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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John Hays II Commission, Adjutant with rank of First Lieutenant
February 18, 1863

This certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appoints First Lieutenant John Hays II as the Adjutant of the 130th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. The promotion is effective as of February 18, 1863. It is signed on March 11, 1863 by Eli Slifer, the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Event: Promotion

John Hays II Brigade Adjutant General Orders
April 11, 1863

In this April 11, 1863 order from the headquarters of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac, acting brigade commander Colonel Levi Maish appoints "Lt. John Hays, Adjutant of the 130th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers" as the acting brigade Adjutant General.

Event: Promotion

Instructions for Officers Leave of Absence to John Hays II
May 7, 1863

The War Department issues these regulations for officers like First Lieutenant John Hays II who receive permission to go on leave from the Union Army. Hays' copy of the regulations refer to a disability report that had also been issued on May 7, 1863.

Event: Leave of Absence

John Hays II Discharge Certificate
May 21, 1863

First Lieutenant John Hays II, Adjutant of the 130th Pennsylvania Volunteers, receives this discharge certificate on May 21, 1863 while at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Colonel Levi Maish is the commanding officer of the 130th Pennsylvania and his signature appears at the bottom of this certificate.

Event: Discharge

Isaac Harris Diary, U.S. Sanitary Commission
June 12 - July 18, 1863

This transcript of a portion of the diary Isaac Harris contains entries from mid-June through mid-July 1863 largely related to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania. Harris, who serves with the U.S. Sanitary Commission, visits Carlisle and Dickinson College on July 7 to analyze the supply situation. Harris notes that he "walked into town...

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

"A Brief Experience as a Soldier during the Invasion of Pennsylvania," by William Peirsol
June 18 - July 20, 1863

William H. Peirsol served in the First Regiment of Gray Reserves of Philadelphia (32nd Regiment of Pennsylvania Militia) during the Civil War. After the war, Peirsol published his account of his service during the summer of 1863. Peirsol's account, which contains daily entries between June 18 and July 20, 1863, includes descriptions of his...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg Campaign, Shelling of Carlisle

Broadside of "General Orders No. 72"
June 21, 1863

These Confederate Army general orders, from General Robert E. Lee to Lieut. General Richard Ewell, are posted publicly in Carlisle and provides specific procedures for the voluntary procurement of supplies, involuntary seizure, receipt information, as well as officer clearances for such duties. “While in the enemy’s country," the document warns...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Confederate Supply Requisition to "Authorities of Carlisle"
June 27, 1863

As Confederate forces enter Carlisle, Pennsylvania in late June 1863, Major John A. Harman, Chief Quartermaster with the Second Army Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of General Richard S. Ewell, issues a requisition to the "authorities of Carlisle Pa." for supplies. The list includes clothing and leather soles for shoes...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle

Letter from John K. Stayman to Edgar E. Hastings
July 1863

John Keagy Stayman writes to Edgar E. Hastings and describes Carlisle after the departure of Confederate troops. Stayman depicts Carlisle as a town in shambles after the invasion, but suggests that with a return to normal “the town will put on its usual appearance.” Stayman also mentions a hospital being set up in East College, and how the...

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

Philadelphia Press, "Special Despatch to The Press"
July 2, 1863

In this "Special Despatch to The Press," two reports mention Carlisle in reporting on the movement and actions of Confederate troops in central Pennsylvania. It provides a short account of the Confederate occupation of Carlisle and notes that they requisitioned supplies from civilians. The report does not mention the Confederate shelling of...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Broadside of "Citizens of Cumberland Valley!" Call to Arms
July 3, 1863

This broadside, likely distributed throughout Cumberland County, calls for all able men to enlist. It describes atrocities committed by the Confederates while in the Cumberland Valley region, and records that “the citizens of this valley are loyal to the heart’s core.” The scene at Carlisle during the shelling days earlier is briefly described...

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

Letter from Thomas M. Griffith to His Siblings
July 3, 1863

Thomas Miller Griffith writes to his brother and sister and describes the scenes in Carlisle as the Confederates occupied and shelled the town in the days before the Battle of Gettysburg. As the Confederates first approached Carlisle in late June 1863, Griffith recalls the expedited Commencement ceremonies at Dickinson College, the rush to get...

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle

Philadelphia Inquirer, "The Rebels at Carlisle"
July 4, 1863

This article, from an issue of Philadelphia Inquirer, page 3, describes in detail the occurrences of the shelling of Carlisle, including the pre-attack discourses between General Lee and General William Farrar Smith. Transcript included.

"The Rebels at Carlisle," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 4, 1863, p. 3: 3.

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Inquirer, "The Defense of Carlisle - Noble Service of the Militia"
July 4, 1863

This article, on page four of an issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer, praises the work of General Smith and the Militia in Carlisle for their defense of the town and their unwillingness to give in despite General Lee's various requests for surrender. Transcript included.

"The Defense of Carlisle - Noble Service of the Militia,"...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Map of "Carlisle, PA: Bombarded by the Rebels, July 1st"
July 4, 1863

This map, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, shows Carlisle in July 1863 when Confederates shelled the town.

Event: Shelling of Carlisle

Map of "Battle of Gettysburg: First Days Operations"
July 4, 1863

This map, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, shows the operations on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1, 1863).

Event: Battle of Gettysburg

Philadelphia Inquirer, "Our Harrisburg Letter"
July 4, 1863

The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes this letter from a regular correspondent that relays information about the shelling of Carlisle, including information from a dispatch from Harrisburg and an eyewitness account from the following morning.

"Our Harrisburg Letter," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 4, 1863, p. 2: 2-3.

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Permission slip to leave Union lines at Vicksburg
July 12, 1863

Major General Ulysses S. Grant signs this permission slip on July 12, 1863 that allows a Major Watts to leave Federal lines outside Vicksburg, Mississippi with one teamster, a shotgun, and twenty five rounds of ammunition.

Event: Siege of Vicksburg

Letter from George D. Chenoweth to James W. Marshall
July 15, 1863

George D. Chenoweth describes the Confederate invasion, occupation, and shelling of Carlisle. He mentions leaving Carlisle before the raid, and the pleasure of finding none of their personal belongings disturbed upon his return. 12,000 men entered the town, setting up camp around the town and on the College’s campus. He writes of men thieving...

Event: Battle of Gettysburg, Siege of Vicksburg

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, "Carlisle... Barracks Destroyed"
July 18, 1863

Sketched by George Law, this image depicts the destruction of the US Army Barracks in Carlisle on July 1, 1863. The complete caption reads “Carlisle, Penn., Showing Gen. Smith’s Headquarters and the Barracks Destroyed by Gen. W. H. F. Lee.”

This engraving is from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper vol. 16, no. 407 (July 18,...

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle, Burning of Barracks

The Methodist, "A Few Days Under Rebel Rule"
July 18, 1863

Samuel Dickinson Hillman, an alumnus and a professor at Dickinson College, recalls the invasion and shelling of Carlisle in this article from The Methodist.  Hillman covers the appearance of the Rebel troops, conversations had during the occupation, and the bombardment, all from his personal point of view.

Samuel Dickinson...

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Harper’s Weekly, "The Rebels Shelling... Carlisle, Pennsylvania," #2
July 25, 1863

Sketched by Thomas Nast, this engraving depicts the Confederate's shelling of Carlisle on July 1, 1863. The complete caption reads, "The Rebels Shelling the New York Militia in the Main Street of Carlisle, Pennsylvania."

This engraving is from Harper’s Weekly vol. 7, no. 343 (July 25, 1863): pg. 477.

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

Harper’s Weekly, "The Rebels Shelling... Carlisle, Pennsylvania," #1
July 25, 1863

Sketched by Thomas Nast, this hand-colored engraving depicts the Confederate's shelling of Carlisle on July 1, 1863. The complete caption reads, "The Rebels Shelling the New York Militia in the Main Street of Carlisle, Pennsylvania."

This hand-colored engraving is from Harper’s Weekly vol. 7, no. 343 (July 25, 1863): pg. 477....

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle

Robert Hays Discharge Certificate
August 12, 1863

The Official U.S. Army Discharge Certificate for Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hays notes that he served in the 158th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers from October 11, 1862 to August 12, 1863. Hays was discharged in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania as a result of his "expiration of service."

Event: Discharge

Letter from John K. Stayman to Edgar E. Hastings
August 13, 1863

John Keagy Stayman questions Edgar E. Hastings as to when the draft will be lifted from Cumberland County, as he is “considered by Uncle Sam a ‘first class man’.” He also asks whether or not Dickinson College is still being used as a hospital, and hopes that it will quickly be vacated so that the smells of the medical supplies will dissipate...

Event: Draft, Invasion of Carlisle

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