Special Collections would like to highlight the materials in our department that pertain to the American Civil War and the Frontier Wars. Though our holdings from these wars are not as extensive as our World War I and Vietnam collections, we do possess many items that are valuable to scholars and researchers. Our Civil War and Frontier Wars materials are not contained within discrete collections, but exist either as fragments of other collections or are catalogued on their own; thus, this blog post will be a useful compilation of these materials.
Diary of Samuel Delano King (F594 .K56 1861): This diary features the reflections of Samuel Delano King, a 20-year-old 1st corporal, as he travels with his military unit westward towards Oregon. The diary spans the time period of May 1861 through September 1863. King describes the scenery of the environment he encountered and relates rumors of quarrels with Native Americans that he overheard from other units. The first pages of the journal contain information—recorded in an unknown hand that is distinct from King’s—about the organization of the Ann Arbor Greys, a Civil War unit.
- Ellis Clark Soper Collection (1931-004-1): The Soper Collection contains a variety of fascinating artifacts from the American Civil War, including a Confederate Battle Flag that was retrieved from the battlefield of Chicamauga after the fighting ceased. Also featured is a card bearing Grant’s signature.
- Henry C. Merriam Papers (1500.001.23): Henry Clay Merriam (1837-1912) fought on the Union side during the American Civil War.
A courageous solider, his bravery during the Battle of Antietam earned him a promotion; later in the war, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for attacking Confederate positions in Alabama. After the Civil War, he was involved in border disputes between Texas and Mexico, as well as various conflicts with Native Americans. Merriam’s personal letter book is included in this collection, which covers the dates between April 10, 1865 and June 2, 1877. Folder 5 contains an outline of the topics Merriam discusses, a useful tool for researchers examining the letter book.
- Cherokee Treaties Manuscripts (E99.C5 C543 1863 Ovrsz): This folder contains two manuscripts of treaties between the Cherokee tribes and the Confederacy, entitled “An Act Abrogating the Treaty with the Confederate States. 18 February 1863″ and “An Act Emancipating Slavery in the Cherokee Nation. 20/21 February 1863.”
- “Reminiscences of Some Incidents in the Career of an United States Dragoon Between the Years 1839 and 1844” (featured in General Historical Manuscripts, Documents, and Photographs, 1981.008, Box 3, Folder 3): This is the handwritten manuscript of Private John Flynn, a soldier in Company H of the U. S. Dragoons, stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Company H was led by Captain Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone.
Special Collections also owns Captain Albemarle Cady’s muster and pay rolls for the 6th Regiment of his Company (1981.008 Oversize), rare documents which range in date from 1843 to 1847.