Collection Title: Alfred Rupert Civil War Papers

Collection Number: 158

Dates of Collection: 1861-1909

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA

Language: English


Alfred Rupert, son of William and Ann Rupert, was born May 28, 1837.  In 1861 he enlisted as a private in the Brandywine Guards, Co. A, First Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Corps.  He served with this company for three years, during which he was commissioned as Adjutant, and then reenlisted in 1864.   For the remainder of the Civil War, Rupert served as Adjutant of the 192nd Pennsylvania Regiment.  Upon his discharge in 1865, he was conferred the rank of Captain by brevet by President Andrew Johnson.  Among other roles such as prothonotary and Justice of the Peace, Rupert served in leadership positions with the National Guard of Pennsylvania, the most distinguished of which was colonel.  Rupert died on December 23, 1898.

Source: ChesterCounty Historical Society newspaper clippings file

Thomas Wilberforce Egan, born in New YorkState in 1834, served in several Civil War campaigns:  Seven Pines, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Devil’s Den, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and Burgesses’ Mill.  He was conferred his highest military rank, Major General, on October 27, 1864.  He died in 1887.

Sources: American Periodical Series Online;

Collections Scope:

This collection contains the letters written by Alfred Rupert during the Civil War, primarily to his brother, Charles A. Rupert.  It also includes some letters written by George M. Rupert and John A. Rupert., and various documents pertaining to his military service and finances.  Various circulars of Brevet Major General Thomas W. Egan are also included.  

Collection Arrangement:

The collection is divided into three sections:  Letters, Other Papers, and Circulars.  Items are arranged chronologically within each section.  Folders are numbered continuously throughout the collection.

Related Material:

MS 33891 – 34060, Letters written by Alfred Rupert to brother, George M. Rupert

See photo collection

Collections Contents:


Folder 1 (9 items)

  1. Mount Clare, near Baltimore, Tuesday morning, July 28, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles A. Rupert

-describes train ride from West Chester to Harrisburg to Baltimore, MD


  1. Annapolis Junction, Sunday, August 4, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles A. Rupert, with envelope

-thinks they will go to Washington

-wants to be under command of Gen. McCall because he is experienced

-describes camp life, picket duty

-anecdote about local man attached by secessionists


  1. Headquarters 1st Regiment, PRVC, Camp Tennally, MD, Sunday, Sept. 8, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles A. Rupert

-Gen. McClellan reserves Sunday for religious observation and rest

-Gen. McCalls command marched out on field for review; Simon Cameron Sectary of War observed; detailed diagram included

-believes war will be over in 3 months

-soldiers plunder secessionist homes, farms


  1. Headquarters 1st Regiment P.R., Camp Tennally, MD, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1861

-addressed to brother

-criticizes friends and acquaintances who did not take up arms

-armed with Springfield Rifle

-saw Capitol

-expects to vote for Butler and county ticket on election day


  1. Wednesday morning, Sept. 25, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-describes breakfast food, coffee

-under marching orders


  1. Camp Tennally near Georgetown, DC, Friday noon, Oct. 4, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-discusses possibility of division being sent to Missouri

-discusses regiment’s arms

-discusses election; thinks Butler’s opponent Joseph Hemphill is secessionist; wants everyone to vote for Union War Ticket


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRVC, Camp Pierpont, VA, Wednesday evening, March 27, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

– in charge of writing and bookkeeping for regiment; supplied with firewood

-rebels fell trees over roads to block Union soldiers


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRVC, Camp Pierpont, VA, Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, 1861

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-describes funerals for soldiers

-describes winter conditions

-2 or 3,000 rebels in Drainesville

-expect war to be over before next December


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRVC, Camp Pierpont, VA, Sunday evening,
    Dec. 22/24, 1861

-addressed to brother

-describes fighting at Drainesville; Rupert did not fight because company was at Gen. McCall’s HQ; Buck Tails did the best fighting

-plans for Christmas; many boxes received by soldiers with Christmas food


Folder 2 (4 items)

  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRVC, Camp Pierpont, Fairfax Co., VA, Jan. 3, 1862

-addressed to brother Charles

-thanking for package of food, supplies

-thinks Confederacy will ally with Great Britain


  1. Camp Hawkhurst, VA, three miles south Hunter’s Mill, Wednesday, March 11/13/14, 1862

-addressed to brother

-thinks “slavery is the curse of the South” and that there will be gradual emancipation

-rumor they will return to Washington and then go to reinforce Burnside


  1. Camp near Alexandria, VA, Wednesday March 24, 1862

-addressed to brother

-waiting to ship out, not sure where

-devastation in VA

-no destruction of property allowed; property will be given back after the war if owners become loyal citizens

-Brandywine Guards are personal guard of Gen. McCall, encamp near his headquarters, do not march with regiment


  1. Manassas, VA, Thursday afternoon, April 10, 1862

-addressed to brother

-describes train ride

-slept in rebel encampment; rebels have better camps in that area

-describes Manassas – deserted

-went to Baptist church, did not have prayers for Union; Methodist church did


Folder 3 (5 items)

  1. Camp near Fredericksburg, VA, Tuesday June 3, 1862

-addressed to brother

-locals feared that 50,000 rebels were on the way

-thinks confederate land should be sold to Union soldiers after the war

-rumor that. Jackson was captured


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regt. PRC, Camp near Falmouth, June 8, 1862

-addressed to brother

-Gen. McCall’s troops to join Gen. McClellan before Richmond

-artists follow the soldiers


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regt. PRC, Camp near Dispatch Station, VA, Wednesday morning June 18, 1862

-addressed to brother Charles

-soon to move to Richmond

-general opinion among soldiers that a battle is about to take place


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regt. PRC, Camp 6 mile North Richmond, Tuesday June 24, 1862

-addressed to brother Charles

-close to rebel picket lines, some conflicts

-describes Mechanicsville

-told by defector that South lacks common necessities; goods at very high prices


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regt. PRVC, Harrison’s Landing, VA, Monday, July 28, 1862

-addressed to “folks at home”

-received letter telling of  good harvest, good health

-African-Americans in regiments do cooking, washing

-expects to move within days


Folder 4 (6 items)

  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, near Upton Hill, VA, Friday, Sept. 5, 1862

-addressed to “folks at home”

-had a fierce battle on the old battle field of Bull Run

-laments death of an acquaintance; contemplates loss felt by families

-appointed Adjutant, will soon have commission at 1st Lieut.


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, near Sharpsburg, MD, Thursday, Oct. 16, 1862

-addressed to brother Charles

-Charles is new soldier with Octarara Guards

-complains about generals allowing rebels to make certain movements

-will soon be appointed 1st Lieut.; officers must provide own rations


  1. Head Quarters 1st Infantry, Oct. 20. 1862

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-hopes to drives rebels out of agriculturally rich Shenandoah Valley before winter


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, Warrenton, VA, Nov. 8, 1862

-addressed to “folks”

-has constantly been on march

-has been in three battles in the past few weeks

-Southerners taken prisoner had no regular uniforms


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment Infantry PRC, Nov. 29, 1862

-addressed to brother Charles

-discusses mutual acquaintance who has not written letters to his parents


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment, near Acquia Creek, VA, Dec. 5, 1862

-addressed to brother

-soon to become captain of Co. H


Folder 5 (9 items)

  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, Jan. 5, 1863

-addressed to brother Charles

-refers to battle of Fredericksburg

-describes living quarters, camp life, amusements

-rumor that division might be sent home or relieved from active duty

-disagrees with those who would compromise and allow Confederacy to exist


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, near Belle Plain, VA, Jan. 24, 1863

-addressed to brother

-upset because not receiving letters from family

-no battle; marching in wet weather, mud


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, February 2, 1863

-addressed to brother

-thinks Gen. Hooker’s appointment as commander of Army of the Potomac is improvement over Burnside; thinks McClellan could do even better job

-expects to go to Washington

-acting as Adjutant for the regt., expects to be commissioned as adjutant soon; thinks it’s a better position than Capt.


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC, Union Mills, VA, Thursday, Feb. 19, 1863

-addressed to brother Charles

-troops of division are upset because supposed to be relieved from duty to rest, instead have picket duty; 2nd Regiment refused to go on duty, were put under arrest

-refers to “Proclamation of Emancipation” and differences of opinion on it; says it will hurt the rebels; discusses possibility of arming black people


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRVC, Fairfax Station, VA, June 15, 1863

-addressed to brother Charles

-Gen. Hooker’s army in the vicinity; rumors about Lee being close, etc.

-refers to “Copperheads” and the need to be loyal to the govt.

-says it’s impossible for rebels to enter ChesterCounty


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment Infantry PRVC, Camp near Auburn, VA, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 1863

-addressed  to brother Charles

-making slow march toward Rappahannock


  1. Head Quarters 1st Regiment Infantry PRC near Warrenton Junction, VA, Nov. 4/5, 1863

-addressed to brother Charles

-division may be brought to PA to reenlist and fill ranks

-discusses ideas about what the plan for the Army of the Potomac might be for winter


  1.  Head Quarters 1st Regiment PRC near Mountain Run, VA, Nov. 19, 1863

-addressed to brother

-day of dedication of GettysburgCemetery ; about to have painting done of division’s charge at Gettysburg to be placed in Capitol at Harrisburg

-had photograph taken in full uniform


  1. Manassas Junction, VA, December 7, 1863

-addressed to brother Charles

-division came in close contact with Lee’s army but couldn’t get in position to fight


Folder 6 (4 items)

  1. Bristoe Station, VA, March 25, 1864

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-many troops added to Army of Potomac

-reserves may be taken back to PA to fill up or muster out of the service in May


  1. HQ 2nd Brig. 3rd Provisional Div., Stevenson, VA, Apr. 19, 1865

-addressed to brother Charles, with envelope

-wants to be sent coat, 3 vols. of Casey’s Infantry Tactics


  1. HQ 2nd Brig. 3rd Provisional Div., Summit Point, VA, May 8/9, 1865

-addressed to brother Charles

-must return to West Chester on leave of absence to do business

-had review of division

-had an offer to go to Mexico but probably won’t take it; many officers are offering services to Mexican govt. after mustered out


  1. (First page missing)

-addressed to brother

-describes picket duty

-refers to Uncle Joseph’s death

-may be promoted to captain


Folder 7 (6 items)

  1. Head Quarters, Department of the Susquehanna, Harrsiburg, July 8, 1863

-author unknown, addressed to brother Alfred Rupert


  1. Washington, Sept. 2, 1862

-George Rupert to brother Charles Rupert, with envelope


  1. West Chester, PA, April 12, 1865

-George Rupert to brother Charles Rupert


  1. West Chester, August 18, 1863

-George Rupert to brother


  1. HQ 124th Regiment, PA Volunteers, Faifax Co. VA, Sunday Aug. 23, 1862

-John A. Rupert to cousin [Alfred Rupert?]


  1. CampStafford C.H.., Stafford Co., VA, March 8, 1863

–          John [A. Rupert] to cousin [Alfred Rupert?]


Other Papers


Folder 8 (10 items)

Military service records, 1861 – 1865


Folder 9 (9 items)

Financial documents, 1867 – 1883


Folder 10 (11 items)

Military/Financial records, 1885 – 1909


Folder 11 (1 item)

Comical biography, Dec. 12, 1879, written by friend(s) under pseudonym




Folder 12 (17 items)

Circulars, Brevet Major General Thomas Wilberforce Egan, March 23 – 26, 1865


Folder 13 (11 items)

Circulars, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Thomas W. Egan, March 27 – 31, 1865


Folder 14 (16 items)

Circulars, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Thomas W. Egan, April 1 – 29, 1865

This project was made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission 2005