William Ingram Collection

The William Ingram Collection consists of correspondence and realia connected to William Ingram and his service in the 12th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The correspondence includes 16 letters from William to his wife Harriet Lamphere Ingram, one letter to a correspondent addressed as "Friend William," a letter from his son William to Harriet Ingram, and a letter from Ingram's brother-in-law Henry Lamphere. Among the realia are tintypes of Ingram in uniform and in civilian clothes and a tintype of his son Frank and daughter Lydia, a powder flask, and insignia from his uniform.

William Ingram was born in 1825 and gives his occupation in the 1860 census as huntsman. Despite his relatively advanced age and four young children, William volunteered for the Union army in November of 1861. He was mustered into Company K of the 12th Connecticut as a sharpshooter. The 12th remained in Connecticut for three months before being sent to Ship Island, Mississippi en route to Louisiana. Shortly after his arrival he contracted "lung fever" (pneumonia) and is held out of duty into the summer. Otherwise he writes about camp life and occasional campaigns in and around New Orleans, his fascination with local plant life (he sent seeds home to see if they would grow in his Connecticut garden), seems to deflect his wife's frequent entreaties that he come home on leave, and talks frequently of the money he is saving and sending home to restart his life after the war. He also writes of the omnipresence of disease and poor sanitation and the toll both were taking on the 12th C.V.I.

Although William seems to have come away from his occasional brushes with combat unscathed, the same cannot be said for his contact with disease. On March 4, 1863 he writes what seems to be his final letter home announcing that he is well. Less than a month later he is discharged due to illness and begins to travel home. William arrived home in Mystic, Connecticut on April 28, 1863 and died hours later.

The William Ingram Collection was donated to Connecticut College in 2015 by June Ingram, great-grandaughter of William and assistant in the Greer Music Library.