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Thomas George Larkin Letters, 1833-1908

Ms. Collection 772




Sixteen letters written during T. G. Larkin's Civil War service in the 10th Illinois Cavalry. One letter (26 Mar. 1864) was to his father, James Read Larkin; the others were to his wife, Matilda Ann Larkin. Most of the letters were from Helena and De Valls Bluff, Ark., but other letters were written in other parts of Arkansas; the Nashville, Tenn., vicinity; and Milliken's Bend, La. The letters tell of his movements; sickness; conditions; fighting; duties; weather; matters at home; descriptions of the areas around his camps; fighting at Vicksburg, Miss.; company & regimental personnel & matters; concern over Matilda's condition; his impending trial; speculation on the War's end & re-enlistment; the poor condition of civilians in the South; finances; and his daily schedule. In the letter to his father he relates news of his daughter's death and his wife, describes the area where he is (Camp Smith near Nashville, Tenn.), and tells of matters at home. Interesting anecdotes in the letters include his reaction to his 1st Catholic Church service and his description of a woman masquerading as a soldier.

Descendants have added to the collection biographical [199-] & genealogical [ca. 1891-not before 1984] information about the Larkins & their descendants and a list of citations to documents mentioning T. G. & Matilda [not before 1978].


0.20 feet (10 folders)


Larkin, T. G. (Thomas George), 1833-1908.

Gaither, Doris Goddard, 1909-

Larkin, James Read.

Larkin, Matilda Ann (Matilda Ann Davis), 1841-1909.





Union Civil War soldier in the 10th Illinois Cavalry stationed in Arkansas; the Nashville, Tenn., vicinity; and Milliken's Bend, La. Of Menard County, Ill.

Born 13 Apr. 1833, Huntingdon County, Pa., to James Read & Hannah Houk Taylor Larkin. The family moved to Licking County, Ohio, prior to 1840. In 1854, they moved to Menard County, Ill. He married Matilda Ann Davis 12 Mar. 1861 in Menard County. They had 12 children: Agnes May, Jennie Leona (Whitney), Kate (McNellis), Charles M., May (Francis), Fred, Frank, Robert Allen, Annie Ruth (Goddard), Earl, Jay, and Nell E. (Myers). He served as a wagon master in companies H and A, 10th Illinois Cavalry, from 13 Aug. 1862 to 5 June 1865. In 1865 the family moved to Page County, Iowa, where they lived until 1873 when they homesteaded in Fairview Township, Phillips County, Kan. He was a farmer. He died 4 Aug. 1908 in Phillipsburg, Kan., and is buried in Fairview Cemetery there.

Contents List

Organization of Papers

Arranged into series by type of material.

Series Description


Illinois - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Personal narratives.

United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Personal narratives.

Box and Folder Inventory
Series 1:
Series 2:
[GENEALOGICAL INFORMATION], [ca. 1891-not before 1984]

Item 1: [General], [ca. 1891-not before 1984]


Item 2: [Family group sheet], [not before 1963]

Series 3:
Series 4:

Sub-Series 1: [Description of letters ; typescripts], 1862-1865


Sub-Series 2: Letters … T. G. Larkin wrote … while he was in the army : [holographs], 1862-1865


Folder 1: Letters … T. G. Larkin wrote … while he was in the army : [holographs], 1862-1863


Folder 2: Letters … T. G. Larkin wrote … while he was in the army : [holographs], 1864


Folder 3: Letters … T. G. Larkin wrote … while he was in the army : [holographs], 1865

Index Terms

Subjects Headings


Confederate States of America - Description and travel.

De Valls Bluff (Ark.)

Helena (Ark.)

Larkin, Matilda Ann (Matilda Ann Davis), 1841-1909.

Larkin, T. G. (Thomas George), 1833-1908.

Larkin family.

Little Rock (Ark.)

Milliken's Bend (La.)

Nashville Region (Tenn.)

Soldiers' writings, American - Arkansas.

Soldiers' writings, American - Louisiana - Milliken's Bend.

Soldiers' writings, American - Tennessee - Nashville Region.

Trials (Military offenses) - Arkansas - Little Rock.

United States. Army - Military life.

United States. Army. Illinois Cavalry Regiment, 10th (1861-1865)

Vicksburg (Miss.)War victims - Confederate States of America.

Additional Information for Researchers

Use Restrictions

Copyright was given to the Kansas State Historical Society at the time of donation.

Acquisition Source

Mrs. William D. Daniels

Acquisition Method



03/27/1985. No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Custodial History

Originals: formerly in the possession of Alice Goddard Sobeski and Doris Goddard Gaither.

Original/Copies Note

Typescripts of T. G. Larkin's letters were made by Doris Goddard Gaither.Typescripts and photocopies of holograph originals available for reference use. Originals removed to secure storage.

Other Information

Genealogical notes by Doris Goddard Gaither.

Finding Aid Processing Information

Processed by Robert L. Knecht, 2007.