Civil War

Guide to Civil War Archival Materials at the Othmer Library

View Subject Guide as Word Document

This guide is intended as an aid to researchers interested in archival material at Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) that relates to the Civil War. For the most part, this material concerns soldiers and regiments from Brooklyn, New York City, or other parts of New York. Archival material is included on this guide if it dates from the Civil War years (1861-1865) and pertains to the war (e.g., muster rolls, correspondence from soldiers, scrapbooks of war-related matter, relief activities, draft riots, Lincoln assassination, etc.), or if it concerns war veterans or their organizations (e.g., Grand Army of the Republic) to the extent that the material relates to the memorialization of the war or one’s service in it.

This guide includes the papers of former soldiers only if that material relates at least in part to their wartime service. Collections with militia/national guard materials are included only to the extent those materials refer to Civil War service, which encompasses action at home (e.g. draft riots) or at Harrisburg, PA, in 1863 as well as at the front. Material related to African-American slavery, anti-slavery, and emancipation is generally not included on this guide; that material can be found on BHS’s Guide to African-American History Archival Materials. More generally, although this guide is extensive and is expected to satisfy many research needs in this subject, researchers should be aware that this guide is not necessarily comprehensive. The guide includes only those archival materials that were identified as relevant and were documented over time by archivists in the course of their work. Accordingly, researchers may wish to review finding aids from collections not found on the guide to identify other materials potentially useful to their research. Access to the “finding aid portal” for such searches is available from this page: http://www.brooklynhistory.org/library/search.html.

The emphasis of this guide is on the text-based archival material held by BHS. In addition to the archival material detailed in this guide, there are many other resources at BHS useful to researching the Civil War, and these are discussed below.

First, you can search our online catalog, Bobcat, for relevant material such as books, maps, and other printed matter in our library: http://www.brooklynhistory.org/library/search.html. The basic keyword to search is Civil War, but this will return almost 400 results. Accordingly, you might want to narrow your results by using combinations of keywords such as Civil War Brooklyn, Civil War soldiers, Civil War regiments, etc. You can also use other keywords, such as specific regiments by their ordinal designation (e.g., 48th regiment, 69th regiment), battles (e.g., Antietam, Gettysburg), or individual names (e.g., Henry Slocum, Horatio King). Maps can be found through Bobcat with keyword Civil War maps.

From 1939-1942, 1961-1969, and 1973-1982, BHS (then known as the Long Island Historical Society) published a periodic journal, called the Long Island Historical Society Quarterly in 1939-42 and, in the later years, The Journal of Long Island History. The journals include articles on historical topics concerning Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. Some of these articles related to the Civil War. A list in PDF form of the articles in the journals can be found on Emma; use search term Civil War in the document to find the relevant material. The journals themselves are available in the library.

The library’s clippings scrapbook collection (on microfiche) includes Civil War-related material; a card index to the fiche is available. The principal index term is Civil War. Articles on specific subjects can also be found (e.g., Monitor, Sanitary Fair). Material on regiments is found under the spelled-out rendition of their ordinal designation (e.g., Fourteenth Regiment, Sixty-ninth Regiment); the 84th Regiment is indexed as the Fourteenth. Individual names are indexed by last name (e.g., Slocum, Henry; Woodward, John B.).

BHS also has a collection on microfiche of slavery-related pamphlets and other material compiled from several repositories, including BHS. A section of this collection is focused on Civil War and Slavery (section CW). A guide to the microfiche has been published: Henry Barnard, ed. Slavery, Part I: A Bibliography and Union List of the Microform Collection. (Sanford, NC: Microfilming Corporation of America) 1980. The guide is available in the library. This microfiched collection includes many documents held in physical form by BHS. These BHS-held documents are known as the Slavery Pamphlet Collection. The contents are cataloged individually in Bobcat and can be found by keyword searches or searching on the common call number root “PAMP.”

In addition to archival and other text-based matter, BHS has extensive Civil War era photographic images, particularly of soldiers and other individuals. A good first stop for these is BHS’s image database, PastPerfect, which you can search in the library. From the “collections” field in PastPerfect’s query screen, select Civil War  Collection; this will provide a sampling of the images held and listings of all identified images in this collection. If the sample images are insufficient for your research, or you are interested in seeing one of the individuals whose image is not digitized, you can request the entire collection to view in the library.

A second large photo collection holding 200 portraits/photos (cartes-de-visite) of famous American men and woman from the Civil War is part of the Scrapbook Collection. PastPerfect has no digital images from this collection, nor a list of content. You can view the collection itself in the library; request Object ID SCRAP.2009.19. Finally, you can use “search term” Civil War in PastPerfect, which will identify images, mostly of War monuments and memorials. Specific monuments can be searched by their name (e.g., Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Memorial Arch). Use both search terms Brooklyn Sanitary Fair and Sanitary Fair for images of that event. There are search terms for individuals, which can be in order by first name (e.g., Ulysses Grant), or last name (Grant, Ulysses), or by title (General Grant).

The following collections are available by appointment for viewing in the library. To schedule an appointment or for further information about any of these collections, please contact the archivist via email: library@brooklynhistory.org.

Collections are presented in this guide in two rough categories: collections with material concerning soldiers, regiments or other military units, and veterans; and collections concerning other Civil War-related matters or having wide-ranging material such as scrapbooks. Each entry follows the format:

Collection name, date range
Call number
Extent in linear feet of collection. Link to more information about the collection (if available).
Brief description of content in the collection relevant to Civil War research.

Following the archival collections section, there is a section listing Civil War-related broadsides held by BHS, which can also be viewed on request in the library. Finally, because some of the print material in the library is not yet cataloged in Bobcat, particularly many regimental histories, a summary of this material is included in the last section of this guide.

Section 1: Soldiers, Regiments, Veterans

Collections with material having an emphasis on specific New York regiments are presented first, in order of their ordinal designation. These are followed by collections concerning multiple New York regiments, non-New York regiments, and other military or veteran matters, grouped roughly by like topic. (Note: The 14th Regiment of the New York State Militia/National Guard was officially designated the 84th Regiment when fighting under U.S. command in the Civil War, and so is ordered in this guide as the 84th. Nonetheless, researchers of the 14th/84th need to be alert to the use of both designations in archival material and descriptions.)

Daniel I. Underhill Civil War correspondence, 1862-1863
Call number: 1980.010
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Photocopies of typescripts of letters from soldier stationed in Virginia (New York 2nd Regiment, Harris Light Cavalry, Company M).

Patrick Hayes papers, 1863-1917
Call number: ARC.051
0.40 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Included are Patrick Hayes’s discharge papers from the Union Army (NY 3rd Regiment, Company A), documents pertaining to his military pension, and the Grand Army of the Republic (Kings County, George Ricard Post 362) proclamation issued upon the occasion of Hayes’s death in 1917.

Secor, Flint, and Cousins families papers, 1840-1971
Call number: ARC.192
1 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes passes for Cyrus Flint and his family to travel from New Orleans to New York. Also included are two military passes for Leonard Secor and two letters from him, while he served in the New York 4th Regiment Heavy Artillery, referencing General Grant, the Potomac Army 2nd Corps, and some of his general duties.

Union Army Light Artillery, 5th New York Independent Battery records, 1861-1865, circa 1912
Call number: 1978.008
3 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The Union Army Light Artillery, 5th New York Independent Battery records consist mainly of muster rolls for the period 1861-1865, covering the unit’s service during the Civil War. The October 1863 muster documents the presence in camp of African-Americans as servants to the battery’s officers. In addition to periodic muster rolls, the collection also holds the unit’s initial muster-in roll and the 1864 muster-out roll from the conclusion of the unit’s initial term of service. Additional items include rolls of absentees and deserters, and discharge, furlough and other documents of Private (later 2nd Lieutenant) William H. Cornell. Finally, the collection includes the printed roster and by-laws of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) George C. Strong Post No. 534 of the Grand Army of the Republic, circa 1910 with annotated updates through circa 1912.

William Dayton Civil War record poster, 1860s
Call number: 1989.013
0.1 linear feet.
Civil War record of soldier from New York 8th Regiment Artillery.

New York State National Guard 13th Regiment records, 1832-1892
Call number: ARC.210
0.15 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Orders concerning the New York 13th Regiment, Militia/National Guard, principally from the Department of Annapolis, 1861, and General Order #9 regarding the funeral parade for Lincoln.

John B. Woodward papers, 1820-1924
Call number: ARC.275
1.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Scrapbook of wartime clippings, orders, correspondence, and ephemera related to the New York 13th Regiment; New York Herald of April 26, 1865, concerning Lincoln funeral train; documents related to the Brooklyn Citizens Committee’s preparation for the visit of the Society of the Potomac (1884), and other war veteran ephemera.

Francis Skillman papers, 1769-1896
Call number: ARC.280
2.8 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Correspondence from Christian Walthart of the New York 15th Regiment, Engineers, Company A, describing the Bull Run battlefield, reporting the company’s reaction to news of the draft riots, etc.

Alexander C. Tompkins military appointment and certificate, 1864
Call number: 1977.394
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Appointment of Alexander C. Tompkins to the 17th Regiment, New York State Militia.

New York State National Guard, 23rd Infantry Regiment records, 1863-1957
Call number: ARC.216
0.32 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
This collection includes materials documenting the peacetime activities of the NGSNY 23rd (later 106th) Infantry Regiment, as well as the Regiment’s service in the Civil War and World War I.

Calvin E. Pratt papers, 1852-1896
Call number: 1977.287
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes orders and correspondence concerning Colonel Pratt and the New York 31st Regiment, 1861-1862.

Landon family papers, 1665-1864
Call number: 1977.025
2.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The series includes correspondence of 1862-63 to Colonel W.B. Barton, commander of the New York 48th Regiment in South Carolina, from Confederate commanders regarding movements under flags of truce.

Charles Simler discharge papers, 1863, 1865
Call number: 1977.531
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Discharge papers from the 56th Regiment, New York National Guard.

Wladimir B. Krzyzanowski memorial collection, 1933-1961
Call number: 1973.250
0.03 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
General Krzyzanowski was commander of the New York 58th Regiment, known as the Polish Legion. This collection contains a small assortment of items spanning 1933 to 1961 celebrating the life and military career of Wladimir Krzyzanowski, and concerning his burial at Green-Wood Cemetery and subsequent transfer to Arlington National Cemetery. Items include correspondence, clippings, postcards, and programs, most of which are only included as photocopies. The majority of the materials were created by the American Legion Frank J. Dombrowski Post No. 965 of Brooklyn, as well as the National General Krzyzanowski Memorial Committee.

Nelson Cross papers, 1844-1872
Call number: 1977.234
0.06 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes various documents (appointment as colonel, discharge papers, letter of recommendation, etc.) and images related to Cross’s service in the New York 67th Regiment.

Andrew D. Baird and New York Volunteer Infantry, 79th Regiment collection, 1860-1913
Call number: 1977.170
0.84 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The bulk of the collection contains documents produced, received, or approved by Baird as a lieutenant, captain, and major in the 79th Regiment. Most of these documents relate to the regiment’s receipt of clothing, equipment, and supplies, and consist of abstracts, accounts, correspondence, inventories, invoices, receipt rolls, and returns. Other documents highlight the internal structure of the regiment and include descriptive lists of soldiers, discharge and furlough papers, enlistment records, muster rolls, payment accounts and pay rolls, returns of commissioned officers, and vouchers. Other military items include certificates issued to Baird by the State of New York, general orders and circulars from the War Department and the Army of the Potomac, an instruction manual on the mustering of officers, a list of battles in which the 79th Regiment participated, Baird’s service record, special orders and requisitions, and a statistical record detailing the regiment’s gains and losses throughout the war. The collection also includes a small number of documents from Baird’s post-war life.

John H. Connelly discharge, 1864
Call number: 1978.069
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Certificate of discharge from New York 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment), Company F.

Cranston family papers, 1846-1923
Call number: 1994.013
2.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Correspondence (1861-64) from Alfred Cranston, a soldier in the New York 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment), to his future wife, Elizabeth Petford; Cranston’s diary (1864); and clippings, printed material, remarks, and other documents and related to war veteran organizations and both Alfred and Elizabeth’s activities in them, including the Society of the Wives and Daughters of the 14th Regiment War Veterans. The collection also includes photographs.

Albert G.A. Harnickell papers, 1861-1916
Call number: ARC.040
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection contains items documenting Harnickell’s military career as a captain in the New York 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment), as well as his subsequent involvement in veterans’ affairs. Materials include a roster of the 84th Regiment of the New York State Militia (which may be of use to genealogy researchers), vouchers and receipts for military supplies, an account book, military passes, correspondence, booklet War Sketches from Cedar Mountain to Bull Run, a draft of rules for the 14th Regiment Veterans’ Society, papers and news clippings relating to Harnickell’s activities as a veteran, invitations to receptions and regimental reunions, ephemera, and a pamphlet of Civil War sketches. The collection also includes four photographs: 84th Regiment’sheadquarters at Camp Marion, Upton Hill, Virginia; another of a group of Civil War soldiers (presumably Company F); and two of Captain Harnickell in uniform.

New York Infantry 84th Regiment uniform records, 1862-1864
Call number: 1978.119
1 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Clothing issue book of the 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment) listing name of soldier, date of enlistment, date and type of clothing purchased, issuing individual, and witness.

John Vliet Civil War correspondence, 1861-1864
Call number: 1974.109a
0.42 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes 48 letters from a soldier in the New York 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment) to his employer describing military life and wartime events. (The letters can also be found in published form in the Journal of Long Island History. See inventory of Journal’s contents.)

Bennett family collection of Civil War correspondence and other material, 1832-1909
Call number: 2009.012
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
This collection contains twenty-nine letters written by members of the Bennett, Tandy, and Van Winkle families between the years of 1832-1909. Twenty-two of the letters are written to or by soldiers while they served in the American Civil War. The content of the letters relates to the lives of Union soldiers regarding naval battles, camp life, and family matters. Other topics include the secession of the South, Lincoln’s candidacy, and family businesses. Some letters refer to New York’s 84th Regiment from Brooklyn (also known as the 14th Militia or 14th Regiment). Most of the letters were written to or by Winant Bennett while he served for the Union during the Civil War. Transcriptions of the letters, though incomplete at points, are available. Several of the letters are on various forms of letterhead and some envelopes are included.

90th Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Association records, 1862, 1882-1897
Call number: 1977.005
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes material from the 1880s-1890s, including correspondence, financial records, minutes, membership records, ephemera, newspaper clippings (some from the 1860s), and scrapbook.

Smith, Farrington, and Cromwell families papers, circa 1780-1935
Call number: ARC.193
1.54 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes items pertaining to James Cromwell’s service in the Civil War (New York 124th Regiment), including commissions, pension certificate (to his widow), letters from Cromwell including an account of the 124th’s engagement at Chancellorsville, and a letter from his sister Anna to an unnamed individual relaying the details of James’s death in the War.

Alonzo V. Jones papers, 1863-1865
Call number: 1977.500
0.1 linear feet.
Discharge papers from New York 150th Regiment, Company B.

Edward L. Molineux papers, 1860s
Call number: 1987.009
0.1 linear feet.
Reminiscences of the war by a brevet major-general, New York 159th Regiment and other.

Conklin and Bedell families collection, 1839-1917
Call number: 2005.021
1.0 linear foot. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes some documents related to the New York 173rd Regiment, including correspondence concerning attempts to learn details of a soldier’s death (1863); general orders for a court-martial; correspondence (1865) from a soldier, based in Georgia, expressing objections to attempts to grant suffrage to African-Americans.

Frank J. Bramhall Civil War history collection, 1860-1867
Call number: 1977.006
2.09 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection contains material compiled by Bramhall (1846-1907) in preparation for publication of a work documenting Brooklyn’s contributions to the war effort. Includes correspondence, completed questionnaires, muster rolls, accounts, clippings, and other material. Eighteen Kings County military units (mostly volunteer regiments) and many individual soldiers are represented. Also included are accounts of a nurse, an Andersonville prisoner, the Brooklyn & Long Island Branch of the United States Christian Commission, and a Brooklyn militia unit’s response to the 1863 draft riots, among other items.

Brooklyn correspondence and miscellaneous documents collection, 1757-1968
Call number: 1977.321
0.35 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Correspondence from the field, 1864, NY 48th Regiment ( James Berth folder); correspondence from the chaplain at Wolfe St. Hospital, Alexandria, concerning death of soldier in NY 2nd Cavalry, 1862 ( John Bowman folder); correspondence concerning an assignment to the steamer Monticello at North Carolina, 1862 ( John Dawson folder); discharge certificate of Peter McGregor, NY 1st Regiment, Engineers, 1865 (McGregor folder); muster roll, NY 3rd Regiment, Company A, 1861.

Daniel and Hugh Friel letters, 1858-1866
Call number: 1977.425
0.06 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection includes letters from Hugh Friel and Daniel Friel addressed to their family discussing business affairs, personal matters, and their experiences while fighting in the Civil War. Daniel, the eldest brother, had served in the Navy on the Frigate Wabash before joining the 47th New York Volunteers. Hugh enlisted in the 158th New York Volunteers as a drummer boy.

H. Joseph Murray family papers, 1833-1863
Call number: 1977.391
0.2 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes two letters: a letter from George Wyckoff (New York 71st Regiment, Company D) describing his travels to Washington and his experience in the Army (1861), and a letter from H.J. Murray to his mother from Harrisburg, PA, New York 23rd Regiment, June 1863.

Robert Lamb Civil War letters, 1863
Call number: 1977.401
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Two letters by Lamb, a corporal in Corcoran’s Irish Legion, comprised of various New York regiments, with the Union Army in Virginia, to his brother and sister in New York.

Charles Stuart Booth family papers and photographs, 1828-1906
Call number: ARC.154
1.26 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The letters in the collection are mainly family letters written to Booth’s son, Horace, while he served in the Union Army (Horace was an engineer in the Union Army’s 8th Regiment from 1861 to 1863), and include descriptions of the 1863 draft riots and conflict with supporters of theConfederacy, and the family’s well-wishes, health, and lifestyle advice to Horace. (The collection also includes antebellum journals written by Charles Stuart Booth, a lower Manhattan night watchman who lived and raised his family in Williamsburg.)

Morgan-Parry family papers, 1861-1909
Call number: 1990.006
0.80 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection
Documents concerning 12th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry (various companies), including invoices, receipts, and returns for ordnance, clothing, and other military-issued property; special and other orders; circulars; various certificates of commission for Henry C. Morgan; and recruiting agent-related records, including financial records, correspondence, rejections, etc.

Tilley family papers, 1803-1976
Call number: 1986.057
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes photocopies of two letters, two cartes-de-visite (Connecticut 5th Regiment).

Alfred W. Ebrey papers, 1884-1928
Call number: 1977.034
0.1 linear feet.
Documents from the State of Illinois, the U.S. War Department, and the U.S. Department of the Interior concerning Ebrey’s military records as a private in the Illinois 69th Regiment and his pension rights. Also two receipts from Germonds Presbyterian Church for a burial plot.

John Kissam papers, 1778-1823, 1864-1868
Call number: 1974.133
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Muster roll of Georgia 12th Regiment, Company K (Confederate Army), with remarks and payroll, 1864

Rufus B. Kelsey papers, 1859-1883
Call number: 1977.150
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes some correspondence from Samuel Kelsey serving in Kentucky and Tennessee, Pennsylvania 15th Cavalry Regiment, 1862-1863.

L.M. Walker Civil War essay, 1880
Call number: 1977.486
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
One typed copy of an essay written by L.M. Walker describing her experience of traveling with her husband, John H. Walker, an officer in the Union Army, during the Civil War. The essay is titled “From Virginia to Oregon: Scenes and Incidents of Camp and Garrison Life” and was published in the Brooklyn-based publication The Haversack. It is dated November 1880.

Alfred W. Letteer diary, 1863-1864
Call number: 1973.136
0.10 linear feet.
Diary of a sergeant-major that includes daily entries of military activities in the South and his time in a prison camp, Pennsylvania 77th Regiment.

Josiah M. Grumman diary, 1861-1862
Call number: 1973.110
0.20 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Diary kept by Josiah M. Grumman of the 84th Regiment (a/k/a 14th Regiment) while he was held prisoner at the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond, VA from 1861 to 1862. The diary contains an account of his capture, lists of daily activities and other prisoners, newspaper clippings, and receipts.

Batt Jones and Edward R. Squibb Civil War letter, 1865
Call number: 1977.535
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Letter sent from Lt. Colonel Batt Jones while being held prisoner in a Confederate camp at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, requesting that provisions be smuggled in for him.

Camp Parapet, Louisiana letter, 1863
Call number: 1978.108
0.1 linear feet.
The writer, presumably a soldier, was ill from the mumps and camped at an old residence of Judge Isaac Preston of Louisiana, from whom the soldier stole various books.

John J. Campbell papers, 1864-1888
Call number: 1979.004
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes a Civil War pass issued to John Beauchamp.

Sineus Hopping letter, 1862
Call number: 1974.217
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
A letter from Sineus Hopping to his parents written by Hopping while aboard the United States Receiving Ship North Carolina at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In the letter, Hopping discusses his impending inscription into the military. Hopping was from Bridgehampton, Long Island.

Bennett family collection of Civil War correspondence and other material, 1832-1909
Call number: 2009.012
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
This collection contains twenty-nine letters written by members of the Bennett, Tandy, and Van Winkle families between the years of 1832-1909. Twenty-two of the letters are written to or by soldiers while they served in the American Civil War. The content of the letters relates to the lives of Union soldiers regarding naval battles, camp life, and family matters. Other topics include the secession of the South, Lincoln’s candidacy, and family businesses. Some letters refer to New York’s 84th Regiment from Brooklyn, also known as the 14th Militia. Most of the letters were written to or by Winant Bennett while he served for the Union during the Civil War. Several of the letters are on various forms of letterhead and some envelopes are included. Transcriptions of the letters, though incomplete at points, are available

Louis C. Wills papers, 1791-1975
Call number: ARC.252
8.85 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Materials include those related to Louis Wills’s father, Anthony Wills, mostly consist of clippings, photographs, and military certificates, the latter of which span 1856 to 1877 and reflect Anthony’s service in the New York State Militia and the New York State National Guard, including his service in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Washington A. Roebling family letters, circa 1820 to 1955
Call number: 1992.020
0.50 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Two bound volumes containing typescript copies of letters of the Roebling family, particularly those of Washington A. Roebling. The letters were compiled circa 1955 by Clarence E. Case, executor of the will of Washington Roebling’s son, John A. Roebling II. The letters span the period 1821 to 1927, with the majority dating from 1861 to 1868 and 1900 to 1926, and mostly detail Washington Roebling’s experiences in the American Civil War and family matters and relationships, especially those with his father, John A. Roebling, and his wife, Emily

Nathaniel Matson papers, 1864-1873
Call number: 1977.624
0.10 linear feet.
The letters in this collection pertain to Dr. Nathaniel Matson’s service as a surgeon in the Civil War. One letter is from Matson to an assistant surgeon, E. McClellan; another comes from McClellan to William Buckingham, Governor of Connecticut, regarding Matson’s request for sick leave. A letter dated October 2, 1865 from Colonel Hewey S. Abbot recommends Matson to be commissioned in the medical staff.

Henry Warner Slocum report, 1865
Call number: 1973.098
0.02 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Slocum’s report to Major Dayton, Assistant Adjunct General, Military Division of the Mississippi. Includes the activities and operations of the Left Wing, Army of Georgia, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, March 30, 1865.

Frank R. Oakley Civil War papers, 1862-1865
Call number: 1974.135
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes handwritten copies of orders issued by S.R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy of the Confederacy, to naval officers in Richmond and elsewhere, 1862. Also letters written by William H. Seward, thanking Frank R. Oakley of Brooklyn for forwarding the orders to him, 1865.

Harriet Stryker-Rodda Southern history collection, 1710-1865
Call number: 1985.076
0.80 linear feet.
Includes ordnance and supply reports for various Confederate commands in the spring and early summer of 1864. Also a voucher for expenditures from USS Gemsbok for the first week of April, 1865.

Victor M. Drake papers on the U.S.S. Monitor, circa 1861-1954
Call number: 1973.219
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Consists of several documents, primarily concerning the Monitor’s crew. Included are notes on the ship’s crew members, featuring first and last names, ranks, and in some instances, birth and death dates. These lists also identify crew members who were residents of Brooklyn. Also included are two newspaper clippings; one dates from 1953 and discusses the history of the Battle of Hampton Roads, and the other dates from circa 1861 and announces the commissioning of the Monitor by the United States Navy.

John Lorimer Worden collection, 1862-1899
Call number: 1973.249
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Material collected by Alexander Moss White (1815-1906) of Brooklyn. Collection relates to the ironclad ship, Monitor; its commander, Rear-Admiral John Lorimer Worden; its builders, Captain John Ericsson and Cornelius S. Bushnell; and the Continental Iron Works of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Printed material includes monographs, congressional bills, papers, sermons, and correspondence (including copies, e.g., an 1862 letter from the Monitor’s crew).

John C. Champion journal, 1862
Call number: 1991.017
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
A journal, written on the U.S.S. Adirondack, listing all the men on board, their rank, duties, battle stations, arms carried, and written orders and commands/instructional journal for the 11 inch pivot guns.

U.S.S. Gemsbok records, 1864-1865
Call number: 1978.036
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Vouchers for expenditures of various departments aboard the U.S.S. Bark Gemsbok.

Grand Army of the Republic, Department of New York, Harry Lee Post No. 21 records, circa 1870-1935
Call number: 1977.078
1.55 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The records are comprised of member lists, meeting minutes, one photograph, and four bound volumes detailing the activities of the Post and the military backgrounds and personal histories of hundreds of Post members, with particular emphasis on their dates of death and burial locations.

Grand Army of the Republic, Department of New York, Brooklyn City Post No. 233 minute book, 1909-1911
Call number: 1977.190
0.07 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Minutes book and clippings.

Grand Army of the Republic, Department of New York, Gen. James B. McPherson Post No. 614 personal war sketches, 1897
Call number: 2011.011
1 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Oversize commemorative volume that includes a historical sketch of Post 614 and sketches of the war service record of the Post’s members, all handwritten. Calvin E. Pratt was a member of the Post, and the volume includes a sketch of his service (the volume was presented to the Post in Pratt’s memory by his wife).

Horatio C. King collection, circa 1850-1925
Call number: ARC.187
0.83 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes material from the Society of the Army of the Potomac, of which King was an officer for many years.

William Patton Griffith papers, 1865-1932
Call number: 2006.030
0.42 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes correspondence related to Griffith’s involvement in veterans organizations, including the Grand Army of the Republic and the Union Veteran Legion.

 

Section 2: Other Civil War Material

Civil War collection, 1804-1865
Call number: 1977.200
0.63 linear foot. Link to more information about the collection.
Compiled by Andersonville prisoner of war and hospital steward Edwin P. Hopkins. Includes records from the hospital of the Confederate prisoner camp in Andersonville, GA, including roll books, letter books and statistics on admissions and deaths within the hospital. There is also a series of printed material, 1864 election broadsides, circulars and forms, covering a wide variety of Civil War related topics including politics, suffrage, war forms, National Guard orders (including a call to duty to the 13th Regiment National Guard in response to the 1863 draft riots), religious organizations, relief organizations, Freedman’s groups, and temperance. There is a copy of a report on the Battle of Fair Oaks, Va. by Col. Stephen A. Dodge of the New York 87th Regiment.

Charles F. Wingate Civil War scrapbooks, 1861-1865
Call number: ARC.132
1.67 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Several scrapbooks of Civil War clippings compiled by Brooklynite Wingate.

Pierrepont family papers, 1761-1918
Call number: ARC.263
94.55 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection includes a scrapbook of Civil War clippings, 1861-1865 (box 90).

New York Daily Tribune page on the New York city draft riots, 1863
Call number: 1985.475
1.67 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
A page from October 10, 1863, with article on draft riots.

Petersburg, VA Civil War map, circa 1861 to 1865
Call number: 1977.380
0.01 linear feet.
One printed map showing the entrenched lines in the immediate front of Petersburg, VA during the Civil War. This copy was presumably one of many produced for guests of Jarratt’s Hotel in Petersburg

C.B. Nichols scrapbooks, circa 1860s-circa 1896
Call number: 1974.134
2.4 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Scrapbooks of Civil War ephemera, including money, bonds, tickets, programs, patriotic envelopes, clippings, and stamps; with items from the Confederate States, Brooklyn/Long Island Sanitary Fair and the 1884 meeting of the Society of the Army of the Potomac (held in Brooklyn).

Lefferts family collection, circa 1650s-1970s
Call number: ARC.145
14.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection contains some items related to the civil war; see Box 2, Folders 4, 5; Box 5, Folders 1, 32; and Box OS 2, Folder 5. Collection includes newspaper clippings from the time of the war most of them containing accounts of battles and political issues. Some clippings also pertain to the ending of the war and the assassination of President Lincoln. The clippings are primarily from the New York Times, Harper’s Weekly, and the New York Herald. The collection also contains draft manuscripts by Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt recalling the Lefferts family’s experience during the New York Draft Riot of 1863. There is one photograph in the collection of Civil War soldiers featuring John McKessen, Jr., a nephew of Marshall Lefferts.

Collection of Brooklyn, N.Y., Civil War relief associations records, ephemera and other material, circa 1798-1964
Call number: ARC.245
4 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection principally contains the records of two major Brooklyn-based Civil War relief associations, the War Fund Committee and the Women’s Relief Association, including records of their various projects. A large portion of the collection documents one significant project undertaken by these organizations, the Brooklyn and Long Island Fair of 1864, also known as the Sanitary Fair. Documentation of the Fair covers both its financial aspects and the events and exhibits taking place there, and includes posters, broadsheets, printed matter, the Fair’s newspaper, subscription books, admission tickets, stereographs of the New England Kitchen exhibit, and more. Some artifacts exhibited at the Fair are included in the collection. Documents concerning other relief organizations are found in the collection, including the Brooklyn Bureau of the American Freedmen’s Friend Society and the Brooklyn and Long Island Christian Commission. In addition, the collection holds other materials, primarily concerning the Civil War, relief efforts in cities other than Brooklyn, politics, commercial advertising, and other matters.

Agnes Elizabeth Brundage diaries, 1863-1865
Call number: ARC.108
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Volume 2 of the diary refers to vacations on Long Island and visiting a fair, possibly the Brooklyn and Long Island Fair in Aid of the U.S. Sanitary Commission of 1864.

Henry C. Wagner Confederate war song collection, circa 1861-1865
Call number: 1974.258b
0.02 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Loose printed sheets with lyrics of 15 Confederate States of America songs.

William Irwin Martin Civil War envelopes, 1861-1865
Call number: 1974.259
1.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Scrapbook of envelopes decorated with patriotic themes; also includes some paper money.

United States, Confederate States, and foreign currency collection, 1690-1865
Call number: 1974.120
0.10 linear feet.
Includes various forms of paper currency printed by the Confederate States of America.

Frederick and Hetty Marquand scrapbook, 1761-1882
Call number: 1977.219
0.25 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Scrapbook of Brooklyn residents with, among other matter, clippings, images, currency, and other material related to the Civil War.

Henry Onderdonk papers, 1729-1895
Call number: ARC.045
10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Include scrapbooks with much on the Civil War as it related to Queens County, such as town war meetings, lists of draftees, deaths, and regiment recruitment, musters, and other activities.

Third Ward Enlistment Committee records, 1862-1871
Call number: ARC.062
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes a treasurer’s account book, 1862-1871; a volunteer’s journal, 1862; and three subscription journals for troop quotas, 1862.

Thomas Cavanagh certificate of exemption from the Civil War draft, 1863
Call number: 1977.543
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Certificate from the New York State Board of Enrollment, 2nd District, granting Cavanagh an exemption from military service in Civil War because he had supplied a substitute to serve in his place.

Committee of Reception to the Crews of the Frigates “Cumberland” and “Congress” records, 1862-1869
Call number: 1977.313
0.20 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes lists of survivors of the Cumberland and Congress (destroyed by the Merrimack); correspondence regarding the relief funds; and bills and receipts of the relief committee.

Luquer and Payne families papers, 1822-1980
Call number: ARC.282
0.50 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes six Confederate documents: three bonds and three items relating to the defense of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

Richard Beverly and Louis Wimpelberg power of attorney document, 1866
Call number: 1977.508
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Letter from Beverly giving Louis Wimpelberg power of attorney for all money that may be due Beverly for the taking of the Mobile (sic) by the U.S.S. Lackawanna.

W.H. Luckenbach sermon, 1861
Call number: 1977.673
0.1 linear feet.
Manuscript sermon concerning the war, “On Magnifying God’s Work. A Thanksgiving Discourse,” preached in the Dutch Reformed Church of Rhinebeck, NY.

Richard Salter Storrs family collection, 1764-1900
Call number: ARC.082
0.10 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Notes for a sermon, How Our Gratitude to God for His Goodness to the Nation is Manifested, concerning the Civil War, delivered by Rev. Storrs in December 1863.

Epher Whitaker papers, 1864-1900
Call number: ARC.286
0.13 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
The collection of Rev. Whitaker’s papers includes the opening sections of remarks he delivered to the Edward Huntting Post of the G.A.R., Southold, Long Island (1895). Several of Whitaker’s sermons and remarks of the late 1800s also refer to the Civil War.

Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims and Henry Ward Beecher collection, 1819-1980
Call number: ARC.212
28.0 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes Henry Ward Beecher’s sermons and eulogies concerning the Civil War and related matters; manuscript of the “Action of the [Washington, DC] City Government on the occasion of the Assassination of President Lincoln”; Fort Sumter flag raising program (1865); material on veteran Horatio C. King.

Julia H. Ward manuscript, 1896
Call number: 1974.196
0.10 linear feet.
Handwritten, signed copy of verses of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Robert Todd Lincoln letter to William B. Davenport, 1911
Call number: 1977.381
0.01 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Letter to William Davenport from R. Lincoln disclaiming the likelihood of a wartime visit by Abraham Lincoln to Brooklyn to consult with Henry Ward Beecher on the Emancipation Proclamation.

Sidney V. Lowell papers, 1862-1925
Call number: ARC.208
0.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Lowell describes his experience of seeing United States President Abraham Lincoln in Brooklyn Heights, circa 1864, while Lincoln was visiting friend Peter C. Cornell at his residence on Columbia Heights. A separate memoir includes brief references to the 1863 draft riots.

Southern newspapers, 1865
Call number: 1977.014
0.10 linear feet.
Includes two newspapers: The Charleston Courier (April 14) and The Richmond Whig (April 18) with articles on Lee’s surrender and Lincoln’s assassination.

Joseph Arthur Burr, Jr. composition book, 1860-1866
Call number: 1973.108
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Composition book with an essay reflecting on the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, Williamsburg, 1866.

John Yapp Culyer collection, 1921-1955
Call number: 1977.430
0.08 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes newspaper clippings concerning Culyer’s eyewitness account of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, circa 1842-2003
Call number: 2009.011
Approximately 80 linear feet.
Includes the manuscript version of Theodore Cuyler’s sermon in response to the assassination of Lincoln (box 40). (This collection is unprocessed.)

Benjamin H. Foster and Samuel Hunt family papers, 1774-1870
Call number: 1977.198
0.20 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes notes taken by an audience member regarding Secretary of Interior Carl Schurz’s comments on pacification of the South and Reconstruction delivered at a Harvard event.

1888 and 1892 Republican campaign songbooks and pamphlet, 1888-1892
Call number: 1977.018
0.02 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes Presidential campaign material with Civil War/slavery imagery.

Section 3: Broadsides, Prints, Etc.

Generally, broadsides, prints, and other works on paper have been assigned individual Object IDs, and can be found through BHS’s museum and image database, PastPerfect. In some cases, a digital image of the object will also be found in PastPerfect. Use search term Civil War, but also try specific terms such as Sanitary Commission, regiment ordinals (e.g., 14th Regiment), names (e.g., General B. Woodward,) etc. Below is a selection of representative broadsides available at BHS. The broadside can be requested by Object ID; the Title and Object ID shown below are as they appear for the item in PastPerfect. Where a digital image is available in PastPerfect, that is noted. Advance notice is needed to view the physical item.

Title: Comparison of Products, Population, and Resources of the Free and Slave States
Object ID: M1975.810
Description: With bar graph comparing slave vs. free states in various categories, 1861.

Title: Union Broadside No. 2 “What the Copperheads and their Southern Friends say”
Object ID: M1975.809
Description: Quotations and other text portraying Copperheads in a critical light, circa 1863.

Title: North Hempstead to the Rescue
Object ID: M1975.862
Description: Recruitment, Roslyn, 1862.

Title: Public Notice of the Committee on the Volunteer Bounty Fund of North Hempstead
Object ID: M1975.1021
Description: Distributions of allowances to the wives and children of Volunteers from North Hempstead, 1862.

Title: Military Notice in Relation to the draft Queens County Clerk
Object ID: M1975.1022
Description: Re: draft exemptions and medical examinations, 1862.

Title: Greasy Mechanics Attention!
Object ID: M1975.815
Description: Refers to threat of slavery to northern labor, encouraging “Machinists, Blacksmiths,” and other tradesmen to join the Engineers’ and Artisans’ Regiment.

Title: For the War! 25 Men Wanted!
Object ID: M1975.827
Description: Recruitment for the Engineers’ and Artisans’ Regiment.

Title: Gallatin Rifles
Object ID: M1975.818
Description: Regiment recruitment.

Title: Political poster, “Gallatin Schützen”
Object ID: M1975.829
Description: Regiment recruitment, text in German (image in PastPerfect).

Title: McClellen Regiment, Company C
Object ID: M1975.819.1 and M1975.819.2
Description: Regiment recruitment, 2 items.

Title: Recruitment poster, “Fall In the McClellan Rifles”
Object ID: M1975.821
Description: Regimental recruitment (image in PastPerfect).

Title: McClellen Regiment
Object ID: M1975.825
Description: Regiment recruitment.

Title: Recruitment poster, “McClellan Regiment!”
Object ID: M1975.826
Description: Regimental recruitment, Brooklyn (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Recruitment poster, Fourth Regiment Excelsior Brigade
Object ID: M1975.822
Description: Regiment recruitment (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Recruitment poster for the New York Rifles
Object ID: M1975.823
Description: Recruitment for 30 riflemen for the company of Capt. William E. White (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Recruitment poster, “100 Men Wanted”
Object ID: M1975.824
Description: Recruitment to join the first regiment of Long Island Volunteers encamped at Washington (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Recruitment poster, “Come Over and Help Us”
Object ID: M1975.828
Description: Recruitment of 300 men for the 14th Regiment at Arlington, VA (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Colored Citizens, to Arms!
Object ID: M1975.387
Description: Recruitment poster, 20th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, New York State (extremely fragile; image in PastPerfect).

Title: Notice of the draft in the First Congressional District
Object ID: M1975.858
Description: With draft quotas for Suffolk, Queens, and Richmond counties, 1863.

Title: Handbill concerning Examination Board Meeting on draft substitutes
Object ID: M1975.859
Description: Board of Enrollment notice regarding arrangements for substitutes for and exemptions to the Union Army draft, Jamaica, 1863.

Title: Attention – Merchants, Clerks…
Object ID: M1975.386
Description: Draft Riot-related. Call to meet at Merchant’s Exchange, 111 Broadway.

Title: To Volunteers / Returned Soldiers
Object ID: M1975.861
Description: Offering enlistment bonuses to veterans and new recruits signing up for the Union Army on Riker’s Island (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Deserters from the Third Congressional District of New York
Object ID: M1975.811
Description: Gives names, ages, occupations, addresses, and race (i.e., mentions if colored or Irish) for deserters and deserting substitutes from Brooklyn. (Image in PastPerfect)

Title: Descriptive list of drafted men who have failed to report in the First District of New York, and are deemed deserters
Object ID: M1975.860
Description: Names of men from Suffolk, Queens, and Richmond counties, 1863.

Title: [Untitled]
Object ID: M1987.203
Description: Brooklyn & Long Island Sanitary Fair sign advertising daily and season tickets to the fair, with prices, 1863.

Title: [Untitled]
Object ID: M1975.1413
Description: Brooklyn and Long Island Fair, and Long Island Historical Society. Battle of Gettysburg, PA. A Lecture by L.A. Baugher, Esq., of Gettysburg, at the Chapel of the Packer Institute (in 4 pieces, fragile).

Title: Special Instructions for the Government of the Guard on Duty at the CS Military Prisons in the City of Richmond
Object ID: M1975.380
Description: 1864

Title: Cash Paid For Confederate Bonds
Object ID: M1975.843:
Description: at 142 South 4th St.

Title: Advertisement for the Grand Promenade Concert
Object ID: M1975.806
Description: Advertising a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, celebrating the Union victory on November 8 (probably referring to the re-election of President Lincoln on Nov. 8, 1864) and benefiting destitute families of Brooklyn soldiers (image in PastPerfect).

Title: [Untitled]
Object ID: 1975.1516.2
Description: “Fall of Charleston – An Apocalyptic View…”

Title: We Celebrate the Fall of Richmond!
Object ID: M1975.813
Description: Poster celebrating the fall of Richmond (image in PastPerfect).

Title: Monument to Abraham Lincoln…to be Erected in the City of Brooklyn
Object ID: M1975.1436
Description: War Fund Committee sign announcing receipt of contributions for the monument to late President Lincoln.

Title: Announcement of A. Lincoln Assination [sic]
Object ID: M1975.1439
Description: From the Lansing Republican, 1865.

Title: Reward Poster for the Murder of Abraham Lincoln
Object ID: M1975.820
Description: $100,000 Reward, with descriptions of Booth and two accomplices, John H. Surratt and Daniel C. Harrold.

Title: Acting Mayor D D Whitney’s Proclamation
Object ID: M1975.696
Description: Calligraphy by David Davidson of the proclamation concerning Lincoln’s assassination.

Title: Oration upon the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln
Object ID: M1975.713
Description: Calligraphy by David Davidson of an oration by Richard Salter Storrs.

Section 4: Uncataloged Print Matter

BHS continues to catalog its vast holdings of printed material into Bobcat. In the meantime, following are print materials not yet cataloged that relate to New York and the Civil War. These can be requested by name. As with archival material, advance notice is needed.

Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York to the Legislature. Available for the Civil War years, these reports include information about both the New York volunteer regiments serving under US military command and the Militia/National Guard units. The reports include regimental rosters, statistics, ordnance, and other data. The reports also include the annual reports from the regimental commanding officers to the Adjutant General, such as the reports of 1863 concerning deployments to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the response to the draft riots.

Civil War Letters of John Emmens of Gravesend, Long Island. Typescripts of correspondence, 1862-1864, sent from Emmens while serving with the 159th Regiment in Louisiana and elsewhere in the South. The typescripts were presented to BHS by one Mrs. Wheeler N. Voorhees, the owner of the originals.

Society of the Army of the Potomac Annual Reunion: Report of Proceedings. BHS has an incomplete run, circa 1879-1916. Brooklynite Horatio C. King was an officer of the Society. The 1884 reunion was held in Brooklyn (see ARC.187, 1974.134, and 1977.146 above).

Reminiscences of the War of the Rebellion. Brevet-Major Jacob Roemer recollections. 2nd Artillery, Battery L and 34th Regiment, Independent Light Battery.

Commanders of Army Corps, Divisions and Brigades, United States Army, 1861-1865. Organization charts for the Army down to brigade level, showing the volunteer regiments comprising the brigades.

Histories or short memoirs of New York regiments and companies. The following New York units with Civil War service are represented in BHS’s uncataloged print matter:

3rd Independent Battery
4th Heavy Artillery
5th Cavalry
6th Cavalry
6th Infantry
7th Militia/National Guard
8th Heavy Artillery
10th Infantry
14th National Guard / 84th Infantry
20th State Militia
22nd National Guard
23rd National Guard
23rd Infantry
24th Independent Battery
27th Infantry
40th Infantry
44th Infantry
48th Infantry
49th Infantry
60th Infantry
71st National Guard
75th Infantry
79th Infantry
83rd Infantry / 9th Militia
115th Infantry
117th Infantry
121st Infantry
124th Infantry
125th Infantry
126th Infantry
127th Infantry
146th Infantry
149th Infantry
159th Infantry
162nd Infantry
165th Infantry

* * *

Acknowledgements

This guide was developed, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural (URR) Program. The guide was initially compiled in May 2011 in connection with In Pursuit of Freedom, a multi-faceted project memorializing the history of abolitionism, anti-slavery and the Underground Railroad in Brooklyn. In Pursuit of Freedom is a partnership among three Brooklyn cultural institutions: Brooklyn Historical Society, Irondale Ensemble Project, and Weeksville Heritage Center.