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Bernard and Margaret Hayes letters

Collection MS-2018-026: Bernard and Margaret Hayes letters


  • Creation: 1861 - 1867

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of letters exchanged between Bernard Hayes and his wife Margaret while he was fighting in the American Civil War. Most letters are from Bernard. One letter includes a bond from the "Bank of Love." Also included are a letter regarding a promotion, a letter notifying Margaret of Bernard's death in the Battle of the Wilderness, and Treasury Department certificates and vouchers for payments to Margaret as a widow.


Restrictions on access

Open for research; digital version also available.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note: Bernard Hayes

Bernard Hayes was born in Ireland, circa 1829, and later moved to East Boston, Massachusetts. He married Margaret Lynch and together they had four children. Bernard worked as a laborer, including as a worm cutter (pipe cutter) at the Boston Sugar Refinery. On June 11, 1861, at the age of 32, he enlisted in the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry to fight in the American Civil War. Hayes served for three years, eventually being promoted to colonel, and was captured at Gaines's Mill on June 28, 1862. Hayes was killed during the Battle for the Wilderness in Virginia on May 5, 1864.


"Bernard Hayes". U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Accessed July, 2018.

The Boston Directory. Boston: Sampson & Murdock Company, 1856.

Hayes, Bernard to Margaret Hayes letter, 1861 July 7, Folder 2, Box 1, Bernard and Margaret Hayes letters, MS.2018.026, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Macnamara, Daniel George. The History of the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, June, 1861-June, 1864. Boston: E. B. Stillings and, Printers, 1899.

New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. Accessed July, 2018.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 containers)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence exchanged by Bernard Hayes and his wife, Margaret, while Bernard was serving as a Union solider in the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the American Civil War. Most letters are from Bernard. Additionally, it contains the notice of Hayes's death during the Battle of the Wilderness and treasury certificates for payments made to Margaret.




Donated by Elaine Conroy in April 2018.

Existence of digital copies

Collection available digitally. Links are included in the inventory.

Related Materials

Florence and Ellen Burke letters, MS.2018.023, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

George Byron Lord letters, MS.1986.162, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Isaac Plumb, Jr. family papers, MS.2018.011, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Michael H. Leary letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Bernard and Margaret Hayes Letters
Stephanie Hall
July 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States