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Adam Cosner papers, 1864-1865; 1880

25 items

The Cosner papers document the experience of a middle-aged Union soldier serving with the 21st Ohio Infantry during the Civil War.

Cosner's letters reflect his rather unusual position as a middle-aged soldier. Sixteen of the 18 letters in the collection were written to his wife, Ann B. Cosner, and the other two were addressed to his daughter, Martha, one in 1880. Cosner's handwriting suggests that he was not an experienced letter-writer, nor are his descriptive skills well developed, seldom advancing beyond straightforward comments and never at length. Cosner's letters, however, do reflect the attitudes of many pious, honest soldiers trying to live a Christian life in the middle of a seemingly godless war, and, unusually, display an open reticence about entering combat.


Aplin family papers, 1859-1960 (majority within 1862-1865)

270 items (1 linear foot)

The Aplin family papers consists mostly of letters to and from the three Aplin sons during their service in the Civil War.

The Aplin papers are most valuable not as a record of military service, for the news of battle and camp is meager and often second-hand, but as an expression of life on the home front, largely from a woman's point of view. Most of the letters (78) are from mother Elvira Aplin to son George. They are lengthy, colorful, and highly opinionated statements of her views on southerners, Copperheads, Union officers, the economic and political scene at home, the draft, war strategy, religion, and -- above all -- the behavior of her sons. On June 11, 1863 she writes, "I feel as tho I could bear any other trouble better than to hear my children have lost their good names," and admonishes George that "[y]our patriotism is all right, but you are apt to be a little tardy, and do not always render that obedience to superior officers that your oath requires." Of his journalistic efforts, she remarked that it was not proper to write "how many die there every week, and how the dead are buried after battle. I don't doubt the both of them, but it does no good to tell it, and it makes the friends of the sick and of those who die in battle feel very bad to read such accounts, while they cannot do anything to make it better." (1863 March 16) Elvira found fault with Tommy and George for not saving any of their money, as Tip did, and provoked her youngest son's fiery temper with such criticism.

Mrs. Aplin's disapproval focused on larger targets as well; as the war dragged on, she lost all patience with Union officers and developed a simmering hatred of Confederate leaders and sympathizers. A letter of March 28, 1865 tells of her fervent wish to hear that "the officers of the Southern empire army and navy have been suspended from the trees. Hunt the gurillas like wolves till the land is rid of them. Then I want the soldiers to come home and punish the northern Copperheads till they will never dare to sympathize with the south again." Southern culture also failed to impress; Elvira remarked of a magazine George had sent home "[i]f that is a specimen of southern literature I think almost any of our northern blockheads could write for periodicals in that country. ... They need a little more larnin as bad as I do." Behind Elvira's ornery criticisms lay a deep sadness and unease as she yearned for "this butchering of human beings be done away ... while there is a few left alive." She came to see herself and Sarah as perpetual wanderers who would "spend the rest of our lives alone, in this dreary world alone, without home or friend."

14 letters from Sarah Aplin to George also offer commentary on the home front, but are less detailed and expressive. School-teacher Sarah was clearly of milder temperament than her mother, but did indulge in good-natured teasing about her brother's southern girlfriends. Two brief comments in letters of her mother and of friend Ellen Johnson refer to Sarah being left a "grass widder." Since there are no references to a child being born, presumably this means she had been spurned by a suitor -- another of the many trials she and Elvira had to bear during these years.

Sister Helen [Aplin] Wheeler's 7 letters to George offer a contrast to Sarah's articulate and grammatical writing, revealing her prejudices and lack of education. Expressing the opinion that blacks are better off enslaved, she asks whether her brother went to war "to liberate them paltry slaves or for the constitution..." Helen teasingly requests that he send her "some collard girl that knows how to work," carefully noting that she prefers "a darkey girl ... that was quite good looking not one of the real black ones..." (1863 February 9, March 16)

An interesting subset of correspondence consists of 20 letters to George from Ellen Johnson, whom he later married. Some of the letters feature coy references to their courtship, while others remark on more substantive matters. "There is to be another draft and I hope they will take all the cowards and runaways that is in the country. And those that have gone to Canada have got to be branded so that we will know them in after days if they ever return," she writes on February 15, 1863. As the war drags on Ellen bitterly remarks that "some of our nigger loving friends say that the war will be ended in two months. I don't see what reason they have for thinking so." (1863 March 23)

23 letters to George and Sarah from brothers Tip and Tommy include some information on their war experiences and attitudes. Tommy's letters are particularly revealing, as he expresses resentment of his mother's criticisms, chafes with impatience to get back in the fighting, boasts that he does not fear death and has had a premonition of dying, and shows his disregard for military rules and regulations. On August 1, 1862 he writes of his dislike for guard duty: "I tell you this kind of guarding goes against the grain with me & when I am guarding a secesh orchard or cornfield I never see anything that is a going on if I can help it I never see any of the boys till they get their haversacks full & they always outrun me I never catched one yet..."

The collection contains just 8 wartime letters by George Aplin, who shows his journalistic bent in a long July 5, 1862 missive to "James" which chronicles his regiment's journey south and initial war experiences around Corinth, Mississippi, including colorful opinions on the people, houses, and landscape. One of 4 letters from George to Sarah Aplin includes a description and pencil sketch of Iuka, Mississippi, a watering place with mineral springs. (1862 July 27)

Although the bulk of the Aplin Family Papers date from the Civil War years, there is enough post-war material to round out the family saga. Tip fared reasonably well in business and politics, while George struggled. Elvira had a home once more, with George's family, but must have shared in the hardships. Post-war correspondence with lawyers, creditors, the War Dept., and Tip offers a sad picture of George's financial difficulties and failures, as he lost his farm and had to rely on his brother for money and help in getting work. His war experience was to be the highlight of George Aplin's life. The collection includes a photograph of him in military uniform at the age of 77, reliving past glories.


Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Pennsylvania biographical sketches, [1892]-1901; 1964 (majority within [1892])

1 volume

This volume contains biographical information about members of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post No. 228, which was named after Colonel John A. Koltes and located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biographical sketches include information about veterans' dates and places of birth, as well as details of their Civil War service, such as their dates of enrollment and discharge, unit numbers, and participation in battles.

This volume (382 pages, of which 186 are blank) contains biographical information of about 190 members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 228, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biographical sketches include information about veterans' dates and places of birth as well as details of their Civil War service, such as dates of enrollment and discharge, unit numbers, and participation in battles.

Louis [Bergdoll] presented the volume, entitled "Personal War Sketches," to the John A. Koltes Post (No. 228) in 1892. The information is entered in manuscript on previously printed pages, which include sections for general post information, individual biographies, burial records, and additional supplementary information. The pages are accompanied by printed illustrations that depict soldiers, cannons, navy ships, and other military paraphernalia.

The biographical sketches (pp. 7-196) are organized in rough order alphabetically by surname. Each printed page includes sections for information on the soldier's birthdate and birthplace, military experience, and Grand Army of the Republic membership. Most of the post's members were born in various regions of Germany and in Philadelphia, though others came from Denmark (1 member), England (1 member), France (1 member), New Jersey (1 member) South America (1 member), and Switzerland (3 members). Many of the soldiers served in the same companies and regiments; specific enlistment data is included for each man. Some entries include additional notes about soldiers' participation in major battles, wounds sustained, time as prisoners of war, and close friends in the military, as well as the most important aspect of each man's army service. Burial information for some soldiers also appears on pages 369-373, covering the years 1874-1901.

Items laid into the volume include preprinted sheets on which soldiers responded to questions about their military service and personal histories. Two birth certificates for Wilhelm Lanert West, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1902, are laid into the volume between pages 92 and 93; each is dated June 22, 1964.


Hilon A. Parker family papers, 1825-1953 (majority within 1853-1911)

3 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, diaries, documents, ephemera, and other items related to Hilon A. Parker and other members of the Parker family. The papers reflect Hilon A. Parker's life in Plessis, New York; his service in the 10th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment during the Civil War; and his postwar work as a railroad engineer and administrator.

This collection (3 linear feet) is made up of correspondence, diaries, documents, ephemera, and other items related to Hilon A. Parker and other members of the Parker family. Materials pertain to Hilon A. Parker's life in Plessis, New York; his service in the 10th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment during the Civil War; and his postwar work as a railroad engineer and administrator.

The correspondence (464 items) consists mainly of personal letters written and received by Hilon A. Parker between the 1860s and early 1910s. During the Civil War, Hilon A. Parker and his brother Harvey exchanged letters and wrote to their parents about service in the Union Army. Hilon served in the 10th New York Artillery Regiment. Thirza Parker, Hilon and Harvey's sister, provided news from Plessis, New York, while her brothers were away. Much of the correspondence from the late 1860s consists of letters between Hilon A. Parker and Mary Cunningham, his future wife. Hilon described the scenery and his work for railroad companies in Iowa, and Mary wrote about her life in Copenhagen, New York. After their marriage, most of the correspondence is comprised of incoming letters to Hilon A. Parker from personal and professional acquaintances. Parker received many condolence letters following Mary's death in early 1892. Later items include content related to Native American schools and to Parker's career in the railroad industry. A few late items sent to Hilon's daughter Florence in 1911 and 1912 concern his estate.

A group of 36 pencil and colored drawings and 32 letters relate to students at the Rainy Mountain Boarding School on the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation in western Oklahoma. Kiowa schoolchildren gave the drawings as thank you notes to Hilon Parker, general manager of the Rock Island Railway, for a train ride he arranged for them in 1899. The children's ledger drawings show teepees, traditional Native American costume, and animals such as horses and buffalo. The children sent 13 letters to Hilon A. Parker on May 5, 1899. The Kiowa correspondence and drawings are accompanied by a group of 19 letters by grade school children in Chicago, Illinois, to Florence Parker Luckenbill, Hilon A. Parker's daughter, around 1925. The Chicago children commented on the Kiowa drawings and letters.

The Hilon A. Parker diaries (31 items) form a continuous run from 1860 to 1911, with the exception of the years 1896 and 1903. His brief daily entries concern life in Plessis, New York, in the early 1860s; service in the 10th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment during the Civil War; and work for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company. Lucinda Parker, Hilon's mother, kept 6 diaries covering the period from 1858-1865, excepting 1862. She commented on her daily activities and social life in Plessis, New York.

Hilon A. Parker made entries in a commonplace book from February 1863-August 1863 and in April 1866. The first section of the volume contains poems and brief essays composed at Fort Meigs in Washington, D.C. Many of the entries refer to military life and to the war. The later pages of the volume include diagrams of cannons, mathematics and physics notes, and definitions of military terms. Items glued into this section of the volume include a small paper flag and many clipped autographs.

The collection's military documents (39 items) include orders, passes, commissions, and other documents related to Hilon A. Parker's service in the 10th New York Artillery Regiment during the Civil War; one item pertains to his pension. Undated materials include a casualty list and a blank voucher form.

Nine account books belonging to Hilon's father Alpheus Parker span the years from 1853-1878. Some of the volumes pertain to Parker's accounts with specific banks. Hilon Parker's business papers contain 35 accounts, receipts, and other items related to his personal finances and to his work for the railroad industry; one item concerns his voter registration (October 19, 1888). Most of the later material, including contracts and other agreements, regard business agreements between railroad companies. Some of the accounts are written on stationery of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company.

Mary Cunningham's Hungerford Collegiate Institute papers (40 items) include essays, poetry, report cards, and newspaper clippings related to Cunningham's studies at the institute in the mid-1860s. The papers include a manuscript magazine called The Nonpareil, edited by Mary Cunningham (Vol. 5, No. 8: November 18, 1863).

Approximately 80 speeches, addresses, and essays written by Hilon A. Parker pertain to the Civil War, the Republican Party, and Illinois politics. Parker also composed speeches and essays about the life of Abraham Lincoln and about Native Americans.

The Hilon A. Parker family papers include 8 photographs: an ambrotype image of several members of the Parker family posing outside of the Parker & Fairman storefront in Plessis, New York, and portraits of Derrinda Parker Tanner (tintype), Isaac L. Hitchcock (daguerreotype), Lucinda and Thirza Parker (daguerreotype), two unidentified women (ambrotypes), Hilon A. and Harvey M. Parker in military uniform (card photograph), and Hilon A. Parker as a grown man (photographic print).

A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, ephemera, and other items related to the life of Hilon A. Parker. Many articles concern Civil War veterans' groups (the Englewood Union Veteran Club and the Grand Army of the Republic) and other topics related to the war, such as an article regarding a reunion of the 10th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, the fate of John Brown's wife and sons, memorial poems, and a map of entrenchments around Petersburg, Virginia. Other groups of clippings concern Illinois politics, liquor laws, the railroad industry, and the life of Hilon A. Parker.

The papers include newspaper clippings (21 items), biographical notes and writings (18 items), a hand-sewn US flag made by Thirza Parker for Hilon Parker while he served in the Civil War, a silhouette made in Denver, Colorado, in 1903, and other items.


John E. Boos collection, 1860-1988, 2005

Approximately 1,200 manuscripts (3.25 linear feet)

The John E. Boos collection consists of over 1,200 personal manuscript recollections or brief notes by persons who met or saw Abraham Lincoln and by persons who experienced the Civil War. John Boos, of Albany, New York, solicited and compiled most of these reminiscences in the early 20th century.

The John E. Boos collection consists of over 1,200 personal manuscript recollections or brief notes by persons who met or saw Abraham Lincoln and by persons who experienced the Civil War. John Boos solicited and compiled most of these reminiscences in the early 20th century. The collection is arranged in four series: Bound Volumes (compiled by and bound for John Boos), Unbound Volumes (binders apparently compiled by John Boos, but never bound), Loose Items, and one Book.

Boos collected autographs and reminiscences on uniquely sized 6.5'' by 9'' paper, and he instructed those he was soliciting to leave a wide 1.5'' left margin for binding. All but one volume in Series I are bound collections of this Boos-standard paper and most contributors in Series II and III contributed a note or autograph on the same size paper.

John Boos's interviewees related an almost uniform admiration or reverence to the President and his memory. Within the first binder of Series II, for example, William Strover (who was not a Civil War veteran, and who never met Lincoln) remarked: "I consider him the greatest man that has come upon the earth since Jesus Christ, and surely the greatest American that lived." Such high praise is featured throughout the entire collection. One example expressing disdain for Abraham Lincoln is a November 24, 1930, letter by Confederate and Presbyterian minister Milton B. Lambdin, who was skeptical about Boos' intent in contacting him. He suspected that Boos made the connection on account of a multi-issue article Lambdin produced for the Confederate Veteran (1929) titled "A Boy of the Old Dominion..."

Series I: Bound Volumes, 1931-1970

Eight of the nine volumes contained in this series are letters and reminiscences compiled by Boos. The volumes revolve around individual persons or themes, including the Lincoln-Douglas debates; Lincoln's assassination; Lincoln's guards; General George H. Thomas, a leading figure in the Western theater of the Civil War who retired to Troy, New York; Johnson Brigham, a fellow Lincoln enthusiast who met the President on several occasions; and the story of Confederate General George Pickett as told by his wife, La Salle Corbell Pickett; and a selection of "Mr. Lincoln's Soldiers."

Boos interspersed the manuscript and typed accounts with ephemeral items and his own narratives of relevant events. He frequently provided an overall account of the volume's theme (usually with lengthy quotations from his correspondents) before presenting the reminiscences and a brief biography of each contributor. In his introductions to these personal accounts, Boos sometimes included a narrative of how he had met and interviewed the individual or linked the person's memories of Lincoln to similar ones. Most of the volumes include a title page, dedication, illustrations, and an index.

The accounts in these bound volumes differ in length, tone, and detail, but they provide insight into how a variety of individuals remembered the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln more than a half-century after the fact. Many of his contributors were Union Army veterans, but he also tracked down individuals who witnessed the Lincoln-Douglas debates as children, Mrs. M. O. Smith who saw Lincoln at Gettysburg,a Confederate soldier, several of Lincoln's personal guards, an actress who had performed in Our American Cousin the night Lincoln was shot (Jeannie Gourley), a man who was in the same Ford's Theater box as Lincoln and who was stabbed by John Wilkes Booth (Henry Rathbone), and the man who recorded the testimony of witnesses to the assassination (James Tanner). The accounts address subjects ranging from the President's dress and style of speaking to the contributors' reflections on his legacy and greatness.

One bound volume, inscribed to John E. Boos by its creator Bernhardt Wall, contains etchings of locations in New York State visited by Lincoln. Three letters from Wall to Boos are enclosed in this 1938 volume.

Series II: Unbound Volumes (extracted from binders), 1905-1941

Series II includes the contents of 13 binders, arranged roughly into thematic categories, apparently by Boos himself (likely with the intention of binding them as he did with the letters in Series I). The order of pages within the binders has been maintained in its present housing.

Boos placed each incoming letter, reminiscence, or autograph into a top-loading page protector with related materials. In some volumes, for example, Boos matched each manuscript with his own typed or handwritten notes, which variously included the veteran's name, where they saw Lincoln, regimental information, where Boos met the veteran, and Boos's impressions of the individual. Boos wrote many of these notes on the back of scrap paper, such as advertising mail received by Boos or sample primary election ballots (some of the scrap paper contains illustrated letterheads).

Binders 1-3: Lincoln's Soldiers (3 binders, 1905-1927). Lincoln's Soldiers largely consists of letters sent to Boos, many with their envelopes still attached. Most contributors utilized Boos-provided paper, though some utilized their own stationery. Despite its title, "Lincoln's Soldiers" is comprised of letters by civilians and soldiers alike. Many contributors had met President Lincoln, and Boos collected as much information as possible about those encounters. Others were unable to meet Lincoln, but shared vivid memories of their times in Andersonville Prison, or interactions with other famous leaders, such as General Sherman (W. H. Jennings) and General Grant (J. E. Parmelee). Some documented their efforts to preserve Lincoln's memory or their involvement in Veteran's organizations.

Binders 4-7: I Saw Lincoln (4 binders, 1911-1928). The bulk of the contributors to I Saw Lincoln met or saw Lincoln during his presidency; a smaller portion interacted with him prior to the presidency; and others saw him while lying in state or en route to Illinois in 1865. The I Saw Lincoln group includes Boos's incoming correspondence and autographs he personally collected while traveling. Glowing praise of Lincoln continues throughout these binders, including an anecdote by Daniel Webster (of Salem, Oregon), in which he described how he was "near being mobbed" in Arkansas in 1871 for calling Lincoln "the brightest star in the galaxy of American statesmen and patriots."

Binder 8: Antietam (1 binder, 1912-1937). The soldiers represented in Antietam were present at the battle; some provided descriptions of the confrontation, though the writers do not all focus on the event. Antietam is notable for having the longest continuous example (in the unbound portion of the collection) of prose by Boos, in which he described the battle and his meetings with the veterans.

Binders 9-11: Lincoln's Soldiers and Where They Saw Him (3 binders, 1911-1933). contains accounts from soldiers who saw Lincoln and soldiers who did not. This group includes a significant number of contributions by soldiers who guarded the President's remains.

Binder 12: Autographs of Abe Lincoln's Soldiers (1 binder, 1910-1917). This binder contains signatures of soldiers, with very brief notes on each veteran. Boos apparently revisited the binder at a later dated and added death dates.

[Unnumbered Binder]: [Additional Lincoln's Soldiers] (1 binder, 1911-1937). This binder includes accounts similar to those found in binders 9-11.

Series III: Loose Items, 1904-1949

This series is comprised of nearly 200 loose letters, disbound book pages, and notes. Many of these items were either part of one of the Clements Library's pre-2015 accessions, or were included with the Dow collection in unarranged binders. The bulk of the series is letters to Boos containing memories of Lincoln. The accounts provided by these eye witnesses include memories of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's assassination, hospital visits by the President, his 1860 Cooper Union speech, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and general memories of the Civil War period. The contributors include veterans, Ford's Theater attendees on the night Lincoln was shot, the daughter of Mary Todd Lincoln's personal nurse (Ealine Fay), and a woman who sang in the choir for the ceremony at which Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address (M. O. Smith). This series contains letters by Jennie Gourlay Struthers and James Tanner, who are also represented in the Then a Nation Stood Still volume in Series I.

The series includes writings and other materials that shed light on John E. Boos's collecting practices and editing processes and a 1924 letter from Congregational minister William E. Barton to Walt Whitman expert Emory Holloway, with comments on the growing cult of memory surrounding Lincoln.

A folder of manuscripts and photocopies pertain to Grace Bedell, who is credited with convincing Lincoln to grow his whiskers. These items include photocopies of letters Bedell exchanged with Boos, original letters between Boos and Bedell's heirs, and letters between Boos and Congressman George Dondero, who at one point owned Bedell's original letter to Lincoln.

The Loose Items series also contains correspondence of Donald P. Dow, photocopies of Boos materials offered for sale, and photocopies of letters not present in the Clements Library's collection.

Series IV: Book. A publication containing 103 John Boos letters has been added to the collection: Rare Personal Accounts of Abraham Lincoln, ed. By William R. Feeheley and Bill Snack (Cadillac, Mich.: Rail Splitter Pub., 2005).

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a comprehensive writer index, which identifies each contributor to the collection: John E. Boos Collection Writer Index.


Levi B. Downs papers, 1861-1888

230 items

The Downs papers include documents relating to Levi Downs' military service with the 107th United States Colored Troops, materials from Downs' work as clerk to the Claims Agent for the Plymouth, N.C branch of the Freedmen's Bureau, and family correspondence from and to Downs.

The Downs papers include three sorts of materials: first, correspondence between Levi Downs and his sisters Louisa, Mary, Nancy, and Ann (Mrs. E.W. Frost); second, materials relating to claims for bounty money and pay in arrears, all handled by Downs as clerk to the Claims Agent for the local branch of the Freedmen's Bureau between December, 1868 and December, 1869; and finally, documents relating to Downs' military service, including commissions and returns. Downs' diary includes only very sporadic entries during 1864, and these very brief. They do include notes on both Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor-Petersburg.

Downs' letters to his sisters provide comparatively little information on the military side of the war, although there are some good letters written while he was serving with the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery describing the siege at Yorktown, and some descriptions of life on the Richmond front when with the 107th U.S.C.T. His post-war letters provide a case study of the attempts of a Union veteran to establish himself in tough economic times by taking advantage of business opportunities in the occupied south. His record, unfortunately, is one of very limited success. An excellent and very long letter from another officer in the 107th U.S.C.T., E.T. Lamberton (1882 August 17-25), suggests that Downs' economic hardships and inability to capitalize on the Reconstruction economy were not unique. Lamberton details his own efforts at making a living and relates news he has heard from of the hard times faced by several other of their fellow officers.

The series of bounty claims and claims for arrears in pay, dated between December, 1868 and December, 1869, includes letters written by and on behalf of veterans of "Colored" regiments, including the 14th Heavy Artillery, the 35th, 36th, 37th and 38th U.S.C.T. (all but the 38th raised in North Carolina), and the 1st and 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry. The majority of these letters are routine inquiries written on behalf of former soldiers by pension agents, friends or surviving relatives, though several letters addressed to Oliver Otis Howard (and forwarded) appear to have been written by the veterans themselves. One letter, from Marcus Hamilton, a Private in Downs' Company during the war, is a request for support in an application for a pension for having been wounded at Fair Oaks in October, 1864. Downs complied.

An unusual assortment of materials is associated with the Downs papers. Included are a pair of Down's spectacles, his sword as an officer of the 107th U.S.C.T., a Civil War-era gutta percha ball, which may have been the core to an early baseball, his military belt buckle, a match case, a $20 Confederate bill and $2 bill from the Citizen's bank of Waterbury, and reunion ribbons for the 14th and 15th annual reunions of Companies I and B of the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery (1884 and 1885). These have all been transferred to the Graphics Division for storage. There are two photographs of Downs, a small one on a calling card with the notation, 4th Conn. Vols., and an outstanding daguerreotype in an oval thermoplastic cameo case, taken while an officer in the 107th U.S.C.T. These have also been transferred to the Graphics Division.


Lewis Carlisle Mead typescripts, 1862-1910s

1 volume

This collection is made up of typescripts and copies related to Lewis C. Mead's service in the 22nd Michigan Infantry Regiment, Company I, during the Civil War, including his time as a prisoner of war. He wrote letters home while serving in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, and during his imprisonment in Libby Prison and other Confederate prisoner-of-war camps.

This volume (177 pages) contains typescripts and copies related to Lewis C. Mead's service in the 22nd Michigan Infantry Regiment, Company I, during the Civil War. The collection includes an introduction by Mead's youngest daughter.

Pages 1-148 largely consist of letters that Mead wrote to his parents and sister during his military service. He described camp life, marches, and scenery in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia (particularly in and around Lexington, where the regiment was stationed for much of the winter of 1862-1863). He mentioned Lexington's African American population, his African-American servant in Nashville (shared with his tent mates), promotions and officer elections within his company and regiment, executions of deserters, and a skirmish with Confederate forces. From October 1863 to November 1864, he wrote from Libby Prison and other Confederate prisoner-of-war camps. Mead discussed his health and his possible release or exchange. By the time he resumed his correspondence in March 1865, he had returned to the regiment. He remained with the unit until at least May 1865.

A small number of letters by other writers include an early order by J. W. Trueman authorizing Mead to raise a company for a regiment of lancers (October 3, 1861) and several written to the Mead family during the war. E. S. Woodman, an acquaintance, and other soldiers provided news about Lewis C. Mead's capture and imprisonment in October 1864. Postwar correspondence includes family letters and a letter from H. S. Dean to Lewis C. Mead regarding a visit to the Chickamauga battlefield by Michigan veterans (October 25, 1893).

The letters are followed by Mead's ca. 1886 reminiscences of his Civil War service, including his experiences during the Battle of Chickamauga and his subsequent imprisonment (pp. 149-164); a speech by Mead about the 22nd Michigan Infantry Regiment's Civil War service (pp. 165-172); and additional reminiscences written after a 50th anniversary visit to the Chickamauga battlefield, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and other locations related to Mead's wartime experiences (pp. 173-177).

The volume contains a photocopy of a newspaper obituary for Lewis C. Mead, published in The Daily Press. Photocopied photographs include Lewis C. Mead around the time of his enlistment and as an older adult; "Johnny Clem," a 12-year-old soldier who was embedded with Mead's regiment (pictured in uniform holding a gun); James Arthur Gallery wearing Mead's dress uniform; and Owen Carlisle Frost in a World War I-era army uniform.

A typescript copy of a letter by William Hayden Smith regarding his experiences with the 1st Michigan Infantry Regiment around the time of Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox is pasted into the volume's back cover (April 9, 1865).


Moses A. Cleveland collection, 1864-1917 (majority within 1864-1892)

4 volumes

The Moses A. Cleveland collection contains a copy of Cleveland's Civil War diary, a scrapbook of his postwar correspondence, and two drafts of his autobiography, which he composed in 1892 and copied in 1909. Cleveland, who worked primarily as a carpenter in New England and Ohio, served with the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery near the Gulf of Mexico during the war.

The Moses A. Cleveland collection is made up of a copy of Cleveland's Civil War diary, a scrapbook of his postwar correspondence, and two drafts of his autobiography, which he composed in 1892 and copied in 1909.

The first volume ("War Diary 1864-5...") contains Cleveland's transcribed copies of his diaries from his service in the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery. Cleveland began his transcription with a short introduction and a brief history of the war, written in 1866, and the first copied entry is dated January 1, 1864. Driven by a desire to evade conscription, he enlisted in the artillery on June 4, 1864, and was dispatched to the Department of the Gulf. Throughout his diary, he made marginal notes tracking important events or themes, described his military activities and, to a lesser extent, offered opinions about the war. Of particular interest is his reaction to the news of Lincoln's assassination, which he first discredited as rumor (p. 132). Following Lee's surrender, Cleveland's regiment was stationed in Mobile, Alabama, before returning to Massachusetts, where Cleveland was discharged on November 13, 1865. The diary also includes a retrospective, a log of miles travelled, a roster for the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Regiment, transcriptions of documents, and several ephemera items and newspaper clippings. Some of the news clippings imply that Cleveland was involved in the war's final shot. Two Confederate bills pasted into the volume. Letters and notes from the 1910s are laid into the volume.

The second item is a 95-page scrapbook that Cleveland compiled in the 1880s and 1890s while living in Willoughby, Ohio. It primarily contains correspondence, including several illustrated envelopes, and provides insight into Cleveland's postwar interest in the Civil War.

Two copies of Cleveland's autobiography, which he originally wrote in 1892 and copied in 1909, chronicle his life as a journeyman carpenter and his life as a working man in the antebellum North. He discussed both his personal life and his political views. Of particular interest are remarks about the Millerite movement and about the Mexican War. The first draft of the autobiography (59 pages) ended with Cleveland's enlistment, and the second (107 pages) closed with reflections on the first few years of his postwar life. The first volume contains two photographs of Cleveland, and the second has a number of songs and poems, many of which commemorate soldiers of the Civil War (pp. 109-252). He intended the autobiography to be integrated with his war diary as a single volume. Newspaper clippings and poems are pasted and laid into the volume's endpapers.


Newton H. Kingman collection, 1928-1935

20 items

The Newton H. Klingman collection contains letters and postcards that Kingman, a nonagenarian and Civil War veteran, wrote to Judge Edward D. Shurtleff of Marengo, Illinois, about politics, his genealogy, and other topics. The collection also includes a biography of Kingman and a newspaper clipping.

The Newton H. Kingman collection (20 items) contains 16 letters and postcards that Kingman sent to Judge Edward D. Shurtleff of Marengo, Illinois, between September 11, 1928, and November 9, 1933; a biography of Kingman published on his 91st birthday (May 20, 1928); an additional letter and postcard to Shurtleff (March 23, 1929, and May 30, 1935); and a newspaper clipping (October 19, 1933). A few of Kingman's early letters are copied on stationery belonging to Shurtleff.

Kingman's correspondence with Shurtleff pertains to his genealogy, his health, his involvement in local South Dakota politics in the mid-1880s, and contemporary party politics; he supported Herbert Hoover, the Republican Party, and temperance. Kingman commented on the commemorative biography first printed on his 90th birthday and responded to Shurtleff's attempts to locate Kingman family grave markers. One postcard with a holly border contains printed Christmas greetings (December 25, 1931). Shurtleff also received a letter from Lew Siebrecht and Mrs. F. McCormick regarding the death of their father, August Siebrecht, and a postcard from Mrs. E[dmund] B[ogardus] Kingman about Newton H. Kingman's inability to write.

The remaining items are a newspaper clipping with images of the South Dakota prairie (October 19, 1933) and the second edition of Life Story of Captain Newton H. Kingman, issued on his 91st birthday (May 20, 1928). The 39-page booklet includes a description of his Civil War services and pictures of Kingman in and out of uniform.


Ocean House scrapbook and register, 1895

1 volume

The Ocean House scrapbook and register is a repurposed guestbook from the Ocean House hotel in Old Orchard, Maine. The volume has a manuscript inventory of the hotel's furnishings and pasted-in newspaper clippings about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and local political meetings.

The Ocean House scrapbook and register (around 70 pages) is a repurposed guestbook from the Ocean House hotel in Old Orchard, Maine. The volume has a manuscript inventory of the hotel's furnishings; pasted-in newspaper clippings about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and local political meetings; and advertisements for a variety of manufactured goods and services. Generally, the writer organized the inventory by floor, listing each room's furnishings and amenities underneath the room's name or number. Most guest rooms had beds, mattresses, chairs, and sinks, among other furniture, and many were painted and carpeted. Lists of items present in communal guest rooms (such as parlors, a music room, and a dining room) and service rooms (such as a laundry room, bake shop, pantry, kitchen, and stable) follow the inventories for individual guest rooms.

Newspaper clippings are pasted onto 16 pages, including the first few pages of the furniture inventory. Most of the clippings pertain to reminiscences about the life of Abraham Lincoln, the death of Frederick Douglass, and meetings of the Young Men's Republican Club of Vermont. Many items are attributed to newspapers in Vermont, and some date from early 1895. Though never used as such, each register page has pre-printed information about the Ocean House and labeled columns for information about guests' stays. Two identical pages of printed advertisements for numerous goods and services are bound into the volume between most register pages.