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Rufus Kinsley papers, 1862-1899.
Kinsley, Rufus, 1831-1911.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 84:18-20  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Kinsley, Rufus, 1831-1911.
Title : Rufus Kinsley papers, 1862-1899.
Physical Description : 3 folders.
Summary :

The letters in the collection were written between September 19, 1862, and May 10, 1865, and were written for the most part by Rufus Kinsley to his father, brothers, and sister in Fletcher, Vt., from Louisiana and Mississippi when he was an officer in a black regiment. Rufus writes of his disillusionment with the war, his sympathy to the black population, and his work, as well that of other officers in his regiment, in teaching the black soldiers to read and write. Ben Kinsley wrote two letters in the collection one to Rufus and one to his daughter, Lucretia.

Miscellaneous papers include several unidentified hand-written poems, and Rufus Kinsley's provisional commission as a 2nd Lieutenant (August 25, 1863). While Rufus Kinsley was with the 8th Vermont Regiment, he copied two sections from the laws of Louisiana (May 20, 1862) which "illustrate the barbarism of slavery as it exists in the southern half of this Nation," and a New Orleans ordinance granting permission to the members of the Coliseum Place Baptist Church to establish a church (April 24, 1858).

Also included are a broadside titled "American Baptist Churches-New Orleans, Mayor's Office, City Hall, January 3, 1857;" several letters to Rufus Kinsley from Vermont Senator George F. Edmunds in regard to Kinsley's pension claim, and a chronological hand-written list of the battles of the Civil War, the commanders and the respective union and rebel losses.

Biographical or historical data :

Rufus Kinsley (October 9, 1831-June 11, 1911) was born in Fletcher, Vt., the son of Ben Alvah (1796-1870?) and Catherine Montague Kinsley. He enlisted in Company F, 8th Vermont Regiment on November 29, 1861, in Lowell, Vt., and served as Corporal until October 1863. He was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to command Company B, 2nd Regiment, Infantry of the Corps d'Afrique. In June 1864, he was assigned to Company G, 74th U. S. Colored Troops and was in command of this company during the siege and bombardment of Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, in August 1864.

After the Civil War, Kinsley married Ella Bingham; they had seven children. Rufus died in 1911 and is buried in the Lowell Village Cemetery.

Related Collections : See also Kinsley's war diary in VHS collection MS 973.781 K625, and a photo of Kinsley in the photograph collection.
Personal Subject : Kinsley, Ben, 1796-[1870?]
Kinsley, Lucretia.
Edmunds, George F. (George Franklin), 1828-1919.
Corporate Subject : United States. Army. Colored Infantry Regiment, 74th 1864-1865.
United States. Army. Vermont Infantry Regiment, 8th 1861-1865. Company F.
United States. Army Afro-American troops.
Subject Term : African Americans History.
Mobile Bay, Battle of, Ala., 1864.
Military pensions.
Geographic Term : United States History Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Campaigns.
Vermont History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Lowell (Vt.) History.
Fletcher (Vt.) History.
New Orleans (La.) Religion.
Genre/Form : Correspondence.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.