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This remarkable collection of 118 letters and a number of supporting documents was carefully preserved by Ackley's descendents and presented to the Libraries by the children of Ena Louise Ackley Adams in August 2002. Over the years, members of the family prepared literal and edited transcripts of all the letters; created a chronology of Ackley's service and indexed events in which he was involved; and placed on CD several essays containing background, related and archival data; scanned images of all the original letters, and Word and WordPerfect versions of the transcripts.
Ackley was born in Pitsfield, New York in 1833, married Elizabeth Thayer in 1853 and immediately migrated to Marble Rock (then Beeler's Grove), Iowa. In 1864 he enlisted in Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and for the next 18 months saw considerable action, including engagements in Atlanta, Dallas, Jonesboro, and Sherman's March to the Sea. His letters to his wife, often written in a small, precise hand, describe his service in detail. Ackley survived the war without being wounded, but contracted a chronic illness. He died at the home of his daughter near Phillipsburg, Kansas on February 13, 1913, age 79.
The Ackley-Adams Collection significantly enhances the Libraries' distinguished collection of Civil War materials.
Cover of the CD containg the fully imaged letters.