Alvin S. French, son of Alonzo W. French of Pittsfield, Ill., lived in Springfield, Ill., with his uncle, Dr. A. W. French (1821-1909), dentist and early Springfield resident. He enlisted in Co. G, 114th Ill. Vol. Inf. in 1862, and was killed in action in 1864.
This collection consists mainly of transcripts of French's correspondence. Early letters are primarily from friends and relatives who had settled in or traveled to various western territories, while the Civil War letters report on companies organized and attached to Illinois regiments. The collection also contains original materials, including an article originally in the Richmond Dispatch calling for people to rally behind the Southern cause, and three items concerning commencement and exhibitions at the Illinois State University in Springfield.
Effie French, of Springfield, Ill., loaned the collection to the Illinois Historical Survey for copying in 1910-12.