Frederick J. Sorber pocket diary while serving as Sergeant, then Captain, in Company E, 29th Pennsylvania Infantry. Sorber’s service brought him throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee. He includes recollections of the Battles of Harper’s Ferry (September 12-15, 1862), Chancellorsville (April 30-May 6, 1863), and Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863). He frequently tracks the miles he marched with his troop. He also notes two instances when he witnessed executions of deserters; the first on June 19, 1863, involving three men, William Grover (Gruver), William McKee, and Christopher Krubert; the second on September 18, involving two men, William Smith and another man. The diary entries are not all Sorber’s; there are frequent entry in another hand. Transcription available. Provenance given in cover letter to transcription.
George R. Snowden diary, July – December 1862, with Company I, 142nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, gives an account of the difficulties of recruiting the regiment, the politics of getting elected as officer, camp life while building Fort Massachusetts (later Fort Stevens), at the Frederick, MD, hospital, at Warrenton and Acquia Creek, and action in Battle of Fredericksburg and its aftermath. Transcript excerpts by Snowden.
John M. Butler Civil War diary, 1862-1863, during his first year of service with the Ohio 101st Volunteer Infantry and his capture and imprisonment (transcription available), with letters, 1862-1864; Allen Butler pocket diary and scrapbook with letters home, 1918, while serving with 313th Infantry, 79th Division, military papers, and photographs; Frederick Y. Butler military papers, 1940’s-1950’s, photographs. Jay Cooke snapshots, and other family objects and ephemera. John M. Butler joined the Union League on November 19, 1866.
John N. Parker pocket diary, September 1861-August 1862, while serving as a Sergeant with the 4th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry. The diary documents Burnside’s expedition to Hatteras Inlet and Roanoke Island in North Carolina (January 7-February 8, 1862), the Battle of Roanoke Island (February 9, 1862), the Battle of New Berne (March 14, 1862), and the siege, bombardment, and capture of Fort Macon (March 23-April 26, 1862).
Handwritten lecture notes of Sarah Hibbbard, including reference to the Jeering Episode (starting on page 31). Possible thesis draft.
Ledger with student notes, a diary and photographs; kept by Mary McGavran, Woman’s Medical College graduate 1895.
Mary Fowler-Thompson, M.D., was a medical missionary to Rangoon (Burma). She was an 1889 graduate of the Woman’s Medical College of Chicago. Journal includes English-Burmese words and phrases at back of book.
In 1865, Corporal James Tanner was a disabled Civil War veteran working as a clerk in the Ordnance Bureau of the War Department and living in an apartment next to the Peterson House in Washington, D.C. On April 14th, President Abraham Lincoln was shot during a theatre performance at Ford’s Theatre. The mortally wounded President was taken to the Petersen House. Because he had stenography skills, Tanner was called into the Peterson House. While Lincoln lay dying in the bedroom, Tanner sat in the parlor and recorded eyewitness testimony as given to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and David Kellogg Carrter, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. The interrogation of the witnesses took place between midnight and 1:30 A.M. “In fifteen minutes I had testimony enough to hang Wilkes Booth, the assassin, higher than ever Haman hung” noted Tanner. While still in the parlor, Tanner transcribed his shorthand notes into longhand, finishing his task at 6:45 A.M. Tanner returned to his apartment and, dissatisfied with the quality of the first transcription, began a second copy which he left with an aide of Stanton’s at his office in the War Department. Tanner retained the original testimony. The copy deposited at the War Department was lost. In 1905, Tanner’s son took his father’s first transcription and mounted each sheet on linen and bound them.
William Herman Wilhelm (1867-1901) was born in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, the son of James Henry and Martha Weaver Wilhelm. He was educated at Ulrich’s Preparatory School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and then went on to Lehigh University in 1883. Wilhelm left Lehigh for the U.S. Military Academy and graduated from there in 1888. When war was declared against Spain, he became aide-de-camp to Brigadier-General Simon Snyder and accompanied him with the Army of Occupation to Cuba. In 1899 Wilhelm was promoted to Captain with orders to proceed to the Philippines and was assigned to the 21st Regiment of Infantry as Captain in Company B. The material in the diary details Wilhelm’s experiences fighting in the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). The diary is a copy of the original, and was created by Wilhelm’s cousin, Ethan Allan Weaver. The diary begins November 28th, 1898 when Wilhelm leaves Knoxville, Tennessee by train for Savannah, Georgia to board his transport ship the “Manitoba” bound for Cuba. His notes during his time in Cuba with General Snyder are written in Spanish. Upon his arrival in New York, April 5, 1899 he returns to the use of English for the remainder of his diary which ends June 7, 1901. According to Weaver, Wilhelm was mortally wounded in action near Lipa, Batangas Province, Philippines on June 10, 1901. Captain Wilhelm died June 12, 1901. His body was returned to Mauch Chunk via Manila for burial and presumably his journal accompanied his body where it came into the possession of Weaver.
This journal appears to be a unique record of daily on site observations and construction processes of the building of a second Harlem River bridge at the site of Third Avenue, County of New York (Manhattan). It contains copied documents such as the New York State Legislature’s document Chapter 774 dated April 17, 1857 authorizing the building of a new bridge at the site, as well as the design requirements for the new bridge, removal of the previous bridge and the official appointment and acceptance letters of the chief engineer, William J. McAlpine and assistant engineer, Frederick Hubbard. This information is copied into the first numbered pages of the bound journal. The journal appears to be written for the purpose of having a record of all various loose documents relating to the project. There appears to be at least two different styles of handwriting: the earlier entries are written in an elegant careful style possibly by the assistant engineer; the last few weeks of entries are in a hurried, abbreviated scrawl with pages left blank seemingly left open to be filled in when the loose documents became available to be transcribed into the daily working account. Evidence of this manner of copying documents and notes into the bound journal consist of a few pages written on loose sheets laid in the area of blank pages bearing the same dates. The journal not only has written text but contains many detailed construction drawings (on different paper) fastened into the bound pages, as well as lists and tables of materials, costs, working hours and weather conditions.