This collection contains photostats of letters written by John Porter Hatch to his father and his sister Eliza between 1861 and 1863.
Hatch graduated from West Point in 1845 and served in the Mexican War, achieving the rank of captain.ÃÂ During the Civil War, he led the Union cavalry under General Nathaniel P. Banks in the Shenandoah Valley and also served under General John Pope in the second Manassas campaign, succeeding to division command at the Second Battle of Bull Run. After recovering from wounds sustained during the Maryland Campaign, Hatch joined the Department of the South in 1864, operating at the fringes of General William T. Sherman's army in the Carolinas Campaign. After the war's end, Hatch served twenty more years, campaigning against Native Americans on the Western frontier until he retired in 1886.
These letters, written during Hatch's time in Virginia, describe his experiences with his command, including his service under General Banks and their movements through the campaign. Hatch also wrote on his feelings regarding the general handling of the war by Union officials.ÃÂ
This collection was acquired by the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, sometime before 1956.