Erastus Newton Bates papers

Erastus Newton Bates papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Bates, Erastus Newton, 1828-1898
Title: Erastus Newton Bates papers
Dates: 1834-1898
Quantity: 0.6 Linear feet (1 document box, 1 half box)
Coll. Number: ms6

Biographical/Historical Note

Erastus Newton Bates (1828-1898), lawyer, Union Army officer, and Christian Science clergyman born in Plainfield, Massachusetts. Commissioned major of the 80th Illinois Volunteer Regiment (1862) spent fifteen months in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia (1863-1865), breveted Brigader General after the Civil War. Converted to the Christian Science religion and became active in the church (1880's).

Born in Plainfield, Massachusetts, February 29, 1828. His ancestry dates back to the Pilgrims who sailed from the Old World on the Mayflower, making first settlement on the East Coast, New England. At the age of eight years (1836), he went to Ohio with his father who died soon after. He then lived with an uncle, worked and taught school to educate himself. He later attended Williams College (graduating in 1898) and Union Theological Seminary and began the study of law in New York City. Bates moved to Minneapolis in 1856 and practiced law. He served as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1856 and the next year was elected to represent the State Senate. In 1859, he moved to Centralia, Illinois, soon securing a lucrative law practice. He was commissioned Major of the 80th Illinois Volunteer (Rgt) in August 1862: was brevetted Brig. General in recognition of helpful aid which he rendered his country. He was prisoner of war fifteen months in Libby Prison, later exposed to open fire of the Union batteries at Morris Island in the Charleston Harbor. Member of the Illinois Legislature in 1866; in 1868 was elected State Treasurer of Illinois and served until January 1873. Bates served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872 and supported Ulysses S. Grant. He died in Minneapolis, May 29, 1898 and was buried in Springfield, Illinois.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Erastus Newton Bates from 1834-1898. Includes correspondence to his wife Lucy, pertaining to his Civil War service with the 80th Illinois Volunteers in Kentucky and Tennessee. Bates' letters discuss the battles of Perryville, Kentucky (1862) and Murfreesboro, Tennessee (1862) and his subsequent imprisonment in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia (1862-1864). Also contains certificates, deeds, commissions, and a few missionary letters from India and Ceylon written by Lucy Bates' brother.


Arranged by record type.

Index Terms

Bates, Lucy
Kentucky--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Libby Prison.
Perryville, Battle of, Perryville, Ky., 1862.
Stones River, Battle of, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1862-1863.
Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 80th (1862-1865)
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and prisons.

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Erastus Newton Bates papers. MS 6. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related collections in other repositories: The First Church of Christ, Scientist Archives of the Mother Church, Boston, Massachusetts; Bates, Erastus Newton (1828-98), Letters and other materials, 1862-1904, Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Related collections in this repository: Lucy Bates papers.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Biography: Letters clippings, obituaries and graduation programs View online.
2Letters re collection View online.
3Letter, 1834 View online.
4Letters, 1862 View online.
5Photostats of 1862 letters View online.
6Letters, 1863 View online.
7Photostats of 1863 letters View online.
8Libby prison, 1863 View online.
9Photostats of 1863 Libby prison letters View online.
10Libby Prison and North Carolina Hospital, Charlotte, 1864 View online.
11Photostats of Libby Prison and North Carolina Hospital, Charlotte, 1864 View online.
12Letters, 1865 View online.
13Photostats of 1865 letters View online.
14Letters from India and Ceylon from missionary, brother of Mrs. Bates, 1865, undated View online.
151868-1898, undated View online.
21Certificates re: Law and Freemasonry and state treasurer View online.
2Commissions View online.
3Deeds View online.
4Pictures View online.
6 Christian Science Journal (with speech by General Bates), November 1893 View online.
7Portfolio, miscellaneous materials View online.