Valley of the Shadow
The War Years
Spring 1861–Spring 1865

Letters & Diaries


Samuel Maxwell (1863)

Samuel Z. Maxwell lived with his family in Chambersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Like Solomon Maxwell, who was probably his father, Maxwell was a plasterer. Maxwell enlisted in the 126th Pennsylvania on July 28, 1862, at the age of 21. During his time in the army, he contracted typhoid fever and was hospitalized at Point Lookout, Maryland. He was later transferred to the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry. After his service, Maxwell returned to Chambersburg where he continued as a plasterer.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases:

Maxwell Household

In this letter to his aunt and cousin, dated October 1, 1863, Maxwell describes his life since joining the Union Army, including his movements in Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Harrisburg. He also mentions the gubernatorial election in Pennsylvania and expresses his intention to vote for Andrew G. Curtin.