Civil War

Students of American history and culture will find documentation of the Civil War, particularly as it was experienced in Upstate New York, in abundance. Evidence of how the Civil war affected the daily life of families in the region can be found in numerous collections of family papers, all acquired as Cornell's regional history collection was built. Letters home from soldiers, diaries of those waiting at home, evidence of the impact of war on the economic and social lives of ordinary people, are all found in family papers and add immeasurably to an appreciation of the impact of the War on American life. Military history, in the form of muster rolls and regimental histories, including volunteers, offers researchers insight into the official history of the Civil War. Most spectacular among this documentary evidence is Cornell's copy of the Gettysburg address, handwritten by Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Cornell's copy is one of five in existence. Evidence of public opinion and popular culture can be found in our spectacular collection of Civil War covers. Collected by , these 2000 plus covers portray the players and events of the Civil War from a Northern perspective.

Cornell's strong collection of antebellum writers and activists assists researchers in understanding the context of the Civil War. Cornell's holdings include the papers of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lydia Maria Child, and a growing collection of antislavery materials of which the May Anti-Slavery collection is the most significant. Federal Grant Project to Preserve Cornell's Historic Anti-Slavery Collections

Ackerman, Charles papers, 1861-1882   .2 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3966
Included are military records pertaining to Company E of the New York Volunteer Infantry 26th Regiment including a transcription of the document authorizing formation of the New York Volunteers, descriptive lists recording soldiers' information, as well as requests for same, proceedings of courts-martial, discharge notices, receipts, and other items; correspondence between Ackerman and his friends and relatives; and records of Ackerman's general store at Higginsville, Oneida County, New York.

Adams, Bristow papers, 1853-1970   15.1 cubic ft; 18 drawings.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3205
Consists of papers of Bristow Adams, journalist, professor, forester, and illustrator. Various materials document his journalistic career, including early work with a paper in D.C.; his editorial responsibilities on Stanford University publications; and his work as publications program director for the College of Agriculture at Cornell. From his student years are sketches of fur seals; college memorabilia; and many letters to his mother. Also, photographs from work for the US Forest Service; photographs of the Cornell track team; Cornell student publications; and creative writings. Also, various materials chronicling his life, including his acting mayor of Ithaca. This collection also contains papers of Adams' father, primarily concerning his Civil War service.

Bancroft, George papers, 1811-1901.   7 linear ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 1262
Family and personal papers include correspondence of George Bancroft.

Blake and Rood families papers, 1847-1906   .2 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3485
Includes letters (1847-1868) from Helen Rood to her brother Ogden Nicholas Rood and his wife Mathilde concerning family and friends in New Haven, Connecticut; religion; female education; Eli Whitney Blake, whom she married in 1860; her impressions of Heidelberg, where her husband studied; and German and English sentiment concerning the American Civil War. Letters (1859-1891) from Eli Blake to Ogden Rood concerning scientific experiments; his work as professor at Cornell University; and his work at Brown University as professor of physics. Other correspondence includes letters to Eli Blake concerning the National Bell Telephone Company, the University of Virginia, and Troy University.

Blood, Charles Hazen papers, 1889-1909   3.8 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2263
Consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, depositions and other legal documents, statements of account, and memoranda, mainly concerning legal matters Blood handled in public office and in private practice, as well as his family and personal business affairs. Also documented are Blood's activities as a Cornell alumnus, mainly regarding the promotion and financing of Alumni Field and his candidacy for reelection as alumni trustee in 1906, as graduate treasurer of the Cornell Masque, and as an alumnus and supporter of Kappa Alpha fraternity; and his activities as an Ithaca landlord, developer of Cornell Heights and Cayuga Heights, supporter of the Ithaca Conservatory of Music (now Ithaca College), and Presbyterian layman.

Brockett collection   .3 cubic ft.; 4 v.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 381
Deeds, bonds, accounts, lists, scrapbooks, and letters pertaining to the Irvine family and Albany, Rensselaer and Washington Counties, New York. Deeds from Alexander and Cadwallader Colden. Also, papers pertaining to the Lourie family, of Washington County, including lists from "The Old Town" book (1773-1816) including slave owners, school districts, fire wardens, and town meetings of Albany County. Scrapbooks of John S. Crocker, Warden of the United States Jail in Washington, D. C., relating to President Garfield, Guiteau, the Jail, Washington, D. C. and other topics; letters from Crocker to his wife from Albany, Rikers Island, Libby Prison, Salisbury Prison, and from his stations with McClellan's and Burnside's armies, describing in detail the problems of his commands, his capture, a number of campaigns, and the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Burt, Le Van Merchant family papers, [ca.1860-1924]   2 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2327
Letters and documents relating to the Civil War, various buisness ventures, and political activities.

Campbell, Harry Earle family papers, 1790-1964.   4.2 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2371
Discharge and other papers of James Hann Campbell of the 50th Pennsylvania Volunteers; deeds for land in Fox Township, Sullivan Co., Pennsylvania, 1866-1912; historical data on Shunk and Clairton, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, by H. E. Campbell; family letters, 1904-09; photographs of Campbell, Ferguson, Hoagland, and Wilcox families in Allegheny, Bradford, and Sullivan Counties in Pennsylvania, and Delaware and Yates Counties in New York; copies of surrogate's records and documents, 1790, on estates of Anthony McMillen, a sea captain, and his wife. Also, a family album and many loose photographs mostly of family, some of lumbering at Shunk; clippings, pamphlets, and over 1000 postcards.

Chaffee family papers   6.9 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3889
Chaffee family letters; book of remedies; a copy of LOVE LIES BLEEDING by Helen Smith Jordan, a book in which some of the letters are reproduced; a booklet "Civil War Letters Received by the Family of E.F. Chaffee, Attica, N.Y. 1861-1865," also by Helen Smith Jordan; and "Musings and Memories," by Henry Chaffee Abell, 1988.

Chamberlain, Henry H. B. papers, 1863-1898   .5 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4274
Correspondence with family members with extensive description of Civil War involvement, and other miscellaneous family papers.

Clarke and Van Ness family papers   1 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2166
Includes official papers and correspondence concerning the Civil War service of Mr. Clarke's father, James E. Clarke, and his maternal grandfather, Zolman Van Ness, as well as correspondence, campaign publications, and clippings concerning the fund-raising drive of the National Contributors Committee.

Cooper, Sarah Brown Ingersoll Papers, 1813-1921   13.2 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 6543
Personal material and material relating to Sarah B. Cooper's work in Bible Schools, Kindergartens, and Women's Organizations.

Gross and Snow family papers, 1782-1885.   53 items.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 882
Papers of the Snow family (1782-1865) of Truro, Massachusetts, include letters, land contracts, and a poem. Papers of the Gross family (1861-1884) include letters pertaining to the Civil War, a water cure, and life in Washington and Oregon.

Hatheway family papers   4.6 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2281
Papers relating to the family, personal affairs, and political career of Samuel Gilbert Hatheway (1780-1867).

Hough family genealogy, 1865-1954.   1.4 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2023
Genealogical charts of the descendants of William Hough, who came to America in 1640, and file cards which contain military service and vital records of Hough men who served in the French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, and Spanish American War; and genealogical correspondence among members and various branches of the family.

Howe family papers, 1854-1935   .5 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 6373
Correspondence from Almon A. Jaynes to Grace Howe. WWI letters to Grace Howe from a number of soldiers. Twenty-six daily diaries of Grace Howe, 1905-1935. Photographs of Grace Howe, her sister Josephine Howe, A. A. Jaynes, among others.

Hoyt family papers, 1828-1956.   2.1 cubic ft.; volumes; map case items.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 1812
Scrapbooks, diaries, account books, address books, and other notebooks (40 volumes); correspondence, typescripts, notes, photographs and albums, diplomas and commissions, bills and receipts, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous papers of Charles S. Hoyt of Potter, his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Burroughs Smith of New York City, Clinton, and Utica, New York, and letters and scrapbooks of his other children, Charles S. Hoyt, Jr. and Agnes Barnum Hoyt; the correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, and other papers of Charles S. Hoyt, Sr., relate to his activities as surgeon with the 126th and 39th Regiments, New York Volunteers, with whom he served in Maryland and Virginia during the Civil War; as New York State Assemblyman from Yates County (1853, 1867); and as secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities (1869+).

Krueger, June and Gilbert (collectors) Civil War letters, 1861-1865.   1 reel positive, 1 reel negative microfilm.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2052
Chiefly letters to Lavinia Obreham of Freeport, Winneshiek County, Iowa, from her brothers, Edwin C. and Charles J. Obreham, her cousin and future husband, Chales L. Beebe, and other Union soldiers serving with the 9th Iowa Volunteers and other units; written from Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Washington, DC, the letters deal largely with camp life, troop movements, and military engagements, with some mention of the siege of Vicksburg and the march on Savannah.

Lewis, Wyndham collection, 1877-1975   44 linear ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4612
Manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, printed material, graphics, and bound manuscripts by, to, or about Wyndham Lewis, covering all aspects of his career and life. Includes one of two known proof copies of his novel The Roaring Queen, which was withdrawn before publication; unpublished novels, short stories, essays, and notebooks; and manuscripts and notes for several of Lewis's published books. Also included are diaries of Lewis's wife, G. Anne Hoskyns Lewis, from 1953-1967, and Civil War reminiscences of his father, Charles Edward Lewis.

Loomis, Chester papers, 1813-1865.   3.6 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2238
Papers include correspondence, deeds and agreements, personal and business accounts, petitions, drafts of speeches, and resolutions, mainly concerning local politics and patronage, the Anti-Masonic Party, abolitionist agitation, temperance, the use of convict labor, pensions for veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, opposition to the Bank of the United States, and land speculation in Michigan, Wisconsin, and other parts of the Midwest; also, correspondence and legal and financial papers pertaining to a case involving the Geneva & Rushville Plank Road Company (1849-50) and other lawsuits, to the settlement of the estates of the Brackett and James families, Orpha Gates, Oren Green, John Lee, Nathan Pratt, and Royal Stearns, and to Loomis's interest in Geneva College (1827-38), now Hobart College; also, a deed (1813) for land in the town of Gorham from Ann Ellice and her children; bills and tuition and board receipts (1832-34) from Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, Lima, Livingston County, New York, for Loomis's daughter, Amanda; thirty-three Civil War letters (162-64) written from various camps by his son, Charles, Morris O'Connell, Fayette Green, and other area men serving in the Union Army. Other correspondents include the Ontario County Antislavery Society, Skaneateles Antislavery Society, William Ansley, Samuel Colt, William T. Crittenden, Richard Gilbert, James Loomis, Congressman Meredith Mallory, and Augustus Torrey.

McGraw family papers, 1854-1956.   .5 cubic ft; 4 folders.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2355
Business and family correspondence, relating to lumbering interests near Canadea, New York; McGraw family genealogy; diaries and accounts of travels in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Egypt; Jennie McGraw Fiske diaries refer to travels in England and on the Continent, and to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York. Other subjects include Cornell University faculty members, the settlement of the estate of John McGraw, and a memorial to McGraw by the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Major correspondents and persons figuring prominently in the collection include Douglass Boardman, J. W. Dwight, Willard Fiske, Mary Celestia McGraw, John Ellis Southworth, and Anna Gauntlett Whitcomb.

Morrill, Justin S. papers, 1814-1937, 1982.   3.3 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 1146
Correspondence, drafts of speeches, pamphlets and other printed material, mainly relating to the Civil War and Reconstruction, the status of freed blacks, the tariff and international trade, passage of the Land Grant College Act, and other public questions.

Ogden, H. Emmons family papers, 1830-1917   .4 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3837
Includes diaries, account books, and correspondence of the collector's relatives.

Photographs of gun-shot injuries.   2 v.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4718
Photographs of gun-shot injuries.

Pratt family papers, 1758-1903   3 folders.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 223
Letters received by Horace L. Edgar Pratt, a Protestant Episcopal rector on Staten Island, New York; also, a Civil War draft exemption certificate issued to John A Kernochan, Sept. 10, 1863; Queens County documents including a four year indenture apprenticing Joseph Lawrence to Effingham Lawrence; a bill of sale selling Joseph, a Negro boy; a receipt for a twelve pound bounty for William Aitken for New York militia service during the Revolutionary War; and a proclamation of Governor George Clinton.

Roosevelt, Theodore collection   0.4 linear ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4652
Consists mainly of letters by Roosevelt to a variety of correspondents, but also includes several autographs, photographs, one printed item, and one document.

Root family papers, 1830-1970   1 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3894
Civil War letters and diaries of William Harrison Root, a lieutenant in Company B, 75th Regiment, New York Volunteers. Also a notebook of Root's, clippings, and his account book of Company B, 1861. Also, letters, and typescripts of selected letters and reminiscences, of Helen Isabel Root (Cornell University Class of 1896), a missionary in Ceylon and India. Additional material includes account books, clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, genealogical charts, deeds and other legal documents, and photographs. Material concerns areas of Fort Byron, Cayuga County; Virgil, Cortland County; and Spencer, Tioga County, New York.

Rudin, Gail and Stephen collection of Civil War letters   .8 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4696
Civil War era letters

Scaife, James V. Civil War items, 1861-1915.   .3 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2030
Civil War items collected by James V. Scaife. Items include lithographed Civil War covers; letters to Scaife concerning Civil War research; photographs of battle fields; scrapbooks of newspaper clippings concerning the Civil War and other events in American history; roster of attendance of the Wilder's Brigade reunion at Chattanooga in 1913; obituaries and other clippings pertaining to Civil War veterans; and other printed items.

Stanton, Amos B. papers, 1843-1930   .6 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 4265
Primarily Civil War letters from Stanton to his wife. Also, family letters, certificates, pension files, clippings, publications, and diaries of John Crosby and Amos B. Stanton.

Starrett family papers, 1790-1933   575 pieces.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 142
Personal and business papers and letters, including patent rights, wills, notes, bills and receipts, land deed, school lists, land surveys, Civil War and War of 1812 material, indentures, account books, almanac, newspapers, broadsides, maps, material on local Democratic politics, items on estate management, recipes, and formulas.

Stuart, Lyman collection, 1803-1895.   .6 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 1997
Correspondence and other papers of several New York State families, discussing everyday events and problems, agriculture, religion, and prices; also, Civil War letters of the Carver brothers of Savannah, New York; other letters concern life in Montana and the Dakota territories and western Canada (1870s). Includes correspondence of the Barnhardt family, Luke Blodgett, D. Watson Davis, Henry Dean, and Aaron Lane; correspondents include Theodore and W. H. Allen, Lydia Barnhardt, George Boardman, John and George Coventry, Alex Vattemore, the Salina and Central Square Plank Road Company, and the Waterloo Woolen Manufacturing Company.

Tuttle, John and Andrews Arvilla Raplee papers, 1843-1982   2.1 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 3790
Correspondence (1856-88) of John Andrews, Arvilla Raplee, friends, and relatives, including Civil War letters of Andrews. Also, military records, Civil War diaries, and other papers.

Wall family papers   .3 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 2012
Collection includes a series of letters from Charles William Wall, a sergeant in the 151st Regiment, New York Volunteers, mainly concerning troop movements, camp experiences, and other aspects of his life as a Union Army soldier in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., but also dealing with his employment by a mining and milling company in Colorado (1869); other Civil War letters from William Emerson, Henry Harrington, and Charles McCarthy; letters from Jane Middleton, telling of her work in New York City among indigent women (1864); and an autobiographical sketch (1881) of Andrew Wall, who had emigrated from England in 1833.

Wilder, Burt Green papers, 1841-1925   7 cubic ft.

Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection Number: 14-26-95
Diaries; notes and charts pertaining to family genealogy; clippings concerning vivisection; correspondence, photographs, and printed material pertaining to spiders, phrenology, hygiene and education, writing music, Nantucket Island, the Field family, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., temperance, natural history, Wilder's career as a medical cadet and military surgeon during the Civil War; activities of members of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry and the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry both during and after the war, Negro troops, his training under Louis Agassiz, Asa Gray, and Jeffries Wyman, and his career as a professor at Cornell University.


Listing last modified: Tue 12/09/2014 12:15 PM