Samuel Adams was born in Maine around 1839, and was a surgeon for the Union Army during the United States Civil War. Adams enlisted on April 16, 1862 as an assistant surgeon, and was commissioned into the U.S. Army Medical Staff as part of the regular Army. Adams received two promotions by brevet during the war; to Captain and then to Major. He was present during the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg, and died of yellow fever on September 9,1867 in Galveston, Texas.
The Samuel Adams Papers document a surgeon's perspective of several major battles and events occurring during the United States Civil War. The records consist primarily of correspondence between Adams and his family written by Adams between 1862 and 1865, and contain descriptions of the battles such as Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Adams also describes his reaction to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Also included within these records are medical papers written by Adams relating to topics such as alcoholism and typho-malarial fever, a military pass, envelopes with stamps, and a list of maxims authored by Adams's body servant, William. Additionally, there is genealogical information connecting Samuel Adams to the collection donor, Robert K. Hollingsworth, transcriptions of all handwritten documentation, and a copy of Grandfather to Grandson, a collection of letters written by the donor's great-grandfather during the Great Depression.
Samuel Adams Papers, 1862-1933, Archives Center, National Museum of American History