Carolyn L. Jones, who settled near Fairbanks, Alaska a couple of years ago, contacted us recently about a collection of letters she owns from her great, great-uncle, Thomas Folsom Norris, drummer boy of Co. K, 31st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Company K was the one company recruited from the eastern part of the state that was attached to the “Western Bay State Regiment.”
Enlisting as a 16 year-old musician on 4 January 1862, T.F. Norris wrote home to his family in Somerville, Mass. He served until the end of the war.
Carolyn has about 45 of his letters in her possession and is creating an album for them. Currently, she is painstakingly transcribing the letters and researching the people, places, and ships that Norris mentions in his correspondence. “His letters are quite diary-like. Very fascinating for such a young man.” She hopes to publish them at some point.
Thanks to Carolyn, the Wood Museum of Springfield History now has a copy of one letter, plus its transcription; a couple of images of Mr. Norris with family members; and genealogical information about several generations of the Norris family.
For more information, Carolyn can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org