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U.S. Civil War Collection, 1862-1898

By Finding aid prepared by Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: U.S. Civil War Collection, 1862-1898

Predominant Dates: 1862-1865

ID: MSS CivilWar

Primary Creator: Lewis, James H. (approximately 1840-)

Extent: 0.05 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This collection consists of one series: I. War Ephemera, 1862-1898. Materials are arranged by type and date.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The U.S. Civil War Collection includes newspapers, correspondence, handwritten songs, and artwork contemporary to the U.S. Civil War. Much of the collection was assembled by James H. Lewis, a soldier in the 24th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Scope and Content Notes

The U.S. Civil War Collection is composed primarily of materials generated and collected by James H. Lewis, a soldier in the 24th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the Iowa Temperance Regiment. The collection includes lyrics to several songs composed by Lewis and other Union soldiers, a pencil drawing depicting the transportation of cotton in the American South, a manuscript copy of General William Tecumseh Sherman's Special Field Order no. 54 announcing the surrender of General Lee, a letter from Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton, several military and civilian newspapers including one produced by Lewis' own regiment and some bearing inscriptions and correspondence from Lewis, and multiple reproductions of the April 15, 1865 issue of the New York Herald reporting the assassination of President Lincoln.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The U.S. Civil War was waged between the federal government of the United States of America and the secessionist Confederate States of America from April 1861 to May 1865. The conflict resulted in 600,000 American deaths, the destruction of industry and agriculture in the country's southeastern states, and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

The 24th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment was raised in the summer of 1862 in response to a national call for volunteer soldiers. The regiment, billed as the Iowa Temperance Regiment, attracted nearly one thousand teetotalers from the state of Iowa. Included in this number was James H. Lewis, a twenty-two year old resident of Tama County who enlisted on August 21, 1862 and mustered one week later as Seventh Corporal. Between 1862 and 1865, the Temperance Regiment moved through Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Georgia, and South Carolina. The regiment participated in the Yazoo Pass Expedition, the Siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, and dozens of other operations. During this time, 128 members of the Temperance Regiment were killed by wounds received in combat and an additional 215 died of disease. The remainder of the regiment mustered out in Savannah, Georgia on July 17, 1865, less than a month after the surrender of the last Confederate general. Lewis survived the war and was discharged as Fifth Sergeant.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The collected ephemera of James H. Lewis and other donations of Civil War memorabilia were accessioned into Oregon State University's McDonald Rare Book Collection at an unknown time. These materials now comprise the U.S. Civil War Collection of the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Related Materials: Additional materials related to military training and service in the United States can be found in the Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection (MSS McAlexander), the Oregon State Yank Collection (MSS Yank), the Students' Army Training Corps Records (RG 060), the Oregon State University Military Photographs Collection (P 002), the Army ROTC Photographs (P 257), and the McDonald Rare Book and Manuscript Collection (RB McDonald).

Preferred Citation: U.S. Civil War Collection (MSS CivilWar), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Lewis, James H. (approximately 1840-)
Stanton, Edwin M. (Edwin McMasters) (1814-1869)

People, Places, and Topics

Assassination--United States.
Lewis, James H., approximately 1840-
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
Stanton, Edwin M. (Edwin McMasters), 1814-1869
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States. Army--Military life.

Forms of Material

Drawings (visual works).

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: War Ephemera, 1862-1898
Box-Item 1.1: Manuscript letter from Edwin M. Stanton, U.S. Secretary of War, to Caroline Patterson, 1863
Box-Item 1.2: Manuscript copy of General William Tecumseh Sherman's Special Field Orders no. 54., 1865
Box-Item 1.3: Lyric Sheet: "We Are Coming", 1865
Box-Item 1.4: Lyric Sheet: "Who Will Care for Mother Now," "Fifty Cents a Day," and "Shoulder Straps", 1865
Box-Item 1.5: Pencil drawing of secessionists transporting cotton to market, 1863
Box-Item 1.6: Camp Life, vol. 1, no. 1, 1862
Box-Item 1.7: The Child's Index, vol. 3, no. 3, 1865
Box-Item 1.8: Savannah Republican, vol. 1, no. 23, 1865
Box-Item 1.9: Savannah Republican, vol. 1, no. 47, 1865
Box-Item 1.10: Savannah Republican, vol. 65, no. 110, 1865
Box-Item 1.11: The Herald of the Union, vol. 1, no. 6, 1865
Box-Item 1.12: The Soldier's Friend, vol. 1, no. 2, 1865
Box-Item 1.13: The New York Herald, no. 10456. Reprint of April 15, 1865 issue, 1891
Box-Item 1.14: The New York Herald, no. 10456. Reprint of April 15, 1865 issue, 1892
Box-Item 1.15: The New York Herald, no. 10456. Reprint of April 15, 1865 issue, 1898
Box-Item 1.16: The New York Herald, no. 10456. Reprint of April 15, 1865 issue, undated
Box-Item 1.17: The New York Herald, no. 10456. Reprint of April 15, 1865 issue, undated
Box-Item 1.18: Engraving of a mule train from an unknown newspaper, circa 1865
Box-Item 2.1: Natchitoches Union Daily, April 4, 1864

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