SIUE American Civil War Collection
(Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)
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About this Collection

Collection Description

"I this rainey Morning take My seat to answer A few lines I saw in A letter yo rote to Billey I Was glad to think you had Not forgotten Mee well I am Not verry well But I hope this will find you All well well there has been A heap of sicness and it has Bin verry fatel there has Bin A heap of Death I have Nothing of importence to rite."
-- Letter 5 from P.D. Martin to Mrs. Lucinda Boren.

This digital collection is an assemblage of handwritten letters, songsheets, and military orders. Spanning the entire period of the American Civil War (1861-1865), these items gathered together provide a unique and insightful glimpse into the era.

The Letters: The letters, composed by both soldiers and civilians, detail battles, conditions, and news from back home. The majority of the letters also include envelopes decorated with brightly colored and highly detailed lithographs. The letters have been transcribed with the original spelling intact. The transcriptions are keyword searchable.


The Military Orders: The collection includes two military orders, both a handwritten Special Order number 24 issued in November 11, 1861 at a camp near the Union's capital; and a printed General Order number 124, issued by the State of Illinois, August 2nd, 1861.

The Songsheets: The collection's songsheets are broadsides lithographed and printed by Charles Magnus. Charles Magnus was a print publisher, map dealer, bookseller, and stationer working in New York from 1850 to 1899. Magnus issued over a thousand lettersheets, maps, songsheets, envelopes, and separate prints. (From: The Winterthur Library accessed April 1, 2009.)

About the Database: This digital collection was created by Lovejoy Library in 2009. The project was made possible by Dr. Richard L. Millett, Emeritus Professor of History at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who donated the use of his collection to the Library. Cary Harvengt scanned the materials and transcribed the letters. SIUE student Darrell Fisher Jr. created the digital collection under the supervision of the SIUE Catalog and Metadata Librarian.