Ohio University

Civil War Correspondence

Civil War Banner

Browse the collection   Search the collection

This digital archive unites over a thousand letters, diaries, and other Civil War era documents from 12 manuscript collections held in the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University Libraries. It features writings from a diverse array of Ohioans, including soldiers of varying ranks fighting across the country, military doctors treating the wounded on the battlefield and in hospitals, and family and friends on the home front facing the struggles of rural existence. These letters contain descriptions of daily life in the military and of several important battles. They also reveal the relationships between correspondents, including expressions of love and regret, news of illness, and social gossip, along with discussions of politics and recent events.

  • Thomas Angell military papers: 79 documents relating to the operation of the 141st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, many of which were created by Angell in his capacity as the unit’s second-in-command. Includes Angell’s diary detailing his 100 days of service in 1864.

  • Brown Family Collection: 494 documents, mostly letters, dating from 1839 to 1866. Primarily the incoming correspondence of Almyra Brown and her son Edwin, who served in Company C of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Includes letters from several other family members such as Edwin’s brother William Van Brown and Almyra’s brothers Nelson Holmes and Andrew Jackson Van Vorhes who also served during the war.

  • Josiah L. Brown Collection: 29 documents, mostly letters and medical orders, dating from 1862-1865. Primarily the incoming correspondence of Josiah’s wife Mary N. Brown and Josiah’s records from his service as Assistant Surgeon of the 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Includes several letters written by Josiah while a prisoner of war in Richmond, Virginia.

  • William Parker Johnson letters: 82 documents, mostly letters to and photographs of Johnson’s family. Johnson served as Brigadier Surgeon of the 18th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After the war, Johnson was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives for one term. 

  • Kinney family papers: 30 documents, mostly letters, between Edwin and John Kinney and their father Thomas. John served in Company B of the 56th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment before dying of Typhus in 1863. Edwin served as a captain in the same regiment and survived the war.

  • Joseph Aplin Martin collection: 97 documents, mostly letters, dating from 1856 to 1879 and focusing on Martin’s service and death in Company B of the 97th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. 

  • William McKnight collection: 143 documents, mostly letters, dating from 1862 to 1864. Primarily the incoming correspondence of Samaria McKnight from her husband William McKnight while he was serving in Company K of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. William was killed during the Battle of Cynthiana in 1864. 

  • William McDonald collection: 55 documents, mostly letters, from the latter half of the 19th century. Primarily the incoming correspondence of Sarah McDonald from her husband William McDonald while he was serving in the 53rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

  • Pruden family papers: 23 documents, mostly letters, between Samuel B. Pruden and his son Silas who was serving in the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. 

  • Jacob Wickerham diaries: 3 diaries spanning Jacob Wickerham's service in the 60th and 179th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiments, as well as the 4th Independent Battalion of the Ohio Volunteer Calvary. Wickerham was captured at Harper's Ferry, paroled, and returned to the fight. The first 40 pages of Jacob's 1865 diary were written by his brother Erastus Wickerham while living in New York City in 1859.  

  • Milo Wilkinson diary: 1 diary describing Wilkinson's experiences in Company D of the 43rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, where he served as an army recruiter. Wilkinson died at a military hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1864.

  • William F. Townsend scrapbook: Scrapbook assembled by a descendent of Townsend's from Civil War-era letters Townsend wrote to the Pomeroy, Ohio newspaper The Leader. The letters were published, or perhaps republished, in 1900. The scrapbook also includes other genealogical information about the family.

Please use the following citation format for items in this digital archive:

[Document title], [Collection name], Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries.

Rights Statement

These materials are in the Public Domain.

No Copyright in the United States
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/

 

 

 

 

 

Please note, curator discretion has been applied as regards documents in these collections which are particularly out-of-scope to the theme of the digital archive; while not available online, these documents are described in the linked finding aids and available for in-person reading room use.