Special Collections

Collection ID: SP-1
Location: SP-1

(Description ID: 594107)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Corporal John R. Rhoades


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The John R. Rhoades Civil War correspondence represents a portion of Special Collections #1, composed of a variety of Civil War manuscripts that fall outside the Local History collecting area.

Biographical Sketch
Corporal John R. Rhoades, a forty-three-year-old resident of Fletcher, Miami County, Ohio, enlisted as a corporal in Company E of the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 15, 1862 Serving in the Shenandoah Valley with the Army of the Potomac, Rhoades and the 110th spent a good portion of the spring of 1863 in drilling, fortifying, and performing picket duty. During the Battle of Winchester (June 13, 1863), Rhoades was captured and held prisoner until July 26, 1863. The 110th saw action at the Battle of the Wilderness, Brandy Station, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Rhoades was mustered out with his company on June 25, 1865.

Scope and Content
There are more than 120 autograph letters, the bulk of which were written between 1862 and 1865 by Rhoades to his wife, Sarah, in Fletcher, Ohio. Most of the correspondence was written from towns and camps in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (Petersburg, Winchester, Brandy Station, Culpepper, Fair Banks, Gaines Mills, Monocacy Junction, Harper’s Ferry, Cedar Creek, Warren Station, and Danville). There is a gap in the correspondence from early June to late July of 1863, when Rhoades was taken prisoner after the Battle of Winchester. Rhoades describes the Battle of Cedar Creek and Sheridan’s Ride. The collection also holds nine letters from Sarah Rhoades to her husband, written during the same time period (1862-1865) from their home in Miami County, Ohio. The collection also includes five letters written by Rhoades family members, serving with Sherman’s forces (2nd Iowa Cavalry and 5th OVI) in the drive to Atlanta. There are also sixteen letters from various members of the Rhoades and Kephart families living in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Although the bulk of the letters were penned during the war years, several precede the war, dating to 1858.

Ac. 934

Box 1 (this collection also contains material from other Civil War soldiers, folders 5-7 are dedicated to Corporal John R. Rhoades)

    5-6. Over 120 A.L.S. of Corporal Rhoades from Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland,
                 October 1862 - June 1865.
    7.    9 letters to Rhoades from his wife, 1862-1865, A.L.S.
           5 letters from other Rhoades family members written in Tennessee and Georgia,
                  1863-1864, A.L.S. 1 of the 5 letters from Atlanta, GA, covering the time period (fall
                  of 1864) that Sherman entered the city .
           16 letters from members of the Rhoades and Kephart families, A.L.S. (written at home in
                  Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota, mostly during the war (a few before) - fine
                  background material.)
           Honorable Discharge Certificate, June 25
           4 Miscellaneous documents