1.75 cubic foot (in 4 boxes)
The collection consists of family information of Edith Williams, 1859, 2018, 1.75 Cubic Feet (in 4 boxes). The collection is organized into three series: Civil War, World War II, and Family Materials, and within each series by size and format, chronologically, and then alphabetically. General family history information includes: a family tree, affidavits, ledgers, letters, biographical information, ancestry information, naturalization records, and death certificates.
Civil War correspondence includes accounts from Chauncy Bunyea, Daniel Chapin, Edward Trembley, and some Union soldiers who were friends or neighbors (see Miscellaneous Correspondence folders). This series includes letters and war accounts spanning the entirety of the Civil War. There are accounts of Gettysburg, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Siege of Petersburg-Richmond, fighting in eastern Tennessee, and letters talking about home life in Michigan. Topics mentioned include enlistment, witnesses of a court-martial and execution, life as a Union soldier, troop movements, generals McClellan, Butterfield, and Pope, and the occupation of forts and camps.
World War II correspondence includes accounts from Max M. Ellison, a soldier in the 1st Cavalry Division of the Michigan Seventh Cavalry, about his experience fighting in the Pacific Theatre of war. This portion of the collection includes letters to Ellison’s wife (Florence), daughter (Edith), and Nortons (in-laws). The main themes of the letters are about the life of a soldier, fighting on the front line, and the liberation of the Philippines, Admiralty Islands, and New Guinea. The letters also contain experiences about interacting with the local population, cutting hair for soldiers, the cigar trade between soldiers, entertainment, local wildlife, and the local food. Furthermore, Ellison writes about President Franklin Roosevelt, dead Japanese soldiers, and prizes of war. The tone of his letters are more serious after October 20, 1944, following the invasion of the Philippines. He sees combat until March 6, 1945, after he is wounded and placed in the hospital. Additionally, Ellison writes extensively about his Michigan hometown of Bellaire, training horses, and building a future home and life. Some of the letters include church service pamphlets, hospital pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and drawings.
Processing Note: During processing .25 cubic feet of peripheral materials and envelopes were removed from the collection and returned to the donor as per the donor agreement. Acidic materials were photocopied and the originals were withdrawn from the collection.