887?}.
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1/7/doc.j Note from Burns to "Grand Boy." Small block-print note sympathizing with the child having the measles. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 1 May 1891.
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1/7/doc.k Letter from young Burns to "My dear grand-pa." Letter expresses that it is his first day out of bed in a week. Reverse side has a note from "Mama" discusses a gift for her son and mentions that perhaps Burns could find a "Sibley Tent" where he was. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 5 May 1891.
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1/7/doc.l Letter from Burns to "Grand-Boy." Script letter from Burns acknowledging receipt of two letters and complimenting the child's improving reading ability. Apparently the child asks about getting a Sibley Tent and Burns says it is an "impossibility" as none has been made for "twenty five years" other than one for the World's Fair at Philadelphia. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 7 May 1891.
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1/7/doc.m Letter from Burns to "My Darling Mab." This letter, it seems, is written to his daughter (or sister?) and concerns her suitor who is pushing for marriage. Handwritten, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 22 November 1891.
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1/7/doc.n Letter from L. Burns Magruder to "Grand-Pa." Short letter from the grandchild about rain, but with a sentence asking for a picture of the tent. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 7 December 1891.
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1/7/doc.o Letter from L. Burns Magruder to "My dear Grand-pa." Child's note describes illnesses in the family. Mentions his mother having the "grippe" and "Frawline" then goes on to mention that "Nana keeps well and sends her love." Is it possible that Burns' wife lived with her daughter separate from Burns? Letter also mentions that the child is sad "we didn't have a war with Chili." Handwritten, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 14 February 1892.
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1/7/doc.p Letter from Burns to "Grand-Boy." Letter mentions that he is glad the child did not have the whooping cough and then stresses the importance of reading and education. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 10 March 1892.
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1/7/doc.q Letter from {T?} W. Willett to "Miss Burns." This is a very ambiguous letter that expresses sympathy for her loss and the writer mentions attending a funeral but the deceased is not named. The letter is two-part and the second part refers to some real estate in South Carolina but it is hard to discern whether she is wishing to sell or buy and has sought his advice in the potential transaction. Handwritten, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 30 April 1892.
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1/7/doc.r Letter from Burns to "Dear Grand-Boy." Block-print note about the measles. Perhaps the date is written in error? One might refer to the letter item 4/10 and compare the context and writing in later letters. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 5 May 1892 (1?).
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1/8/doc.a Letter from B. L. Prince to "Miss Mab. Burns." Love letter. Handwritten, 3 leaves, 3 pages, 19 October 1892.
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1/8/doc.b Letters from F. Montgomery to Mrs. Burns. First of two letters mailed together expresses sympathy for death of General Burns then immediately goes into a lengthy discussion on a person beginning to develop a cotton gin. One might infer that there is an investment opportunity available. The second letter refers to a cotton gin on her island… which seems to be for sale. Handwritten, 6 leaves, 12 pages, 5 November 1892-12 November 1892.
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1/8/doc.c Note from Pauline Magruder to "my dearest Brother." A personal note telling of her having a bad cold and that her mother and that she had a long letter from "mother and Mrs. Tracy." Concludes with "I have to go to chapel now." Handwritten, 2 leaves, 3 pages, 18 November 1895.
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1/8/doc.d Letter from PaulineMagruder to "My dearest Auntie." Social letter from Pauline Magruder on her 13th birthday written, apparently, from the seaside. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 4 pages, 24 July 1899.
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1/8/doc.e Letter from B. L. Prince to "My dear Friend." Letter discussing cattle affairs and friendship. See item 3/19 of this series. Handwritten, 3 leaves, 3 pages, September 1899.
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1/8/doc.f Letter from B. L. Prince to "My dear Friend." Letter very pragmatically discusses an optimum time to marry"that is if we ever intend to marry," then discusses cattle prices. Handwritten, 3 leaves, 3 pages, 1 October 1900.
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1/8/doc.g Letter from Pauline Magruder to "Taunte" (Aunt). First half of letter is in French; she is in France studying French. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, 25 January 1902.
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1/8/doc.h Letter from B. L. Prince to "My dear Friend." Letter sounds as though this man is losing patience with the indecision on the part of the young woman. This letter gives full financial disclosure that he can "afford" to marry. Handwritten, 7 leaves, 7 pages, 13 February 1902.
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1/8/doc.i Letter from L. Burns Magruder to "Dear Auntie Mab." Letter from West Point is social and tells of his fun with the other cadets in the snow. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 18 February 1902.
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1/8/doc.j Letter from Pauline Magruder to "Ma Chere Taute." Entire letter written in French except closure. Handwritten, 3 leaves, 6 pages, 22 June 1902.
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1/8/doc.k Letter from "L. Burns Burns" to "My dear Auntie Mab." Note from West Point refers indirectly to a mishap and to the possibility of lending "the sword" to the West Point library for display. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages. 29 October 1902.
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1/8/doc.l Letter from "L. Burns Magruder" to "My dear Auntie Mab." Note from West Point refers to Christmas gift she sent and asks why "Nana" doesn't write. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages. 29 December 1902.
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1/8/doc.m Letter from B. L. Prince to "My dear friend." Suitor still in pursuit of Auntie Mab; ups his financial status by saying in the letter, "I thought that $50,000. and yourself for a wife would be more than any man could wish for." Handwritten, 5 leaves, 5 pages, 18 January 1903.
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1/8/doc.n Letter from L. Burns Magruder to Mabelle Burns. Note from West Point refers to a "precious burden" his mother had been carrying, the secret that Auntie Mab was getting married? He extends his congratulations saying that he "did not think [she] would take the step." Other mentions of "the sword" being lent to the West Point library for display. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages. 29 October 1902.
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1/8/doc.o Letter from "Belle" to Mabelle Burns. Letter from Paris reprimands Mab for not writing and implies there is outside influence. The writer expresses much stress about living in France and worry about Burns' illness. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 24 April 1903.
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1/8/doc.p Note from Lloyd Burns Magruder to "My dear Auntie Mab." Short note expresses that he is busy in school at West Point. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 8 April 1904.
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1/8/doc.q Letter from {Virge?}to Mab. This is apparently from a friend who is very interested in the members of the Burns family-expresses concern over young Burns having Typhoid and very ill. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 3 leaves, 6 pages, 25 May 1904.
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1/8/doc.r Letter from {Virge?} to Mab. Letter mentions family members and a desire to see all of them. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 13 March 1905.
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1/8/doc.s Letter from Burns to Mab. Letter discusses impending graduation and mentions his studying Gettysburg and recollections of going there with his grandfather as a child. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, 2 May 1905.
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1/8/doc.t Letter from Burns to "My dear Grandpa". This is an undated letter from Burns when he was apparently just learning to write in cursive. The letter thanks his grandfather for the gift of a bicycle. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, No date, but judging from previous letters, ca. 1892.
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1/8/doc.u Letter from Charles Beatty Moore to "Cousin Mab." This letter seems to be from a relative who attended West Point with young Burns. The letter references several other family members. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 11 May 1902
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1/8/doc.v Letter from Pauline to "Auntie Mab." Undated letter that must have been written shortly after she arrived in Paris because she mentions that she is not yet proficient enough in French to write a letter. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, ca. 1901.
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1/8/doc.w Letter from "Papa" to "Auntie Mab." Small, undated letter (only "Dec 5th") appears to be from the General and was written on a trip to New York. The letter is ambiguous but states that Burns has just come in on his tricycle so it must have been written in the early 1890s . Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, ca. 1890.



 

Series 4: Financial and Legal documents, 1854-1902

Contains documents relating to Texas and East Coast real estate transactions, much definitive information on the "Sibley Tent" and the lawsuit resulting from a disagreement concerning patent royalties. Includes two House Bills to force the government to pay Burns as well as the final statement of judgement. Also various other financial correspondence, largely contentious in nature, including documents concerning a bad debt owed to General Burns. Some of the latter correspondence was directed to General Burns' sister and concerned selling some real estate.
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1/9/doc.a Two legal document copies. One real estate transaction to Burns only, the other to Burns and H. H. Sibley. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 8 pages, 15 January 1854-9 May 1854.
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1/9/doc.b Letter of recommendation for Sibley Tent written to "Major." It is unknown to whom this letter is addressed, presumably to Henry H. Sibley, but it is signed by approximately 16 soldiers of varying ranks. It is a very detailed description of how the tents served their purpose in the military at the time. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 14 April 1858.
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1/9/doc.c Letter of recommendation for Sibley Tent written to Major Heny H. Sibley. Another vivid description of the tents use and its strong recommendation by those in the field. Signed by a dozen or so individuals including 1st Lieut William Wallace Burns. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 2 pages, 15 April 1858.
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1/9/doc.d Letter of recommendation for the Sibley Tent written to Major Henry H. Sibley from J. W. Phelps. More description and recommendation for using the Sibley Tent in the field. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, 16 April 1858.
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1/9/doc.e Letter from William Wallace Burns to Col. M. W. Downie. Letter discusses negative financial dealings concerning his investment in a timber mill operated by Downie. Handwritten, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 4 pages, 30 May {66?}
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1/9/doc.f Sworn petition by William Wallace Burns to "Senate and House of Representatives." Copy of legal document stating that Sibley's defection to the Confederacy affects the royalty agreement on the tent sales to the U. S. Government. Handwritten, 3 leaves, 5 pages, ca. 1869.
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1/9/doc.g Draft copy of item 4/6, ca. 1869.
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1/9/doc.h Printed pamphlet. "SIBLEY TENT CASE": The Opinion of the Court of Claims, March 29, 1869. Printed legal opinion in William W. Burns vs. The United States. Printed, 4 leaves, 6 pages, 29 March 1869.
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1/9/doc.i Letter from {W. L. Budger?} to William Wallace Burns. Appears to be a communication from a farm foreman, in very poor English grammar, to an apparently dissatisfied Burns. Lists farm items sold. Handwritten, 2 sheets, 3 leaves, 4 pages, 21 August 1874.
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1/9/doc.j Letter from {M. Fletcher?} to William Wallace Burns. Appears to be a communication concerning a Grant Marbury who is in default on several notes and a monetary advance from William Wallace Burns. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 1 page, 27 April 1878.
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1/9/doc.k Bank notes concerning an $810. transaction (in gold) refused to be repaid. Tenuous communications surrounding the notes also. Bad Debt. Handwritten forms and notes, 8 items, 7 February 1878-18 July 1878.
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1/9/doc.l Printed Legislative Bill: H. R. 1174. Bill that authorizes payment of $7,987. to William Wallace Burns for the royalty remaining on 3195 Sibley tents sold to the U. S. Government. Printed, 11 December 1883.
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1/9/doc.m Judgment. Alexander L. Burns vs. William W. Burns. Unknown as to cause. Handwritten form, 1 sheet, 2 leaves, 27 June 1890.
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1/9/doc.n Bank Draft from Southern Bank of the State of Georgia. Apparently a cashed check William Wallace Burns wrote to himself for $1000. Handwritten in form. 26 December 1891.
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1/9/doc.o Letter from J. W. Winters & Co. to Burns. Typed and Dictated letter concerning a real estate transaction and, it seems, an impending lawsuit concerning same. Typed. 1 leaf, 1 page, 19 April 1892.
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1/9/doc.p Letter from H. M. Holmes to William Wallace Burns. This letter addresses the lawsuit referenced in item 5/15 and expresses a certain bit of animosity toward Burns. 17 May 1892.
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1/9/doc.q Printed Legislative Bill: H. R. 7196. Bill that authorizes payment of $7,987 to William Wallace Burns for the royalty remaining on 3195 Sibley tents sold to the U. S. Government. Printed, 11 December 1883. 11 December 1883.
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1/9/doc.r Letter to Miss Mary A.Burns from Charles. S. Miller. Letter from Charles. S. Miller, abstracter, real estate and investment agent, seems to encourage her to invite her friends to invest with this person. Typed, 1 leaf, 1 page, 19 May 1902.



 

Series 5. Miscellaneous Documents, 1880-1903

This set of documents is a widely varied mix. Included is a speech delivered by General William Wallace Burns at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, a poem and a fable it is believed he authored, calling cards, invitations, autobiographical narrative, a prayer, newsclippings related to family members, an editorial written by General William Wallace Burns, a single old photo of an unidentified couple, a note from a West Point classmate, Daniel T. Van Buren, and miscellaneous empty envelopes.
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1/10/doc.a Magazine tear-sheet. From The Field Glass, this is a printed copy of a letter to the Editor written by William Wallace Burns titled, "Oligarchy - Aristocracy-Democracy." December 1880.
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1/10/doc.b Invitation. "Re-Union of the National Association of the Veterans of the Mexican War." 22 February 1881.
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1/10/doc.c Letter to the Editor. Mimeograph copy of "Man Ignoring a Natural Law" written by William Wallace Burns. 26 April 1887.
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1/10/doc.e Speech. Printed hand-out copy of "Address delivered by Gen. W. W. Burns, U. S. A., at the Alumni Reunion of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. June 1888". Possibly the graduation address. Pasted inside is another piece of paper similar in nature that explains and illustrates the buttons designed by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle Jewelers. June 1888 and 1 November 1888.
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1/10/doc.f Note from Daniel T. Van Buren to "Dear Pitts." Letter alludes to having seen the list of U. S. Military Academy graduates from 1888 with a form asking for Name, Class, Motto, Address. 1 leaf, 2 pages, 1 October 1888.
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1/10/doc.g Poem or Song. "Our fabled 'Fille de Regiment'" in William Wallace Burns' handwriting. Handwritten, 1 leaf, 2 pages, undated.
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1/10/doc.h Fable. "Battle of Fair Oaks Fable." In William Wallace Burn's handwriting, this seems to be a parody. On reverse side there is, in pencil, discussion concerning a battle. 1 leaf, 2 pages, undated.
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1/10/doc.i Calling cards. Two cards of different styles. One is inscribed on reverse by someone presenting the General to the Hon. W. R. Grace, undated.
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1/10/doc.j Biographical data. Written by William Wallace Burns, two chronologies of his career- listed dates no later than 1884.
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1/10/doc.k Essay. In what appears to be William Wallace Burns' later handwriting, this is a long, rather rambling essay heavily steeped in God titled, "Faith, Truth=Understanding—Good, Free Will=Love—Understanding, Love=Heaven." 3 leaves, 6 pages, undated.
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1/10/doc.l Prayer. Unsigned lengthy prayer in handwriting different from rest of all documents. Envelope reads: "Mrs. Magruder, Nuremberg." Undated.
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2/1/doc.a Various news clippings. Death notice of Magruder (father of young Lloyd Burns Magruder and Pauline Magruder), articles on Edwin Stanton and George McClellan, an opera in Paris, mortgage lien note advertisement from one of the real estate people the General dealt with, an article on investing, and, an article on Mr. B. L. Prince (suitor of Mabelle Burns) who had intestinal hemorrhages. 1901-1903.
box-folder
2/2/doc.a Fragments. Various empty envelopes, small postcards to Burns, a photograph of an unknown couple, a partial letter from a real estate company. 13 items total. 1892-1903



 

Series 6. Transcripts of Correspondence, 1848-1889

box-folder
2/3/doc.a Transcripts of Correspondence, 1848-1889.
Transcripts written by Cushing Memorial Library manuscript processor Liticia Salter include brief biographical sketches of some correspondents, as well as a few extensive annotations. Transcripts are coded to match the Box/Folder container list, which has "doc.[a-z]" item level extensions for each document in the collection. Thus, transcripts of correspondence (1848-1889) are present for all of Series 1. Military Correspondence, with a few letters (Box/Folder 1/6/doc.a-c) from Series 2. Personal Correspondence with professional colleagues, and a few (Box/Folder 1/7/doc.a-h, and k) from Series 3. Personal Correspondence with family and friends.