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Guide to the Masterson Family Papers

MSN/CW 5109

 

Collection Summary

Title: Masterson family papers
Dates: 1862-1923(bulk 1862-1865)
Collection No.: MSN/CW 5109
Creator: Masterson, John W. (John William), ca. 1844-1880
Extent: 72 folders; 1 container; .5 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: The collection includes more than 50 manuscript letters written during the Civil War by Pvt. John William Masterson, Co. A, 133rd New York Infantry, as well as later papers relating to Masterson's service and to his son William and daughter Ida.

Selected Search Terms

United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- New York Infantry -- 133rd -- Sources
United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 133rd (1861-1865)
Louisiana -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Masterson Family Papers, [Collection and folder no.], Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Masterson Family Papers were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2015, from Jordan Antiquarian Books of Dorset, Vermont. Arranged and described 2015, by Selena Ponio. Finding aid 2016, by Selena Ponio and George Rugg.

Biographical Note

John William Masterson was born in New York City of Irish emigrant parents, around 1844. In September 1862 he was mustered in to Co. A of the 133rd New York Infantry. He served in this unit as a private for the duration of the war, on the defences of Washington, in Louisiana (1862-1864), and in the Shenandoah. After the war he worked as a painter and married a woman named Matilda Brady. He had two children who survived past infancy, Ida (b. ca. 1870) and William (b. ca. 1875). Masterson died in New York on 26 March 1880.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists first and foremost of 54 personal letters written by Pvt. John W. Masterson during his military service, 13 October 1862 to 5 June 1865. Almost all are directed to his sister Rose Ellen Masterson, who lived for at least part of the war on Monroe Street on New York's Lower East Side. Rose married James McNabb on 16 May 1866. John had a second sister, Mary Masterson Fay, with whom he seldom corresponded. In addition to the Civil War letters the collection includes other family papers, most notably a group of 22 letters written by John Masterson's son, William (b. ca. 1875) to his older sister Ida (b. ca. 1870).

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in four series: 1. John W. Masterson Civil War Letters; 2. Other John W. Masterson Papers; 3. Miscellaneous Masterson Family Papers; 4. Photographs.

Container List

  • Series 1: John W. Masterson Civil War Letters 
    • Folder 1 (MSN/CW 5109-1) John W. Masterson, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 October 13. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
      • Folder 2 (MSN/CW 5109-2) John W. Masterson and Alonzo N. Haight, Washington, D.C., to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1862 October 26. ALsS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
        Text on page 4 is written over the signature of Pvt. Alonzo N. Haight, Co. A, 133rd New York Infantry. Text on pages 2 and 3, from Masterson, is in Haight's hand.
        • Folder 3 (MSN/CW 5109-3) John W. Masterson, Washington, D.C., to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1862 October 31. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
          • Folder 4 (MSN/CW 5109-4) John W. Masterson, Alexandria, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 November 8. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
            • Folder 5 (MSN/CW 5109-5) John W. Masterson, n.p., to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 November 11. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
              Page 4 includes a draft of a letter written by Rose Masterson, to John.
              • Folder 6 (MSN/CW 5109-6) John W. Masterson, n.p., to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 November 21. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
                • Folder 7 (MSN/CW 5109-7) John W. Masterson, Fortress Monroe, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 December 3. ALS, 1 page on 1 sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
                  • Folder 8 (MSN/CW 5109-8) John W. Masterson, New Orleans, Louisiana to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1862 December 19. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
                    Page 4 contains a notation in the hand of Rose Masterson: "Miss Rose Ellen Masterson / 14 Monroe Street / New York City"
                    • Folder 9 (MSN/CW 5109-9) [This folder is not in use]  
                      • Folder 10 (MSN/CW 5109-10) John W. Masterson and Alonzo N. Haight, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1863 February 1. ALsS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                        • Folder 11 (MSN/CW 5109-11) John W. Masterson, Indian Village, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 February 18. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                          • Folder 12 (MSN/CW 5109-12) John W. Masterson, Plaquemine, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 March 6. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with enclosure..Patriotic letterhead.
                            Page 3 include a sketch of a soldier, entitled "Standeing Garde". Enclosure is a two-page manuscript copy of a poem entitled "A Soldier's Letter," dated 23 February 1863
                            • Folder 13 (MSN/CW 5109-13) John W. Masterson, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 March 24. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                              • Folder 14 (MSN/CW 5109-14) John W. Masterson and Alonzo N. Haight, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1863 March 31-April 1. ALsS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                • Folder 15 (MSN/CW 5109-15) John W. Masterson, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 April 18. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                  • Folder 16 (MSN/CW 5109-16) John W. Masterson, Alexandria, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 May 12. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                    • Folder 17 (MSN/CW 5109-17) John W. Masterson and Alonzo N. Haight, Before Port Hudson, Louisiana, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1863 July 2. ALsS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                      • Folder 18 (MSN/CW 5109-18) John W. Masterson, Inside Port Hudson, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 July 11. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet. Written on part of a blank Confederate morning report or muster roll
                                        • Folder 19 (MSN/CW 5109-19) John W. Masterson, Port Hudson, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 July 15. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                          • Folder 20 (MSN/CW 5109-20) John W. Masterson, Port Hudson, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 July 25. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                            • Folder 21 (MSN/CW 5109-21) John W. Masterson, Port Hudson, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 August 10. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                              • Folder 22 (MSN/CW 5109-22) John W. Masterson, U.S. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 October 6. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                • Folder 23 (MSN/CW 5109-23) John W. Masterson, U.S.A. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 November 30. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                  • Folder 24 (MSN/CW 5109-24) John W. Masterson, U.S.A. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 December 16. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                    • Folder 25 (MSN/CW 5109-25) John W. Masterson, n.p., to "Dear Sister," n.p., n. d. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                      • Folder 26 (MSN/CW 5109-26) John W. Masterson, U.S.A. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 January 1. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet. U.S.A. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, letterhead.
                                                        • Folder 27 (MSN/CW 5109-27) John W. Masterson, U.S.A. General Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 January 17. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                          • Folder 28 (MSN/CW 5109-28) John W. Masterson, Bonnet Carré, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 February 8. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                            • Folder 29 (MSN/CW 5109-29) John W. Masterson, Morganza, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 May 22. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                              • Folder 30 (MSN/CW 5109-30) John W. Masterson, Morganza, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 June 13. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                Colored drawing of patriotic device on page 1.
                                                                • Folder 31 (MSN/CW 5109-31) John W. Masterson, n.p., to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 June 14. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                                  • Folder 32 (MSN/CW 5109-32) John W. Masterson, Morganza, Louisiana, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 June 30. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                    Colored drawing of patriotic device on page 1.
                                                                    • Folder 33 (MSN/CW 5109-33) John W. Masterson, Fortress Monroe, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 July 12. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                                      • Folder 34 (MSN/CW 5109-34) John W. Masterson, camp near Georgetown, D.C. to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 July 23. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                        • Folder 35 (MSN/CW 5109-35) John W. Masterson, Monocacy, Maryland (?), to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 August 4. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                          • Folder 36 (MSN/CW 5109-36) John W. Masterson, near Winchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 August 14-15. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                            • Folder 37 (MSN/CW 5109-37) John W. Masterson, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 August 25. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with enclosure.
                                                                              Enclosure (1 sheet) contains four stanzas of the song "Oh Wear a Smile for Me."
                                                                              • Folder 38 (MSN/CW 5109-38) John W. Masterson, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to "Dear Sister" and "Dear Sister Mary," n.p., 1864 August 30. ALsS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                Page 4 is directed to Masterson's sister Mary Ellen Fay.
                                                                                • Folder 39 (MSN/CW 5109-39) John W. Masterson, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 September 6. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                  • Folder 40 (MSN/CW 5109-40) John W. Masterson, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 September 25. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                    • Folder 41 (MSN/CW 5109-41) John W. Masterson, camp near Newtown, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 November 25. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                      • Folder 42 (MSN/CW 5109-42) John W. Masterson, Fortress Monroe, Virginia, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1864 November 30. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet. Patriotic letterhead.
                                                                                        • Folder 43 (MSN/CW 5109-43) John W. Masterson, Camp Russell, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1864 December 18. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                          • Folder 44 (MSN/CW 5109-44) John W. Masterson, Camp Russell, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p. 1864 December 25. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                            • Folder 45 (MSN/CW 5109-45) John W. Masterson, Winchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 January 9. ALS, 6 pages on 1 folded sheet and 1 sheet.
                                                                                              • Folder 46 (MSN/CW 5109-46) John W. Masterson, Winchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 January 19. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                • Folder 46A (MSN/CW 5109-46A) John W. Masterson, Winchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1863 January 29. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                  • Folder 47 (MSN/CW 5109-47) John W. Masterson, WInchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 March 6. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                    • Folder 48 (MSN/CW 5109-48) John W. Masterson, Winchester, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 March 17. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                      • Folder 49 (MSN/CW 5109-49) John W. Masterson, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to Mary Ellen Fay, New York, New York, 1865 March 25. ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                        • Folder 50 (MSN/CW 5109-50) John W. Masterson, Camp Russell, Virginia, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 April 6. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                          • Folder 51 (MSN/CW 5109-51) John W. Masterson, Fort Meigs, Maryland, to "Dear Sister," n.p., 1865 May 5. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                            • Folder 52 (MSN/CW 5109-52) John W. Masterson, Fort Meigs, Maryland, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1865 May 19. ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                              • Folder 53 (MSN/CW 5109-53) John W. Masterson, Fort Meigs, Maryland, to Rose Masterson, n.p., 1865 June 5. ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                                • Folder 54 (MSN/CW 5109-54) John W. Masterson, Washington D.C., to Rose Masterson, n.p., n. d. ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                                                                                                  • Folder 55 (MSN/CW 5109-55) John W. Masterson, n.p., to unidentified, n.p., n. d. Letter fragment.
                                                                                                                  • Series 2: Other John W. Masterson Papers 
                                                                                                                    • Folder 56 (MSN/CW 5109-56) Military pension papers, ca. 1907 5 items.
                                                                                                                      • Folder 57 (MSN/CW 5109-57) Burial papers, 1874-1913. 3 items.
                                                                                                                      • Series 3: Miscellaneous Masterson Family Papers 
                                                                                                                        • Folder 58 (MSN/CW 5109-58) Letters: William Masterson to Ida Masterson, ca. 1885-1889. 9 items.
                                                                                                                          William and Ida Masterson are the children of John William Masterson.
                                                                                                                          • Folder 59 (MSN/CW 5109-59) Letters: William Masterson to Ida Masterson, 1891-1893. 9 items.
                                                                                                                            • Folder 60 (MSN/CW 0502-60) Letters: William Masterson to Ida Masterson, 1896-1899. 4 items.
                                                                                                                              • Folder 60 (MSN/CW 5109-60) Rose Masterson and James McNabb marriage certificate, 1868 January 18. 1 item.
                                                                                                                                Certifying a marriage that occurred on 16 May 1866.
                                                                                                                                • Folder 62 (MSN/CW 5109-62) Miscellaneous Masterson family papers, 1880-1899. 5 items.
                                                                                                                                  • Folder 63 (MSN/CW 5109-63) Miscellaneous letters to Ida Masterso., 1891-1923. 4 items.
                                                                                                                                    • Folder 64 (MSN/CW 5109-64) William Masterson recommendation letter, n.d. 1 item.
                                                                                                                                      • Folder 65 (MSN/CW 5109-65) Letter: "Katie" to Rose Masterson, n. d. 1 item.
                                                                                                                                        • Folder 66 (MSN/CW 5109-66) Miscellaneous poetry and other manuscripts., n.d. 19 items.
                                                                                                                                          • Folder 67 (MSN/CW 5109-67) Miscellaneous printed ephemera, 1863 and n.d. 2 items.
                                                                                                                                            • Folder 68 (MSN/CW 5109-68) Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, n.d. 5 items.
                                                                                                                                            • Series 4: Photographs 
                                                                                                                                              • Folder 69 (MSN/CW 5109-69) Photographs of John W. Masterson, n.d. 2 items.
                                                                                                                                                • Folder 70 (MSN/CW 5109-70) Photograph of Alonzo N. Haight (?), n.d. 1 item.
                                                                                                                                                  • Folder 71 (MSN/CW 5109-71) Miscellaneous portrait photographs, n.d. 7 items.
                                                                                                                                                    • Folder 72 (MSN/CW 5109-72) Miscellaneous group portrait photographs, n.d. 4 items.