Samuel Edwin Lewis


A Guide to the Samuel Edwin Lewis Papers, 1861-1917
Call Number Mss1 L5884 a FA2

Administrative Information


Collection open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions


Preferred Citation

Samuel Edwin Lewis Papers, 1861-1917 (Mss1 L5884 a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Acquired upon aquisition of the Confederate Memorial Association by the Virginia Historical Society in 1946. Accessioned 27 September 1985.


Descriptive Summary


Collection Number:Mss1 L5884 a FA2
Collection Name:Samuel Edwin Lewis Papers, 1861-1917
Size:3,350 (ca.) items (25 manuscript boxes).
Abstract:Personal papers, 1873-1910, and materials relating to Confederate veterans’ associations, 1891-1917, of Dr. Samuel Edwin Lewis (1838-1917) of Washington, D.C. Dr. Lewis served in the Confederate medical corps in Richmond, Va., during the war, afterward returning to his medical practice in Washington. There he became involved in several veterans’ organizations, including the Confederate Veterans’ Association of the District of Columbia, Camp No. 171, United Confederate Veterans; the Charles Broadway Ross Camp No. 1191, United Confederate Veterans; the national United Confederate Veterans organization; and the Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy.


Scope and Content Information


Include correspondence, notes, real property records, and miscellany concerning Samuel Edwin Lewis's service in the Medical Dept. of the Confederate States Army and practice as a physician and pharmacist in Washington, D.C.

Also, concern Lewis's participation as a member and officer in the Confederate Veterans' Association of the District of Columbia, Camp No. 171, United Confederate Veterans. These materials include correspondence, scrapbooks, corporate records, and financial materials.

Also, concern the establishment of the Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, No. 1191, United Confederate Veterans, Washington, D.C., by a group of veterans disgruntled with the way Camp No. 171 was progressing. Include corporate records, membership records, and materials relating to the reburial of Confederate dead at Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Va., and the identification and marking of Confederate graves in northern cemeteries.

Also, concern Dr. Lewis’s service in the United Confederate Veterans at the national level, including correspondence, materials concerning the appointment of Thomas Raleigh Raines to the staff, news clippings, and materials relating to the establishment of monuments.

Also, concern Lewis’s affiliation with the Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy, including minute books, registers of members, general correspondence, and special projects.


Biographical/Historical Information


Samuel Edwin Lewis (1838-1917) left his native Washington, D.C. in 1863 to join the Confederate Army. Upon reaching Richmond, he continued his medical studies at the Medical College of Virginia and also began service at Winder Hospital, which was to last for the rest of the war. After the war he returned to Washington, worked as a physician and pharmacist, and dabbled in real estate and insurance.





Dr. Lewis’s system of record-keeping has been maintained wherever possible. However, for ease of retrieval the materials have been organized in five series, including Personal papers; Records of the Confederate Veterans’ Association of the District of Columbia Camp No. 171, United Confederate Veterans; Records of the Charles Broadway Ross Camp No. 1191, United Confederate Veterans; Records of the national organization of United Confederate Veterans; and Records of the Association of Medical Officers in the Army and Navy of the Confederacy.


Within series materials are arranged by document type and alphabetically by recipient (personal correspondence) or chronologically (organizational records and correspondence) depending on original order.


Index Terms


Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.)
Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy.
Cemeteries -- Virginia -- Arlington.
Confederate Memorial Association.
Confederate States of America -- Seal.
Confederate States of America. Army -- Surgeons.
Flags -- Confederate States of America.
Lewis, Samuel E. (Samuel Edwin), 1838-1917.
Medicine -- Practice -- Washington (D.C.)
Medicine, Military -- Confederate States of America.
Medicine, Military -- Societies, etc.
Pharmacists -- Washington (D.C.) -- History.
Physicians -- Washington (D.C.) -- History.
Physicians -- Washington (D.C.) -- History.
Soldiers' bodies, Disposition of -- United States.
United Confederate Veterans. Washington, D.C. Division. Camp No. 171.
United Confederate Veterans. Washington, D.C. Division. Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, No. 1191.
United Confederate Veterans.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Medical care.
Veterans -- Confederate States of America.




Series 1. Personal papers, 1872-1910.

Dr. Lewis’s personal correspondence consists primarily of exchanges with family members and local business associates in the period 1873-1910. It is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Materials concerning his medical practice include records of his Civil War service and notes from his practice as physician and pharmacist in Washington, 1879-1907.

A folder of materials on Lewis’s real property ventures (Box 1) contains notes on the purchase and rental of properties in the District of Columbia and a rental book, 1906-1908, concerning “Lewis Hall” at 1502 Fourteen Street, N. W. The latter includes a floor plan and sketch of the exterior of the building.

Box 1                                                                                                                       
 Correspondence, 1873-1910
 Medical practice
 Real property records
 Memberships in associations, 1872-1909
 Personal miscellany


Series 2. Confederate Veterans’ Association of the District of Columbia, Camp No. 171, United Confederate Veterans.


In 1891, a group of veterans forms an Association of Ex-Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of Washington, D. C. They soon renamed it the Confederate Veterans’ Association of the District of Columbia, United Confederate Veterans Camp No. 171.

Records in this collection primarily focus on Samuel Lewis’s activities in the Association. The general correspondence, 1891-1899, for instance, concentrates on Lewis as an officer in the organization. Arranged chronologically, the correspondence contains frequent letters from a number of Lewis’s associates, especially John Waters Drew and General Marcus Joseph Wright.

Two scrapbooks contain numerous clippings concerning veterans’ activities and issues. Volume I (1889-1898), includes references to the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers’ Home in Richmond, Va. (pp. 1881-121), while Volume II (1895-1899) bears many references to Charles Broadway Rouss and the Confederate Memorial Association throughout the volume. The printed constitutions and by-laws contain membership rolls, 1891-1897, and proposed amendments, while the lists of officers, committee and camp members include materials on two deceased veterans, Raleigh Edward Colston and William Harmon.

The Confederate Veterans’ Association met regularly at the Confederate Veterans’ Hall, 431 Eleventh Street, N. W., in Washington. Lawyer and veteran Edward Willoughby Anderson and Dr. Lewis had the idea of providing permanent committee room and a reception hall for the Association. They rented and furnished rooms at 1339 F Street, N. W., in 1895, but did not receive sufficient financial support to continue. The records of this venture (Box 4) include a proposal and memorandum, rental records, loose accounts, lists of visiting members, personal property and furnishings, and materials concerning relic collections, portraits and photographs.

In 1893, Lewis, Anderson, William Broun and other C. V. A. members apparently attempted to form the Joseph E. Johnston Camp of Ex-Confederates in Washington. The history of this event is obscure, with only a few extant items remaining, including notices of meetings, minutes, lists of members and applications. Lewis also kept records of special C. V. A. events, such as the annual excursion and reception for General James Longstreet in 1895 and the U. C. V. convention delegate selection in 1897.

The C. V. A. responded favorably to Charles Broadway Rouss’s call for a Confederate Memorial Association. They appointed a Battle Abbey (or Memorial Hall) Committee in 1895, of which Samuel E. Lewis served as treasurer. The committee favored Washington, D. C. as the site for the Confederate Memorial, but conflict over the selection of a trustee to serve on the Association’s board lead to Lewis’s first rift with his fellow veterans. The committee records include general correspondence, account and subscription books, loose accounts, pass books, and a scrapbook (see guide). Separate folders cover the nomination of camp member John M. Hickey as a C. M. A. Trustee (including correspondence, minutes, resolutions and notes of Samuel E. Lewis).

The matter of relief work also raised Lewis’s ire and ultimately led to his resignation from the Association. By 1897 Lewis claimed the C. V. A. members were more interested in “banqueting” than in helping needy Confederate veterans, widows and children. His papers (Box 5) include a resolution, notes and results of an investigation, 1898; records of the Joseph E. Clements case, 1898-1899; materials concerning the Southern Relief Society of the District of Columbia, a women’s organization originally associated with the C. V. A.; and miscellany.

Several items of historical interest were uncovered by Dr. Lewis while a member of the C. V. A. A copy of a letter of Robert Edward Lee, 1835, with notes, and a typescript copy of an appeal by the general to the citizens of Amelia County, Va., appear in Box 5 and are described more fully in the card catalogue. Among the general miscellany of the camp are resolutions, materials concerning the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans annual meeting in 1898, acquisition of a copy of the Official Records of the Rebellion in 1895, formation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 1896, and the “Players of the National Capital” (“Jonnie Juniors”) a theater group formed from a local Confederate Sons camp.

Box 2                                                                                                                                     
 General correspondence, 1891-1899 (arranged chronologically by year).
 Scrapbook, volume I, 1889-1898.


Box 3                                                                                                                                 
 Scrapbook, volume II, 1895-1899.
 Constitution and by-laws.
 Officers and members.
 Loose accounts, 1892-1900.



Box 4 
 Committee rooms and reception hall.
 Joseph E. Johnston Camp.
 Special events.
 Battle Abbey committee (correspondence, accounts, subscriptions).                                              



Box 5 
 Battle Abbey committee (trustee nomination, scrapbook, news clippings, notes and miscellany).
 Relief work.
 Historical materials (R. E. Lee letter and appeal).
 General camp miscellany.



Series 3. Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, No. 1191, United Confederate Veterans, Washington, D.C.


Materials concerning the formation of Rouss Camp include records of the organization, 1899-1900, items concerning Charles Broadway Rouss, lists of active and potential members, and applications, 1901-1905. Related papers collected by Lewis concern deceased officers of the Camp: Edward Willoughby Anderson, William Broun, Frank J. Lewis, Henry Mortimer Marchant, William H. Parsons and West Steever (including a letter, 1863 July 4, written by Steever to his mother concerning the fall of Vicksburg, Miss.)

Series 3.1. Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, No. 1191, United Confederate Veterans, Washington, D.C., corporate records.

Dr. Lewis resigned from the C. V. A. in 1898 and the following year he and several other disgruntled veterans formed the Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, No. 1191, in Washington. Lewis was elected commander of the camp in 1900 and served until 1915. The Camp met at the “Lewis Building” on Fourteenth Street, N. W.

The Rouss Camp minute book, 1899-1912, contains rosters, an officers list from 1913, and a few items of correspondence and resolutions tipped in. Loose minutes exist for 1915. The general correspondence, 1899-1916, is arranged alphabetically and includes letters of Edward Willoughby Anderson (concerning the Southern Cross Society of the District of Columbia), William Broun (including biographical information on Samuel Edwin Lewis) and Marcus Joseph Wright, and official correspondence from officers of the United Confederate Veterans.

Several folders in box 9 contain records of participation by Camp members in U. C. V. annual reunions, especially those at Louisville, Ky., 1905 and New Orleans, La., 1906. As commander of Rouss camp, Dr. Lewis acted as agent for the John B. Gordon Monument Association of Atlanta, Ga., 1904-1907, seeking subscriptions and mounting a local excursion to raise funds. Materials consist largely of correspondence, loose accounts and notes. A few folders also concern anniversary celebrations of the birth of Robert Edward Lee, especially in 1905 and 1907, and feature programs, speeches and newspaper clippings.

Box 6                                                                                                                                  
 Minute book, 1899-1912.
 Loose minutes, 1915.
 General correspondence (arranged alphabetically), 1899-1916 (A-H).


Box 7                                                                                                                                 
 General correspondence (arranged alphabetically), 1899-1916 (J-U).



Box 8 
 General correspondence (arranged alphabetically, 1899-1916 (V-W).                                  
 Loose accounts, 1899-1907.
 Camp formation.
 Deceased officers.



Box 9 
 U.C.V. reunions, 1899-1908.
 John B. Gordon Monument Association.                                                                           
 R. E. Lee birthday celebrations.



Series 3.2. Charles Broadway Rouss Camp, no. 1191, United Confederate Veterans, Washington, D.C., Confederate Dead project.


The most important and far-reaching project in which Dr. Lewis and the Rouss Camp participated concerned the proper identification and care of graves of Confederate dead. This cause actually led to the founding of Rouss Camp, when Lewis and William Broun viewed the cemetery at Arlington, Va., in 1898. The Camp formed a “volunteer commission” and a Committee of Confederate Dead in Northern States, with Lewis as chairman, and eventually petitioned President William McKinley to secure an appropriation for reburial of Confederates at Arlington. Soon after, Lewis and others began to push for federal legislation to identify and care for Confederate grave sites throughout the north, especially those at military hospitals and prisons. This resulted in passage of the Foraker Bill in 1906, though Dr. Lewis continued to immerse himself in the project, serving as commissioner for marking Confederate graves from 1914 until his death in 1917. Researchers should also be aware of related materials under the heading “U. C. V. Monumental Committee” later in the collection.

Materials in this section include a series of five scrapbooks. Volume I (1898-1900) contains correspondence, a copy of the petition to McKinley (p. 55), memoranda, reports, lists of dead, sketches of headstones, plat and newspaper clippings, all relating to the reburial project at Arlington Cemetery. Notable are letters of Elihu Root (p. 105) and Marcus Joseph Wright (p. 24). Volume II (1901) concerns the published report issued by the Rouss Camp in 1901 and also records debate with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and with Katie (Walker) Behan, president of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association, over the proposed sites for reburial of Confederate dead. This volume includes some letters from Charles Broadway Rouss (pp. 222-223). Volume III is missing from the collection.

Volume IV (1898-1906) focuses on the Foraker Bill and consists primarily of correspondence with Stephen Dill Lee, commander of the United Confederate Veterans, Marcus Joseph Wright of the U. S. War Department, and congressmen James Hay (pp. 127, 208, 269), Robert Lee Henry (p. 195), Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (pp. 205, 266) and John Sharp Williams (pp. 122, 199, 265). Volume V (1901-1906) mostly contains letters of Biscoe Hindman, commander-in-chief of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mrs. Katie (Walker) Behan and Senator Joseph Benson Foraker. The final volume, VI (1913) presents data relating to the graves of Confederate prisoners of war in northern states.

Loose materials concerning the Confederate dead projects have been grouped by states, although some subdivisions may overlap. The first group concerns reburial at Arlington Cemetery. It contains correspondence arrange chronologically, 1898-1903 (the 1903 letters concern Thomas Brougham Baker, originator of the plan for national cemeteries); drafts of reports to the Rouss Camp and United Confederate Veterans; notes and memoranda; lists of Confederate dead; plats of the Confederate section at Arlington; resolutions, news clippings and articles.

Records concerning Memorial Day services at Arlington, 1902-1906, include general materials relating to preparations, speeches of Samuel Edwin Lewis, and news clippings. As early as 1901, Dr. Lewis began a personal search for a missing report of Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes in 1867 concerning deaths of prisoners of war. The records of his lengthy though fruitless search include correspondence, 1901-1908, especially with Stephen Dill Lee and Marcus Joseph Wright, notes and news clippings. Box 10 also contains the first material concerning the Foraker Bill. The correspondence, 1901-1914, is arranged chronologically and includes many letters of Senator Joseph Benson Foraker, the bill’s sponsor, and a letter of President Woodrow Wilson (see card catalogue). Much of the correspondence between 1906 and 1914 focuses on the attempt to have Samuel Lewis appointed commissioner under the Foraker Bill and with ongoing Rouss Camp activities related to the Confederate dead issue. For a listing of additional materials, see guide.

Because of his prominent leadership, Dr. Lewis was appointed to the General Advisory Board of the Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery Commission. That body likewise worked for the proper care of grave sites at the old Federal prisoner-of-war camp. Lewis’s materials consist largely of correspondence with Mary Patton Hudson, president of a local U. D. C. chapter in Ohio.

As early as 1901, with the reburial at Arlington in progress, Lewis and others sought to have a monument placed in the Arlington Cemetery. They were finally successful in 1914, when a memorial designed by Sir Moses Ezekiel was dedicated. Materials concerning this effort include correspondence (primarily with Edward Willoughby Anderson, Stephen Dill Lee and Washington lawyer and government official Hilary Abner Herbert); minutes of joint meetings of the Rouss Camp and Confederate Veterans’ Association; resolutions; notes and memoranda; sketches; clippings; and miscellany.

A few additional sections of records of the Rouss Camp complete Boxes 14-15. In 1895, Dr. Lewis and other veterans subscribed to the Confederate Military History series, edited by Clement Anselm Evans. Upon publication, they found the volumes very unsatisfactory and refused to fulfill their subscriptions. The materials here relate to claims of the Confederate Publishing Company of Atlanta, Ga., against Dr. Lewis and Dr. E. K. Goldsborough and include correspondence (especially with Evans and Marcus Joseph Wright), notes and miscellany. Historical materials consist of Lewis’s notes on D. C. residents who served in the Confederate Army and a manuscript history of the U. S. by Lewis. General camp miscellany includes news clippings and resolutions.

Lastly, Lewis chaired the U. C. V. Committee on Confederate Flags, which investigated the history of Confederate battle flags and official seals. The general correspondence, arranged chronologically for the period, 1903-1913, include numerous letters from Committee members James Taylor Ellyson and Fred L. Robertson, as well as Jessica Randolph Smith (concerning the claim of Orren Randolph Smith to be the designer of the “Stars and Bars”). Copies of reports appear for 1904, 1906, and 1907. Two original documents survive (Box 21) obviously obtained by Lewis for study purposes. The first is a contract, 1861, of John Henninger Reagan, C. S. A. postmaster general, with the Texas Telegraph Company and Dr. William Sylvanus Morris (bears seal of the C. S. A. Post Office Department); the second is a ship registration certificate, 1861, issued to the schooner “Zenith” at Beaufort, N. C. (Bears seal of the C. S. A. Treasury Department).

Shelves preceding Box 10
 Scrapbooks, volume I (1898-1900); II (1901); IV (1898-1906) V (1901-1906; VI (1913).


Box 10 
 Reburial at Arlington Cemetery (correspondence; reports; notes and memoranda; lists of Confederate dead; plats; resolutions; news clippings and articles).



Box 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 Memorial Day services.
 Barnes report.
 Foraker Bill (correspondence, 1901-1904).



Box 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 Foraker Bill (correspondence re, 1905-1907, 1910-1914, draft reports).



Box 13                                                                                                                                                                                                               
 Foraker Bill (notes and memoranda, congressional bills and reports, resolutions, loose accounts, clippings, miscellany).
 Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery Commission, 1904-1906.



Box 14 
 Monument at Arlington Cemetery, 1901-1914 (correspondence, minutes, resolutions, notes and memoranda, sketches, clippings, miscellany).
 Confederate Military History, 1895-1900.
 Historical materials (notes).



Box 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                
 Historical materials (manuscript history of the U. S. and notes).
 Camp miscellany.



Series 4. United Confederate Veterans (national organization).


Dr. Lewis served in several capacities in the national organization of United Confederate Veterans. He was appointed to the Finance and Executive committees in 1903 and two years later became an aide on the staff of Commander Stephen Dill Lee. General correspondence, 1905, 1907, materials concerning the appointment of Thomas Raleigh Raines of Washington, D. C., to the staff, and news clippings concerning Stephen Dill Lee relate to the latter appointment.

Lewis also acted as secretary and later chairman of the U. C. V. Monumental Committee, which was charged with directing efforts to raise monuments to Confederate leaders, prison dead, and soldiers buried in southern cemeteries. His records include general correspondence, 1905-1907, 1910-1911; annual reports, 1906, 1911, 1912, 1914; notes and memoranda; resolutions; printed congressional materials; clippings and miscellany. Collected materials concern: (1) the Confederate Monument in Tampa, Fla., 1911; (2) the Jefferson Davis Monument Association, New Orleans, La. (Primarily correspondence with Katie (Walker) Behan, clippings and miscellany regarding the restoration of the name of Davis to the Cabin John Bridge in Washington, D. C., 1909, and the monument to the Confederate president in New Orleans, 1911); (3) submission to the Committee in 1906 of survey materials collected by George Moorman, adjutant general U. C. V., concerning pensions and soldiers’ homes for Confederate veterans (1897) and Confederates buried in southern cemeteries (1899).

Box 16 
 Finance and executive committees, 1903.
 Aide to U.C.V. Commander Stephen Dill Lee (general correspondence; Thomas Raleigh Raines appointment; clippings).
 Monumental Committee (general correspondence; reports).


Box 17                                                                                                                                                                                
 Monumental Committee (notes and memoranda)
 Printed materials and clippings.
 Confederate Monument, Tampa, Fla.
 Jefferson Davis Monument Association, 1907-1912.
 Pension survey materials, 1897-1899, 1906.



Box 18                                                                                                                                                                         
 Committee on Confederate Flags (correspondence, 1903-1906).



Box 19                                                                                                                                                                      
 Flags Committee (correspondence, 1907-1913).



Box 20                                                                                                                                                                     
 Flags Committee (reports).



Box 21 
 Flags Committee (original documents; memoranda; notes and sketches; research materials; clippings and miscellany).



Series 5. Association of Medical Offices of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy.


The last division of the collection, beginning with Box 22, concerns Samuel Lewis’s affiliation with the Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy. Lewis served terms as secretary, vice president and president of this organization. Records include a minute book of annual meetings, 1907-1910, 1914, and a register of members attending, 1902-1917. General correspondence, 1898-1915, arranged chronologically, is heaviest for the years 1908-1910, and throughout contains numerous letters of doctors Edwin D. Newton, Deering J. Roberts (editor of the Southern Practitioner, 1901, resolutions, accounts, notes and a memorandum, 1911, reports and clippings.

Dr. Lewis maintained some materials concerning annual meetings of the Medical Officers Association in 1901, 1908, 1916 (including minutes) and 1917. The last remaining items (Box 25) concern special projects. The first involves Lewis’ article in the Southern Practitioner about Ella (King) Newsom Trader, the “Florence Nightingale of the South,” a key figure in the C. S. A. hospital service. In preparation for the article he maintained a correspondence with Mrs. Trader and others, prepared a resolution on behalf of the Association, and collected articles, biographical sketches, notes and clippings. Lewis also prepared an article for the same publication on “T. J. Jackson and Hunter McGuire at Winchester, Va.,” concerning the exchange of medical personnel as prisoners of war. His materials include correspondence (especially with Hunter Holmes McGuire and Marcus Joseph Wright), drafts and an annotated copy of the article, notes, memoranda and clippings. Lastly, Dr. Lewis on behalf of the Association under took a pension inquiry in 1908. His records consist of letters from state officials, sample applications, printed laws and regulations, and clippings.

The last materials under the heading of the Medical Officers Association include Dr. Lewis’s service records and transcripts of letters and reports he wrote while serving on the staff at Winder Hospital, Richmond, Va.; some loose accounts; obituary notices and notes on Confederate surgeons; clippings; and miscellany.

Box 22                                                                                                                                                                           
 Minute book, 1907-1910, 1914.
 Register, 1902-1917.
 General correspondence, 1898-1907.


Box 23                                                                                                                                                                     
 General correspondence, 1908-1915.
 Reports (badge, roster and records committees).



Box 24                                                                                                                                                                
 Reports (Samuel Preston Moore Monument Committee).
 Annual meetings.



Box 25 
 Special projects (Ella King Newsom Trader; T. J. Jackson and Hunter McGuire; pension inquiry).
 Miscellany (S. E. Lewis service record; letters and accounts; obituaries and notes; clippings and general miscellany).

Last updated: July 2, 2020