Hotchkiss Family (1861-1865)
Though originally born in New York, Jedediah Hotchkiss and his family settled in Augusta County before the war, where he taught school at Mossy Creek, Stribling Springs, and Loch Willow academies. Hotchkiss’s niece Alansa was visiting from New York when the war began. She eventually married Francis Franklin Sterrett, a friend of her uncle. During the war, Hotchkiss served as topographical engineer in the Confederate army. He made detailed battle maps, mostly of Virginia and West Virginia, which were used by Generals Lee and Jackson in planning military strategy. His wife, Sara, remained with his daughters at home in Augusta County.
This collection consists mostly of wartime letters from Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife, Sara, concerning military life and family affairs. Hotchkiss provides descriptions of movements, engagements, and policies of the Confederate army. He also advises Sara on the management of the household in his absence, including relations with “servants” and neighbors.