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Guide to the Enoch P. Hill Letters

MSN/MN 5011

 

Collection Summary

Title: Enoch P. Hill letters
Dates: 1899-1901
Collection No.: MSN/MN 5011
Creator: Hill, Enoch P. (Enoch Preston), 1873-1930
Creator: Chilton, Mary E., 1882-1965
Extent: 44 folders; 1 container and 1 flat storage container
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A group of 40 personal letters written in 1899-1901 by Illinois native Enoch P. Hill, mostly during his army service in Cuba, the U. S., and the Philippines. The letters are directed to Hill's future wife, Mary E. Chilton.

Selected Search Terms

Philippines -- History -- Philippine American War, 1899-1902
United States. Army. Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 30th
Courtship -- United States

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Enoch P. Hill Letters, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Hill letters were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2010, from an ebay vendor in McLeansboro, Illinois. Arranged and described 2012, by Mairead O'Malley. Finding aid 2012, by Mairead O'Malley and George Rugg.

Biographical Note

Enoch Preston Hill (1873-1930) was born on a farm in Franklin County in southern Illinois, the son of Joseph H. Hill and his wife Emiline. Shortly before the armistice ending the Spanish-American War Hill was mustered in to Co. F, 9th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with that regiment from July 1898 to May 1899. From January to April 1899 the 9th Illinois was among the U. S. troops occupying Cuba. In the summer of 1899 Hill reenlisted, and after a period of training at Fort Sheridan near Chicago left for the Philippine Islands as a private in Co. A, 30th U. S. Volunteer Infantry. The 30th Infantry was one of 24 regular army regiments raised in 1899 to suppress the "insurgency" in the recently annexed Philippines (i.e., the Philippine-American War, 1899-1902). Hill spent about 15 months on the island of Luzon, around Manila and subsequently to the south, at Tayabas and Lucena. On his return home he married Mary Chilton (1882-1965), the daughter of James and Priscilla Chilton of Elk Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois, adjacent to Hill's native Franklin County. Hill had begun corresponding with Chilton in April 1899, at the suggestion of mutual friend Willis Hodge; the two were not previously acquainted. They first met on Hill's return home from Cuba, and continued to write during his tour in the Philippines. The date of their marriage is not entirely clear, though the letters suggest it took place in 1901. Later records show the couple at Tyrone in Franklin County and at Ina in Jefferson County, where Hill died in 1930.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes 40 manuscript letters written by Enoch Hill to Mary Chilton, from Cuba and Camp McKenzie, Georgia (3 letters, April-May 1899); Prosperity and Fort Sheridan, Illinois (8 letters. May-September 1899); the outbound journey to the Philippines (3 letters, September 1899); the Philippine Islands (19 letters, October 1899-January 1901); and Prosperity, Illinois (7 letters, April-July 1901). There is also a letter from Willis G. Hodge to Chilton, vouching for Hill. In addition to the manuscripts the collection includes two contemporaneous photographs and Hill's copy of a military manual, The Soldiers' Pocket Companion. While the letters are not neglectful of military incident and local color, Hill's writing continually returns to his relationship with Chilton. These are, first and foremost, love letters, recording a 27-month courtship initiated and conducted almost exclusively through the medium of the mails.

Arrangement Note

Letters are arranged chronologically, one per folder, followed by non-manuscript formats.

Container List

  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Havana, Cuba, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 April 9. Folder 1 (MSN/EA 0200-01).
    ALS, 3 pages on 3 sheets, with envelope.
    Hill begins his correspondence with Mary Chilton at the suggestion of their mutual friend, Willis Hodge.
    • Letter. Willis G. Hodge, Havana, Cuba, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 April 12. Folder 2 (MSN/MN 5011-02).
      ALS, 3 pages on one folded sheet, with envelope.
      Hodge follows up Hill's first letter to Mary by explaining his role in encouraging the correspondence.
      • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Augusta, Georgia, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 April 29. Folder 3 (MSN/MN 5011-03).
        ALS, 4 pages on 4 sheets, with envelope.
        Hill describes the move from Havana to quarantine at Camp McKenzie, Georgia.
        • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 May 12. Folder 4 (MSN/MN 5011-04).
          ALS, 6 pages on 3 sheets, with envelope.
          Hill writes of personal and social matters.
          • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 May 31. Folder 5 (MSN/MN 5011-05).
            ALS, 2 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
            Hill suggests that he call on Chilton to make her acquaintance.
            • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 July 5. Folder 6 (MSN/MN 5011-06).
              ALS, 4 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
              Hill again suggests that he and Mary meet, and says he is thinking of reenlisting.
              • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 July 18. Folder 7 (MSN/MN 5011-07).
                ALS, 2 sheets on 4 pages, with wrapper.
                Hill declares his love for Chilton.
                • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 July 30. Folder 8 (MSN/MN 5011-08).
                  ALS, 4 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                  Hill informs Chilton of his reenlistment, and describes conditions at Fort Sheridan.
                  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 August 10. Folder 9 (MSN/MN 5011-09).
                    ALS, 4 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                    Hill writes of his feelings for Chilton.
                    • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 August 14. Folder 10 (MSN/MN 5011-10).
                      ALS, 6 pages on 3 sheets, with envelope.
                      Hill asks Mary her age, and wonders if she had ever thought of marrying.
                      • Letter. Enoch [P. Hill], Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 August 24. Folder 11 (MSN/MN 5011-11).
                        ALS, 5 pages on 5 sheets, with envelope.
                        Hill writes of mutual acquaintances.
                        • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 September 1-2. Folder 12 (MSN/MN 5011-12).
                          ALS, 5 pages on 3 sheets, with envelope.
                          Hill writes that he is bound for San Francisco and the Philippines.
                          • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, San Francisco, California, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 September 12. Folder 13 (MSN/MN 5011-13).
                            ALS, 4 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                            Hill describes the trip from Fort Sheridan to San Francisco.
                            • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Presidio, California, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 September 22. Folder 14 (MSN/MN 5011-14).
                              ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                              Hill writes of the upcoming trip from California to the Philippines by way of Hong Kong.
                              • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 September 30. Folder 15 (MSN/MN 5011-15).
                                ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                Hill writes of the trip from San Francisco to Hawaii and the upcoming trip to Manila.
                                • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Manila, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 October 22. Folder 16 (MSN/MN 5011-16).
                                  ALS, 6 pages on 2 sheets, with envelope.
                                  Hill describes conditions in Manila and his camp's proximity to the battleground.
                                  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Pasay, Philippine Islands, to "My Own dear Mary" [Mary Chilton], n. p., [1899] November 12. Folder 16.5 (MSN/MN 5011-16.5).
                                    ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                    Written from the "main picket line", six miles from Manila.
                                    • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Manila, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 November 18. Folder 17 (MSN/MN 5011-17).
                                      ALS, 8 pages on 4 sheets, with envelope.
                                      Hill discloses to Chilton that he is sick and in the hosptial. He reaffirms his love.
                                      • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Pasay, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1899 December 17. Folder 18 (MSN/MN 5011-18).
                                        ALS, 8 pages on 4 sheets, with envelope.
                                        Hill writes of the prospect of joining Lawton's brigade on the firing line to the south. He predicts the war will soon be over.
                                        • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Tayabas, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 March 13 Folder 19 (MSN/MN 5011-19).
                                          ALS, 8 pages on 2 folded sheets, with envelope.
                                          Hill writes of the long and difficult march to Tayabas, 150 miles south of Manila, and describes engagements with the Filipinos.
                                          • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Tayabas, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 March 19. Folder 20 (MSN/MN 5011-20).
                                            ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                            Hill describes local conditions.
                                            • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Tayabas, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 April 24. Folder 21 (MSN/MN 5011-21).
                                              ALS, 8 pages on 2 folded sheets, with envelope.
                                              Hill mentions that he is just recovering from a bout of malaria, and speaks again of the hard campaigning earlier in the year. The company is now on garrison duty.
                                              • Letter. E[noch] P. Hill, Tayabas, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 May 9. Folder 22 (MSN/MN 5011-22).
                                                ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                Hill outlines his plans for his return home, which include marrying Mary Chilton. He also mentions he will be sending home about $100, and that he has made nearly $250 so far.
                                                • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Colta, Philippine Islands, to Miss E. Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 June 24. Folder 23 (MSN/MN 5011-23).
                                                  ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                  Hill is on detatched duty at Colta, serving as a cook.
                                                  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 July 13-14. Folder 24 (MSN/MN 5011-24).
                                                    ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                    Hill writes that he has received word of the death of his sister Clara.
                                                    • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 August 3. Folder 25 (MSN/MN 5011-25).
                                                      ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                      Hill notes that his company currently has 20 men fit for duty, the rest being sick.
                                                      • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 September 7. Folder 26 (MSN/MN 5011-26).
                                                        ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                        Hill anticipates being home by spring.
                                                        • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 September 22. Folder 27 (MSN/MN 5011-27).
                                                          ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope; 2 newspaper clippings enclosed.
                                                          Hill believes the regiment will not leave the Philippines until February or March "on account of so much fighting recently." He describes some recent battles with the Filipinos. One of the enclosed clippings is a letter of Hill's to his father, datelined Colta, 31 May 1900, as published in the Benton Standard of Benton, Franklin County, Illinois; Hill received the paper in the Philippines.
                                                          • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 October 24. Folder 28 (MSN/MN 5011-28).
                                                            ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                            Mention of a returned American prisoner.
                                                            • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 November 1. Folder 29 (MSN/MN 5011-29).
                                                              ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                              "You know I claim you as the future joy of my gloomy life. . . ." Hill mentions his support for Bryan in the Presidential election of 1900.
                                                              • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 November 1. Folder 30 (MSN/MN 5011-30).
                                                                ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                Miscellaneous personal news.
                                                                • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 December 5. Folder 31 (MSN/MN 5011-31).
                                                                  ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                                  Hill writes of his desire to continue his education, at Carbondale, on his return home.
                                                                  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1900 December 19. Folder 32 (MSN/MN 5011-32).
                                                                    ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                                    Hill mentions "the beautiful boys and girls in Lucena", and American women serving in the Philippines as nurses.
                                                                    • Letter. E[noch] P. Hill, Lucena, Philippine Islands, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 January 15. Folder 33 (MSN/MN 5011-33).
                                                                      ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                                      Hill notes that the regiment should leave for the U. S. by 1 March. He is thinking of remaining in Manila if he can get a government job.
                                                                      • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 April 15. Folder 34 (MSN/MN 5011-34).
                                                                        ALS, 1 page on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                        Hill is home, and will visit Mary on Sunday (21 April) if he can.
                                                                        • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 April 20. Folder 35 (MSN/MN 5011-35).
                                                                          ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                                          Hill will visit on 28 April.
                                                                          • Letter. Enoch [P. Hill], Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 May 7. Folder 36 (MSN/MN 5011-36).
                                                                            ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                            Hill presses Mary for a response to his proposal of marriage.
                                                                            • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 May 30. Folder 37 (MSN/MN 5011-37).
                                                                              ALS, 4 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                                                              The couple have apparently agreed to marry: "I am getting all arrangements made all O.K. will be ready before July 31st I think."
                                                                              • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 June 16. Folder 38 (MSN/MN 5011-38).
                                                                                ALS, 4 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                                Talk of love and marriage.
                                                                                • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 July 6. Folder 39 (MSN/MN 5011-39).
                                                                                  ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                                  "As far as I know I will go the Mt. Vernon Friday and come to your house Sat. so we will be married."
                                                                                  • Letter. Enoch P. Hill, Prosperity, Illinois, to Miss Mary E. Chilton, Elk Prairie, Illinois, 1901 July 8. Folder 40 (MSN/MN 5011-40).
                                                                                    ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with envelope.
                                                                                    "As far as I know I will go and get the papers Friday and come to your house on Sat. but if anything should happen that I could not come I will promptly let you know. . . ."
                                                                                    • Book. N. Hershler, The Soldiers' Pocket Companion, 1899. Folder 41 (MSN/MN 5011-41).
                                                                                      104 pages.
                                                                                      "Compiled and arranged for the instruction and information of the Volunteer Soldier, the National Guardsman, and for Cadets at Schools."
                                                                                      • Photograph. Enoch P. Hill, 1899-1901. Folder 42 (MSN/MN 5011-42).
                                                                                        8 cm.; 15 cm. with matte.
                                                                                        A photograph of Hill in uniform likely sent to Mary E. Chilton.
                                                                                        • Photograph. "9th Ill. Vol. Infantry, Camp Columbia, Havana, Cuba", 1899 April. Folder 43 (MSN/MN 5011-43-F3).
                                                                                          23 x 68 cm.
                                                                                          A panoramic shot of Hill's regiment in Cuba.