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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Broadside and Newspaper Clippings of "The Draft in Cumberland County"
August 14, 1863

This broadside lists individuals drafted in Cumberland County on August 14, 1863 to serve “for a period of three years, or during the war.” The names are listed according to sub-districts, representing townships and wards of the county. In addition, the mounted newspaper clippings include additional sub-districts that are not included on the...

Event: Draft

Certificate of Exemption from the Draft for William Trickett
September 1, 1863

This certificate indicates that William Trickett, a member of the Class of 1868, is exempt from the draft and serving in the military. This document, officially a "Certificate of Non-Liability to be given by the Board of Enrollment," lists "paying commutation" as the reason why Trickett is no longer eligible for the draft. 

Event: Draft

Letter from Charles F. Himes to Ogden N. Rood
October 2, 1863

Charles Francis Himes describes the scenes in Carlisle as the Confederates approached in late June 1863 and notes how the local militia supported by two regiments from New York, took fortification a mile west of town. Himes also recounts his experiences traveling from Carlisle and describes the fleeing families from neighboring areas. In...

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

Broadside of "To the Veterans of Cumberland County!"
July 6, 1864

Major General Darius Nash Couch’s message, which is posted in Carlisle on July 6, 1864 by a E. M. Biddle, asks Cumberland County veterans “to assemble at Chambersburg,” Pennsylvania and be ready “to take orders from” Governor Andrew Curtin.

Event: Recruitment

Letter from Richard Beale to William Smith
July 7, 1864

Colonel Richard Lee Turberville Beale, commanding officer of the 9th Virginia Cavalry, writes to Virginia Governor William Smith and describes the actions of foragers who searched his house and his belongings. Beale (Dickinson Class of 1838) lists the lost items, and makes sure to mention that no harm was brought upon the women at his home....

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Horatio Collins King’s Civil War Journal
October 31, 1864 - November 15, 1865

Horatio Collins King, serving as the divisional quartermaster under General Philip Sheridan, describes cavalry activities in the Shenandoah Valley during the final months of the Civil War. In addition, King discusses the adjustments he made in returning to civilian life in New York after the war.

Event: Battle of Five Forks

Army Committee Circular Letter
December 15, 1864

This circular letter relates to an effort to recruit individuals to serve as ministers for Union soldiers during the Civil War. “In this emergency, the Christian Commission calls for the voluntary efforts of delegates clerical and lay… for the maintenance of a constant succession of religious and other ministrations among our brave defenders,”...

Event: Recruitment

John Black Discharge Certificate
June 19, 1865

The Official U.S. Army Discharge Certificate for John Black Jr. ( Class of 1862) notes that he worked as a hospital steward from May 14, 1864 to June 19, 1865. While he filled this role during the second half of the war, Black originally served as 1st Sergeant of Company C, 122nd Pennsylvania, as well as a Captain in the militia during the...

Event: Discharge

Letter from Thomas Devin to Edwin Stanton (Copy)
November 1, 1865

Union General Thomas C. Devin writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to recommend that the now retired Major Horatio Collins King be brevetted Colonel for his actions as an Aide de Camp at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. This battle was a crushing blow to the Confederate Army, and began the campaign which led to their surrender...

Event: Battle of Five Forks

Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Pin
1888

John Hays' II Pin of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, an organization made up of ex-Union Army Officers who were organized after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln to protect the government from being overthrown.

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"After the Battle: The Bloody Lane, Antietam" (Photograph of the Painting)
August 28, 1889

This image is a photograph of a painting by Captain James Hope.

The caption reads: AFTER THE BATTLE. “Blood Lane, Antietam.” From the Original Painting by Cpt. James Hope, From a Sketch Taken by Him on the Spot.

Event: Battle of Antietam

Speech for the 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the Grand Army of the Republic by John Hays II
1891

John Hays II discusses the founding of the Grand Army of the Republic and praises the United States military.

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“A Soldier’s View of Their Dedication,” by John Hays II
September 17, 1904

John Hays II reads this poem on September 17, 1904 while at the dedication of a monument to the 130th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers on the battlefield at Antietam in Maryland.

Event: Battle of Antietam

Address to Reunion of the 130th Pennsylvania by John Hays II
1908

A speech by John Hays II to his former comrades in the 130th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, remarking on the Regiment’s “nine months’ trip from Harrisburg back to Harrisburg,” which was “full of tragedy and suffering with interludes that were jolly and jovial.” Hays specifically mentions the Battle of Antietam, conditions on the front...

Event: Battle of Antietam, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Fredericksburg

Address to the “Association” by John Hays II
1915

A speech by John Hays II to the “Association,” presumably a reunion group of the 130th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. Hays recalls the Regiment’s involvement in the Battle of Antietam and offers his opinion on American intervention in World War I. W.F. Sadler, a local judge, is then invited to speak, followed by Dr. James Henry Morgan,...

Event: Battle of Antietam

"Antietam: Outline of the Battle" by John Hays II
June 13, 1916

John Hays II ('57) gives a detailed description of the Battle of Antietam, in which he fought with the 130th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. Hays mentions the death of James Smith Colwell, a Captain in the 7th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves, who was a lawyer in Carlisle before the war.

Event: Battle of Antietam

Carlisle Sentinel, “Theodore M. Johnson Tells of Civil War Days in Carlisle”
June 1924

In a June 1924 article from the Carlisle Sentinel, Theodore Johnson describes his experiences during the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863. Johnson was the son of Dickinson College President Herman M. Johnson and lived in a section of East College. As a young boy Theodore witnessed the confederate invasion of Carlisle by Rodes...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

Letter from Conway W. Hillman to James H. Morgan
September 9, 1930

Conway Hillman ('73), the son of a Dickinson College Professor Samuel Dickinson Hillman ('50), writes to James H. Morgan in 1930 to discuss his memories of the college, the Confederate invasion, and the shelling of Carlisle. Conway recalls events specifically regarding his father, including one about giving a Rebel soldier his socks and shoes....

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle

"Civil War Times in Carlisle," by Merkel Landis
February 12, 1931

Merkel Landis provides a broad overview of what happened in Carlisle during the Civil War. Landis explores important political moments, including Presidential and local elections between 1860 and 1865, as well as describes how Carlisle residents respond to various events during the war.  These events include the initial rush to volunteer after...

Event: Election of 1860, Election of 1864, Burning of Chambersburg

"Boyhood Memories of The Civil War 1861-'65 - Invasion of Carlisle," by James W. Sullivan
July 1932

Publisher: Carlisle, PA: Hamilton Library Association

James W. Sullivan writes to Jane Van Ness Smead in July 1932 and provides extensive details regarding the invasion, occupation, and shelling of Carlisle. Sullivan also recalls the general sentiments of Carlisle residents regarding the conflict. The Hamilton Library...

Event: Election of 1860, Election of 1864, Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle, Burning of Barracks, Invasion of Pennsylvania

Letter from Theodore M. Johnson to James H. Morgan
February 26, 1933

Theodore M. Johnson writes to Dickinson College President James H. Morgan and describes the cordial greeting between his father, Dickinson College President Herman M. Johnson, and a Col. Wilson of the Confederate army in 1863. Theodore notes that Col. Wilson accepted request that the college not be harmed. In addition, he describes sharing...

Event: Shelling of Carlisle, Invasion of Carlisle

"Civil War Miscellany on the Confederate Invasion of Carlisle in 1863"
1963

Contains many articles originally published in The Sentinel about the invasion, occupation, and shelling of Carlisle during the War. Some articles contain first-hand information, while others summarize personal accounts of the occurrences.  It also covers topics such as the routes that the armies took, and the citizens' responses to...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

Carlisle Civil War Centennial Commemoration Pamphlet
June 23 to 29, 1963

The Carlisle Civil War Centennial Committee publishes this pamphlet in 1963 as part of the Civil War Centennial commemoration. This official souvenir brochure includes the list of "Cumberland County's Heroic Dead," a brief summary of Carlisle residents' reactions to the fall of Fort Sumter in 1861, as well as an overview of the Confederate...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

"Eight Days at Carlisle," by Christopher J. Palmer
May 11, 1982

Christopher J. Palmer's essay breaks down the Confederate invasion of Carlisle in 1863 and provides a day-by-day account for June 25 through July 2, 1863. This essay, which specifically focuses on the actions of the Union commanders and Carlisle residents, includes quotations from Dickinson College faculty as well as general observations about...

Event: Invasion of Carlisle, Shelling of Carlisle

"The American Civil War and the Effect on Dickinson College Enrollment," by Christine Line
May 9, 2001

Christine Line's paper studies the effect of the Civil War on enrollment demographics at Dickinson College, specifically regarding students’ states of origin and graduation rates per region.  Line also discusses the rebound in enrollment that occurs after the Civil War. This essay is from an Independent Study in the History Department,...

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