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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: M87- 10
Creator: Brooks, Thomas Benton, d. 1900
Title, Dates: Correspondence, 1864.
Amount: 0.25 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Chronological.
Restrictions:
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     Thomas Benton Brooks was a Union army officer and aide-de-camp to Major-General Quincy Adams Gillmore.  Brooks joined the army on August 9, 1861 as a First Lieutenant in the First New York Engineers. He was promoted to captain on January 21, 1862 and to major and aide-de-camp on August 17, 1863.  He received the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel for meritorious service at the siege of Fort Pulaski, and the brevet rank of full colonel for service during the siege of Charleston, South Carolina.  In 1864, he was sent to Florida to aid in a major expedition to establish a loyal Florida government and to interdict Confederate supplies landed at Jacksonville.  He went to Fernandina to oversee operations to procure lumber on the Nassau and St. Mary's Rivers, in support of the larger Union expedition.  The result of these Union activities in Florida was their own defeat at the Battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond) on February 20, 1864.  Brooks resigned from the military on October 6, 1864, and returned to civilian life.  He died on November 22, 1900.
Summary:     The materials in this collection date from early- to mid-1864 and deal primarily with operations in Florida relating to the major Union expedition of that year.  The documents extend beyond Brooks' duties during his tour at Fernandina.  They include correspondence from naval and army leaders on the expedition, reports from commanders, a newspaper account of the movements, and a pamphlet written about the Florida campaign.  Of particular interest are three informative letters written to Brooks by Captain Alfred Sears of the First New York Engineers.  Also included is a letterbook kept by Brooks from February to May, 1864, which contains copies of outgoing letters written by Brooks himself or letters he wrote as Quincy Gillmore's aide-de-camp; these letters were written from Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia.  Together these items give a relatively complete account of operations around Fernandina in early 1864.
    The last file in the collection contains miscellaneous Civil War items not related to Brooks but obtained by the Archives with the Brooks papers.  Included are several examples of Confederate state currency, military passes, and a reproduction of a runaway slave broadside.
Finding Aids: Calendar available.
Additional Physical Form:
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Associated Materials:
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Ownership/Custodial History: Probably came from Ft. Clinch and the Florida Park Service.
Publication Note:
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: United States. Army.  --New York Engineer Regiment, 1st (1861-1865)
Military administration.
Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865
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