Civil War collections

The following is a list of Manuscript collections containing materials relating to the Civil War.

RG0712.AM:  Dodge family

The manuscript portion of the collection consists of miscellaneous papers relating to Grenville M. Dodge and the Dodge family of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Included in the collection are various legal documents, deeds, financial receipts, letters, and telegrams, mostly dating from the 1850s-1870s. Correspondents include Grenville M. Dodge, Annie Dodge, C.C. Woolworth and John D. Long. Of particular interest are the two letters written by Annie (Mrs. Grenville) Dodge to “Mother Dodge” in June of 1861. In one letter she writes of “Gren” going to Washington on behalf of Gov. Kirkwood of Iowa in order to obtain from the Secretary of War arms for the Iowa troops. She also discusses the possibility of Grenville going to Harper’s Ferry.

RG0788.AM:  Church Howe, 1839-1915

Church Howe, son of Albert Carlton and Mary Jane (Carr) Howe, was born in Princeton, Massachusetts, on December 13, 1839.  Howe left the family farm and worked as a clerk until the outbreak of the Civil War. In April 1861 he enlisted in the 6th Massachusetts Regiment, then served in the 15th Massachusetts, and later served on the staff of Major General John Sedgewick, attaining the rank of Major. Howe resigned his commission due to ill health in 1863.

This material relates to the military, political, agricultural, business, and diplomatic careers of Church Howe.  The Correspondence, 1861-1919, of Series One documents a number of aspects of Church Howe’s life and career. Highlighted are his time in the military during the Civil War; his appointment as U.S. Marshal of Wyoming Territory in 1869; his railroad and town building promotion in Auburn, Nebraska; his involvement in the Republican Party and in Nebraska state politics; and his career in the U.S. Consular Service.  The Autograph Books of Series Five are arranged topically and chronologically. Included are autographs of Civil War figures, 1862-1863.

RG0799.AM:  Galvanized Yankees

“Galvanized Yankees” was the name applied to some 6000 former Confederate soldiers enlisted from Union prisoner-of-war camps and sent west to fight Indians. Between 1864 and 1866, six regiments of these former rebels, officially known as United States Volunteers, were stationed throughout the west seeing action in Nebraska, Minnesota, Dakota Territory, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah.

In Nebraska, “Galvanized Yankees” from the 3rd and 5th Regiments were stationed at Forts Kearny and McPherson, and men from these regiments garrisoned many other minor posts and stations along the overland trail. They fought Indians, guarded surveying parties for the Union Pacific, escorted supply trains and stagecoaches, and rebuilt telegraph lines.

At the end of their terms of service the “Galvanized Yankees” were discharged at Fort Kearny or Fort Leavenworth. The last units were mustered out in November, 1866.

The collection consists of one series, Research Materials, gathered by Society Researchers in investigating the numbers and sources of “Galvanized Yankees” on the plains. Research on this issue was begun when the Society received questions about the war service of the 11th Ohio Volunteers. Based upon research conducted by Society staff, it was concluded that the 11th Ohio Volunteer Infantry saw service only in the south, and that the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry saw service on the Plains; and that the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry were not “Galvanized Yankees,” but were regularly enlisted Union men. This research was conducted in 1940 and its conclusions dispute statements made by Capt. H. E. Palmer in his “History of the Powder River Indian Expedition of 1865” (Nebraska State Historical Society Transactions and Reports, Volume 2, 1887).

RG0866.AM:  Leonard Wright Colby, 1846-1924

This collection contains correspondence, 1889-1941, primarily to Leonard Colby. Letters seek favors, employment, and letters of reference. There is also material on Colby’s life, particularly his years in the military and as a Nebraska State Senator. A story about Colby purchasing a horse from U.S. Grant is included.

For biographical information about Leonard Wright Colby, see this Wikipedia article.

RG0933.AM:  Frederick E. Dalrymple, 1851-1921

This collection contains a few pieces of correspondence and miscellaneous other items relating to Dr. Frederick E. Dalrymple and his family. Included are three letters from Fred’s brother, Asa Manning Dalrymple dating from 1864. The letters tell of Asa’s life in the New York 1st Dragoons and include information about war prisoners, deserters, and raids. Another (undated) letter in the collection is from Dalrymple’s sister Elizabeth, from Hastings, Nebraska. The remainder of the collection consists of several obituaries and memorial notices for Dr. Dalrymple and a ticket of admittance to the execution of Stephen D. Richards at Minden, Nebraska, on April 26, 1879.

RG1087.AM:  Abner James Hill, 1845-1925

The collection consists of four diaries kept by Abner James Hill (who later changed his name to James A. Hill). In the 1864 and 1865 diaries, Hill writes about daily life as a Union soldier in the Civil War. The entries include information on camp life, battles, medical care, etc. He also lists clothing he received during the war as well as expenses he incurred. Also included is a discharge certificate for Hill.

In the 1867 diary, Hill recounts his travels from Norris, Illinois to Weatherford, Texas where he visited his brother, Joshua Hill. The diary entries give descriptions of the country and the destruction caused by the war. He mentions the treatment of the black people, the many immigrants that were on the steamboats, and the dangers of traveling. In October of 1867, Hill came to Richardson County, Nebraska to work in construction and soon purchased 80 acres of land. In the 1870 diary he describes his daily life in Richardson County, Nebraska and Norris, Illinois.

RG1137.AM:  Hattie Kingman

The collection consists of one letter, dated March 30, 1863, written by Hattie A. Kingman (Nebraska City, Nebraska), to an aunt and uncle. Kingman comments on her father’s health; her feelings about the Civil War and its impact on her life and the lives of others; her being a school teacher; her political views (particularly about “Copperheads”); and about prices of dry goods.

RG1170.AM:  Theodore W. Bedford, c. 1834-?

This collection consists of four items of manuscript material in two series: 1) Letterpress Book, 1860-1870; and 2) Correspondence, 1865-1872. This material relates to Bedford’s business and political interests in Brownville and Nebraska Territory during his years there as a real estate broker, grain merchant, and influential supporter of the Democratic Party.

The Letterpress Book of Series One contains Bedford’s outgoing correspondence, 1860-1870. Of particular interest are letters in which Bedford comments on the effect the Civil War was having on Missouri River traffic and trade, as well as his predictions for increased emigration and business after the conflict.

RG1171.AM:  John B. Jurnegan

The collection consists of a two volume, handwritten autobiography of John B. Jurnegan, written in 1868 when he was approximately 28 years old. Jurnegan wrote the autobiography while he was incarcerated in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri. At the age of eleven he ran away from home and lived on his own. He recounts his adventures which took him to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, and the Nebraska panhandle for a brief time. Jurnegan worked for freighting companies; worked as a trapper; lived with various Indian tribes; worked at trading posts; was an Indian fighter in New Mexico; fought in the Civil War; and was a prisoner four times: once at Fort Laramie, once in New Mexico, and twice in Missouri.

RG1187.AM:  James Alexander Polk Fancher, 1841-1912

This collection consists of one item, a typed transcript of a diary dating from 1864-1865. This diary kept by “galvanized Yankee” James Fancher, details his experiences while serving on the plains with the 3rd Regiment, United States Volunteers. The diary begins in January of 1864 when Fancher was taken prisoner in Tennessee. After tracing his route from Tennessee through Indiana to the Rock Island, Illinois prisoner camp, the diary continues in March of 1865 when Fancher was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The rest of the diary details Fancher’s march from Fort Leavenworth to Camp Ramkin, Julesburg, Colorado, where he spent most of 1865. Fancher describes the landscape and developing towns he saw during the trek from Kansas through Nebraska to Colorado, including notes on the terrain, water and timber sources, road ranches and trail sites, and wildlife. He also mentions desertions, drunkenness of some soldiers, and names and hometowns of the men in Company F. Of particular interest are Fancher’s estimates of the numbers of wagons and men heading west in comparison to those returning east.

Note:  This diary is a typewritten copy of the original as transcribed by Fancher’s granddaughter. The Tennessee State Archives has a copy of the original diary on microfilm. See Mf. 6 — James A.P. Fancher diary.

RG1250.AM:  Cornelius S. Munhall, 1847-1938

Cornelius S. Munhall was a Civil War veteran who homesteaded near Arnold, Nebraska. This collection relates to his service during the Civil War and to frontier battles between the United States military and Native Americans. The manuscript portion of the collection consists of poems and manuscripts written by Munhall about his experiences in the Civil War and as a scout working with the 7th U.S. Cavalry. He wrote extensively about the Battle of the Washita and on pensions for Civil War veterans and widows. Also included is information Munhall copied from a merchant’s journal from Kearney, Nebraska, ca. 1860s. It provides information on prices of goods, names of local residents, and officers at Fort Kearny.

RG1398.AM:  Benjamin Ryder Stouffer, 1844-1923

This collection is arranged in three Series: 1) Biographical Materials, 1923; 2) Reminiscence, undated; and 3) Miscellaneous. The material relates to the life of Benjamin R. Stouffer, pioneer farmer, legislator, and businessman of Richardson County and Bellevue, Nebraska.

The Biographical Sketch of Series 1 was probably produced as an obituary shortly after Stouffer’s death on October 20, 1923. This two-page sketch traces Stouffer’s life from Pennsylvania boyhood through his varied career in Nebraska. Also included in this series is a manuscript, “Remembrances,” by Dr. David F. Stouffer.

The Reminiscence of Series 2 is entitled “Lincoln at Gettysburg.” In this undated manuscript, Stouffer recalls attending the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg while a member of the cadet company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Stouffer describes local preparations for the event and President Abraham Lincoln’s appearance at the dedication.

Series 3, Miscellaneous, contains two letters on one sheet of paper. The first letter was written by Benjamin Stouffer, and the second letter, on the back of the first, was written by J. Stouffer, Benjamin’s father. The letters were written to family from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; topics such as fishing, farming, and daily activities are discussed. An essay on the “Civil War” is also present, probably written by Benjamin Stouffer as a school exercise and dated January 1862. The series also includes a photocopy of the 1901 University of Nebraska School of Agriculture Bulletin and Benjamin R. Stouffer’s 1865 diploma from Eastman Business College.

RG1434.AM:  Douglas H. Stevens

Douglas H. Stevens was living at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska Territory, when he enlisted in the Union Army on September 1, 1861. He was mustered into service with Curtis’ Horse, Nebraska Volunteers, Co. B, at Omaha, Nebraska, on September 21, 1861. Stevens mustered out of service on June 16, 1865.

This collection consists of one item, a letter written by D.H. Stevens, dated April 21, 1861, while he was at Camp Lowe near Fort Heiman in Kentucky.  The letter is written to his sister Helen at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska Territory.  The letter is written on a blank freight way-bill from the Memphis, Clarksville and Louisville Railroad.  In the letter he talks about camp life, various people he/they know, etc.

RG1750.AM:  Harry Love Crawford, 1879-1959

This collection is arranged in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1939-1957; 2) Manuscripts and notes; 3) Civil War letters, 1863-1864; 4) Printed material, 1934-1958; and 5) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection relates to the pioneers and historical events of Buffalo County, Nebraska, 1872-1958. There are manuscripts and notes relating the stories of early pioneers including biographical sketches of Lucy Sizer Hull, 1872; the Henry Luce family, 1873-1886; Miss Cordelia M. Waite; and Mrs. John Davis. There are also manuscripts relating to the diary of Mrs. Emil Carpenter from 1872-1903; recollections of Howard L. Hull, 1880; and notes on the history of Buffalo County. Printed material consists of the story of Eva Abigail Smith and background descriptions of famous musical compositions compiled by Mrs. Howard J. Hull. There is a scrapbook consisting of newspaper articles, 1939-1940 and numerous clippings pertaining to events and happenings in Nebraska from 1936-1958.

RG2166.AM:  Robert Ramsey Livingston, 1827-1888

This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in three series: 1) Correspondence, 1863-1871, 2) First Nebraska Regiment records, 1863-1865, and 3) Miscellany.

This collection relates to Robert Livingston’s career as a soldier and as Surveyor-General of Iowa and Nebraska. The bulk of the material relates to Colonel Livingston’s activities with the First Nebraska Regiment during the Civil War. Also included are numerous letters, mostly political, written while Livingston was Surveyor-General, 1869-1870. Correspondents include: William Boyd Allison, 1870; Samuel G. Daily, 1863; Elmer S. Dundy, 1865-1870; John Gillespie, 1866, 1870; Phineas W. Hitchcock, 1865; Wilson M. Maddox, 1865; Thomas Jefferson Majors, 1863-1865; Algernon Sidney Paddock, 1865; M. T. Patrick, 1869-1870; John M. Thayer, 1869-1870, and T. W. Tipton, 1864.

RG2189.AM:  Thomas Jefferson Majors, 1841-1932

This collection consists of two boxes of manuscript material arranged in seven series: (1) Correspondence, 1863-1893; (2) Military Documents, 1863-1866; (3) Financial Records, 1883-1891; (4) Certificates, 1860-1909; (5) Printed Matters; (6) Biographical Data; (7) Miscellaneous Material.

The collection relates to the political and military history of Nebraska during its territorial and early statehood years. The military documents deal with activities of the First Nebraska Regiment during the Indian War of 1864.

Correspondence constitutes the bulk of this collection, with most of the material from the 1863 to 1893 period. Correspondents include: Phineas W. Hitchcock, 1871-1880; William A. Polock, 1874-1876; Algernon S. Paddock, 1880-1891; Martin Van Fleet, 1882; Church Howe, 1889; John T. Mallaliev, 1889; Charles F. Manderson, 1890; John M. Thayer, 1890-1891; Samuel Maxwell, 1891; Thomas J. Oliver, 1891; George Holland, 1891; Robert W. Furnas, 1891; and Frederick Renner, 1891.

RG2606.AM:  Feenan Family

Martin J. Feenan was born November 11, 1840, in Ireland. He later came to the United States and during the Civil War, served with Company M of the 6th Iowa Cavalry. In 1867 he came to Omaha, Nebraska, where he opened a monument business, the first in that city and the only marble shop west of the Missouri River. Feenan was one of the founders and a past president of the Douglas County Association of Nebraska Pioneers. He was also a member of Custer Post 7, G.A.R. Martin Feenan died on May 18, 1928, in Omaha, and was survived by three sons, Martin Jr., Edward C. and Elbert F., and two daughters, Emma and Clara Feenan.

This collection consists of three boxes of manuscript material arranged in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1862-1953; 2) Iowa Cavalry Records, 1904-1926; 3) Sons of Union Veterans, Daughters of Union Veterans Records, 1896-1930; 4) Speeches and manuscripts, 1909-1924 and 5) Miscellany. This collection relates to the early history of Omaha, Nebraska; to the Douglas County Pioneers Association and to veterans of the 6th and 22nd regiments of Iowa Cavalry.

RG2633.AM:  Lee James Dunn, 1861-1937

The collection includes various Civil War letters of Charles C. Enslow, 1861-1865.

RG2927.AM:  Eugene F. Ware, 1841-1911

Born May 29, 1841, at Hartford, Connecticut, Eugene F. Ware served in various military campaigns.  He mustered out of the Army in 1859 as a quartermaster sergeant.  In 1861 he re-enlisted at the same rank and job with the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Cavalry and in 1863 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.  In his period of service, which ended in 1866, he fought in the Civil War, fought Kansas guerilla raiders, and was familiar with many high-ranking officers.  He had served as aide de-camp to General Grenville Dodge and was one of General Sherman’s corps commanders.  He authored several books, including one on his Civil War experiences entitled, The Indian War of 1864.

Ware was admitted to the bar in Kansas in 1871.  He served two terms on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Ware also served two terms in the Kansas legislature from 1879 to 1883.  President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as Commissioner of Pensions in 1907.  Ware retired to his farm in 1911.  Ware was also a well-known poet, using the pseudonym “Ironquill.”  Eugene F. Ware died on July 1, 1911.  He is buried in Fort Scott National Cemetery at Fort Scott, Kansas.

This material consists of a number of letters, orders, muster rolls, and inventories arranged chronologically on one reel of microfilm.  The material relates to the duties of Lt. Ware in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Dakota, and Colorado Territories during the 1860’s and contains a great deal of information about military life.

RG2985.AM:  Daley Family

This collection consists of approximately 100 items on one reel of microfilm arranged in six series: 1) Correspondence of S.W.T. Daley, 1855; 2) Correspondence of Chas. Bodensick, 1858; 3) Correspondence of Wm. D. Rowles, 1863; 4) Correspondence of John D. Daley, 1865-1866; 5) Diaries of S.W.T. Daley, 1840-1841, 1845-1847, & 1855-1857; and 6) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence received by Frances Daley, wife of Samuel Daley. The correspondence from Samuel relates to his trip from Baltimore, Maryland to Neb. Territory in 1855. These letters are very detailed in their narrative of the journey. The letters of John Daley relate to his experiences in Co. E, 1st Nebraska Cavalry, stationed at Post Cottonwood (later Fort McPherson). These letters make no revealing statements about army life. The diaries of Samuel William Thomas Daley contain daily routine notes on weather and work accomplished. Also included are miscellaneous deeds, clippings, certificates, and obituaries of Daley Family members.

RG3099.AM:  Richard Dibble, 1836-1908

Richard Dibble enlisted in Company H First Regiment, Wisconsin Heavy Artillery on September 29, 1864. He was stationed at Fort Lyon Virginia until his discharge in April 26, 1865. The Dibble family moved to Gage County, Nebraska in 1866. A complete sketch of Dibble may be found on page 504 of the Portrait and Biographical Album of Gage County, 1888. See the Library Catalog.

This collection consists of four folders of manuscript material arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence, 1864-1905 and 2) Certificates, 1858-1886. The bulk of this collection relates to camp life at Fort Lyon, as experienced by Richard Dibble, 1864-1865. The correspondence (1866-1905) comprises only 10 pieces of family correspondence mostly from Mr. Dibble’s parents.

RG3284.AM:  George W. Newmyer, 1822-1894

George W. Newmyer was born November 4, 1822, in Pennsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and was married there June 11, 1846, to Ann Elizabeth Parker. He moved to Pleasant, Pennsylvania, in the mid-1850s. In June of 1861 Newmyer enlisted in Company B of the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteers and was appointed First Sergeant. He later became First Lieutenant and then Captain in June of 1863. He was his company’s senior officer during the Battle of Gettysburg and also participated in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, and the march through Georgia. After the Civil War he settled near Central City, Nebraska. He farmed the rest of his life but also taught school and served a term in the 1885 state legislature. Newmyer died on August 10, 1894. His wife died on August 10, 1909.

The George W. Newmyer collection consists of a daybook (on microfilm) dating from 1884-1890, and a folder containing photocopies of several letters and newspaper clippings. The daybook (on microfilm) records Newmyer’s activities from April of 1884 through 1890. The latter portion of the volume contains his personal financial accounts. This volume was filmed three times using different exposures. The volume was loaned for microfilming in January of 1974. History Nebraska does not hold the original daybook.

The rest of the collection (not on microfilm) consists of photocopies of five Civil War letters (four by Newmyer) dating from 1862 and 1864; and one letter from Newmyer to his son William, dated 1890. Also present are photocopies of newspaper clippings (1933-1934) containing biographical information and excerpts from his Civil War diary. Note: History Nebraska does not hold his Civil War diary.

RG3294.AM:  John Lewis Cushman, 1834-1907

John Lewis Cushman was born in Martinsburg, New York, on July 29, 1834. He was married to Miss Helen A. Johnson at Copenhagen, New York, on April 11, 1860. On August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Co. I of the 5th New York Heavy Artillery and served until discharged on June 24, 1865. Cushman came to Nebraska in 1872 and took a homestead in Wilson Precinct, Colfax County, where he engaged in farming. In 1892 he moved to Schuyler where he lived until his death on November 19, 1907. His wife Helen had preceded him in death on May 29, 1904. Four children survived the couple.

This collection consists of the diaries and journals of John L., and Helen Cushman, arranged in two series on one reel of microfilm: 1) Diaries and Journals, 1865-1904; and 2) Miscellany. The 1865 diary relates to the Civil War experiences of John L. Cushman during his service with the 5th New York Heavy Artillery. The entries deal mostly with daily camp life. The two journals spanning the period 1877-1878, appear to have been compiled by Cushman also and relate to events and activities in his farming business in Wilson Precinct, Colfax County. The Helen Cushman Journals, 1899-1904 deal with routine household and social activities of the family in Schuyler, Nebraska. Typical notations throughout all the journals include daily work, the weather conditions and prices paid for commodities. The single miscellaneous volume is a record book of Sheridan Post #34, G.A.R., Schuyler, Nebraska, of which Cushman was a member.

The collection was loaned for microfilming in February of 1974. History Nebraska does not hold the original diaries and journals.

RG3301.AM:  Isham Reavis, 1836-1914

This collection consists of papers of Isham and Annie Dorrington Reavis, containing correspondence, 1870-1892, and miscellaneous material. The letters in the collection were received by Annie Dorrington Reavis from her husband, Isham Reavis, relating to his service as U.S. Circuit Judge in Arizona Territory, 1870-1873; from Henry Rice relating to his Civil War experiences, 1862-1863; and from J.W. Dorrington, relating to affairs in Yuma, Arizona, 1890-1892. The miscellaneous folder includes a printed pamphlet “An Incident in the life of Lincoln: His letter of November 5, 1855 to Isham Reavis,” and correspondence regarding the donation of the Reavis Collection.

RG3429.AM:  Edson A. Wilcox, 1900-1975

This collection consists of one reel of microfilm containing correspondence dating from 1862-1898.  This collection consists of incoming correspondence of Edson Wilcox’s maternal grandmother Elizabeth Koon.  Also included are Edson Wilcox’s handwritten transcripts of most of the letters.  The collection does not indicate the residence of family members receiving the letters, although it appears to be mostly Wisconsin and Nebraska.  Justus Koon, Elizabeth’s husband, was a member of Battery K, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery.  Most of the letters relate to his experiences in the Civil War.  The Wilcox family settled near Arborville, York County, Nebraska, in 1871.

RG3436.AM:  Joseph Wright Johnson, 1835-1918

Joseph W. Johnson, was born in January of 1835 in Ohio, came west in 1857, and enlisted in the newly formed First Regiment of Nebraska Infantry in June of 1861. He served during the Civil War until his discharge in August of 1864. He returned to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and became a law officer in December of 1866, served as sheriff for six years and later held various municipal offices. He died 14 April 1918, the last survivor of Co. A, 1st Nebraska.

The Joseph W. Johnson collection is arranged in three series: 1) Autobiographical material; 2) Civil War material; and 3) Miscellaneous. The bulk of material in the collection is his written recollections of the Civil War and his years as sheriff of Cass County, Nebraska.

RG3461.AM:  William Burnham Chilvers, 1835-1914

This collection consists of one reel of microfilm containing correspondence dating from 1856-1879. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, 1862-1865, between William Chilvers and George and Rebecca Burnham. Also included are letters to Chilvers from his cousin James Fillingham, 1860-1877, and from his relatives in Great Britain, 1856-1870. The bulk of the letters relate to the experiences of William B. Chilvers during the Civil War. The collection was loaned for microfilming by the Chilvers family in January of 1976. History Nebraska does not hold the original letters.

RG3472.AM:  Gere Family

The Gere collection contains a great variety of material including: the Cather letters; a series of letters from Charles Henry Gere to Miss Mariel Clapham concerning the 1871 impeachment of Governor Butler; letters from Pvt. Ozro L. Woods, A.E.F., 1917, telling his experiences during W.W.I.; and a series of diaries and journals, one of which gives an account of flood and sickness at Table Rock, Nebraska Territory. Also family Civil War diaries.

RG3521.AM:  Edwin R. Capron, 1838-1874

The collection consists of three folders of materials relating to Edwin R. Capron.  The bulk of the collection consists of letters written by Capron to his family.  One folder of letters with typed transcriptions mostly relate to his work surveying in Nebraska.  The second folder relates to more general matters.  Several letters written by Daniel Goodman, another member of the 1st Nebraska Regiment, are also included.  The letters from 1872 are from Capron’s father, John, to his sister, Melia.  The last folder contains a few fragmentary notes and a blank stock certificate for the Big Springs Land and Cattle Company, incorporated in 1884.

RG3541.AM:  George R. Wheeler, 1838-1880

This collection consists of one box of papers relating to George R. Wheeler and the Wheeler family.  Included in the collection are correspondence, 1860-1864; diaries and ledgers, 1861-1883; and some miscellany.  This collection relates to the military service of George R. Wheeler and his brother, Peter G. Wheeler.  The bulk of the collection consists of letters arranged chronologically.  Also included are three diaries, one written by George R. Wheeler during the Civil War and two others, also by George Wheeler, relating to his farming activities at Schuyler.  The farm account proceedings book includes notes and assignments from a zoology class taken by one of the Wheeler’s children.  The remainder of the collection consists of miscellaneous items, including Civil War pension certificates and certificates of promotion and discharge, a record book of Eleanor Wheeler from the Nebraska State Normal School, and five typescript pages of reminiscences by one of the Wheeler children about their family.

RG3657.AM:  Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Nebraska Commandery

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States held its first organizational meeting on April 20, 1865. Membership was opened to commissioned officers of the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps who had served in the Union forces prior to April 1865, as well as the direct male descendants of these officers.

The purpose of the organization was “to cherish the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic, strengthen the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed by companions in arms, advance the best interests of the soldiers and sailors of the United States, especially of those associated as Companions of this Order, and extend all possible relief to their widows and children; foster the cultivation of military and naval science; enforce unqualified allegiance to the general Government; protect the rights and liberties of American citizenship and maintain National Honor, Union and Independence.”

The separate organizations of each state are called Commanderies. The headquarters of the Nebraska Commandery, the fourteenth one established, was located at the southeast corner of Harney and 15th Streets in Omaha, Nebraska.

This collection consists of the records of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Nebraska Commandery, 1885-1923. The correspondence and financial records concern arrangements for the annual banquets of the Nebraska Commandery. Among the most important items in the collection are the printed Circulars issued by the Headquarters of the Nebraska Commandery which include calls for meetings, changes of membership, obituaries of deceased members, committee reports, and acts of resolutions of the meetings. Also included in the Printed Matter are registers of the membership of the Nebraska Commandery, 1890, and of the national organizations, 1906, as well as a brief account of the origins of the Order and requirements for membership.

RG3764.AM:  William Lewis Miller, 1847-1926

William Lewis Miller was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, in 1847. In 1863 he enlisted in the 9th Iowa Calvary but sickness kept him out of service until February of 1864, when he re-enlisted. He served with Company I, 30th Iowa Infantry and Company C, 6th Iowa Infantry. After the war, Miller was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky. He returned to Iowa, went to school, and became a licensed preacher in the Baptist Church. He married Jane Stewart in 1872. Miller went to Nebraska in the spring of 1874, commissioned by the American Home Missionary Society to preach at Western, Nebraska and other Saline County churches. He also farmed to support himself. In 1877 he married Mary M. Herndon. Miller died in 1926.

This collection consists of one item, an autobiography. This material relates to the life of William Lewis Miller, Civil War soldier, Baptist preacher, and farmer of Saline County, Nebraska. The autobiography was written in 1926 by William Lewis Miller from notes he kept in a diary. He traces his youth in Iowa, his life as a soldier during the Civil War, his service as a Baptist preacher in Saline County, Nebraska, his life as a farmer, and the careers of his children.

RG3771.AM:  Charles Marples, ca. 1824-1876

This collection, consisting of 43 items on one reel of microfilm, is arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence, 1857-1876; and 2) Legal Documents, 1865 and 1874-1876. This material relates to the life of Charles Marples, a farmer in Minnesota and Nebraska, including his experience crossing the plains while searching for promising farm land in 1867.

Series 1 consists of correspondence, 1857-1876, most of which is written to and by Charles and Jane Marples while living in Minnesota. Several letters were written by Charles to Jane while he served at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, during the Civil War. These letters instruct Jane in the running of the farm while he is away. Of particular interest are three letters written by Charles in 1867. Composed by Charles during a trek from Ray County, Missouri, to Denver, these letters describe the conditions he faced along the trail. A letter dated May 19, 1867 was written “near Ft. Kearney.” Typescripts of several of the letters, when available, have been filmed immediately after the original letters. The legal documents of Series 2 include a furlough application, 1865; land deeds and supplementary documents, 1874-1875; and a typescript copy of the will of Charles Marples, 1876.

RG3942.AM:  John Colby Griggs, 1837-1914

This collection [formerly MS3942] consists of materials relating to John Colby Griggs, his military service in the Army of the Confederacy 1861-1864, and later as a member of the 5th Regiment of the U.S. Volunteers in Nebraska Territory, 1865. The collection includes reminiscences, a diary, and a biography of Griggs written by his great grandson.

The reminiscences were written January 15, 1866 by John Colby Griggs from Fort Reno, Dakota Territory, in which he traces his life in the Confederate Army during the years 1861-1864. The diary covers his service in the 5th Regiment of U.S. Volunteers. The diary entries trace the scouting his regiment did in Nebraska Territory in 1865. A short biography of John Colby Griggs is provided by his great-grandson, W. Clayton Whitney of Huron, South Dakota. Also included are two photographs of John Colby Griggs and Lucyann Hill Griggs.

RG3972.AM:  Lewellyn Amos Gushee, 1836-1911

This collection consists of typed copies of letters and biographical material, arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence 1861-1892; and 2) Biographical material. The letters in this collection relate to Lewellyn A. Gushee’s service with the 13th Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861-1863; to his experiences enroute to Nebraska; and to his life as a farmer near Osceola, Polk County, Nebraska, 1873-1892. The letters were transcribed by Marie K. Hammond, South Portland, Maine.

The Civil War letters, written primarily to family members, contain interesting accounts of routine military and camp life in the Army of the Potomac, 1861-1863. The farm letters, 1873-1892, written by Gushee, his wife Mary, and daughter Helen (Daisy), reflect farm prices, livestock and crops raised, social events, weather, and other activities. Copies of obituary notices about various family members, and a news article regarding Gushee’s Civil War experiences complete the collection. A photograph of Lewellyn Gushee was transferred to the photo collections.

RG4295.AM:  Charles Hadsall, 1843-1915

Charles Hadsall was born in 1843 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. During his youth he worked on the family’s small farm. In 1863, at the age of twenty, he joined the 112th Regiment, 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Battalion M. It was during the Civil War that he began recording his experiences and observations in a daily diary.  Hadsall came to Nebraska in 1871, homesteading in Saunders County, approximately a mile east of Weston, Nebraska.

This collection consists of thirty-nine personal diaries kept by Charles Hadsall from 1863 to 1903 in which he recorded his experiences in the Civil War and on Pennsylvania and Nebraska farms.

RG4317.AM:  Charles N. Phillips, 1843-1932

Charles N. Phillips was born at Clarrie, Potter Co., Pennsylvania, in 1843. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. K., 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and took part in the battles at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettsyburg. At Gettysburg he lost his right arm, and was released from the hospital three months later. In 1870 he married Rosana Whitney at Cuba, New York, and four children were born to them. In 1871 the couple moved to Fillmore County, Nebraska, where they homesteaded and lived for several years. In 1897 they moved to Exeter where he served as postmaster for nine years. Charles Phillips died at Exeter in June of 1932.

This collection consists of one box of material arranged in three series: (1) business records, 1843-1885; (2) newspapers and clippings, undated; (3) miscellany. This material relates to the drayage business conducted by Charles N. Phillips in Fillmore County; and to the 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

RG4346.AM:  Melville W. Stone, 1837-1913

This collection consists of one box of papers dating from approximately 1870 to 1907.  The collection includes correspondence, medical class notes, autobiographical information, financial notes, bills and receipts, certificates, a manuscript (and typescript) reminiscence, and a folder of clippings.  The correspondence is very scant and relates to family and personal matters.  Notes include:  medical class notes not signed or dated but apparently Stone’s own; a brief autobiography which is ended during the Civil War; random notes relating to financial affairs and to his practice.

RG4467.AM:  Victor (Jean-Baptiste Victor) Vifquain, 1836-1904

This collection consists of one box of manuscript material relating to the military career of Victor Vifquain. Materials include military addresses, Civil War reminiscences, military certificates, e.g. discharge papers and citations for bravery, and newspaper clippings regarding his career.

RG4481.AM:  Richardson Family

This collection is arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence, 1855-1869; and 2) Miscellaneous. The material consists mainly of letters written to Sarah Richardson by her husband, Origen, and her son, Lyman, from 1855-1863. These letters relate to life in Nebraska Territory, political developments, family matters and to the Civil War. There is also a letter from Horace Greeley to an Omahan (name illegible) in December of 1869, thanking the person for a gift of tea.

Most of the collection consists only of photocopies.

RG4518.AM:  Nicholas D. Fetterley, 1839-1921

This collection consists of one reel of microfilm containing the diary of Nicholas D. Fetterley. The diary dates from 1861-1878 and consists of two parts. The first part, from November 19, 1861 through August 21, 1862, is an account of Fetterley’s experiences in the Civil War. Written in a narrative style, many of the daily entries are quite lengthy and describe Fetterley’s feelings about the events he mentions. The second portion of the diary covers the period March 6, 1866 through February 4, 1878, but is not complete. It has brief notations regarding financial transactions, personal loans, planting, and harvesting.

RG4524.AM:  Union Club (Brownville, Nebraska)

The Union Club (Brownville, Neb.) was an organization meant to promote patriotism and to combat disloyalty during the Civil War.  The collection is comprised of minutes of the club dating from 1863. The minutes record the founding of the club, the business transacted and the membership lists.

RG4527.AM:  Nelson Korner, 1848-1931

Nelson Korner was born near Flat Rock, Seneca County, Ohio. His education ended after one year at Heidelberg College, Ohio. In 1867 he began teaching, but gave it up in 1868 and went to Nebraska, settling near the Blue River in Gage County. He taught at Rulo and farmed his acreage, and in 1870 he married Anna Rosenberry from Pawnee County whom he divorced in 1877. He was remarried in 1879 to Ella Turner. In 1903 they moved to Lincoln where he worked as a solicitor, first for the gas company and later for the Lincoln Telephone Company.

This collection consists of two folders: 1) Autobiography of Nelson Korner, 1931; 2) Correspondence from Wilson Korner, 1863-1865. The autobiography is an interesting account of life on a homestead in the southeast corner of Nebraska. The letters describe in detail troop movements and battles of Company D, 34th Virginia Zouaves, as well as others.

RG4533.AM:  Silas Allen Strickland, 1830-1878

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Strickland aided in forming the First Nebraska Regiment.  Upon formation, he enlisted as a private in Company H of that Regiment and was elected to the rank of First Lieutenant.  He was appointed adjutant by Colonel Thayer.  After the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Strickland resigned his commission.  While attending a meeting to raise troops in Cincinnati, Ohio, he re-enlisted in the 50th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in that Regiment by Governor Todd of Ohio.  In the battle of Perryville, Strickland assumed command of the Second Division of the 23rd Army Corps when the brigade and division commanders were killed in action.  He served through the entire Atlanta campaign.  He fought at Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville in Tennessee.  He was brevetted Brigadier General on March 27, 1865.

This collection consists of two boxes of papers relating to the life and career of Silas Allen Strickland.  The bulk of the collection is made up of scrapbooks containing clippings about politics, religion, poetry and other subjects of interest to Strickland.  Also included in the collection are correspondence, military documents, certificates, legal notebooks, biographical information and miscellany.  The materials in the collection date from approximately 1855 to 1907.

RG5115.AM:  T.G. Thompson

T.G. Thompson was a farmer and prospector in California. He came to Nebraska Territory and enlisted to fight in the Civil War. This collection relates to his activities in California and Nebraska Territory as described in letters written to his family.  This collection consists of letters, one dated March 11, 1854, and seven written between October 10, 1860, and July 5, 1861, describing Thompson’s farming activities in California and his intention to go prospecting. Most of the letters relate to his military service at Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory. The letters include descriptions of Thompson’s health, his experiences with Native Americans, and his opinions of other soldiers.

RG5247.AM:  James H. Peabody, 1833-1906

This collection contains papers, 1851-1904, and undated, relating mostly to the military service of Dr. James H. Peabody. It includes correspondence, 1851-1858, letters and orders, 1860-1866 relating to Civil War medical and health issues; and correspondence, 1867-1904. Miscellaneous materials documenting his life and career are also present, along with an undated holograph reminiscence, “When I First Volunteered,” and a roster of the Nebraska National Guard, 1898.

RG5331.AM:  David S. Thomas, 1834-1917

This collection consists of a reminiscence dating from 1898.  The reminiscence describes the varied life experiences of David S. Thomas, a native New Yorker who participated in many of the major events of U.S. history in the mid-19th century.  Thomas discusses his childhood and upbringing in New York, including the suicide of his father; his overland journey to California in 1859; prospecting for gold at Pike’s Peak; his Civil War service with Company H of the 15th New York Engineers; farming in Missouri and Illinois; homesteading near North Platte, Lincoln County, Nebraska in the 1870s; his sometimes contentious dealings with his North Platte neighbors; operating a photograph gallery in North Platte; and attempts to market his fire escape, ice elevator, and potato digger inventions.  Numerous illustrations by Thomas accompany his narrative, including drawings of Council Bluffs and Omaha in 1859, Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, sites along the Overland Trail, scenes during his Civil War service, the house that he built on his homestead, Crow Butte, buffalo hunts, his inventions, self-portraits, and a gallery of his friends.

RG5493.AM:  Thomas Edwin Keen, 1839-1908

This collection is arranged into two series: 1) Thomas E. Keen Correspondence, 1861-1864; and 2) NSHS Research on Keen. This material concerns Keen’s life as a Civil War soldier with the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. Series 1 contains twenty-three letters that Thomas Keen wrote to his parents and his sister, Mary Ann. The letters contain great detail about his life as a soldier: daily camp life; the military campaigns of his regiment; and his candid opinions on the war and of his commanding officers.

Series 2 includes a Nebraska History article edited by James E. Potter, “‘I Thought it My Duty to Go’: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Edwin Keen, First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry” (Vol. 81, No.4, Winter 2000); background information concerning Keen (mostly military papers); and brief biographies of James Brown and James Bishop. The Nebraska History article contains transcriptions of the letters with editorial notes.

RG5794.AM:  Ira G. Graham, 1844-1921

Ira G. Graham was born to David and Mary Graham on July 22, 1844 in Brown County, Ohio. His siblings included (but were not limited to) a brother, Cyrus, and sisters, Caroline, Amanda, Ellen, Emma (Eppley), and Tillie (Wilson). In 1862 he moved to Wataga in Knox County, Illinois and enlisted in the 83rd Illinois Infantry, Company K on August 1. During 1864-1865 he was stationed at Clarksville, Tennessee, along with Cyrus. Cyrus died in late March or early April 1865, and Ira returned to Illinois with Cyrus’s body. He was honorably discharged on June 26, 1865. In the 1890 Special Census of Civil War Veteran’s, he listed “heart disease” as an incurred disability from the war and that he received a pension of $16 per month.

The collection is arranged in four series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Diary; 3) Business Records; and 4) Miscellaneous.

Most of the materials consist of letters to Ira G. Graham from family and friends. There are also some to friends and family from various people. There is a photographic copy of a map of a Civil War encampment at Dover, Tennessee. Most of the material reflects happenings of family and friends in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, and Kansas City. Letters from family discuss Nebraska life as early as 1874, including the grasshopper plagues. The bulk of the letters finish by mid-1896.


Additional resources in Government records:

RG18: Military Department. Nebraska

RG500: War Department. U.S.

RG535: Adjutant General, Office of the U.S.


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