Calvin Shedd Papers, 1862-1864

South Caroliniana Library

Forty-four letters, 1862-1864, of Union soldier Calvin Shedd, Co. A, Seventh New Hampshire Regiment, are written primarily from locations in coastal South Carolina and addressed to his wife, S. Augusta Shedd, at Enfield, N.H., and South Reading, Mass. Shedd, a first sergeant, later second lieutenant, writes intelligently and with great detail, describing events, people, and places. His letters are noteworthy for their accounts of hospital conditions, portrayed vividly in correspondence penned from U.S. Army general hospitals at Beaufort, Hilton Head, and a field hospital at Folly Island.

Writing from Key West, 17 June 1862, while aboard ship enroute to South Carolina, Shedd boasted—”we expect to go as near Charleston as we can land & help take it….that will be the most Glorious spot in the whole U.S. to Die for our Country.” The letter continues on 20 June from Hilton Head and from an encampment near Beaufort on 23 June—”I hardly know how to describe this place I think God made it for the Garden of Eden….when Hilton Head was taken last fall the Rebels left here in a hurry….they did not take so much as their clothing….Our Soldiers used most of the furniture for fire wood last winter & smashed ever[y]thing they could even to Pianos & Organs in the churches[.] Mirrors that cost hundreds of dollars were broken in the general ruin & all other furniture & Fixtur[e]s general[l]y found in houses of the wealthy[.] The Rebels are sacrifising eve[r]ything in the general ruin.”

Brian Cuthrell and Henry Fulmer of the South Caroliniana suggested this collection and allowed the Digital Activities Department access to it for scanning. Santi Thompson (MLIS, 2008) created the metadata for the 44 letters in an excell spread sheet.The metadata records follow the Western States Best Practices Dublin Core format. Deborah Green scanned the letters on a flatbed Epson Expression 1000XL Photo scanner, using Silverfast scanning software. She scanned the images as color TIFFs at 24-bit and 300 ppi. From the TIFFs she created high quality JPEGs and added preservation metadata to the TIFF and JPEG images. Stewart Baker (MLIS, 2008) uploaded the JPEGs to the CONTENTdm server. The TIFFs will be maintained as the archival masters on a SAN server, backed-up to DVD and tape. Stewart also created a home page for the collection and Brian Cuthrell wrote an introduction to the collection. The work could also not have been done without the help of Tony Branch, of the systems department, who is the systems administrator for the CONTENTdm database and helps to manage the computers and scanners in the Digital Activities Department.

Media Types