This collection includes correspondence between Union Army Private Lee Halbert and his wife, Savalla Jane Smith Halbert (see “Savalla Jane Smith Halbert Collection”), during the American Civil War. The letters describe the daily routines of Lee’s regiment as it moved south from New York toward Washington and Virginia, and his reflections on the War. They also detail his ever-present concerns about his family and the domestic affairs of his household.
Lee Halbert was born on June 22, 1822, in Otsego County, New York. He was raised in Taylor, a town in nearby Cortland County, and became a farmer by trade. In September 1861, he enlisted in Company A of the 76th Infantry Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Lee had served in what was nicknamed “The Cortland Regiment” for just under a year when he was killed in the Second Battle of Bull Run near Gainesville, Virginia, on August 28, 1862.