Vermontville, Michigan, family. Civil War correspondence and diaries of Joseph B. Griswold, musician in the Second Michigan Cavalry, and later Assistant Surgeon in the Fourth Michigan Infantry; also material concerning the land transactions of Roger W. Griswold; and miscellaneous clippings, photograph, correspondence, and printed material.
The Griswold family papers includes materials for both Roger W. and Joseph B. Griswold. The bulk of the collection consists of letters, diaries, and other materials of Joseph B. Griswold relating to his Civil War service. There is a diary concerning his year as a musician in which he notes the weather, the days when they played for dress parade and guard mounting, and an occasional serenade for someone such as General Pope. He comments on camp duties, food, a trip down the river, some hospital duties, saying, "This hospital business I detest ... wish I was back in the regiment," his own bout with dysentery; and his wanting to go home. "I'm sick of soldiering. Wish I was out ... but what's the good of wishing."
In the 4th Infantry, he wrote some thirty letters to his sister. He describes quarters, their moves from camp to camp from Huntsville, Ala. to San Antonio, Texas, and caring for the sick and wounded. There is much chit-chat about home folks and affairs; his occasional dinners out with Southern families in which there are young ladies, with perhaps a musical evening to follow; church services; and Christmas southern style.
The diary, which supplements these letters, also tells of social calls, dances, a fox hunt, card games, church services, rides into the country on his horse, drinking among the men, and horse racing in their camp in San Antonio in which his horse is entered. The drinking water is bad, and he is often sick with diarrhea. Mosquitoes bother both men and horses. He comments on food or the lack of it and on camp gardens. He thought some of setting up a medical practice in San Antonio, but instead returned to school.