Summary of Content: Collection of letters, principally received correspondence, military returns, and one military journal. Includes military correspondence during the War, letters concerning Hunt’s various post-war publishing endeavors, correspondence pertaining to Hunt’s advocation of a bill which would affect his retirement rank and pay, and general discussions of Reconstruction politics. Primarily organized chronologically by sender. GLC02382.136-.204 consist of military returns related to artillery reserves, Army of the Potomac. With collateral material (11 envelopes, 4 clippings, and 1 engraving).
Background: Henry Jackson Hunt was Chief of the Artillery in the Army of the Potomac. Considered by his contemporaries the greatest artillery tactician and strategist of the war, he was a master of the science of gunnery and rewrote the manual on the organization and the use of artillery in early modern armies: Instruction for field artillery. Prepared by a board of artillery officers, consisting of Captain Wm. H. French...Captain Wm. F. Barry...Captain H.J. Hunt...To which is added The evolutions of batteries, tr. from the French by Brigadier General R. Anderson (New York, D. Van Nostrand, 1864). , Hunt was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Samuel Wellington Hunt, a career infantry officer. As a child he accompanied his father in 1827 to the Kansas Territory on an expedition to found Fort Leavenworth. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1839 as second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Artillery. He served in the Mexican War where he was elevated to captain and major., Hunt received attention when in the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, his four-gun battery covered the retreat of a Union force with an artillery duel. He soon afterword became the chief of artillery in defense of Washington, D.C. As a colonel on the staff of McClellan, he organized and trained the artillery reserve and fought in the Peninsular Campaign. His keen work influenced battles at Malvern Hill, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. His most famous service occurred at Gettysburg. He served in Virginia through the end of the war., Following the Civil War, Hunt held various military posts. He served as president of the permanent Artillery Board. He also served at Fort Sullivan, Eastport, Maine (1868), Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island (1869-1872 definitely, and possibly until 1874), military commander at Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia (1875-1880), commander, Department of the South (1880-1883), and as Governor of the Soldier’s Home in Washington D.C. (1883-1889)., The above information was compiled from various online biographies, the Library of Congress Henry Jackson Hunt papers, and from the Hunt letters of the Gilder Lehrman Collection.