October 25, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I received your letter of 21st. on 24th inst., Saturday. I think this new arrangement will be a great deal better.

In your Sunday letter you seemed to be pained on account of my getting so many demerits. I am very sorry for there is no danger at all of my being found and the demerits don’t amount to much, it may through me down one or two files in General Standing. I don’t care much about getting my standing by demerits. I hope you will feel easier about my demerits hereafter.

You want me to send my weekly marks. I will send them to you when I can remember them though you can not tell how I am getting along by  them any more than you could if I should send you so many Hebrew letters.

Do you have letters from Charlie often? I wish you would tell me what town he is in, I have forgotten. I will write him as soon as I find out.

There is nothing new here.


Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers] 

October 18, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of the 11th. inst was received on 14th., Wednesday. I believe you got my letters Wednesday, now if you should mail a letter to me the same evening I should get it Saturday  evening and I could answer it Sunday. I think we had better try that arrangement you spoke of last year for a while at least. Don’t you think it would be a good plan?

I received a paper from William this week. I am getting along well in my studies. There is no news.

Your Affectionate Son

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers] 

September 29, 1863


Dear Sir

Having received intelligence that my son was wounded, Orlando Staples, I though it best to write to you thinking perhaps you would know all about it, as there is not any one of the privates that I know in his company.

I want you to write all that you know about him for I shall feel very anxious indeed. Tell me all, let it be good and bad for I want to know the worst, nothing but the whole truth will satisfy me. Please write as soon as possible and oblige your friend.

Sophia Staples to William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

August 30, 1863

Office Prov. Marshal, Hilton Head, S.C.

Dear Mally: …

I am still on duty here as Provost Marshal far from the glories and dangers of the siege of Charleston.  Our regt was not [illeg. word] to go, there were so many vacancies in it.   Only one field officer for duty, the Col. being under arrest.  It was a great disappointment for us not to be allowed to participate in the only important service that has been or will be in the history of this Department. …

I have three companies here numbering about 270 men, and about the same number of prisoners of all sorts.

It is quite healthy here considering the latitude and everything, and if the yellow fever does not visit us we shall not lose many men.  Company “I” has lost but one man by disease since last fall, nearly a year ago.  I take some pride in stating this as I believe it is in part owing to the rigid enforcement of cleanly habits, attention to their kitchens, &c., &c. …

William McArthur to his brother, Malcolm McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

June 8, 1863

Head quarters 11. S. Forces

Hilton Head, S.C.

Capt. Wm. M. McArthur, Judge Advocate

Captain –

Upon looking over the Records I find that the charge against Sergt. R. Sulton, 1st S.C. Vols. were received and forwarded to you from this office June 2nd 1863. They must consequently be in your possesion.

Very Respectfully, Your Off. Servant , S.S. Stevens

S.S. Stevens to William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]


May 31, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I received your regular Sunday letter of 24th. and one from Alfred informing me that John N. Goodnow of Alfred was one of the Board of Visitors. I had seen the list of appointments before. I am almost sorry he is coming. He will hear me be examined. You know he tried to get the appointment for Osgood who used to room with me at Andover. Do you ever see Moses Drew at Alfred, I wonder what has become of him. Examination commences this week on Monday, the Board will inspect Barracks, the Hospital and all the other Public buildings and examination will begin Tuesday morning. I shall be examined the first of next week probably. The prospect now is we shall get away on Furlough in two weeks.

Your Affectionate Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

May 24, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your Sunday letter was received on 21st. inst. There is nothing new. Examination commences week from tomorrow. There are two Maine men on the Board of Visitors, Rufus Dwind of Bangor and Hon. J.H. Goodnow of Alfred. He tried to get the appointment for his son. I suppose you know. How long is Catharine going to stay at Malden?

The Lieut. Colonel of 8th. Regiment has resigned. Do you think there is any chance for William to be made Major? I hope so.

Your Aff. Son, Malcolm McArthur

P.S.-The Standing for April has been made out. I came out in Math 54, in French 45, in Drawing 11; have 13 demerits for month.

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

May 16, 1863


Dear William,

I have written to you but once since you left home. I am alone this afternoon, and it very quiet, so I will write a few lines.

Mrs. L.W. Rounds of Malden wrote to Catharine and gave her an invitation to visit her in the month of May, which invitation she has accepted, and started upon her journey this morning, to be gon a fortnight.

Malkey writes he expects to be on his way home in five weeks, it is not probable that he will be at home again for some time, can you not make your arrangements so as to be at home, this summer? If it is only for a short time, it would be very pleasant, for you both and all of us.

I do not see any prospect of the war being ended. There are awfull battles, without any decided victory. Do you think we have one great, good man in the country? (I mean “among the powers that be”) it seems to me that each one is seeking his own individual interest and honor and not that of the nation. […]

Your affectionate Mother

Sarah Prince Miltimore McArthur to her son, William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

May 10, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of 3d. was received 6th. inst. You seemed quite troubled about my demerits. I do not know how I happened to have so many. I was just as careful as ever. I think I am getting along very well in demerits. Forty for four months is not many. Four or five in the class have got 99. Don’t be alarmed about my demerits, they are not going to hurt me any. I received a very kind letter from Catharine this week. I should have written to her a long time ago, but I can not get any time to write letters. In about five weeks more I expect to be on my way home, only three weeks to study.

Catharine said you expecting Charlie home a little this summer. What did he say about it? Did he say what he expected to do in Limington?

There is a rumor today that Richmond is taken.

Your Affec. Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]