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Joseph Spence papers

 Collection 0514-MDHC

The Joseph Spence papers span the years 1862 to 1864. The collection consists of correspondence sent from Civil War battlefields in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Topics covered include living conditions, finances, health and fitness, descriptions of encounters with rebels, and thoughts on the war, its officers, and rebels.


  • 1862-1864

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.


10 Items

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Spence was the son of Lydia Spence and the brother of Levi Spence. Born in Maryland in 1838, he joined the Second Maryland Regiment Infantry June 18, 1861, in Baltimore as a drummer. In the spring of 1862, the regiment joined with Ambrose Burnside’s army in New Bern, North Carolina. By August 1862, Spence's regiment was near Cedar Mountain, Virginia and joined with John Pope’s army. From November 1863 to January 1864, Spence was in camps near Knoxville, Tennessee. By May 1864, the regiment was near Fredericksburg, Virginia. In June 1864, he mustered out of the regiment. The 1880 U.S. census lists him as married, living in Baltimore and working as a brickmaker. By 1890, his wife, Margaret Lawrence Spence, was a widow living at home with her three daughters.

Joseph’s brother, Levi Spence (1845-1864) joined the Ninth Maryland Regiment Infantry in June 1863, was taken prisoner in October, and died at Andersonville, Georgia in May 1864.

Robert Hewlett (also spelled Hughlett and Hewlit) was a Baltimore friend of Spence’s who joined the Maryland First Regiment Infantry.


This collection is organized as one series of correspondence.

Series 1

Related Materials

The following sources were consulted in researching the background of Joseph Spence.


  1. Archives of Maryland online, “History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 1, 1st Regiment Infantry.
  2. Archives of Maryland online, “History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 1, 2nd Regiment Infantry.
  3. Archives of Maryland online, “History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 1, 9th Regiment Infantry.

Processing Information

All materials have been placed in acid-free folders within an acid-free box.

Guide to the Joseph Spence papers
Processed by Terry Ann Sayler.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742