Edward F. Hewins Papers, 1856-1957 | Special Collections and University Archives
Hewins, Charles E., 1841-1927
Hewins, Edward F., 1893-1982
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination
Sherman's March to the Sea
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 42nd
United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
The Papers of Edward F. Hewins contains family papers relating primarily to the donor's father Captain Charles E. Hewins (1841-1927). The collection is arranged into three series according to content: Correspondence, Civil War Military Papers, Miscellaneous.
By far the highlight of the collection is Series I in which family correspondence is well represented for the period 1862 through Reconstruction. Numerous historical references to the Civil War period, such as the Lincoln Assassination and Sherman's southern campaign, are found in the letters written by Charles Hewins. In this first subseries, are also several letters written while Hewins was a prisoner of war, describing both the camp at New Orleans and the Battle of Galveston in 1863. The Hewins letters additionally provide an interesting perspective on secessionist activities and social attitudes toward the Black "freedman", as viewed through a Unionist's eyes.
Incoming correspondence to Charles Hewins from family and business friends completes the first series. Signing her letters as "C.A. Hewins", Charles' mother is the most frequent contributor. Providing family news along with comments on local affairs, these and similar accounts from the remaining letters allow for a balanced overview of social conditions in the North and the South during the same historical period.
Series II contains photocopies from the National Archives and the US Bureau of Interior. In both cases, these copies deal with the military record of Charles Hewins. Under Series III are grouped a small number of miscellaneous materials, among which is a brief genealogical chart of the Hewins family in the hand of Edward F. Hewins.
The nature of the documents in the collection vary according to their physical state and provenance. In most cases, the items are original holographs and their entries in the finding aid are designated with the letter "H". A relatively large number of the letters, however, are photocopies of original letters. Because of their physical deterioration in many cases, these documents have been grouped by year instead of assigned an item by item entry. Also grouped by year are brief summaries of original correspondence. The synopses as well as the copies were made by Mrs. Gladys Blair, a former graduate student in History at Old Dominion University. Accordingly, these documents are designated in the finding aid with either the letter "C" or "S".