Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Scope and Content
This collection was donated to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1998 by Jerry Rees.
Morris Rees was born in August 25, 1838 in Harmony Township, Morrow County, Ohio. He was one of ten children born to David and Annie (Morris) Rees. His father, David, came to America from Wales around 1800 when a very small child. The Rees family moved to Madison Township, Sandusky County, Ohio in 1854.
Morris enlisted in Company D, 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Woodville, Ohio on October 26, 1861. Afterwards he was promoted several times: to 1st sergeant December 13, 1861, to 2nd lieutenant September 5, 1862, 1st lieutenant April 9, 1864, and captain March 18, 1865. Among the battles he participated in were Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jackson, Brandon, and Guntown, where he was captured on June 11, 1864. He was held at Macon, Georgia for two months, and then at Charleston, Columbia, and Goldsboro for seven months. He once managed to escape for fifteen days, but unfortunately was caught and returned to prison. Finally, he was exchanged at Goldsboro in March of 1865. On April 25, 1865 he was discharged from the army.
Morris Rees married Elizabeth Ladd on October 25, 1857. They had five children: Allen, Anne, Emma, Alta, and Sarah. After the war, he was a farmer and lived near Pemberville, Ohio. He was a member of the G.A.R. Post in Bradner, Ohio. Morris Rees died August 25, 1924, the last commissioned officer of the 72nd O.V.I. to pass on.
John Rees was a brother of Morris Rees. He was born June 28, 1841 and enlisted into the 72nd O.V.I. about a year after his brother. John Rees was also captured at Guntown. Starving and seriously ill after his time in the prison camp, John died in New York on April 3, 1865 while he and his brother were making their way home after their release.
Evan Rees was brother-in-law of Morris and John Rees, having married their sister, Sarah. Together they had three children: Alfred, Theophilus, and Morgan. Evan Rees enlisted into the 72nd O.V.I. October 29, 1861. He was 42 years old. After becoming ill at Camp Croghan, he was sent home, but died May 9, 1862 of his illness.
David Rees (1812-1867) was the brother of Evan Rees.
Scope and Content
This small collection is comprised of both photocopies and original letters, as well as several original pension documents for Morris Rees. The majority of the letters are Civil War letters from John and Morris Rees to their sister Mary living at home in Rollersville, Ohio. There is also a letter from David Rees, who worked in the Land Office Department in Washington, DC, to his brother David in Wood County, Ohio.
1. Photocopy of photograph of Morris Rees.
2. Photocopy of letter from David Rees to Evan Rees, dtd. Washington, August 16, 1861.
3. Letter (original w/envelope) from Morris Rees to sister Mary Rees, dtd. “Camp Pickering, Memphis, August 25, 1862.”
4. Photocopy of letter from John and Morris Rees to sister Mary Rees, dtd. “Arkansas, March 22, 1863.”
5. Photocopy of letter from John Rees to sister, dtd. “Near Vicksburg, April 17, 1863.”
6. Photocopy of letter from John Rees to sister Mary Rees, dtd. “Camp near Vicksburg, November, 3, 1863.”
5. Typed transcription of all letters.
6. Typed transcription of notes of Morris Rees, undated, on several men who Rees recruited into the 72nd O.V.I.
7. Pension papers (original) for Morris Rees, dtd. May 8, 1914, and May 1920.