A few more tidbits about HSP’s Civil War resources

Over the course of 2010, you saw several of the society’s Civil War-related collections come to light through our Digital Center for Americana project.  2011 marks the beginning of a four-year event organized by the Civil War History Consortium (CWHC) to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is a member of the CWHC, which serves as a meeting ground for organizations and researchers.

Last week we posted an updated version of our Guide to Civil War Manuscripts and Newspaper Collections, which now contains links to many of our finding aids, as well as descriptions of the society’s newer Civil war-related acquisitions.  Though these new collections are unprocessed and don’t have finding aids, they are still available for research.  Here’s a couple highlights:

George D. Coleman and Charles B. Forney letter copybooks, 1856-1870, 2 volumes (Accession number 2002.057).  Coleman owned the Lebanon Forge, North Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and was generous benefactor of Pennsylvania’s 93rd Regiment during the Civil War. Forney worked as Coleman’s furnace manager.  This collection includes information on iron production during the Civil War, and there are typed transcriptions of many of the letters.

Letter from George Coleman to Mr. Charles E. (name illegible), 30 January 1862

Charles Henry Coxe letters, 1861-1866, 7 items (Accession number 2002.030) Letters from Charles Henry Coxe, a Harvard student, to his brother Frank Morrell Coxe in Philadelphia.  Both Charles and Frank enlisted as commissioned officers in units of colored troops. Charles joined the 24th U. S. C. T., while  Frank joined as second lieutenant in the 87th U. S. Colored Infantry.

In his letter of 23 September 1862, Coxe explains his reasons for wanting to join a colored regiment. Pages 2-4 follow.


Major family papers, 1836-1891, 1958, undated, 0.2 linear feet (Accession number 2007.037) Two scrapbooks of material from the Major family of Pottstown, PA.  Both Nelson W. Major (d. 1868) and Charles A. Major (d. 1867), who were probably related, served as volunteer soldiers during the Civil War.  Nelson eventually held the rank of sergeant of the 48th Regiment Company B, Pottsville, PA; Charles became 1st sergeant of the 90th Regiment Company B.

Nelson A. Major appointment to sergeant, Company 'B', 48th regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 23 December 1862

If you’re doing Civil War research, whether genealogical or historical, be sure to check out HSP’s other online guides: Civil War Resources and Guide to Women During the Civil War.  Also keep an eye on HSP’s calendar for upcoming Civil War-related events.

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