University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William A. Wainwright Papers, 1864-1889

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wainwright, William A., 1832-1904
Title: Wainwright, William A., Papers
Dates: 1864-1889
Abstract: Letters, letterpress books, military orders, reports, broadsides, photographs, and receipts comprise the William A. Wainwright Papers, 1864-1889. The collection primarily relates to men, officers, and supplies at Fort Brown from 1864 to 1870, as well as the quartermaster operations at Fort Brown.
Accession No.: 1950
Extent: 5 ft., 11 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

William Alonzo Wainwright (1832-1904) worked as a clerk for Levi P. Morton, future Vice President under President Benjamin Harrison, in his hometown of Hanover, New Hampshire, and in a dry goods store in Concord. After moving to Noblesville, Indiana, in 1853, Wainwright operated a hardware, tin and stove business. Here he also married and had three children.

During the Civil War, Wainwright enlisted in a number of army units, including the 6th Indiana Regiment, Company J (April-August 1861), the 39th Indiana (August 1861-February 1862) and the 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry (July 1862-December 1863). Wainwright, a captain and Assistant Quartermaster, was transferred to the Engineers Department, Department of the Mississippi, until he was moved to the Department of the Cumberland in June 1864. He served as the Chief Assistant Quartermaster in Knoxville, Tennessee, from December 1865 to 1869, when he was transferred to the Quartermasters Department in Brownsville, Texas. Here he supervised the building of Fort Brown as a permanent military base. He was honorably discharged as a brevet major in 1870.

Resuming his hardware business in Noblesville, Indiana, Wainwright purchased a half interest in an abstracting business owned by Thomas E. Boyd and John H. Butler in 1878. Boyd sold his interest to E.K. Hall and the business became Wainwright and Company, later the Wainwright Trust Company. Wainwright was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Masons, and the Odd Fellows.


Davenport, Elizabeth Pettit. “Fort Brown.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 3, 2010.

Southard, Stewart. “William Alonzo Wainwright (1832-1906). United States (Union) Assistant Quartermaster Records, 1861-1870.” Tennessee State Library and Archives. Accessed August 3, 2010.

Scope and Contents

Letters, letterpress books, military orders, reports, requisitions, broadsides, issues of Harper's Weekly, photographs, and receipts comprise the William A. Wainwright Papers, 1864-1889. The collection primarily relates to men, officers, and supplies at Fort Brown from 1864 to 1870, as well as the quartermaster operations at Fort Brown. Materials also relate to military matters in Tennessee and Kentucky before Wainwright transferred to Texas. Photographs depict Fort Brown, Brownsville, and Matamoras, Mexico (1893).


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Wainwright, William A., 1832-1904 -- Archives
Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Army. Dept. of the Cumberland.
United States. Army. Quartermaster's Dept.
Building -- Texas.
Military bases -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Quartermasters -- United States -- 19th century.
Social affairs -- United States -- 19th century.
Brownsville (Tex.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Fort Brown (Brownsville, Tex.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Louisville (Ky.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Matamoros (Coahuila, Mexico) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
New Orleans (La.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.

Related Material

“William Alonzo Wainwright, United States Assistant Quartermaster Records (Union), 1861-1870,” Mf. 1600-Mf. 1699 at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis. “Wainwright, William A., 1862, 1865, 1869” M 0291.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William A. Wainwright Papers, 1864-1889, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2H133 Receipts, 1864
Reports, 1864
Telegram, 1864
Orders, 1864
Invoices, 1864
Reports and receipts, 1865-1866
Requisitions, 1865
Orders, 1865-1866
Oaths of allegiance, 1866
Record book, persons hired and discharged, 1866-1868
Transportation books, November 1867 - December 1868
2H134 Invoices and receipts, 1867
Bills of lading and oaths of allegiance, 1867
Orders, 1867
Reports, 1867
Requisitions, 1867
Reports, January-March 1868
2H135 Reports, April-August 1868
2H136 Reports, September-December 1868
2H137 Receipts, January-June 1868
2H138 Receipts, July-November, 1868
Requests and recommendations January-December 1868,
Contracts and bids, 1868
Bond, 1868
Inventories, 1868
2H139 Receipts, July 1868
Orders, 1868
Telegrams, 1868
Proceedings of Boards of Survey, 1868
Bills of lading, 1868
Requisitions, January-August 1868
2H140 Requisitions, September-December 1868
Invoices, 1868
Letter presses, January 2-July 21, 1868
2H141 Letter presses, July 21-December 31, 1868
Check stubs, March 1868-January 1869
Order books, July 3, 1868-April 8, 1868
2H142 Ledger, bills of lading, 1868-1870, undated
Letterpresses, undated
Reports, February 1868-February 1869
Records, March 1868-July 1869
Invoices, August 1869-May 1870
Receipts, January 1869
2H143 Receipts, February-May 1869
2H144 Receipts, June-December 1869
Reports, January 1869
2H145 Reports, February-September 1869
2H146 Reports, October-December 1869
Requisitions, 1869
2H147 Letterpresses, January-May 1869
Bills of lading, 1869
Bonds and injunctions, 1869
Orders, 1869
Requests and recommendations, 1869
Telegrams, 1869
Proceedings of a Board of Survey, 1869
Invoices, 1869
2H148 Letterpresses:
August-December 1869
January-April 1870
Order books, April 8-December 9, 1869
Check stubs, 1869
2H149 Receipts, 1870
Invoices, 1870
Proceedings of Boards of Survey, 1870
Bonds and Injunctions, 1870
Orders, 1870
Requisitions, 1870
Requests and recommendations, 1870
Reports, 1870
2H150 Orders, printed, 1865-1870
Reports, April-July, 1870
Miscellaneous papers, 1871
Personal correspondence, December 1889
Correspondence, 1872