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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Civil War Collection
MsC 906
Collection Dates: 1861-1970

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Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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.

Acquisition and Processing Information: This collection was assembled from various small Civil War collections already in the Manuscript Collection.

Photographs: None

Soldier's Fair

Scope and Contents

A collection of material having to do the the War Between the States, these items were drawn together from collections held separately by the University of Iowa Libraries. Though some deal with the Civil War and Iowa, they do not all do so.

Related Materials

See the Civil War Collection at the Iowa Digital Library

Box Contents List

Box 1

Ames, William Price. Account of the Battle of Bull Run. [186?]

Bailey,Turner S.. Civil War Diaries. 3 diaries, 1861, 1862, 1863.

Turner S. Bailey of Epworth, Iowa, enlisted on May 22, 1861 and mustered in June 10, 1861, probably at Dubuque, Iowa in the 3rd Iowa Infantry, Company A. They left the state of Iowa on June 29 and spent the rest of 1861 in moving around the state of Missouri, engaging in skirmishes at Hannibal, Macon City, Chilicothe, Brookfield, and Kirksville, among others.

Bailey apparently served as chaplain for his unit, but he served in other capacities as well. On March 27 he writes, “I commenced cooking for our mess of fourteen men. Am to receive 35 cent for each man per month.”  It doesn’t appear that he cooked the entire time because there are some entries in which he says, “I cooked tonight,” implying that he wasn’t cooking all the time. He often goes out foraging and brings back beeves, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, among other items. He often leaves camp in the summer months to harvest wild berries. The army also apparently made use of his ability to write because he made out muster rolls for pay rolls and for the distribution of clothing.  

 In the spring of 1862 they were moved to the south by boat and train, and participated in the battle of Shiloh, which he calls Pittsburg Landing.

Turner S. Bailey’s description of the Battle of Shiloh:

“Sunday, April 6th. It has been a pleasant day so far as weather is concerned but extremely unpleasant on account of the shell, shot, and bullets flying so profusely. The rebels attacked our advance about six o’clock A.M. Our regiment was not called out until about ½ past 7 oclock. We formed in line of battle soon after leaving our camp and met the enemy (who had driven our advance divisions back) about ¾ of a mile from our camp. The battle was tremendious and we were under continual fire till dark. The secesh flanked us and caused us to fall back and finally drove us back nearly to the river, but we checked them by well aimed shots from our gun boats and siege guns on the hill above the landing. Firing closed about dark and we lay on our arms all night in a drenching rain. Buell reinforced us during the night.

“Monday, April 7th. Buell took the advance this morning and at early dawn the ball opened again with fresh vigor on our side for our boys were determined to drive them over the ground we lost yesterday. Cheered on by reinforcements the old troops took fresh vigor and by four P.M. they were entirely routed and made a hasty retreat leaving us in possession of the field and many of their cannon. The field is covered all over with killed and wounded. I look over a portion of the field and Oh, the suffering to be seen.  I went back to the old camp and am in my own tent once more safe but it looks lonesome for many of our boys are not here and we know not what has become of them. It has been rainy all day and rains very hard tonight.

April 7th to 12th

“It was storming all the time and very muddy almost impossible to get along the road at all. The bodies are nearly all removed from the field. Gilliam and Swift from our mess are wounded.  15 from our Co wounded and Capt Oneill prisoner. The loss in our regiment in killed, wounded, and missing in the two days battle was 215. I have been in my tent every night. There is a great deal of talk about the battle among the boys and the camp seems lonely.”

He contracted bilious fever after this and spent May 4 to July 15 in hospitals, including one at Terre Haute, Indiana, or recuperating at his sister Emaline’s in Berlin Heights, Ohio.

The 1862 diary will be especially valuable for scholars researching Company A of the 3rd Iowa Infantry, since it includes a list of field and staff officers when sworn into service and remarks about them. It is believed that he lists all the non-commissioned men, as well.  This diary contains a list of his correspondents and their relationship to him, as well as what he calls an index, but is in reality a recap of some of the highlights of the year.

In 1863, they were assigned to Memphis. They took an active part in the siege of Vicksburg and were very near the fort at some of the heaviest fighting and they saw the flag of truce come out on the fort on July 3, the day before the official surrender.

They were on the march after this. The print gets very cramped and faint here, but it looks like one of the last locations named is Champion Hills. On Sunday, July 12, the entry ends “. . . was repulsed with heavy loss. I was wounded but walked off the field.”  Written across the spaces for July 13 ad 14 is the following: “There follows the loss of the right hand and [dam(age)?] to the elbow and final discharge because of viability.”

His great-granddaughter, who donated these diaries, tells us that he spent the rest of his life as a Presbyterian minister.

Brockway Diary. Civil War Diary of Henry Brockway. In paper form and digitized on 4 CDs. (34th Massachusetts Regiment, Company K). January-September 1864.

Burmeister, George C., Captain Company C, 35th Iowa Infantry. Diaries for 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864. Accompanied by a transcription, which was returned to the family. Gift of Tom Hart. Burmeister was a school teacher, apparently boarding with the Ady family near Muscatine, when the war broke out. Includes a muster roll of Company C. In Box 3

Child, Joseph. Civil War Diary. Civil War Diary of Joseph Child (26th Iowa Infantry, Company K). November 26, 1862- June 8, 1865.

Civil War envelopes. Includes envelopes from Union and Confederate sympathizers. Stored at v14

Conard, Philip. Diaries.

Two diaries were donated to the libraries by Craig C. and Linda D. Grannon under the assumption that both were diaries of Philip Conard. Neither has any legible identifying marks. Upon further examination it looks like the two diaries are by different men. The handwriting is different as are the styles, spelling, and format of the entries.

The first, the 1861-1862, is by someone who starts his diary (presumably after the fact) as follows: "Liberty, Union County, Indiana, April 23, 1861. This day I enlisted in a company of volunteers under the command of Capt. T. W. Bennett." Information on Captain Bennett reveals that he was at the Battle of Cheat Mountain, one of the first engagements of the war and the first at which General Robert E. Lee directed an offensive against Brigadier General Joseph Reynolds. This journal is kept in a lined small ledger book, with entries of varying length as the situation demands. The ink in this part of the diary is faded to near illegibility but the dates coincide with the dates of the Battle of Cheat Mountain, September 12-15.  He describes a battle on October 3 and 4, as well, in the area of Cheat Mountain. He writes to Sally, his wife, and has three daughters. He writes to E.C. McKee [his father-in-law?] and Mark McKee. The journal ends at Nashville on March 13, 1862. In his diary he speaks of Orilla and Nan, who are the daughters of Andrew F. Davis, so it is believed that this is the diary of Davis, who lived near Liberty. Orilla Davis apparently married Philip Conard, so it's not surprising that the two diaries would be together.

The other diary is printed with the dates and a quite small space to enter text. Each entry begins with the time the writer arose and ends with the time he retired for the night, and also includes a very brief statement about the weather, such as "Pleasant day." The writer of the 1861-1862 diary never included this information, which is a reason for believing they are not written by the same person. The first third of this diary details life on a farm, then beginning on May 2, there are some entries made from a camp. It isn't clear exactly where the camp is. He mentions going to Utica and going by rail to Newark. On May 5th he "came to Columbus" and marched to camp. He mustered in on May 8th.The diary then follows his life in camp until he leaves the army about September 5. The discharge papers indicate that he served from May 2 to September 1 (100 days) in Company A of the 135th Regiment of the National Guard of Ohio, under the command of Captain W. A. McKee.

The narrative then resumes dealing with farm chores, including what appears to be a sheep drive.  He kept up the diary on extra pages at the back of the book until April 12, 1865.

This diary mentions Hatty Conard, and is labeled on the back "Papa's diary 1864. His war experience. Sarah." This is presumably Sarah Conard Jacob, who was Philip's daughter. Other names mentioned in the diary are Hiram and Anna, who died on September 14. [Christhy] Conard is also mentioned, as is C.M. Conard, perhaps the same person. Uncles Joe, Nathan, and Ely are also mentioned. Frank is mentioned, and is probably Philip's brother. Henry, Minty, and Cyrus are also mentioned. This diary also includes recipes for a fistula medicine and a concoction to stop making water. Doses are given for horses and men. (The man's dose is taken in whiskey.) There is also a recipe for white wash.

See also the Travel Journal of Sarah Jacob. Not Civil War related, but of the same family.


---. 1861-1862

---. 1864-1865

Etching plate and photographic reproduction of Philip Connard’s discharge papers

Cross, Albert. Diary 1862

Curtis, S.R. Military pass. Benton barracks, October 12, 1861

Dahlgren, John A. "Minutes of Disposition by General Foster for the Expedition in the Stono to begin 1 July 1864."

Davis, Andew F. See Conard, Philip. See also Digital Library 

Dawley, Jesse. Civil War Diary. 1864

Ensign, E. W. Diaries, 1864, August 13,1865-June 15, 1866. New Hartford, Butler County, Iowa. Company E, 44th Iowa Infantry. Gift of Mrs. Karen Wilson. In Box 3

Ewringmann, Charles. Transcription, Civil War soldier, 27th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company D. [1861-1863?] In German.

Foote, J.G. Letter to the New York Chamber of Commerce, September 1864, soliciting contributions to the Southern Iowa Soldiers Fair

Forest, Joseph H. Volunteer descriptive list and account of pay and clothing. Iowa Infantry, 23rd Regiment, Company E. 1862-1863

Gibson, Laura R. Correspondence to her mother, June-August 1863. These nine letters detail life in a camp near Vicksburg where she resided with her husband, a surgeon with the 15th Iowa Volunteer Regiment. The return addresses show the progress toward Vicksurg, with the first letter, dated June 20 having been sent from "camp 3 miles [rear?] of Vicksburg," and the next letter addressed "Magnolia Hall," ending with the last four letters, written from Vicksburg itself.

Hoover, Earl R. Papers concerning Benjamin R. Hanby, composer of “Darling Nelly Gray,” Civil War songs and music

Box 2

Howard, Robert A. General orders. No. 4, Benton Barracks, September 18, 1861

Huntington, Mrs. Henry. Memoirs of the Civil War, correspondence. Published in abbreviated form as "Escape from  Atlanta: The Huntington Memoir," edited by Ben Krenmenak in Civil War History June 1965, pp 160-177. n.d.

Iowa Infantry, 3rd Regiment. Muster Roll, Company E. June 8, 1861

Iowa Infantry, 3rd Regiment. Losses at Shiloh of companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, and K. April 6-7, 1862

Iowa Infantry, 20th Regiment, Company E documents. 1862-1864

Muster rolls. For the 11th Iowa Infantry, Company A, April 30, 1863-June 30, 1863 under Captain John W. Anderson; and for 1st Iowa Cavalry, Company S, June ?, 1862-August 31, 1862, under Captain Henry H. Heath. In map case 2, drawer 7

Myers, John (1838-1863). John Myers was a married farmer who enlisted in Company F of the 28th Iowa Infantry as a corporal in late 1862. He started out at Camp Pope in Iowa City, then moved to Camp Helena in Arkansas, from which he moved to take part in the battle for Vicksburg. He was wounded in action at Port Gibson and died of disease at Helena Arkansas in August 1863. These are letters to his wife (Ceclia?). These letters describe camp life in Iowa City and how the bored men got drunk and ". . . tore 1 whiskey shop all to smash."  His words on the battle of Vicksburg: ".. .it has been nothing but a  continual roar of muskets, cannons, mortars and the bursting of shells since the beginning f the battle the 16. . . we have got them surrounded so they cannot get away. . ."  His last letter, from Miliken's Bend, Louisiana begins "Dear and most loved wife; With pleasure I take the present opportunity to write you a few lines but I can't tell you that I am well this time for I have had the chillfever ever since I wrote you the last letter every day til yesterday. I did not have it yesterday or today yet and I am in hopes I have got it broke. . ." Apparently it did not break, because he died of disease within the month.

Kellogg. Iowa Infantry, 29th Regiment. Trip to Lewisburg. July 26, 1864

Kimberly, Wesley Clark. "Some Recollections of My Father's Family". 1926. Includes information on 1st Iowa Cavalry, 1861-1866

McDowell Family Papers. 1857-1863, including war letters. 7th Iowa Infantry, Company H. 54 items

Merriam, Rufus Nelson. Narrative of Experiences in the U.S. Civil War. 4th Iowa Infantry, Company B

Mills County, Iowa. Mounted Minute Men Records, 1861-1869

Rhodes, Hinman. 1866 typescript diary. Life during and after the war

Roller, John G. Diary transcript. 1864-1865. Also on Microfilm available from Media Services, film number 8444

Sillanpa, Tom. Address delivered in 1970: “The Day an Ironclad Named U.S.S. Keokuk Stormed Fort Sumter”

Stafford Family Papers, 1862-1865. Iowa Infantry, 38th Regiment, Company A

Tidball, John C. Segments of a book on the Civil War, "War  Period, 1862." Also includes a printed article, "Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion. Part II" by  Bvt. Brig.-General J. C. Tidball, U.S.A. These tear sheets indicate that the first part was published in the Journal No. 52, but the publication is not further identified.

U.S Army. Special Order no. 132. South Grange, Tennessee, October 3, 1863. Iowa Infantry, 7th Regiment, Company H; Illinois Infantry, 108th Regiment, Company B; Illinois Infantry, 108th Regiment, Company E

U. S. Army, Iowa Infantry Regiment, 11th (1861-1865). Company A. Manuscript. Muster Roll, Company A, 11th Regiment. April-August, 1863. Muster roll for the company, signed by Captain John W. Anderson. In Map Case 2, drawer 7

Worley Family Papers, 1861-1886. Civil War papers of Joshua Worley. 126th Ohio Infantry

Box 3

Burmeister and Ensign, as noted above