Civil War Resources

About Civil War Resources

Dickinson College holds numerous collections relating to the history of the Civil War generally, and of the Civil War in the Cumberland Valley generally. Using this page, you can browse and search through our Civil War documents and collections.

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Eli Slifer Papers
1849 - 1871

Eli Slifer was a prominent businessman who was responsible for the recruitment and supplying of regiments from Pennsylvania during the Civil War. His letters contain his personal, as well as business correspondence with family, friends, business partners, military officials, and even Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania.

Event: Invasion of Pennsylvania, Recruitment, Pennsylvania in the Civil War

John Black, Jr., c.1860
c.1860

View of John Black Jr. (Class of  1862) around 1860.

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Horatio Collins King’s Saber and Scabbard
c.1861

View of Horatio Collins King’s Saber and Scabbard, circa 1861.

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Carlisle Morning Bulletin - April 16, 1861
April 16, 1861

The Carlisle Morning Bulletin, which is published by the Carlisle Democrat, includes the latest developments on the secession crisis. The reports in this issue include the departure of Fort Sumter commander Major Robert Anderson from Charleston, South Carolina, news that 20,000 men have volunteered for military service in...

Event: Fort Sumter

Carlisle Morning Bulletin - April 19, 1861
April 19, 1861

The Carlisle Morning Bulletin, which is published by the Carlisle Democrat, includes the latest developments on the secession crisis. The reports in this issue focus on the aftermath of Major Robert Anderson's decision to surrender Fort Sumter, Virginia's secession from the Union, Virginia Governor John Letcher's proclamation...

Event: Secession, Fort Sumter

Carlisle Morning Bulletin - April 20, 1861
April 20, 1861

The Carlisle Morning Bulletin, which is published by the Carlisle Democrat, includes the latest developments on the secession crisis. The reports in this issue include the attack on detachments from the 6th Massachusetts and 1st Pennsylvania in Baltimore, the destruction of Harper's Ferry, "excitement" in New York City, and...

Event: Pennsylvania in the Civil War, Fort Sumter

Circular Letter from President Herman M. Johnson
April 24, 1861

President Herman M. Johnson issues this circular letter as additional southern states secede after Fort Sumter and asks that Dickinson College students return to Carlisle. While "the excitement which has arisen from the sudden outbreak of the war" was "considerable for two or three days," President Johnson explains that "classes are all going...

Event: Secession

Broadside of “Conditions of Peace Required of the So-Called Seceded States”
April 24, 1861

This broadside, “Conditions of Peace Required of the So-Called Seceded States,” is posted in New York City on April 24, 1861.

The handwritten note at the top of the broadside reads: This was written by Prof. Olmstead and tacked up in New York City 11 P.M. at a time when it was dangerous to express an opinion in regard to the...

Event: Secession

John Taylor Cuddy Papers
June 1861 - April 1864

John Taylor Cuddy was born on October 17th, 1844 to the Cuddy family of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At the onset of the American Civil War, Cuddy joined the local unit known as the “Carlisle Fencibles”. The Fencibles became Company A of the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves (PVRC), also known as the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry. (Though the soldiers of the...

Event: Battle of Gaines Mill, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of the Wilderness

Letter from Andrew Curtin to S. G. Theud
July 19, 1861

Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin responds to S. G. [Theud's?]request about raising a new Pennsylvania volunteer regiment. While "I most heartily approve of the plan," Curtin notes that he "[does] not [have] the power to arm and equip a company" since Pennsylvania is "confined to the fifteen Regts now ready and ordered into service."...

Event: Recruitment

Thomas William Dick Papers
August 1861 - May 1864

Thomas William Dick served with Company H, 12th Pennsylvania Reserves from 1861-1864. He fought through all of the major battles of the 12th as they campaigned through Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  Many of the engagements are mentioned in the letters, all of which were written by Dick to his family and friends back home in Indiana...

Event: Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Antietam, Seven Days Battles, Peninsula Campaign

Robert Hays, 1862
1862

View of Robert Blaine Hays, the oldest son of John Hays I and Ellen Blains, in 1862. The photograph is from J. E. McClees' studio in Philadelphia.  Robert Hays serves as Quartermaster Sergeant of the 158th Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Robert's younger brother, John Hays II (Class of 1857), also serves in the Union army during the Civil...

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John Black in Uniform, 1862
1862

John Black Jr., a member of the class of 1862, serves as First Sergeant of Company C, 122nd Pennsylvania Infantry in 1862. He takes part in the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

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John White Geary, 1862
1862

John White Geary was a Union general during the Civil War, and later served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania. This postage-stamp sized photograph was probably held in a small wooden case at one time.

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James Alexander Streams Papers
1862-1908

James Alexander Streams served with Company A of the 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. He was with the regiment from their enlistment in 1861, until his discharge in the fall of 1864. During that time, Streams, as well as the 61st PVI, fought in most of the major engagements of the Army of the Potomac. As part of the 6th Corps, they were heavily...

Event: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Battle of the Wilderness

Mustering in Papers for Lt. John Hays II
August 1, 1862

The mustering papers for Lieutenant John Hays II (Class of 1857), who mustered in on August 1, 1862, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Captain W. B. Lane of the 3rd US Cavalry signs this document, which allows Hays to muster in more recruits to William Porters Company of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The William Porters Company of Pennsylvania Volunteers...

Event: Recruitment

John Hays II Commission, First Lieutenant of Volunteers
August 17, 1862

This certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appoints John Hays II as the First Lieutenant of Company A, 130th Pennsylvania. The promotion is effective as of August 17, 1862. Eli Slifer, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, signed the certificate on October 29, 1862.

Event: Promotion

Carlisle Herald, "Proclamation by the Governor"
September 11, 1862

The Carlisle Herald publishes Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin's proclamation on September 11, 1862 in which he calls for "able-bodied loyal men of Pennsylvania" to join military companies in response to the threat of Confederate forces at Hagerstown, Maryland. "By authority of the President of the U.S. 50,000 of the freemen of...

Event: Recruitment

Broadside of "Special Order, No. 1"
September 15, 1862

General John F. Reynolds issues this order on September 15, 1862 to provide instructions related to the Army's impressment of horses owned by civilians. C. Kingsbury Jr. is the Assistant Adjutant-General.

The order reads: I. Hereafter no Horses will be Impressed into the Service of the State, excepting by Capt. GEO. A. DEITZ,...

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Letter from Herman Johnson to Andrew Curtin
September 15, 1862

Dickinson College President Herman Johnson writes to Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin (Class of 1837) and requests the release of Dickinson College students from military service so that they could return to Carlisle and continue their studies. At the height of the threat of a Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania during General Robert E....

Event: Maryland Campaign

Letter from Jacob Bretz to George Bretz
October 8, 1862

Jacob Bretz tells his son about news of Carlisle during the Civil War and specifically mentions people that George knew. He also notes those soldiers from Carlisle who have been killed or wounded. He recounts that 30,000 “raw Milicia” were sent through Carlisle on the Cumberland Valley Railroad by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin ('37) to...

Event: Battle of Antietam

Robert Hays's Appointment as Quartermaster Sergeant
November 27, 1862

This certificate shows that Robert Hays' promotion to Quartermaster Sergeant of the 158th Pennsylvania Infantry is effective on November 27, 1862. This document is signed by Col. M'Kibben.

Event: Promotion

John Hays II, 1862
December 1862

View of John Hays II (Class of 1857) in December 1862. He is wearing his officer's uniform with the 1st Lieutenant insignia. The photograph is from C. L. Lochman's studio in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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Leave of Absence for John Hays II
December 21, 1862

This order ("Special Order 96") provides Lieutenant John Hays II with six days of leave in order to "obtain officer's and regiment's property" that is stored in Washington D.C. and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. The letter is written and signed by the Chief of Staff of the Second Corps, J. H. Taylor, which is under the command of General Edwin...

Event: Battle of Fredericksburg, Leave of Absence

Pocket Diary of Charles F. Himes
1863

In diary entries from late June and early July, Charles Francis Himes (Class of 1855) describes the Confederate invasion of Carlisle. Himes, who follows the Confederates as they move on to Gettysburg, describes his interactions and movements through several days. Himes also briefly mentions going to a Belles Lettres Society exhibition as well...

Event: Battle of Gettysburg, Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

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