Bryon F. Strong Letters, 1861-1877;
bulk, 1861-1865

Quantity: 18 items
Access: Open to research.
Acquisition: Gift of Clara Ames Hale, 1940
Processed by: Manuscripts and Special Collections, April 2010

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Biographical Note:

Byron F. Strong was born circa 1842, the son of Lucius and Hannah Strong of Oswego, Oswego County, New York. He was employed as a clerk, possibly in his father’s business, at the time the Civil War began in April 1861. Military service records indicate he enlisted on May 1, 1861, mustering in as a private with Company B of the 24th New York Regiment of Infantry.  He was taken prisoner by Confederate forces during the Second Battle at Bull Run, Virginia, on August 30, 1862. On December 17, 1862, he was released and allowed to rejoin his regiment. He mustered out of service with the 24th Regiment on May 29, 1863, at Elmira, Chemung County, New York. He re-enlisted as an officer with the 41st Regiment of Infantry, United States Colored Troops. He attained the rank of second lieutenant. After the war, it appears that he settled in New Orleans, Louisiana.   

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists chiefly of letters Byron Strong sent to his family during his service in the Civil War. The letters detail the involvement of the 24th Regiment in General John Pope’s campaign in northern Virginia, the Second Battle of Bull Run, and battles at Falmouth and Chancellorsville.  The letters dated November 14, 1862, and December 6, 1862, were written from Camp Parole at Annapolis, Maryland, where he was held as a prisoner of war and of which he writes “that it is not hard, but dull, oh so dull!” The letters of 1864 and 1865 detail his experiences as an officer in a regiment of colored troops which was engaged in the occupation of New Orleans. Included is a letter written by James Beattie of New Orleans to Lucius Strong, informing him that his son is seriously ill with “pulmonary consumption.”

Strong sent to his sister a piece of a flag that had been tattered during the First Battle of Bull Run.  In the letter, dated August 4, 1861, that accompanied the flag, he wrote: “Enclosed you will find a few shreds of an Am[erican] Flag which floated from a staff on one of the guns in the noted “Sherman’s Battery” all through the fight at Bull’s Run, the flag was completely riddled by shot, was twice shot down, but replaced and finally brot [sic] off to safety, the gun on which was also the flag were stationed here, and I got the piece from one of the gunners. Please keep the piece.”

Item List

Item Description
1 Letter to mother: Elmira, N.Y., June 2, 1861
2 Letter to sister [Nellie]: Arlington Mills, Va., August 4, 1861; a piece of a United States flag (2.5 x 2 cm) attached to the letter.
3 Letter to sister: Upton’s Hill, Va., October 2, [1861]
4 Letter to mother: Camp on Upton’s Hill, Va., October 15, 1861
5 Letter to Nellie: H.Q. 24th N.Y.S.V., Camp McDowell, February 19, 1862
6 Letter to family: Camp at Falmouth off Fredericksburg, [Va.], April 22, 1862
7 Letter to sister: Camp opposite Fredericksburg, [Va.], May 8, 1862
8 Letter to Nellie: Fredericksburg, Va., June 20, 1862
9 Letter to sister: H.Q. King's Division, August 9, [1862]
10 Letter to sister: Camp Parole, November 14, [1862]
11 Letter to sister: Camp Parole, December 6, 1862
12 Letter to sister: Camp near Belle Plain, Va., January 31, 1863
13 Letter to sister Nellie: Camp near Belle Plain, Va., March 30, 1863
14 Letter to Nellie: Washington, D.C., September 7, 1863
15 Letter to Nellie: Camp Parapet [near New Orleans, La.], October 19, 1864
16 Letter to Nellie: New Orleans, April 9, 1865
17 Letter of Rev. James Beattie to Lucius Strong: New Orleans, April 16, 1877
18 Roster of Officers of the 41st Regiment of Infantry [U.S.C.T.] (page torn from unidentified book); Byron F. Strong is listed as 2nd Lieutenant, commissioned March 7, 1867 [sic]
Last Updated: May 20, 2021