Samuel V. Beckwith

“Mr. Beckwith”, “Beckwith”

Samuel Valentine Beckwith was born January 2nd, 1836 to carpenter Joel Beckwith and Eliza Johnson in Southington, Conn. Samuel married a certain “Jennie A. Scott” of New York and they had their first child (Nettie) in 1856, when he was just 20 years old. In 1860, they had a son which they christened “Lewis Steele”.

He had been working as a gunsmith when he enlisted into the 20th Connecticut, Co. I, Vol. Infantry in August of 1862, and was given the rank of Sergeant. He only served for a brief time, in late December he was sent to a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, with a bad case of Inflammatory Rheumatism (chronic joint pain), and in was discharged and sent home on January 16th, 1863.

Cecil wrote often of Beckwith during his few months in the military, and regarded him “a perfect gentlemen”.

After being sent home, he returned to his gunsmithing which he was still doing in 1870, then moved to Winsted, Conn, and worked at a clock shop before being hired at a brick factory as a mechanic, where he worked their through the end of his life in 1911. He also represented Winsted in the legislature, lower house, at the session of 1891. Samuel and Jennie had two more surviving children in these years.


In these letters:

  1. Date Author Description
  2. 1863-02-01
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes a lengthy letter about the state of the war, their baby, her headaches, her low view of Austin, and lots more.
  3. 1863-01-28
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes to Cecil, and complains about the state of the war and how the soldiers were being treated.
  4. 1863-01-27
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil responds to two of Caroline’s letters and speaks of justification for the war and slavery.
  5. 1863-01-17
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes a quick letter to Caroline, apologizing for deceiving her, informing her of their marching orders, and the health of the boys.
  6. 1863-01-15
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • In this long letter, Caroline complains about the state of the war, the moral affect of the war upon the men who are fighting it, how the armies don’t respect the Sabbath, and her daily schedule.
  7. 1862-12-24
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, written on Christmas Eve, Cecil is quite depressed with the current state of the war. He speaks about the ever present nature of sickness, how difficult the last march was, how they are suffering from a lack of food, building new cabins for winter, and getting arrested for leaving camp without a pass.
  8. 1862-12-21
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, Cecil details what the men ate on the march and how they prepared the food. He then speaks of how the war has ravaged the country they marched through, and of sickness and death in his company.
  9. 1862-12-18
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this brief note, Cecil writes about marching to Fairfax Station, sickness in the company, and the possibility that Burnside was whipped at Fredericksburg.
  10. 1862-11-30
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, Cecil scolds Caroline for worrying too much and working too hard, reminding her to place her faith in Christ. He speaks of his dissatisfaction with the chaplain, how he spent Thanksgiving, and worries about their daughter’s propensity for stammering.
  11. 1862-10-08
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes to Caroline about business at home, directions for shipping a box, complains about the army grub, and speaks about how lovely a place Frederick was and how the Rebs treated the townsfolk very well.
  12. 1862-09-30
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes about how she wishes the army would let sick men go home on furlough, and speaks of visiting with neighbors.