MsC 438

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1862 -- 1887
(Bulk Dates: 1862 -- 1865)
.5 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet:October 2002

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

David James Palmer was born on November 15, 1839, in Pennsylvania. His parents first moved to Ohio when he was a child and later moved to Washington County, Iowa. Palmer attended the United Presbyterian College in Washington, Iowa. In July 1861, he enlisted in Company C of the 8th Iowa Infantry. On April 6, 1862, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Shiloh. He was sent home, unable to walk and with his left arm completely paralyzed. By July of that year, he was once again able to walk and was commissioned by the Governor of Iowa to recruit a company. He returned to the war as the captain of Company A, 25th Iowa Infantry and within a short period of time was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He served the rest of the war with this regiment, taking part in the siege of Vicksburg and Sherman's March to the Sea.

After the hostilities ceased, Col. Palmer returned again to Washington, Iowa, and the family farm. In the 1880s he was elected to the state senate and became a state railroad commissioner. One of the greatest honors of his life was being appointed to the Grand Commandership of the National G.A.R. in 1914. Palmer died at the age of eighty-nine, on November 19, 1928.

Scope and Content

The papers of David James Palmer consist primarily of transcripts of his Civil War correspondence. He describes campaigns and battles as well as camp life. Also included is a typescript copy of a manuscript by Helen E. Livingston, titled "Sing the Jubilee" which is based on his letters.



Roll call Company A; "Taps," obituary for D.J. Palmer

Letters to his parents, including his "Byography of Capt. Palmer commencing Thursday, January 1st A.D. 1863." Carbon copies of typescript transcriptions

November 9, 1862

December 15, 1862

December 25, 1862, and continuing December 26, 1862

February 27, 1865

March 23, 1865


FOLDERS 2 and 3

Sing the Jubilee: Compiled From the Letters, Diaries, and Papers of David James Palmer Who Marched With Sherman to the Sea, by Helen E. Livingston, Typescript (2 folders)


Letter to his parents, January 3rd, 1863. Electrostatic copy of original letter and photocopy of typescript transcription


Notes; Correspondence, January 1863 -- April 1865; Speeches, 1887, Typescripts


Correspondence. Typescripts

August -- December 1863


Correspondence. Typescripts, cont.

January -- June 1864


Correspondence. Typescripts, cont.

July -- December 1864


Correspondence. Typescripts, cont.

January 1864 -- May 1865


December 1864 -- May 1865


Palmer, David. "Recollections of War Times." Annals of Iowa, 9:2 (July, 1909).



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