Personal letters and artifacts from Delaware Civil War soldier Stephen Taylor Buckson have recently been donated to the Delaware Public Archives, and are now on display.The donation of approximately 65 original letters written to Buckson's wife were written between 1862 and 1864, and detail Buckson's experience in the Civil War.


The Delaware Public Archives recently received a donation of American Civil War documents consisting of approximately 65 original letters written during the war by Stephen Taylor Buckson. Donated by a Florida woman who is the great-granddaughter of Buckson, the letters were written to Buckson’s wife Harriett from 1862 to 1864.

Stephen Buckson enlisted in Wilmington in 1862 and eventually reached the rank of First Sergeant in the Fourth Regiment of Delaware Volunteers.  In these letters, he asks for information about family and friends while discussing the different places his unit had been, the terrible casualties suffered by the Union forces, the deteriorating condition of the Confederate Army; and his feelings of loss and isolation. Buckson was killed during an attack on the Confederate defenses near Petersburg on June 18, 1864. 

Tthis is a fascinating firsthand account of the Civil War as experienced by a Delaware soldier," Archives Director Stephen M. Marz said. "We are fortunate that such a collection is now housed at the Public Archives for all to see. It’s such a valuable addition to our existing Civil War Collection that we’ve already set up a display in the Archives about these newly acquired primary source documents. Along with the letters, the person donating the collection included a photograph of Sergeant Buckson in his `dress coat’ uniform.” 

The Buckson Papers, along with typed transcriptions and other documents related to his military service, are available in the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Center at the Delaware Public Archives.
 
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The Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Duke of York St., Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. the first Saturday of every month.