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Series VI: 1991 Addition to the Collection
This small addition of photographs, correspondence and journal entries provides background information about Paul Hays' ancestors as well as offering a rich insight into life in 1860s America.
The bulk of the additional material concerns the Civil War correspondence of Edward Bridges to his family. Bridges, the elder brother of Susan Hatch (nee Bridges), Paul Hays' maternal grandmother, served with the 55th Regiment--Company B, Illinois Volunteers between 1861 and 1864. Born on June 30, 1843 in Windsor, Vermont, Bridges enlisted as a teenager and though wounded at Shiloh, fought in subsequent battles before dying of sickness on January 10, 1864.
85 letters from Bridges are preserved in a bound scrapbook, which has a note on Bridge's history, handwritten by Paul Hays. Bridges' letters to his family document his experiences as a soldier and chart his movement through various camps in the South. Also included in the scrapbook are letters of condolence upon his death, from Bridges' friend and co-soldier Thomas Wilson, the Chaplain of Bridges' unit L. Harvey, and a letter from the Sanitary Commission. Correspondence in the scrapbook has been retained in its original order, which is close to chronological.
Hays' paternal ancestry is represented by a typed transcript of Mary Hollingsworth's journal which documents her experience as a teacher to freed slaves in Mississippi from 1865 through 1866. Hollingsworth, who married Walter Hays, was Paul Hays' paternal grandmother.
There are a number of other supplementary materials, including some photographs, letters of condolence upon the death of Elva Mae Hatch, Paul Hay's aunt and other miscellaneous correspondence concerning his ancestors. There are some materials relating to Paul Hays' own early life, including high school newsletters and a photograph of Hays as a baby.