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Mercer Museum and Spruance Library of the Bucks County Historical Society
84 South Pine Street Doylestown, PA 18901-4999

Hours/Access Policy   Mercer Museum, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Please note that the Museum is not heated or cooled; plan to dress appropriately for the seasons.          
Spruance Library, Tuesday-Thursday, 1-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Museum and Library continue to welcome visitors during construction for building expansion. Temporary entrance is on Pine Street side of building. On-street parking and nearby parking lot available.

Website  http://www.mercermuseum.org/index.htm

Contact Information
 
215-345-0210, info@mercermuseum.org, Fax 215-230-0823.
Spruance Library: 215-345-0210 x141, mmlib@mercermuseum.org
Individual: Museum Curator, Cory M. Amsler, Vice President for Collections & Interpretations, 215-345-0210x127, camsler@mercermuseum.org

PDF version of these pages.

Overview
Inspired by the vision and creativity of Henry C. Mercer (1856-1930), it is the mission of the Bucks County Historical Society to cultivate among its many audiences a broad appreciation and awareness of the past, helping people find stories and meanings that both sustain them in the present and aid them in approaching the future.

By 1897 handmade objects were being discarded in favor of new machine-made goods. Historian and archaeologist Henry Mercer recognized the need to collect and preserve the outmoded material of daily life in America before it was swept away by the Industrial Revolution. He gathered almost 30,000 items, ranging from hand tools to horse-drawn vehicles, and assembled this encyclopedic collection in a system of his own devising. Then he designed, and in 1916 built, a museum to display the artifacts; a six-story concrete castle, with a towering central atrium used to hang the largest objects. On each level surrounding the court, smaller exhibits were installed in a warren of alcoves, niches and rooms according to Mercer's classifications.

As gifts to the Bucks County Historical Society, the collection and building were maintained by the trustees without benefit of professional staff until 1971. With a resurgence of interest in early American crafts, an ambitious program to develop and promote the Mercer Museum as an institution of national significance was undertaken. The Museum has made major advances in collections management and care, exhibitions, and interpretation; bringing the Museum in line with contemporary standards, while at the same time respecting the historical integrity of the site. In 1985, the Mercer Museum was recognized as a National Historic Landmark and achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 2005.

The Spruance Library of the Bucks County Historical Society, housed within the Mercer Museum, is the major research center for local and family history related to Bucks County and the surrounding region. With its roots in the founding of the Bucks County Historical Society in 1880, the Library houses over 20,000 books, periodicals, and pamphlets; 2500 feet of county archives; over 750 manuscript collections; over 11,000 images; and maps and other records that document not only local history, but the life and work of Henry Chapman Mercer and early American technology, culture and folk art.

Many Bucks County government records dating from 1683 are housed in the Spruance Library. These records come from the offices of the Court of Quarter Sessions, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Orphans Court, Prothonotary, and the County Commissioners. Special indexes to county collections include the following: naturalization records (1802-1906), criminal papers (1697-1786), quarter sessions (1684-1700), coroners’ papers (1700-1900), divorces (1806-1948), marriage licenses (1852-1854, 1885-1946), vendues (1784-1884), tavern licenses (1742-1923), deed books and grantor/grantee index (1684-1919), wills and administrations (1684-1900), and mechanics’ liens (1836-1949).

Civil War Collection
The Civil War-related holdings of the Mercer Museum and Spruance Library are  extensive. Special strengths are in manuscripts and records that document military aspects of the war, especially from the viewpoints of participants and those affected on the home front. Bucks County and the surrounding region was important in abolitionism and the Underground Railroad; but of course it earlier shared the nation’s unfortunate history of slaveholding, and all of these currents are documented. The Museum’s large collections contain many artifacts representing all of the war-related subject areas.  

Civil War Era Primary Sources in the Mercer Museum and Spruance Library, Bucks County Historical Society

Prepared by Ph.D. candidate Martin Clemis, TempleUniversity, and generously supported by a grant from The Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008.

The War at Home: The Experiences of Local Families and Communities

 Soldiers’ Aid Society of Hartsville, 1861-1865 (BM A-55 / 56 / 57)
This collection contains correspondence and minutes relating to the Soldier’s Aid Society of Hartsville including meeting minutes; a constitution with preamble and 10 articles that establish the society name, officers, functions and duties; by-laws establishing protocols for procuring and distributing supplies for sick and wounded soldiers. The meeting minutes themselves detail society funds, dues, donations, dispensations, etc. 

BMA-55 – contains meeting minutes with entries from November 15, 1865 through June 5, 1863.

BMA-56 – contains meeting minutes with entries from July 3, 1863 through September 14, 1865. This volume also contains loose sheets on the minutes and membership for a proposed reunion dated October 26, 1886.

BMA-67 – contains correspondence from December 3, 1861 through May 4, 1865. It includes letters received by the society from various individuals and organizations including military personnel, the U.S. Sanitary Commission, and the Ladies Aid Society of Philadelphia. This volume also contains several letters pertaining to a reunion from October and November 1886.

Autograph Books
Anna Erwin’s, Bellevue Institute, Langhorne, 1863 Autograph Book (BM A-58) – This collection contains an 1863 autograph book that belonged to Anna Erwin of Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Alfred Fackenthall’s, Bucks County, 1864-67 Autograph Book (BM A-417) – This collection contains an autograph book that belonged to Alfred Fackenthall of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Entries run from 1864 to 1867.

John Barnsley Justice of the Peace Docket
(BM B-136) – This collection contains a justice of the peace docket kept by John Barnsley of Newtown, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1865.

Doylestown Union Club (BM A-213)
This collection is comprised of a record book that contains the constitution, by-laws, and meeting minutes of the Doylestown Union Club, a political organization sponsored by the local paper the Doylestown Intelligencer. Formed in January 1860, the organization was professedly “friendly to the advancement of the Republican Party” and “opposed to the policy of the Democratic Party.” This included the promotion of free labor and opposition both to the reopening of the slave trade and the extension of slavery into the national territories. The record book contains an opening statement of intent along with the organization’s constitution, by-laws, rules, membership, and meeting minutes.

Diary of John Robbins (BM A-240)
This collection contains a small pocket diary generated by a local farmer and businessmen named John Robbins during 1865. The diary is mainly comprised of brief stoic entries on weather conditions, travels, business transaction and cash accounts. There are several entries that follow significant wartime events such as the surrender of the Confederacy and the assassination of President Lincoln. These entries, however, contain no circumspection, detail, or reflection on these events outside of the date, location, or time they had occurred. 

Board of Relief for Volunteers Register, 1862 (BM B-304)
This collection contains a minute and record book of relief funds that were dispersed to the families of enlisted soldiers from Bucks County between May 1861 and October 1862. The ledger tracks the requisition and dispersal of relief funds during this period, detailing the name of each recipient and the amount they received. The payments were dispersed twice monthly and ranged in scale from $2.00 to $4.75 per week depending upon the number of children (if any) in each household.

Isaac Chapman Diaries (BM B-336 / 337)
This collection is comprised of two diaries generated by Isaac Chapman, a local farmer who lived in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania. Entries between 1860 and 1865 detail nearly every aspect of farming but nothing else. With the exception of three passages on the two presidential elections and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, there are no references to the war at all. Moreover, they are extremely brief and contain no analysis, reflection, or introspection on these events. They are merely inserted among everyday occurrences such as planting, sowing, and other business activities associated with farming.

Fountain House Hotel Guest Registers, Doylestown, 1863-1868 (BM C-7)
This collection contains a hotel guest registry for the Fountain House Hotel located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It contains the signatures of registering guests, including various soldiers and officers, who stayed in the hotel between the years 1863 and 1868.

W.W.H. Davis Newspaper Correspondence (BM C-43)
This collection contains a scrapbook of local newspaper articles generated between 1843 and 1854. Predominantly from the Independent Democrat, there are a number of articles from 1850 and 1851 that deal with slavery and its corrosive effect on North & South. Although they do not express pro-slavery sentiments, these articles are unequivocally anti-abolitionist and hostile when referring to abolitionists, which the editorialists generally view as civil agitators who promote violation of the Fugitive Slave Law. The articles pertinent to the Civil War include editorials on the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law; the argument that abolitionists agitate the public and promote lawlessness; support for African colonization and the repatriation of free blacks back to Africa; advocacy for restricting the flow of free blacks into Pennsylvania; and the argument that the British rather than the South were responsible for slavery in the United States.
Cadwallader Collection (MSC 30)
This collection contains a number of documents concerning Civil War relief rolls in Bucks County.

Folder 1 – contains miscellaneous receipts issued for donations made to the Bucks County relief fund between 1862 and 1865.

Folder 2 – contains miscellaneous documents concerning the Bucks County pension fund for veterans and their families including requests for pensions, receipts for dispersed funds, and lists of eligible pensioners.

Michael H. Jenks Papers (MSC 79, Folder 36)
This collection contains three pieces of correspondence written during the war concerning political developments and slavery.

The first letter, dated December 12, 1860, was written by businessman Ridgeway Jenks to his father. In the letter, Jenks alludes to the fact that his business is suffering due “to the troubles in the South.” He also refers to the strong presence of “Black Republicans” in St. Paul and comments that members of the Democracy [the Democratic Party] will be clearing out in preparation for the arrival of the Lincoln administration.

The second letter, dated July 31, 1864, was addressed from a young female teacher from the North named Lizzie Bradshaw who was working in Nashville, Tennessee to Judge Jenks and his wife. Lizzie talks of several war-related circumstances including the suffering of wounded soldiers in local hospitals; the bitter realities that Southerners face every day in contrast to residents of the North; the presence of “contraband” teachers and the poor condition of life for blacks; a conversation with a slave that revealed the sad conditions of slavery; and the fact that she has no trouble getting blacks to “respect” her.

The third letter, dated October 12, 1864, was addressed from a soldier serving in the 6th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry to his uncle. In it he makes several comments on the upcoming presidential election between Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan. In addition to predicting that if the army “has a vote” then Lincoln would be reelected, he argues that most soldiers from his company view McClellan as a traitor. What supporters the ex-general may have, he continues, keep this support a secret as to avoid being whipped. “We are not,” he writes of himself and his fellow soldiers, “in for having a traitor in the presidential chair after fighting these years.”

Society Collection (MSC 131)
Folder 6 – contains “a decidedly rich letter” from a Southern woman to her sister dated May 27, 1862 that details her extreme contempt for the North and particularly northern soldiers. The author not only wishes death and defeat upon “the invaders of our sacred soil,” but she puts Union soldiers “...on the same footing with the darkies” who she considered to be “their equal…” Capturing the essence of her sympathies, the letter is signed: “…your ever-loving, devoted and affectionate ‘Secesh’ sister, Beaulah… Three cheers for Jeff Davis and the whole Southern Confederacy.”

Samuel Hart Collection (MSC 160)
Folder 95 – contains several letters written by Ellen Hart to her husband serving in the Union army; a letter from Union soldier George Hart to his father; a letter from Susan Hart to her brother serving in the Union army; and a letter from Union cavalry soldier N. Hart to his brother.
The letters from Ellen to her husband, all dated July 1863, represent what might be considered typical letters from wives on the home front to their husbands serving in the military. She expresses her love and laments the absence of her husband both for herself and for her two small children. Some unique elements include negative reflection on the NY draft riots, speculation that “copperheads” were behind the agitation, and hopes that similar occurrences do not happen in Philadelphia. One letter, dated July 2, 1863 opines on what the local women would like to do to “the rebs” if given an opportunity to arm themselves.
Miscellaneous Collection (MSC 163)
Thomas Foulke Papers – This collection contains an 1864 broadside titled “Four Years in Secessia” which describes a lecture to be given by Mrs. E.C. Kent that details the sufferings of a pro-Union family living in the South.

James G. Taliaferro Civil War Record – This collection contains a printed essay titled “A Protest against the Ordinance of Secession” which essentially opposes secession based upon three assumptions: first, it will lead to war, second, it will weaken rather than strengthen southern institutions, and third, any confederacy built upon secession is itself doomed to disintegration.

Wrightstown Soldiers’ Aid Society, 1862-1863 (MSC 164)
Folder 268 – contains the “Minutes Book” produced by the Wrightstown Soldiers’ Aid Society for 1862 and 1863. Pertinent information found therein include the society’s constitution, by-laws, membership, and minutes which detail its funds, dues, donation, dispersions, etc.

Miscellaneous (MSC 224)
Folder 13 – contains a receipt issued by the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital to a woman for her contribution of three boxes of lint; dated September 6, 1862.

Folder 49 – contains a series of items and documents pertaining to a woman named Sarah Jones and her activities involving the U.S. Sanitary Commission and the U.S.A. General Hospital in West Philadelphia. Although these items do not clearly indicate whether Ms. Jones was a nurse or just a philanthropic citizen, they do seem to indicate that she was highly involved both in fundraising for the Sanitary Commission and the hospital and in lending assistance to wounded and disabled soldiers. Some of the items of interest include visitors passes to the hospital issued in 1862 and 1863, a ticket to the Sanitary Commission’s Great Central Fair held in June 1864, a menu card detailing what was served to convalescing soldiers for Christmas dinner in1864, a silk badge commemorating the memory of President Lincoln, a reprint of the hospital’s rules and regulations for visitors, and programs detailing a Fourth of July celebration in 1863. 

Pennebaker Collection (MSC 255, Box 19)
This collection contains a number of documents pertaining to conscientious objection during the war and the Republican Party.

Folder 3 – contains two 1862 documents relating to the military eligibility of Charles Moon, a resident of Bucks County. The first, issued in August by Middletown Township, declares Moon eligible for military service. The second, issued on September 15, was a military exemption form detailing that “because of conscientious scruples against bearing arms,” Moon was exempted from military service so long as he paid remuneration to the state of Pennsylvania “as an equivalent for personal service.” The sum of this commutation was to be determined by the courts.

Folder 5 – contains an 1860 poem titled “Salutation to the ‘Republican Invincibles’ of Pennsylvania” which extols the virtues of the Republican Party Platform (the nomination of Lincoln, the preservation of free land / free labor, and the arrest of slavery); and several wartime letters written by a Union cavalry officer, Joseph P. Brinton to his uncle, Eli Price. In addition to the typical love and salutations home, the letters detail Brinton’s wartime experiences including scouting and picket duty, skirmishes with Confederate troops, possible movements of Confederate troops, the potential movement by Union troops upon Petersburg, Virginia in October 1864; the death of a beloved officer; the possibility of his promotion to colonel; a conversation he had with Union General George Meade concerning his hopes for being appointed to the position of Judge Advocate; and  his involvement with a series of courts martial.

Geil Collection (MSC 277)
This collection contains a number of small pocket diaries from 1854 to 1867. Although two of the diaries (1861 and 1864) were written during the war, the author makes absolutely no references to current events outside of the weather, work around the farm, and quotidian expenses. Entries or commentary on events related to the war or American society are not to be found anywhere in the diaries.

Paxson Family Papers (MSC 324)
This collection consists of a series of letters sent to Bucks County resident Ruth Shaw between 1861 and 1865. The majority of letters are from her brother Benjamin who was a soldier in the Union army. There are exceptions, however, including two 1863 letters to Ruth from a family friend named Joe, who also served the Union army, an 1861 letter addressed to Joe from Benjamin, and a series of letters from Benjamin’s wife, Mary, beginning in the spring of 1864.

The bulk of these letters reveal both the banalities and hardships of military life for Union soldiers in camp and on the march, and there are two to three letters which refer to the recent combat action these men have experienced. These, however provide little detail as to where and when, and little outside of expressions of fatigue in its wake is provided. Most of the letters detail the quotidian aspects of soldier life including the sickness, death, boredom, tedium, frustration, hardships, camaraderie, etc. that soldiers experienced during their time of service.

Overall, the letters in this collection are warm, loving, and sometimes circumspective letters from Civil War soldiers to loved ones back home that illustrate how they experienced and felt about current events and the war in general. As for their general character, they display equanimity more than zeal or despair and tend to be more optimistic than pessimistic in tenor. Some exceptions to this include an 1862 letter in which Benjamin questions the “energy” of Northern leaders in prosecuting the war, and an 1863 letter in which Joe expresses war weariness amongst his regiment as well as the bitterness he felt over the disparities between the privations of soldier life and the comforts of home life for able-bodied men of the North. 

After January 1864, Benjamin’s letters seem to indicate that he had left military service, had gotten married, and was working, living, and traveling in the vicinity of Washington D.C. These letters, however, reveal little or no information about the war and deal mostly with the domestic / occupational life of Benjamin and his wife Mary.

W.W.H Davis Papers (MSC 327)
This collection contains the papers of Doylestown resident and founder of the Bucks County Historical Society, W.W.H. Davis. A colonel in the Union Army, he served as commanding officer for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1861 and 1864.

Folder 121 – contains the wartime correspondence of Bucks County resident William R. Elliot to his sweetheart then wife, Mary Pomeroy. Written between 1861 and 1864 when he apparently served as a commissary officer in first, the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and later, the 2nd South Carolina, a “colored” regiment assigned to the 34th Regiment Infantry (U.S. Colored Troops), Elliot’s letters detail the highs and lows of soldiering and cover everything from the tedium of camp life to the rigors of life on the march, to the deadliness of battle. However the banalities and boredom of the former comprise the bulk of their subject matter. Moreover, the tone and language of these letters seem to indicate that Elliot was in a support rather than combat battalion. Perhaps the most striking element of these letters, however, is their tender and emotional tenor. Elliot was a young man that was deeply in love with his sweetheart, and his professions of love, both for her and for his family, are the most poignant and memorable elements of the letters contained within this collection.   

Civil War Poem (MSC 525)
Folder 3 – contains the following handwritten poem on the Civil War written in 1862:

Lines on the War

Still dread war fierce war is raging
On Columbia’s fertile shore
Hosts with Rebel hosts ingaging
Stain her fruitfull fields with gore
Reckless Traitors stained with Treason
And opposed to freedom’s cause
Heedless of the voice of Reason
Still defy our country’s laws
And alas what blood and treasure
Has this dreadful conflict cost
Causing suffering without measure
While so many lives are lost
Though dark clouds may sum to hover
Ore our Country for a while
Traitors will I hope discover
Freedom coin their forces foil

N. Ely 1862

Taylor Family Letters (MSC 694)
Folder 39 – contains a number of family letters written during the war. Several letters detail the incidentals of family and community life with no mention of the war. Several others, however, deal explicitly with war-related events. One letter, written by Elizabeth Sellers to her cousin, laments the horrors of war and the ill effects (dead, wounded, sick) it was having on the local community. Another letter (perhaps also by Sellers) expresses the communal trepidation in her West Philadelphia community on waiting for news of local soldiers that had been killed or wounded in a recent (although unspecified) military engagement. The final letter is written by a Union cavalry officer to a captain in Camp Hooker, Lookout Valley, Tennessee detailing the number and condition of horses along with the health and morale of soldiers within the regiment. Both were generally well.

Watson Papers (MSC 751)
This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Bucks County attorney Richard Watson. Appointed as a claims agent for Civil War relief rolls during the war and veteran pensions once the conflict had ended, Watson helped process recruitment bounties, enlistment pay, dependent relief rolls, and postwar pensions for Bucks County residents serving in the Union Army and their relatives. 

Boxes 3-5 – contain a number of documents pertaining to Watson’s service as claims agent including lists of claims and certificates issued for bounties, pay, dependent relief, and pensions issued between 1862 and 1868. Many of these documents contain the name, date of service, dollar amount, and reasons for request. The collection also contains Watson’s 1867 certificate to serve as a claims agent for the War Department, and a number of documents issued by the Treasury and War Departments, along with several from the Paymaster General’s Office.  

Newspapers
This collection contains two local newspapers: the Doylestown Intelligencer and the Doylestown Democrat. Both papers actively followed the war and its military, political, social, and economic development between 1861 and 1865; albeit along partisan political lines. In addition to covering the major political and military developments of the day, including the participation and sacrifice of Bucks County soldiers serving in local regiments, these papers, nonetheless, continued to dedicate large sections of their paper space to daily life in the North, which continued to thrive despite the carnage and loss of the battlefield. Below are two brief abstracts outlining the overall tenor of both newspapers as they covered social, political, economic, and military developments before, during and after the war.  

The Doylestown Intelligencer – was an organ of the Republican Party. Its general characteristics were pro-Union, anti-secession, pro-free labor, and anti-slavery. Not an abolitionist paper, the Intelligencer mirrored the shifting views of the Lincoln administration and Republican Party on slavery, opposing its expansion into the national territories before 1862 and embracing its total elimination later on. It also promoted legal rather than extralegal means as the proper mechanism for restricting / eliminating slavery and denounced lawless or violent measures such as John Brown’s raid against the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in 1859. Although a proponent of civil rights for freedmen, the paper made no explicit calls for complete social and / or political equality for former slaves. It did, however, consistently denounce slavery and subsequent social, political, economic injustices committed against freedmen both before and after the war.

Prior to 1862, the Intelligencer opposed any law or resolution that abrogated the Missouri Compromise and allowed slavery within the national territories. It opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and “popular sovereignty,” rejected the Supreme Court decision in the Dredd Scott case, and refused to endorse the Crittenden Compromise which was introduced before Congress as a last-ditch effort to deter secession in the spring of 1861. By the summer of 1862, the paper began calling for the total elimination rather than mere arrest of slavery in the United States. It favored both the military use of runaway slaves as “contraband of war” and endorsed the Emancipation Proclamation. These measures, it believed, were pragmatic as well as moral because they had a deleterious effect on the South’s ability to wage war.

The Intelligencer unanimously supported the Republican ticket both in local and national elections. It endorsed presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln both in the 1860 and 1864 elections, and rejected Democratic candidates Stephen Douglas and George B. McClellan in the same years. The Intelligencer also called for a “hard war” that required contrition, punishment, and the unconditional surrender of the Confederacy. It also rejected any peace platform proposed by the Democratic Party that would protect and perpetuate slavery. “Copperheads,” “Peace Democrats,” and any other person or group (Democrats in general) that either opposed Republican measures for combating the war or sympathized with slavery or the Confederacy were unanimously rejected.  Despite its own calls for bipartisan support for the war at times, the Intelligencer universally endorsed the Republican platform and the party’s handling of the war while rejecting those advanced by the Democrats throughout the conflict.  

The Doylestown Democrat – was an organ of the Democratic Party. In agreement with most northerners in its pro-Union / anti-secession stance, the Democrat was more sympathetic towards Southern interests than the Republican Party or the Intelligencer, and it defended “state’s rights” and slavery along constitutional lines. Although the paper did not explicitly advocate the existence or expansion of human bondage, it did believe that the South had a right to protect and defend its “peculiar institution” as long as it was done within the confines of the laws of the United States, and along peaceful and democratic lines. In addition to its disdain for lawlessness, abolitionism, and “Black” Republicans, the Democrat vociferously rejected any idea of social or political equality between whites and blacks. Both before and during the war, the paper regularly printed articles and editorials that characterized blacks as social, political, and economic threats to the white community.  

Prior to the war, the Democrat supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act and popular sovereignty. It argued that the federal government had no right to interfere with slavery both where it existed and within the national territories as long as it was brought there through democratic mechanisms and the will of the people therein. As already stated, its opposition to interference with slavery was articulated using legal arguments. The right of slaveholders to hold dominion over their “property,” the paper believed, was a fundamental and indispensible cornerstone of the Constitution. Consequently, the Democrat opposed both the employment of runaway slaves for Union military purposes and the Emancipation Proclamation. Throughout the war, it advocated the restoration of the Union “as it was” (i.e. with slavery intact in the South and its future in the hands of the state governments) and rejected the proposal for a “new” Union in which the constitutionally-guaranteed right of southern slaveholders to own human chattel would be abrogated.

The Democrat unanimously supported the Democratic ticket both in local and national elections. It endorsed presidential candidates Stephen Douglas and George McClellan in 1860 and 1864 respectively, and it opposed the presidency of Abraham Lincoln during both of his terms of office. Although it opposed secession and the Confederacy initially, their willingness to negotiate with the South softened over time. By 1864, the paper rejected calls for the unconditional surrender of the Confederacy and, instead, supported a peace platform that stressed negotiation and reconciliation with the South if it would concur.

Throughout the 1850s and 1860s the Intelligencer and the Democrat viewed contemporary events through the prism of partisan politics. Both blamed their rival political base for sectional animosity and the violent agitation that was tearing the country apart both before and during the war. The Democrat, for example, blamed the civil violence in Kansas spurred by the Kansas-Nebraska act exclusively on abolitionists. The Intelligencer, in contrast, blamed pro-slavery factions. Secession and disunion were similarly interpreted along partisan political lines. The Democrat pinned Southern resentment of the North and the secessionist impulse in general on abolitionism and the machinations of “Black Republicans.” The Intelligencer, naturally, faulted a Democratic “slave conspiracy” that would rather destroy the Union than relinquish political power. Wartime policy and the overall conduct of the war were also interpreted along partisan lines. The use of runaway slaves as contraband; the destruction of Confederate property; military appointments, promotions, and dismissals; local recruitment; the draft; and a host of additional civilian and military policies were viewed through rigid partisan interpretations. Regardless of whether events were local or national in scope, both papers argued that their own respective political party was acting in a manner that made them the patriotic guarantor of national unity while the opposition threatened to destroy it.

Political differences aside, the Democrat and the Intelligencer shared a number of common newspaper items such as advertising and local community information. Alongside traditional political and military news such as elections, battles, local regimental exploits, and casualty lists, are an abundance of advertisements for carpentry, pest control, real estate, livestock, farming equipment, upholstery, medicinal supplies, and a host of other innumerable sundries for feeding, clothing, healing, housing, entertaining, educating, cleaning, furnishing, and insuring the local population and their homes. Local community news including births, deaths, marriages, railroad schedules, hunting and fishing restrictions, concerts, lectures, meetings, and cultural pieces on art, literature, and poetry are also prevalent. More than anything, these can attest to the resiliency and vibrancy of life on the Northern home front during the war.  Despite its tremendous impact on the local community and the social and economic upheavals it engendered, the war seemed to have little if any impact on the overall fabric of Northern society as these articles and advertisements reveal.  

According to these papers, Bucks County election results for presidential candidates broke down as follows:

1860
Abraham Lincoln – 6,443; Stephen Douglas (straight) – 487; Reading Ticket – 5,169; John Bell – 94

1864
Abraham Lincoln – 6,197; George B. McClellan – 7,253

County Records: R64 – County Commissioners Bills
This collection contains a number of documents generated by the Bucks County Commissioners’ Office during the Civil War in regards to military service and relief for the local families of soldiers serving in Union armies.

R74:5, Box 3 – contains affidavits of disability, volunteer certificates, bounty receipts, draft eligibility lists, militia rolls, and substitute certificates.

Affidavits of Disability – were issued for men seeking exemption from military service. These affidavits were statements made before justices of the peace offering personal reasons why an individual was physically unable to serve in the military. Reasons given include but are not limited to impaired hearing, near-sightedness, liver pain, rheumatism, nervous stomach, inflamed kidneys, dyspepsia, weak knees, asthma, headache, crippled hands or feet, back pain, hernia, and sciatica.

Enlistment Certificates – were issued to record individuals that had enlisted for military service in Union regiments formed in Bucks County.

Bounty Receipts – were issued to record payments to individuals that had collected a bounty for enlistment within a Union regiment based in Bucks County.
Draft Eligibility Lists – recorded those individuals from Bucks County who were eligible for military service. These were issued by township.

Militia Roll Books – recorded individuals that had been present, exonerated, or delinquent from military service.

Substitute Certificates – recorded individuals that had joined Bucks County regiments as substitutes.

R64:5, Box 4 – [See R74:5, Box 3 above]

R64:6, Box 1 & 2 – contains a number of documents relating to the burial of Civil War veterans in Bucks County cemeteries. Covering the years 1885-1908, they include applications for burials and receipts for burial expenses. Information includes name, residence, regiment, rank, dates of service, occupation, date of death, and burial location.

R64:7, Box 1-5 – contains receipts issued for relief remunerations issued to the wives and families of Bucks County soldiers serving in the Union army. They include the name of the recipient, the number of weeks of relief, the dollar amount, and the date issued.

R64:31, Box 2 – contains a number of documents concerning appropriations made to Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts throughout Bucks County between 1905 and 1923. They include receipts for star markers purchased for Civil War veteran grave plots, receipts issued for the defrayment of expenses for Memorial Day services and other commemorative events, and correspondence and applications pertaining to these appropriations.

R64:8 – contains a series of documents pertaining to scrip (money raised to fund local militia) in Bucks County. They include record books that record the amount of scrip issued during 1864 and the amount of interest paid on scrip during 1865. 

Badges & Ribbons from War Era Political Events (SC-21)
This collection contains a large number of medals, badges, buttons, and ribbons related to the Civil War. Folders 200 through 207 contain badges, buttons, and ribbons that deal with political events both during and immediately after the war.

Folder 200 – contains an 1864 presidential campaign button for Abraham Lincoln.

Folder 201 – contains a mourning ribbon commemorating the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Folder 202-203 – contains several campaign ribbons for presidential candidate and former Union general Ulysses S. Grant.

Folder 205 – contains an 1879 ribbons welcoming Ulysses S. Grant to Pennsylvania.

Folder 206-07 – contains a presidential campaign ribbon and button for James A. Garfield

Broadside Collection (SC-23)
This collection contains several political and military broadsides dealing with the Civil War.

#87 M – is a November 17, 1863 list of deserters from the 5th District, State of Pennsylvania, which included Philadelphia and Bucks Counties. The broadside lists the name, age, profession, and resident township of local soldiers that had deserted the Union Army.

#2185 M – is a September 24, 1861 set of regulations for Camp Lacey, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It lists daily duties, roll call procedures, and rules and regulations for leaves of absence, respect for officers, and visitors.

#2189 M – is a political broadside titled “The Pending Crisis.” It depicts a brawl between a secessionist and a unionist with a caption that reads “Although all Copperheads call themselves Democrats, nonetheless, all Democrats are not Copperheads.”

Social Invitations for Veteran’s Reunions and Commemorative Events (SC-24)
This collection contains a large number of invitations for veteran’s reunions, memorials, monument dedications, receptions, balls, banquets and other social events commemorating military service in the Civil War. Most were generated by veteran’s organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the Society of the Army of the Potomac, the Union League, and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Others were produced by state agencies and various commissions such as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Battlefield Memorial Association which erected monuments and held events in commemoration of the wartime service of Union soldiers.  

Folder 10-16 – contains several invitations for military and citizen dress balls held during the years 1859 – 1861.

Folder 500-09 – contains an 1861 invitation to a Union cotillion and picnic.

Folder 510-19 – contains several invitations to Union cotillions and picnics held between the years 1861 – 1862.

Miscellaneous Photograph Collection (SC-29-1)
(9-H-001) – contains an undated photograph showing a group portrait that includes runaway slave Benjamin Jones (“Big Ben”) in front of the Bucks County Almshouse.
(58-103 & 104) – Found among the “to be processed” photo collections, these two images depict departments of the 1864 Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia.  The photos show the “Arms and Trophy Department” and the “Children’s Department.”

Numismatics (SC-49)
This collection contains a variety of currency from the Civil War and antebellum periods and it includes fractional and whole currency produced both by the United States and the Confederate States of America; coinage; and bills of exchange. The collection contains federal notes and those produced by private local banks.

*Note: this collection also contains an 1864 silk badge commemorating the second inaugural of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.

Flack / Frankenfield Civil War Letters (TBP 2001 – 110 – 13-90)
This collection contains a series of letters written to and from home by family members and friends of the Flack family, a Bucks County family with a number of members serving in the U.S. armed forces during the Civil War.

One series is comprised of 1863 letters from Union soldier John Flack to his sister. Detailing garrison duty during July and August, Flack appears to have been a member of a local militia or home guard defending Philadelphia in response to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and the then recent Battle of Gettysburg.

Another series of letters are from Isaac Frankenfield, a member of Battery “G” 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, to a friend. Written from Virginia during November and December 1864, the letters discuss expectations for an upcoming battle, life on the march, picket and garrison duty, rations, and the weather.

The collection also contains a series of 1862-1866 letters written from George W. Flack, a member of the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry who had served in the Virginia theatre to his sister. These letters detail life as a cavalryman, movements of the army, and frequent skirmishes with Confederate cavalry. After the war, he apparently rejoined the army for what he considered to be better pay and greater opportunity than what the civilian world had to offer. There is also a letter from Mary Flack to her brother, George, dated May 9, 1864 in which she urges him to be careful and remain safe during military operations.

Another series is comprised of letters written from William R. Flack to his sister while he was recovering from a combat wound at the 8th Detachment, Convalescent Camp in Nashville, Tennessee during 1863 and 1864. These letters detail the boredom and routine of the convalescent camp as well as the pain and discomfort his wound was giving him.

There are two additional series of letters from Union soldiers in this collection. One is from James Hagan, a member of Company “E” 196th Pennsylvania Volunteers, to his sister; and the other is from Isaac Frankenfield (see above) to his cousin. Written between 1862 and 1865, these letters detail a number of issues and concerns including homesickness, the weather, routine camp and garrison duty, and hopes for an end to the war.

Another letter in this collection, dated February 16, 1863, was written from Kate Flack to Nancy Flack. In addition to lamenting the war, it is highly critical of the Lincoln administration, the rich, and abolitionists. Moreover, she places blame for the war on abolitionists and blacks.

Perhaps the most interesting letters in this collection are a series of correspondence between Adam Flack (a.k.a. Richard Corson), his wife, Nancy, and his sister. Flack had apparently served with the U.S. Navy during the war until he deserted, fled to Canada, and assumed an alias. His letters detail life as a fugitive, hope that his wife can join him in Canada, and the different work he found while on the run including farm and river boat labor. Nancy’s letters – written to her husband and her sister – meanwhile, express anguish over Flacks desertion from the U.S. military and the pain this separation has caused her. In addition, she expresses regret, both over her inability to join her fugitive husband in Canada (she cannot make the trip with their small children), and her husband’s likely inability to reconcile with the federal government.

William P. Slack Papers / Benjamin Shaffer Draft Records (2004 – 172 – 1-5)
This collection contains documents pertaining to the wartime service of two Bucks County soldiers, William P. Slack and Benjamin Shaffer.

The Slack papers contain two small collections. One is a series of 1861-1862 correspondence between Slack and his wife along with some pension paperwork. Written while serving in the Union army, the letters mostly detail the regimens of camp life and potential military movements and battles. The pension paperwork, issued after Slack had died of an unspecified disease in a Washington D.C. hospital on March 13, 1862, was sent to his wife following his death and detail the dates and amount of pension she and her children were eligible to receive. The other small collection consists of a notification of eligibility for military service issued to Benjamin F. Shaffer of Solebury Township, Bucks County in 1862.

Henry W. Gross Diaries (TBP – Balcony)
Range of diaries that extend into postwar period but beginning with the year 1864.  Entries include return of veterans of the 104th on furlough in 1864 (“The Veterans of the 104th R. P. V. have returned on a furlough of 30 or 35 days. Some deposit their money in liquor instead of a savings bank” – April 24, 1864), note of a Copperhead rally in Doylestown just prior to the 1864 presidential election, voting for Lincoln, the Lincoln assassination, and digging a grave for a recently return soldier (Jacob Kindy, Sept. 2, 1865).

Bucks CountyIntelligencer Clipping File
The Intelligencer, printed in Doylestown, was the Republican newspaper during the Civil War Era. The Spruance Library maintains a small clippings file, representing the mid-late 1800s, organized by location and subject. Aside from the spotty clippings, the entire run of this newspaper, plus that of its competitor, the Doylestown Democrat, is held by the Historical Society.  In the clippings file, under “Organizations,” are brief descriptions of ladies’ aid activities and other home front events. Some brief examples are:

  • [March 22, 1864:] “Address in the Court House by Capt. B. Frank Fisher, Before the Doylestown Ladies’ Aid Society – Capt. Fisher has kindly consented to give an account of his experience in a Richmond prison, for the benefit of the Ladies’ Aid Society of Doylestown…Price of admission, 25 cents.” [File: Doylestown -  Organizations – Ladies’ Aid Society]
  • [April 22, 1862:] “Signor Blitz, the famous necromancer or ‘prestidigitateur,’ will perform his wonderful feats for the benefit of the Ladies’ Aid Society of Doylestown…” [File: Doylestown – Organizations – Ladies’ Aid Society]
  • [May 3, 1864:] “The ‘Ladies’ Aid’ of Doylestown send a box and barrel of hospital stores to the Christian Commission…[this is followed by a list of items sent] [File: Doylestown – Organizations – Ladies’ Aid Society]
  • [May 31, 1864:]  Article provides listing of those who have made contributions to support the Great Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia.  Contributors listed from Doylestown, Hilltown and Warminster. [File: Doylestown – Organizations – Ladies’ Aid Society]
  • [January 21, 1862:] “The Rev. Charles Wadsworth of Philadelphia preached before the Ladies’ Aid Society of Hartsville, in the Neshaminy Presbyterian Church, on Thursday evening last.  At the close of the sermon a collection was taken up in aid of the Society…” [File: Hartsville – Organizations]
  • Similar brief notices and listings are found in “Organizations” files for Attleboro (Langhorne), Lower Makefield, and Bristol to name a few.

Under the file headings “Politics,” as well as “Organizations,” there are also relevant clippings from the Intelligencer focusing on elections and the political landscape. Representative samples include:

  • [November 6, 1860:]  “Meeting at Attleborough: “The Lincoln and Hamlin mass meeting at Attleborough, last Monday afternoon, owing to the unfavorable weather, was not as large as expected.  Three or four hundred people were present during the afternoon…In the evening a large meeting was convened in the same place, the presence of about five hundred Wide Awakes serving greatly to enliven the occasion…The torches of the Wide Awakes illuminated the whole village, and the enthusiastic shouts of the men as they marched along seemed to arouse every Lincoln man to a sense of duty and fire him with determination to do his utmost for Honest Old Abe to-day.”  [File: Attleboro/Langhorne – Politics]
  • [October 10, 1863:] “Copperhead Meeting at Newtown – The Copperheads held a meeting at Newtown on Saturday last, which was intended to be a great affair, but it turned out a miserable fizzle – not more than 300 people being present, and half of those were Union men…” [File: Newtown – Politics]
[October 4, 1864:] “An affair occurred at Newtown on Saturday last which proved rather disastrous to a copperhead named Peter Smith, who keeps a lager beer house in that village…A man from Philadelphia who had come up to attend the meeting, went into the house to obtain a plate of oysters. While he was eating them a party of Copperheads present began to cheer for McClellan and use very opprobrious language toward Mr. Lincoln. The union man retaliated by calling out “Hurrah for Lincoln,” when he was instantly attacked and knocked down by the copperheads…This created some disturbance, when a crowd rushed in from the street and commenced an onset upon the assailants. Quite a melee ensued….” [File: Newtown – Politics]

Museum Collection – Artifacts of the Home Front
This collection contains a number of miscellaneous artifacts from the home front during the Civil War period, including:

  • Satin wedding shoes of “Mrs. Sheble,” worn on her wedding day, March 2, 1865.
  • A William Penn cornhusk doll made in 1864 and purchased at the Great Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia.
  • A parade torch carried by George Worstall of Newtown, Bucks County in the “Wide Awake” processions in support of Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 presidential race.
  • Candleholders that were used to keep candles burning in the windows of the Henry Chapman home during the Civil War.
  • A desk box once belonging to Josiah Hart during the Civil War Era, and which contained revenue stamps, from the Hart Bank in Doylestown.
  • A number of other “home front” artifacts (tools, clothing, decorative arts) that date from the Civil War Era, but which are not expressly related to the War itself.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Experience

Michael H. Jenks Papers (MSC 79, Folder 36)
This collection contains three pieces of correspondence written during the war concerning political developments and slavery.

The first letter, dated December 12, 1860, was written by businessman Ridgeway Jenks to his father. In the letter, Jenks alludes to the fact that his business is suffering due “to the troubles in the South.” He also refers to the strong presence of “Black Republicans” in St. Paul and comments that members of the Democracy [the Democratic Party] will be clearing out in preparation for the arrival of the Lincoln administration.

The second letter, dated July 31, 1864, was addressed from a young female teacher from the North named Lizzie Bradshaw who was working in Nashville, Tennessee to Judge Jenks and his wife. Lizzie talks of several war-related circumstances including the suffering of wounded soldiers in local hospitals; the bitter realities that Southerners face every day in contrast to residents of the North; the presence of “contraband” teachers and the poor condition of life for blacks; a conversation with a slave that revealed the sad conditions of slavery; and the fact that she has no trouble getting blacks to “respect” her.

The third letter, dated October 12, 1864, was addressed from a soldier serving in the 6th Pennsylvania Volunteers Cavalry to his uncle. In it he makes several comments on the upcoming presidential election between Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan. In addition to predicting that if the army “has a vote” then Lincoln would be reelected, he argues that most soldiers from his company view McClellan as a traitor. What supporters the ex-general may have, he continues, keep this support a secret as to avoid being whipped. “We are not,” he writes of himself and his fellow soldiers, “in for having a traitor in the presidential chair after fighting these years.”

Thomas Longshore Papers (MSC 86)
This collection contains two travel journals produced by Bucks County resident Thomas Elwood Longshore with references to abolitionism. Covering two trips that he had made to Ohio, the first in 1835-1836 and the second in 1840, these diaries extensively detail these trips and include the places he visited, the people he met, and some of the discussions he had. In his earlier trip, Longshore had a number of conversations on the institution of slavery on which he shows some reflection or circumspection on the institution. In his later trip, he again details several conversations with individuals concerning slavery and abolition but here, little reflection or analysis is given regarding the content of these discussions.

Samuel Hart Collection (MSC 160)
Folder 53 – contains a 1783 bill of sale for a slave sold to Joseph Hart of Warminster Township, Bucks County. The twenty-four year old slave, named Samuel Cooper, was sold to Hart for one hundred and thirty pounds by a man named William Bennit. 

Slave Trade Papers (MSC 163)
This collection consists of a number of documents relating to the sale and abolition of slaves in Pennsylvania. It is comprised of an 1806 bill of sale for an eight-year-old slave boy named Benjamin; an 1836 receipt for the sale of a slave girl; an 1820 copy of a Pennsylvania law titled “an act for the gradual abolition of slavery” accompanied by a handwritten note; a typed copy of a 1770 bill of sale for a seven-year-old mulatto girl; an undated article from the Ambler Gazette detailing the rescue of a free black man who was kidnapped and nearly sent to the South; and an undated handwritten tract titled “Origin and Progress of the North American Slave Trade” detailing the introduction of slavery into North America during the 18th century. Probably written sometime during the nineteenth century, this brief essay cites “McCartney’s Origin and Progress of the United States” on its final page. 

Moon Family Papers (MSC 306)
This collection contains a photostatic copy of two slave manumissions by Bucks County residents. John Burroughs of Upper Wakefield released a male slave in 1778 and Rebecca Allen of Bristol Township released a female slave in 1780.

W.W.H Davis Papers (MSC 327)
This collection contains the papers of Doylestown resident and founder of the Bucks County Historical Society, W.W.H. Davis. A colonel in the Union Army, he served as commanding officer for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1861 and 1864.

Folder 25 – contains several postwar letters written to Davis. One concerns his decision to turn down an offer to hold office in the local chapter of the Military Order of the Foreign Wars; another requests assistance in securing a place in the soldier’s home for disabled veterans for a family member; and the last concerns the manner in which black soldiers were treated in Davis’ history of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

1844 letter related to the capture of runaway slave Benjamin Jones (MSC 472)

Folder 6 – contains a letter related to the capture of a runaway slave in Bucks County. The letter details the story of how a runaway slave named Little Ben was captured in the woods by three men sent to reclaim him. While his master waited close by but out of sight, the slave was attacked by three men while chopping wood. After fierce struggle in which Little Ben nearly cut the head off one of his assailants with an axe, he was finally beaten down and subdued. The letter also alludes to a local man (“that notorious character Squire Bailey”) who allegedly tipped off the runaway’s masters as to his whereabouts, and expresses hope that this individual should “feel the negro’s vengeance” should such accusations prove true. 

Miscellaneous Photograph Collection (SC-29-1)
This collection contains several photographs relating to slavery. They include:

(02-A-004) – Contains a photograph of slave quarters at Trevose (Growden Mansion) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

(9-H-001) – contains an undated photograph showing a group portrait that includes runaway slave Benjamin Jones (“Big Ben”) in front of the Bucks County Almshouse.

Bucks County Slave Register (TBP 2002 – 136 – 1)
This collection contains a copy of a list of slaves living in Bucks County during 1790. It contains the names of slave owners along with the number of slaves belonging to each.

Slave Manumission (TBP 2004 – 131 – 1)
This collection contains a 1777 slave manumission in which John Brown, a resident of Bristol Township, Bucks County, had freed a male slave named Peter.

1791 Slave Sale Receipt (TBP 2004 – 131 – 2)
This collection contains a 1791 receipt for the sale of an eight-year-old slave girl. Issued when the girl was sold to an individual named John Grier by Bucks County resident William Bennet for 15 Pounds, 15 Shillings, the contract stipulates that she was to be freed once she had reached the age of twenty-eight.

Brashear Stereoptics (TBP 2008 – 108 – 1-20)
This collection contains twenty stereo photographs belonging to the Brashears, an African-American family who had resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The photos include portraits of family members, homes, and rural landscapes, and are dated from 1906 and 1907.

Bucks CountyIntelligencer Clipping File
The Intelligencer, printed in Doylestown, was the Republican newspaper during the Civil War Era.  The library maintains a small clippings file, representing the mid-late 1800s, organized by location and subject.  Aside from the spotty clippings, the entire run of this newspaper, plus that of its competitor, the Doylestown Democrat, is also held by the Historical Society and could be mined in a more systematic fashion. In the clippings file, under “Churches,” there are brief descriptions of pre-war camp meetings and special programs of the A.M.E churches.  Some brief examples are:

  • [August 28, 1854:] “Colored Camp – The colored people held a Camp Meeting on Buckingham Mountain, below Greenville, on Sunday last.  We understand that there were a large number of persons present, chiefly whites.  Four or five fights took place: some between whites and blacks, and one between a couple of whites…The colored people assemble peaceably to worship, in their own way, at a place far out of the reach of any whites who do not purposely go among them.  They extend no invitation to any but of their own color. They desire quiet and peace…And any interference with them is an outrage entirely unjustifiable, and worthy of severe punishment.” [File: Buckingham Twp., African M.E. Church – Mt. Gilead.]  
  • [August 10, 1858:] “Celebration on Buckingham Mountain, - As the 1st of August came this year upon Sunday, a number of our neighbors of the African race assembled the day before (July 31st), on Buckingham Mountain, near the African Methodist Episcopal Church, to celebrate the emancipation of their brethren in the West Indies…[The exercises] were commenced by singing a hymn, after which a prayer was offered by the Rev. Wm. Richards Gries of Doylestown, who had been invited to be present…The exercises were closed with a benediction, and shortly after all separated quietly for their homes.  May they continue thus to commemorate the liberation of their brethren in the West Indies until they can celebrate the triumph of liberty in their own land.” [File: Buckingham Twp., African M.E. Church – Mt. Gilead.]
  • [September 15, 1863:] “A Bush Meeting will be held on Buckingham Mountain, in J. K. Trego’s woods, by the ministers and members of the A.M.E. Church…Only two stands will be allowed on the grounds, all other sutlers are forbidden.” [File: Buckingham Twp., African M.E. Church – Mt. Gilead.] [Note: J. K. Trego was a portrait and genre artist, and a Quaker, who was born in the vicinity of Pineville, Bucks County.]

Under the heading “Civil War,” there are a few relevant clippings from the Intelligencer (not yet filed as of 9/29/08).  These include:

  • [December 22, 1863:] “It is intended to furnish the soldiers at Camp William Penn, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad, with a Christmas dinner, made up by the contributions of those who are friendly to the cause of the nation.  There are now about one thousand colored soldiers in camp there…” [File: Civil War – Bucks County]
  • [May 5, 1863:]  “Our friend Lieutenant James M. Carver, of the 104th Regiment, has been appointed a Captain in Col. Montgomery’s Second Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers.  We have received a letter from Captain Carver, which we will print next week, giving an account of his experiences among the black soldiers.  It will be seen that he thinks very highly of their capacity of receiving military instruction and their general efficiency…Montgomery visited Bucks County several years ago, remaining in Doylestown over night, and addressing a public meeting on Worthington’s Island a day or two afterwards.  He has been a firm and consistent anti-slavery man, and his heart is earnestly in the cause of the Union…William E. Elliott, of Company C, 104th Regiment, has been appointed Sergeant-Major of the same colored regiment to which Capt. Carver is attached. Lieut. Levi H. Markley, also of the 104th Regiment, formerly a violent pro-slavery Democrat, of the Hilltown stripe, probably ere this has also accepted a commission in the colored brigade. Won’t such pro-slavery men as Dr. Mendenhall and deputy Sheriff Scheetz turn up the whites of their eyes at this!” [File: Civil War – Bucks County]

Bucks County Historical Society Photo Album (1897)
This collection is comprised of a photo album generated by the Bucks County Historical Society that contains an image of an aged former slave, Samuel Scott.

“Drawer 6”
This collection contains an 1833 declaration by the Anti-Slavery Society printed on a silk banner. The declaration, in essence, denounces slavery as and evil institution and promotes abolition.

Museum Collection – Artifacts Relevant to the African-American Experience
This collection contains a number of artifacts relevant to slavery, the Civil War, and to African-Americans generally in Bucks County and beyond during the nineteenth century. They include:

  • A “John Brown Pike,” one of the weapons which the radical abolitionist John Brown ordered made for him for his intended raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia by blacksmith and ironworker Charles Blair of Collinsville, Connecticut in 1857. The pike design was derived from a Bowie knife that Brown had taken from a captured pro-slavery Missourian in the border war over slavery in Kansas. Blair initially made 500 of these pikes (of which this is one), but he did not deliver the weapons because Brown did not have the money to pay him. In 1859, just prior to the Harper's Ferry raid, Brown returned to Blair with sufficient funds to purchase the 500 pikes, plus an additional 454 of the weapons.  The pikes were sent to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania near to where Brown was mustering his small force for the raid.  Believing that the raid would inspire a widespread slave revolt, Brown intended to use the pikes to arm the slave insurgents.  There is no information in Museum catalog records to indicate how the donor came into possession of this particular pike. (MM11370)
  • A shoe that belonged to Benjamin Jones, also known as “Big Ben,” a fugitive African- American slave who escaped from Maryland to Bucks County, was subsequently captured and returned to bondage, and then later purchased and freed by Bucks County Quakers. (MM10341)
  • Bensalem A.M.E. Sabbath School Banner (second half of 19th century). The banner has a blue silk front, white silk backing and linen in between.  It is also comprised of gold metallic filigree border around all four sides of the front. The front is painted with gold lettering. On the back is a painting of Rev. Richard Allen former pastor of the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia and A.M.E. church bishop. (MM2000.05.001)
  • A stoneware crock that was apparently connected with the structure known as "China Retreat" or "China Hall."  The building was incorporated into the short-lived institution, "Bristol College,” and served as a military hospital and as a school for orphaned children of African-American veterans of the Union Army during and immediately after the Civil War. (MM25903)
  • A crazy quilt comprised of a myriad of geometric shapes that were cut from scraps of silk, velvet, cotton and corduroy sewn on both sides of core fabric (over an older quilt). Pieces were sewn on with embroidery thread outlining each piece, and flowers, baskets, a butterfly, a date, the initials of the Depression-era National Recovery Act, and various names are embroidered on both sides. According to the donor, the names are those of members of the Brashears family - parents and three children - an African-American family in Doylestown. (MM2000.06.001)
  • A hand bell that, according to the original accession register, was “Used by old colored man Dick (Richmond Virginia) Wells to cry sales in Doylestown 1880 - 1890." (MM25522)
  • Phoenix Hose Company Parade Hat. This is a Philadelphia-style fireman’s parade hat that was painted by David Bustill Bowser, an African-American artist and decorative painter who also painted flags for some black regiments during the Civil War. (MM15807/15826)
  • A presentation trumpet given to the United States Hose Company No. 14 from the Union African M.E. Church (Philadelphia) in 1865. (MM24785)
  • A ceremonial trumpet given to Samuel Miller of Philadelphia’s Good Will Fire Company for his service during the abolition riots of 1838.  In May 1838, several of these riots took place in Philadelphia and Good Will was instrumental in extinguishing a fire at the Colored Orphan Asylum, as well as driving off rioters at the scene.  The donor, Thomson, wrote that a silver parade horn was given to the company as appreciation by the Ladies of Northern Liberties.  It is probably not referring to this horn, yet the trumpet was given as a mark of commendation for this occasion. (MM16277)
  • A Ku Klux Klan robe and hood found in a residence on Cottage Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It likely dates to the 1920s when the Klan was very active in the Doylestown area.  (MM2006.13.001)
  • A piece of flagstaff that was taken from Fort Wagner, or Battery Wagner, which was in Charleston, South Carolina. The fort served as part of the Confederate defenses during the Civil War, and several attempts were made by Union forces to take the fort by direct assault, most notably an attack led by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a regiment composed of some of the first African-American troops recruited during the war. (MM00718)

Camp and Battlefield: The Soldier’s Experience

W.W.H. Davis Papers (BM A-337 / 338)
This collection is comprised of two volumes of correspondence, general and special orders, and other documents generated by 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IV Corps of the Army of the Potomac during field operations in 1862 and 1863. This brigade was comprised of the following regiments: 104th and 52nd Pennsylvania, 56th and 100th New York, and the 11th Maine. The documents detail many of the protocols and standard procedures of military operations within an active theatre of war, and deal with everything from duty detail and courts martial to after-combat commendations and medical discharges.

W.W.H. Davis Papers (BM A-339 – 345)
This collection contains seven volumes of documents pertaining to the wartime service of Colonel W.W.H. Davis during his command of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1861 and 1864. They include field orders, reports, circulars, requisitions, and correspondence that detail the many facets of organizing, equipping, clothing, arming and drilling an infantry regiment during the Civil War. Moreover, they cover virtually every aspect of military life in the camp and in the field both before and after combat operations including discipline, duty, drill, supply, inspection, marching, bivouacking, and skirmishing and battling with Confederate forces. The volumes break down as follows:

A-339 – contains a collection of general and special orders, and correspondence from November 9, 1861 to April 24, 1862.

A-340 – contains a collection of general and special orders, and correspondence from April 24 to December 31, 1862.

A-341 – contains a collection of general and special orders, and correspondence from September 1861 to October 1864.

A-342 – contains granted furloughs issued to soldiers serving in the 104th Regiment between December 23, 1861 and July 3, 1862.

A-343 – contains a series of 1869 correspondence between W.W.H. Davis and Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren concerning their participation in the military operations before Charleston, South Carolina during 1863 and 1864.

A-344 – contains a collection of general and special orders, and correspondence concerning Davis’ wartime service in both the Mexican-American and Civil War. This volume also includes a brief biographical sketch that outlines the Davis families’ martial tradition, and a series of postwar correspondence pertaining to wartime operations.  

A-345 – contains a collection of miscellaneous reports, commissary requests, general and special orders, and correspondence from November 9, 1861 to April 24, 1862.

Photo Album – Siege of Morris Island (BM A-378)
This collection contains a photo album that depicts the siege of Morris Island, South Carolina during the summer of 1863 by members of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Numerous photographs include a medical ambulance, fortifications, artillery batteries, an unidentified Union General and his staff, headquarters for the “Field Officer of the Trenches” with identified soldiers from Companies “F” and “G”; and unidentified troops constructing fortifications for the siege of Fort Wagner.

Photo Album – Members of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers (BM A-410)
This collection contains a photo album of officers and enlisted soldiers from the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Belonging to Lieutenant D.R.P. Hibbs who served in Company F, the album contains a number of small studio portraits and a few small scenic photographs. Most of the soldiers in the portraits are identified by name and rank but some are not.

Record Books of David N. Fell (BM A-415 / 416)
This collection consists of two small record books belonging to Lieutenant David N. Fell who served in Company E, 122nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The books contain pertinent information on regimental personnel, movements, encampments and engagements. Entries include places he had encamped, bivouacked, engaged in combat; a muster roll that includes the name and rank of the officers and men of Company “E”; the names and dates of soldiers sent to General Hospital in West Philadelphia; the names and dates of soldiers that had been either detailed or discharged from service; and the date and place of regimental deaths. 

W.W.H. Davis Scrapbook (BM B-330)
This collection contains a scrapbook of daily and weekly countersigns that were issued to W.W.H. Davis, colonel of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, for use during military operations both in Virginia and South Carolina during 1862 and 1863. Countersigns bore the names of famous places, battles, and individuals in American history.

Samuel D. Hamilton Letters (BM B-390)
This collection consists of a series of wartime letters written by a young Union soldier to his parents between 1861, when he enlisted in Company “K” of the 28th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and November 1863, when he was killed in action in near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Although not overly circumspective or analytical in regards to larger historical and / or political issues such as secession and slavery, the letters provide accounts of regimental movements and engagements, and they detail nearly every facet of soldier life from camp and bivouac, to marching and drilling, to skirmishing and battle with Confederate forces. Engaged in some of the fiercest fighting in the Eastern Theatre, Hamilton’s regiment saw action is a number of famous battles such as Front Royal, Chancellorsville, and Second Bull Run prior to his death on November 27, 1863. His last letter home was written a week before he was killed in action. Overall, the tenor of these letters is sensitive, tender, and loving.

The collection also contains two letters written the captain of Hamilton’s company, Calvin S. Hartley, to the young soldier’s parents. The first, dated December 2, 1863 provides details on the date and manner of their son’s death. In addition to attesting to Hamilton’s bravery, his popularity within the company and his exemplary behavior as a soldier, Captain Hartley expresses his own sense of loss at the death of Hamilton and he extends his sympathies to the bereaved parents. The second, dated December 15th expresses sympathy for his inability to recover Hamilton’s body for shipment home, as the ground in which he was buried was then occupied by Confederate forces. 

104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers Clothing Account Book (BM C-24)
This collection contains an account book for clothing that was issued to Companies A and B of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1861 and 1865. In addition to containing the name and rank of the soldier clothed, the ledger contains the dollar amount per month’s clothing, the date and reason for discharge, and the dollar amount either owed to the government by the soldier or vice versa. 

W.W.H. Davis Correspondence Book (BM C-44)
This collection is comprised of a letter book of hand-copied correspondence and reports generated by 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IV Corps of the Army of the Potomac during field operations between November 24, 1861 and June 30, 1864. The brigade was comprised of the following regiments: 104th and 52nd Pennsylvania, 56th and 100th New York, and the 11th Maine. The documents detail many of the protocols and standard procedures of military operations within an active theatre of war, and deal with everything from duty detail and courts martial to after-action reports and camp inspections.

W.W.H. Davis General Order Book (BM C-45)
This collection is comprised of a book of hand-copied general orders issued by / to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IV Corps of the Army of the Potomac during field operations between November 24, 1861 and June 30, 1864. The brigade was comprised of the following regiments: 104th and 52nd Pennsylvania, 56th and 100th New York, and the 11th Maine. These orders detail many of the protocols and standard procedures of military operations within an active theatre of war, and deal with everything from duty detail and courts martial to commissions and camp inspections.

W.W.H. Davis Special Order Book (BM C-46)
This collection is comprised of a book of hand-copied special orders issued by/to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IV Corps of the Army of the Potomac during field operations between December 13, 1861 and June 30, 1864. The brigade was comprised of the following regiments: 104th and 52nd Pennsylvania, 56th and 100th New York, and the 11th Maine. These orders detail many of the protocols and standard procedures of military operations within an active theatre of war, and deal with everything from duty detail and courts martial to commissions and camp inspections.

W.W.H. Davis Consolidated Morning Reports (BM C-47)
This collection contains a book of consolidated morning reports for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Generated between 1862 and 1863, the reports detail the number of officers and enlisted men both present and absent for duty (with reasons for each) on a given day.

Roll Book, Company “E” 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Vols. (BM C-48)
This collection contains a roll book for Company “E” of the 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers dated November 1862. It contains a list of names for the company’s commissioned, non-commissioned, and enlisted soldiers along with individuals that had either been discharged, died, or had deserted (mostly substitutes). Detailed lists included the soldier’s name, age, physical description, place of birth, and occupation; along with the date, place, and term of his enlistment. A “remarks” section details some medical and occupational exemptions along with a number of substitutions. 

Company “L” 20th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry Clothing Account Book (BM C-49)
This collection contains an account book for clothing that was issued to Company “L” of the 20th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry from July 1863. In addition to containing the name and rank of the soldier clothed, the ledger contains the dollar amount per month’s clothing. 

Roll Book, 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers (BM D-53 / 54)
This collection contains two roll books from the 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Divided by township, the entries in each book document the name, occupation, and company of each man. A “remarks” section details the particular circumstances and reasons why an individual did not serve. These include “overdrawn,” “exempt,” and “rejected.”  No dates, however, are provided.

Bucks County Military Muster Rolls (BM F-9 / 10 / 11)
This collection contains three military service roll books for Bucks County from 1861 and 1862. Divided by township, the entries in each book document the name, occupation, residence, date entered service, rank, regiment, and company of each man. A “remarks” section details the reasons why individuals were transferred, discharged, or exempted from service for reasons concerning occupation, wounds, poor health, or death.

Armitage Collection (MSC 2)
Folder 4 – contains the military commission of Charles Armitage to the rank of First Sergeant in the 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers dated May 12, 1863. Accompanying the document is a handwritten note outlining Armitage’s various promotions as well as his death on August 14, 1863 at Rappahannock Station, Virginia.

Robert Beans Papers (MSC 6)
This collection contains a letter addressed to Robert Beans from a soldier in the 196th Pennsylvania Volunteers stationed in Camp Douglas, Illinois dated September 30, 1862. The letter discusses farming and industrial machinery, political events, sympathy for secession in Chicago, regimental losses due to illness and accident, the comings and goings of conscripts and deserters, and the quantity of “copperheads” and “Lincolnites” within the army.

Birkey Collection (MSC 8)
This collection contains a number of copied letters concerning the wartime service of Dr. W.J.A. Birkey, a Civil War naval surgeon and resident of Bucks County. They include a handwritten copy of letter from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to Birkey dated December 3, 1862 in which he requests his appearance before a board of naval surgeons to determine his qualifications to serve as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy; a handwritten copy of a letter from Navy Department informing Birkey of his ability to serve as an assistant surgeon; dated December 16, 1862; a handwritten copy of a letter from Navy Department informing Birkey of his appointment as a U.S. Navy surgeon; dated January 19, 1863; a handwritten copy of a letter informing Birkey that he will be detached from the Naval Hospital in NY and sent to New Orleans to serve under Read Admiral Farragut; dated June 25, 1863; and an inventory / request for hospital stores that recorded both expended and on-hand medical supplies. The collection also contains a number of postwar letters referring to Birkey’s wartime service. 

Bucks County Militia Collection (MSC 23)
This collection contains a number of documents concerning the wartime service of men from Bucks County.

Folder 4 – contains a copy of article printed in the Bucks County Gazette detailing the wartime service of Bristol township men during the Civil War; dated March 1, 1909.

Folder 6 – contains a brief biographical sketch of Durham township residents who served during the Civil War.

Folder 9 – contains a number of documents including the proceedings of a meeting held in Doylestown on February 28, 1864 to take measures for filling the borough quota for recruits in response to Lincoln’s call for 500,000 new enlistments; a letter detailing a list of Civil War veterans from Bucks County who had been buried in the Springfield Bucks County Cemetery; and a letter from a former 104th Pennsylvania Volunteer soldier to his former commander W.W.H. Davis dated November 9, 1897  requesting an affidavit testifying to his capture and injury during the war. The verification was necessary to help settle a lawsuit the soldier had filed with the federal government in compensation for his injuries.

Henry Chapman Papers (MSC 33, Folder 3)
This collection contains a letter from Colonel W.W.H. Davis of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers written from Camp Ripley in Newport News, Virginia to a friend. Dated April 10, 1862, the letter discusses camp incidentals, the poor weather in Virginia, and Union General George B. McClellan’s preparations for a push up the peninsula between the York and James rivers towards the Confederate capitol at Richmond

Civil War Collection (MSC 34)
This collection contains a number of miscellaneous documents relating to the Civil War.

Folder 1 – contains two muster rolls that include the name, age, enlistment date, residence, occupation, height, complexion, hair color of Pennsylvania volunteers; a page from the Bucks County Intelligencer dated October 27, 1863 that contains the latest war news and a list of local draft exemptions with reasons ranging from hired substitution to medical disability to family hardships; a receipt for a donation that was made to the volunteer fund for $100; a notice of eligibility for the draft issued by Bucks County; three unspecified lists of men from several Bucks County townships that include their names, ages, and occupations (possible list for military eligibility?).

Folders 2 and 3 – contain a number of discharge papers for members of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers. These men were discharged for poor health, weakness, and other physical and mental infirmities that prevented them from fulfilling their duties as soldiers

Folder 4 – contains a number of discharge papers for completion of military service; an August 1863 letter written to Governor Curtin from a recently convalesced soldier that was being detained in an army camp near Baltimore asking for discharge from military service and transportation back to Harrisburg where his regular regiment had already been mustered out; a letter from a Union captain to a local marshal offering a $30 reward for the apprehension of a deserter believed to be in the area; a list of soldiers to be mustered out of service. 

Folder 5 – contains a General Order requesting a report of arms from regimental and company commanders as to the quantity, caliber, and condition of the weapons under their command; a General Order detailing the procedure for enlisting volunteers into the regular army; a receipt for military accoutrements; a number of provost marshal slips requesting that particular soldiers report to their companies.

Folder 6 – contains a letter taken from a dead confederate soldier at Fredericksburg. Written by the dead soldier’s fiancée on February 8, 1862 from Mill Springs, Tennessee, the letter begins by testifying how much she misses and loves him. It also requests that he “kill some Yankees” for her, and denigrates the manliness of Northern soldiers while encouraging him to send a few home to perform menial labor around the farm until the war ends.

This folder also contains a number of additional documents including a letter from a wife to her husband in the Union army informing him that his mother is on her death bed and that he should seek a furlough to come home and see her before she dies; three five-day furloughs for privates from the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers; letters home from soldiers who detail military operations, camp life, difficulties, etc; a denial of requested bounty sent to a war widow from the Treasury Department dated June 19, 1886.

Folder 7 – contains a printed roster of Durell’s Battery; several postwar newspaper articles concerning the wartime exploits of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry; and a photocopy of an activity program for a 1900 reunion of the 52nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Winder Hospital Records (MSC 36)
This collection contains a number of documents generated by Winder Hospital which was a Confederate hospital located in Richmond, Virginia.

Folder 1 – contains a muster and pay roll dated June 21, 1864. It contains the names, rank, and monthly pay grades for around 40 Confederate officers.

Folders 2 and 3 – contain miscellaneous CSA war bonds and treasury notes.

Godshalk Collection (MSC 63)
This collection contains a number of documents pertaining to the wartime service of William Godshalk a private who served in Company “K” 153rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

Folder 1 – contains an August 22, 1862 certificate of eligibility for military service issued by Doylestown Twp and three letters written by Godshalk in September 1862. The letters detail some of the incidentals of life on the march; high troop morale; regimental movements; and the roar of cannonade in the distance (perhaps from the Battle of Antietam) as well as the “ragged and dirty” appearance of some Confederate prisoners he saw.

Kelly Family Papers (MSC 80)
Folder 16 – contains a letter written by Benjamin Pearson, a soldier in the 36th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry to his cousin, Maria Arnold, a resident of Doylestown. Addressed from Camp Elmwood in Helena, Arkansas and dated February 11, 1863, the letter is a tender and highly circumspective testament to Pearson’s deep Christian faith and his willingness to serve – and if necessary, give his life for – his country. The letter also states that Pearson volunteered for military duty because his son was too young to serve (15 yrs old).

Kulp Collection (MSC 83)
Folder 26 – contains a series of Kulp family correspondence written between 1860 and 1868. One letter, written by an unidentified soldier to his mother and father dated September 21, 1861 details recent military events including life on the march and his recent involvement in the Battle of Lexington. The incidents this soldiers details include the sound of bullets whizzing over his head; the number of dead, wounded, and captured in the battle; the poor food and lack of water; military wagons and provisions that had been captured; and soldier foraging.

Muster Rolls: Company “A” 104th Regiment / Company “I” 72nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers (MSC 96)
This collection contains a number of muster rolls for two companies of Pennsylvania volunteer infantry issued between 1861 and 1864.Company “A” 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers was mustered into service in Doylestown. Company “I” 72nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers was mustered into service in Philadelphia. The rolls recorded the name, rank, age, dates mustered in and out, years in service, location, officer in charge, and last pay date of registered soldiers. Comments include soldiers that had been killed in action, had died of wounds, had deserted, were discharged, or had been reassigned to different regiments.
J. Walter Collection (MSC 141)
This collection contains a number of personal records and other documents pertaining to a local doctor, Joseph B. Walter, who had served in the war as a physician.

Folder 4 – (Civil War Records, 1862-1865) contains a certificate appointing Walter as a corporal in the 3rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Artillery dated August 10, 1864; a certificate appointing Walter as a sergeant in the 3rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Artillery dated May 5, 1865; several letters in which Walter considered, applied, and then rejected promotion to a grade of second lieutenancy in June, 1865 for reasons that were both pragmatic and pecuniary in nature; military discharge papers for expiration of term of service dated August 9, 1862 and November 9, 1865; and a copy of Major General Benjamin F. Butler’s farewell address with attached note of sympathy written by Walter.

Folder 5 – contains a number of documents (certificates / vouchers / applications) concerning Walter’s veterans pension including a handwritten copy of his application and several pensions certificates generated by the Bureau of Pensions between the years 1910 and 1920. 

Folder 8 – (American Historical and Political Sketches 1859-1885) contains a number of brief analytical sketches written by Walter on various historical and political topics including the cause and effect of the Civil War; all are undated. The sketch on the causes and effects of the Civil War explicitly argues that slavery was the primary catalyst. Stating that slavery as an institution was incompatible with American liberty, the essay rejoices that human bondage in the U.S. is “dead,” that emancipation has released the U.S. from a “covenant with evil,” and contends that Union victory in the war had demonstrated to “monarchists” that “a government of the people is not a thing of a day…” 

Folder 9 – (American Historical and Political Sketches 1869-1885) contains a number of brief analytical sketches written by Walter on the injustices perpetrated against blacks in the South during Reconstruction and efforts to curtail black political enfranchisement; the evils of secession; and the interrelationship between patriotism and the American flag. The tract on secession is highly vitriolic towards the South. The tract on white violence and disenfranchisement in the South during reconstruction is also highly critical, although it is paternalistic and slightly racist in tone.

Hettie Walton Papers (MSC 145)
Folder 14 – contains a letter written by a Union soldier to a friend dated November 37, 1864 from Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in which he details the banality and boredom of camp life and not much else. Boredom seems to have been the biggest problem for this particular soldier at the time.

Miscellaneous Collection (MSC 163)
This collection contains several small collections related to the Civil War. Many deal with Union soldiers and their wartime service, and are comprised mainly of diaries, correspondence, and military records. One collection deals with the sale and abolition of slaves.

Lehman J. Eisenbrey Papers (Civil War Papers)
This collection consists of documents related to the wartime service of Lehman J. Eisenbrey, a private in the 8th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.  The collection is comprised of military discharge papers (August 11, 1865), verification notice of military service / honorable discharge for pension eligibility (August 3, 1906), and a war journal that he kept from February 15 to August 19, 1865. Engaged in operations in Virginia at the time, his journal details some of the more notable events including the Battle of Five Forks, the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, and the assassination of President Lincoln. Some entries refer to freed slaves whom he refers to as “the darkeys,” and others detail some of the idleness, drunkenness, and mischief that occurred in the subsequent months following Confederate capitulation. Eisenbrey’s final entries argue that he had honorably done “his duty” and served his nation in its time of need. Overall they give a highly detailed portrait of a Union cavalryman in and out of the saddle.

Helen H. Ely Diary Collection (Albert S. and Samuel S. Ely Civil War Diaries & Letters)  This collection consists of facsimiled letters and diary entries generated by two brothers who had served in the Union Army during the war. Both the letters and diary entries detail the travails of the typical Union soldier both in and out of combat; they reveal nearly all facets of military life during the war including combat, camp life, marching, and furlough. Sadly, Albert was killed in combat on April 6, 1865 and his brother Samuel reflects on this in some of his 1865 letters home. The letters from both boys are sensitive, circumspective, and highly detailed. They also express political and religious sentiments that seem to indicate strong Republican and Christian sentiment. Moreover, they illustrate concern for the welfare of blacks.

John C. Burrill Journal
This collection consists of a facsimile copy of a wartime journal kept by Union soldier John C. Burrill. Stationed in Illinois during 1864, Burrill was apparently attached to a regiment that guarded a Confederate POW prison camp. The journal entries detail the tedious and mostly dull life of Union soldiers who were assigned to uneventful backwater regions during the conflict.

 Lt. Charles Cuffel, Durell’s Battery
This collection contains a brief (single page) sketch of the wartime service of “Durell’s Battery” between 1862 and 1865 written by Cuffel in 1897. Cuffel more than likely served in the company which saw action predominantly in Virginia. Little details outside of the battery’s key movements and battles are given.

Lieut. Thomas Miller Papers
This collection contains the military records of Thomas Miller who served in the 68th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They are comprised of a muster-in certificate from August 6, 1862; two commission certificates: promotion to 1st Sergeant on September 1, 1863 and promotion to 1st Lieutenant on November 14, 1863; and a discharge certificate dated June 9, 1865.

Hiram Pursell Papers
This collection contains the military records of Bucks County native Hiram W. Pursell who was a member of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. He was awarded the Medal for rescuing the regimental colors at the Battle of Fair Oakes on May 31, 1862. The collection includes two commission certificates: promotion to corporal on October 19, 1861 and promotion to fifth sergeant on September 22, 1862; discharge papers dated September 30, 1864; a notification letter from the War Department indicating that he had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor dated May 12, 1894;  a congressional Medal of Honor certificate dated May 5, 1894; a notification letter from War Department indicating he had been placed on the Army / Navy Medal of Honor Roll dated October 5, 1916; a verification of service certificate for pension eligibility; newspaper articles detailing Pursell’s Medal of Honor and his actions at the Battle of Fair Oaks; and a facsimile of a biographical sketch on his wartime record.

David Rhoades Papers
This collection contains a number of documents concerning the wartime service and death of David Rhoades, a volunteer in the 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. They include an undated certificate of enrollment in the “Cameron Dragoons,” a letter to his widow, Elizabeth, notifying her of her eligibility for a pension as a war widow and the eligibility of her daughter Jane for entrance into the “Soldiers Home;” a letter admitting Jane into the Northern Home for Fatherless Children in Philadelphia dated September 25, 1865; and a letter to Jane stating that if she can prove that her father died from war-related illness, then she would be eligible for a pension dated August 20, 1879.

Casper Widdifield Papers
This collection consists of a series of photocopied pages from the family record of Casper S. Widdifield, who was a sergeant in the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Accompanying pages that list the dates and minor details of family births, marriages, and deaths are copies of clipped newspaper articles that detail Casper’s military record and untimely death from typhoid fever while on duty in Harrisburg in 1862.

Civil War Letters of the Lair Brothers (MSC 179) 
Folder 7 – contains photostat copies of three letters sent during the war from Union soldier Henry Lair to his brother.

The first letter, dated December 14, 1861, expresses Lair’s regrets that he cannot get home for Christmas. Military developments, he explains, would not permit it. He also speculates that his Christmas dinner will consist of gunpowder and rebel bullets. The letter also expresses hopes that Pennsylvania regiments will soon engage in battle, and Lair’s high sense of patriotism. He admits that the thought of dying in battle in defense of his country did not bother him.

The second letter, dated November 11, 1862, details some of the banalities of soldier life including hard marching and bad weather. The letter also states that Lair’s regiment did not like General George B. McClellan and that it preferred fighting under General Ambrose E. Burnside, a general whom they loved. In addition, it talks of possible regimental movement to South Carolina and Union plans for shelling Fredericksburg, Virginia once the town’s women and children have been evacuated.

The third letter, dated December 7, 1862, details the recent cold temperatures and heavy snow. It also contrasts the comforts of well-provisioned Northern soldiers to the privations of ill-equipped Southern soldiers.

Morning Reports of Co. D, 3rd New Jersey Volunteers, 1863-1864 (MSC 189)
Folder 41 – consists of the morning report record book for Company “D,” 3rd New Jersey Volunteers, 1st Battalion, 1st Division, 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac from November 1863 through April 1864. The report is essentially a muster roll that details the numbers of men – both enlisted and officers – present and absent for duty on a given day. Minor details as to these numbers are given, as are comments by the roll officer.

Diary of Private Isaac Chapman Roberts (MSC 197)
Folder 37 – contains a typed summary of the wartime (1865) diary of  Doylestown native Private Isaac Chapman Roberts, a Union soldier serving in Company “M” of the 3rd Pennsylvania Artillery, 152nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. According to the summary, Roberts had enlisted in February 1964 and his first diary entry was recorded on March 28, 1865 as he served in a siege battery stationed before Petersburg, Virginia. The abstract notes that Roberts took pleasure in the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, and the ultimate capitulation of the Confederacy. It also notes that Roberts was stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia throughout the summer and early fall of 1865 where he detailed the mundane and uneventful life of garrison duty in his diary entries. One exception to this was the arrival and imprisonment of prominent ex-Confederates at the fort including former CSA president Jefferson Davis. Roberts remained at Fort Monroe until he was discharged from military service in October 1865, after which he returned home to Bucks County.

David Fell Materials (MSC 221)
This collection consists of several wartime letters written by Newlin Fell, a soldier in Company “D,” 31st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers to his brother and sister. The collection is comprised of four letters: one to his brother dated September 22, 1862 details an excursion outside of Union picket lines in which he explored an abandoned Confederate home; one to his brother dated June 28, 1863 details Union efforts to ship government stores to Philadelphia and Reading in response to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania; one to his brother dated July 6, 1863 discussed the movements of his regiment; and one to his sister dated July 9, 1863 talks of an upcoming battle, the recent battle at Gettysburg, and the difficulties experienced while on the march.  

Pennebaker Collection (MSC 255, Box 19)
This collection contains various military documents pertaining to wartime military affairs, especially those of the 104th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. The collection includes a variety of orders, reports, and correspondence.

Folder 2 – contains a number of 1864 food inspection reports issued for the 2nd Brigade, 52nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; written and approved by one military surgeon and one officer, all reports concluded “no defects found” among the food stores under their inspection.

Folder 3 – contains two 1862 documents relating to the military eligibility of Charles Moon, a resident of Bucks County. The first, issued in August by Middletown Township, declares Moon eligible for military service. The second, issued on September 15, was a military exemption form detailing that “because of conscientious scruples against bearing arms,” Moon was exempted from military service so long as he paid remuneration to the state of Pennsylvania “as an equivalent for personal service.” The sum of this commutation was to be determined by the courts.

Folders 4 through 6 – contain various documents pertaining to the wartime service of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers including general and special orders appointing “field officers of the day, outlining camp health and sanitary conditions, and detailing mandatory drill and target practice; letters requesting muster rolls, ordinance store inventories, and regimental returns; a December 1863 roster of commissioned officers; commissary requisitions; food and camp inspection reports; various receipts for cavalry and camp provisions; dispatches detailing procedures for the care, transportation, and issue of ordinance and ammunition; numerous orders requesting and assigning personnel to fulfill a variety of posts and military duties.

Folder 5 – contains an 1860 poem titled “Salutation to the ‘Republican Invincibles’ of Pennsylvania” which extols the virtues of the Republican Party Platform (the nomination of Lincoln, the preservation of free land / free labor, and the arrest of slavery); and several wartime letters written by a Union cavalry officer, Joseph P. Brinton to his uncle, Eli Price. In addition to the typical love and salutations home, the letters detail Brinton’s wartime experiences including scouting and picket duty, skirmishes with Confederate troops, possible movements of Confederate troops, the potential movement by Union troops upon Petersburg, Virginia in October 1864; the death of a beloved officer; the possibility of his promotion to colonel; a conversation he had with Union General George Meade concerning his hopes for being appointed to the position of Judge Advocate; and  his involvement with a series of courts martial.

Paxson Family Papers (MSC 324)
This collection consists of a series of letters sent to Bucks County resident Ruth Shaw between 1861 and 1865. The majority of letters are from her brother Benjamin who was a soldier in the Union army. There are exceptions, however, including two 1863 letters to Ruth from a family friend named Joe, who also served the Union army, an 1861 letter addressed to Joe from Benjamin, and a series of letters from Benjamin’s wife, Mary, beginning in the spring of 1864.

The bulk of these letters reveal both the banalities and hardships of military life for Union soldiers in camp and on the march, and there are two to three letters which refer to the recent combat action these men have experienced. These, however provide little detail as to where and when, and little outside of expressions of fatigue in its wake is provided. Most of the letters detail the quotidian aspects of soldier life including the sickness, death, boredom, tedium, frustration, hardships, camaraderie, etc. that soldiers experienced during their time of service.

Overall, the letters in this collection are warm, loving, and sometimes circumspective letters from Civil War soldiers to loved ones back home that illustrate how they experienced and felt about current events and the war in general. As for their general character, they display equanimity more than zeal or despair and tend to be more optimistic than pessimistic in tenor. Some exceptions to this include an 1862 letter in which Benjamin questions the “energy” of Northern leaders in prosecuting the war, and an 1863 letter in which Joe expresses war weariness amongst his regiment as well as the bitterness he felt over the disparities between the privations of soldier life and the comforts of home life for able-bodied men of the North. 

After January 1864, Benjamin’s letters seem to indicate that he had left military service, had gotten married, and was working, living, and traveling in the vicinity of Washington D.C. These letters, however, reveal little or no information about the war and deal mostly with the domestic / occupational life of Benjamin and his wife Mary. 

W.W.H Davis Papers (MSC 327)
This collection contains the papers of Doylestown resident and founder of the Bucks County Historical Society, W.W.H. Davis. A colonel in the Union Army, he served as commanding officer for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1861 and 1864.

Folder 2 – contains two postwar letters written to Davis. One is an 1865 letter from a former member of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers requesting a recommendation for a brevet promotion. The second thanks Davis for a model he had sent of a Union artillery piece known as the “Swamp Angel” for exhibition at the Great Central Fair in 1868.

Folder 8 – contains two letters written in 1893. One is addressed to Davis in which the author refers Davis to a story he was passing along about the part his father played in military operations in and around Charleston Harbor during 1863-64; the other was written to the Bucks County board of commissioners expressing gratitude for their recent custodianship and display of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers’ regimental flag. 

Folder 9 – contains an 1896 letter written to Davis in which the author shares some reminisces and anecdotes concerning Davis’ wartime service in Virginia.

Folder 15 – contains a number of postwar letters addressed to Davis. Several deal with personal reminisces of the war while several others deal with veteran’s activities and the donation of the painting “The Rescue of the Colors” to the Bucks County Historical Society.

Folder 19 – contains a 1901 letter to Davis in which a colleague thanks him for sending a book on the Civil War admiral David Farragut. The letter also contains some personal reminisces of the war.

Folder 20 – contains several postwar letters written to Davis concerning the publication of books about the Civil War.

Folder 23 – contains several letters written to Davis concerning local Civil War veteran’s reunions.

Folder 24 – contains two postwar letters written to Davis. One describes the author’s recent walk along the Fair Oaks battlefield in Virginia; the other is a request for help in securing a veteran’s pension for a family member.

Folder 25 – contains several postwar letters written to Davis. One concerns his decision to turn down an offer to hold office in the local chapter of the Military Order of the Foreign Wars; another requests assistance in securing a place in the soldier’s home for disabled veterans for a family member; and the last concerns the manner in which black soldiers were treated in Davis’ history of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Folder 27 – contains a 1903 letter written to Davis concerning a request for regimental photographs from the war.

Folder 33 – contains a 1905 letter and a newspaper article both concerning photographs of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers as they conducted military operations in and around Charleston, South Carolina during 1863.

Folder 34 – contains a number postwar letters addressed to Davis including one that discusses the publication of the history of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; another that requests verification of company for a relative that served with the 104th; and several War Department letters that concern veteran’s affairs.

Folder 35 – contains a number of postwar letter addressed to Davis including several that deal with veterans’ affairs and others concerning artifacts that had been removed from Civil War battlefields.

Folder 79 – contains the handwritten address delivered by W.W.H. Davis at the unveiling of the painting “The Rescue of the Colors” delivered in Doylestown on October 21, 1899. The address recounts the story behind the actions of Hiram W. Pursell, a native of Bucks County, in rescuing the regimental colors of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers at the Battle of Fair Oakes on May 31, 1862, for which Pursell was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The speech was intended to underscore the patriotism, heroism, and valor not only of Pursell, but of every soldier who had fought in the Civil War. 

Folder 95 – contains a number of documents concerning the Doylestown Guards, a local volunteer militia raised in 1861 in response to the advent of the Civil War. The collection contains lists of volunteers; a reprinted newspaper article from the September 15, 1895 edition of The Times Sunday Special detailing the story of the regiments founding; and various ledgers recording early donations made to the Doylestown Guards by local citizens. 

Folder 97 – contains a list of officers and men that enlisted in the Bucks County Rifleman, a local militia that was eventually incorporated into the 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers sometime in 1861.

Folder 119 – contains a number of military documents including two enlistment certificates for Bucks County native Whittingham Livezey; a September 15, 1861 muster roll for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; a 1901 flyer advertising a veteran’s reunion for members of the 104th; and a printed copy of an undated poem titled “The Rescue of the Standards.”

Folder 120 – contains various military correspondence generated by the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. These letters detail minor incidentals in routine camp life.

Folder 121 – contains the wartime correspondence of Bucks County resident William R. Elliot to his sweetheart then wife, Mary Pomeroy. Written between 1861 and 1864 when he apparently served as a commissary officer in first, the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and later, the 2nd South Carolina, a “colored” regiment assigned to the 34th Regiment Infantry (U.S. Colored Troops), Elliot’s letters detail the highs and lows of soldiering and cover everything from the tedium of camp life to the rigors of life on the march, to the deadliness of battle. However the banalities and boredom of the former comprise the bulk of their subject matter. Moreover, the tone and language of these letters seem to indicate that Elliot was in a support rather than combat battalion. Perhaps the most striking element of these letters, however, is their tender and emotional tenor. Elliot was a young man that was deeply in love with his sweetheart, and his professions of love, both for her and for his family, are the most poignant and memorable elements of the letters contained within this collection.   

Folder 122 – contains a collection of addresses written by W.W.H. Davis for several annual veterans’ reunions circa 1900. Written to commemorate the campaigns and battles of 104th Pennsylvania Regiment in light of the advanced age and dwindling number of Civil War veterans, the speeches were also intended to celebrate the universal patriotism, sacrifice, and honor of both Union and Confederate soldiers. Davis refers to the “kindly feeling” that emerged between all veterans – both North and South – following the war. Moreover, he urges the restoration of “harmony” between the sections and the erasure of sectional affiliation from posterity. 

Folder 123 – contains several items pertaining to the erection of a monument in honor of soldiers of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers who had died during the war. The collection contains a subscription book detailing the names and dollar amounts of donations for the monument; a small accounting book detailing the expenses in erecting the monument; and a contract between W.W.H. Davis and the marble and stone company for the construction of the monument.

Folder 124 – contains several documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued between 1861 and 1862. They include a monthly statement recording the quantity and condition of artillery, small arms, ammunition, and accoutrement stores; forms and procedures for drawing up charges against soldiers in violation of military law; and a series of reference sheets and instructions regarding the frequency and types of field signals used during military operations.   

Folder 125 – contains several documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued between 1861 and 1864. They include a small account book detailing the funds and expenses for the regimental band; orders forbidding the “indiscriminate firing” of small army by both soldiers and civilians in camp; a series of reference sheets and instructions regarding the frequency and types of field signals used during military operations; a memo indicating corrections to be made to a list of “non-reporting Deserters;” and a handwritten copy of orders issued to Colonel W.W.H Davis detailing his assignment to take charge of and deliver to Washington the Reading Light Artillery.

Folder 126 – contains a handwritten address presented to the Bucks County Historical Society by W.W.H. Davis on January 26, 1896 titled “The Story of a Battle.”   Detailing his own experiences at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862, the address was delivered to convey some of the more noble and ignoble experiences of battle. The speech talks of the sacrifice, heroism, and valor of the battlefield, but it also speaks of war’s horrors and brutality. Davis’ horrific depiction of the sickening sights and smells of the post-conflict battlefield are both dramatic and poignant. Despite such recollections, however, the overall tenor of the speech gives the impression that the glory of war overshadows its horrors. 

Folder 127 – contains an historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis on the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1861. It was read before the Civil War veterans group the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States on May 3, 1893.

Folder 128 – contains a series of orders issued to Colonel W.W.H Davis of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers requesting soldiers and officers for a variety of duty details.  The orders were issued between July 1863 and April 1864 during siege operations against Charleston and Morris Island, South Carolina. 

Folder 129 – contains a series of orders for “General Officer of the Day” and “Field Officer of the Trenches” issued between August and November 1863 during siege operations against Charleston and Morris Island, South Carolina. 

Folder 130 – contains two historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis that detail his personal experiences during the Civil War. The first, titled “Reminisces of the Siege of Charleston,” was apparently written for the annual reunion of the Society of the Department of the South and Atlantic Blockading Squadron in April 1901 but was never delivered. The second, titled “The Siege of Charleston, S.C. 1863-1864” provides no information on where or when it was delivered. 

Folder 131 – contains an historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis that details his personal experiences during the Civil War. Titled “The Siege of Morris Island,” a handwritten note indicates that it was read before the Long Island Historical Society in 1865. 

Folder 132 – contains two copies of a legal opinion delivered by Colonel W.W.H. Davis on the court-martial of Lieutenant Charles S. Detrick of the 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The opinion does not state the particulars of the case or mention the charges levied against Lt. Detrick, but it does argue that Detrick should not have been brought before a court-martial composed of volunteer officers because he was not a volunteer, but serving in the militia. The opinion is essentially a legal treatise that expounds on the legal distinctions between American soldiers that enlist and serve either in volunteer units or in the militia.  An accompanying note by Davis notes that despite the illegality of the court-martial that tried Lt. Detrick and its lack of jurisdiction, he was nonetheless, dismissed from military service. In addition, Davis mentions the fact that a later Supreme Court had come to the same legal conclusions that he had by determining that military men must be tried “by his peers” and not by an unfamiliar or divergent military body.  

Folder 133 – contains photostat copies of several food inspection reports issued for various Pennsylvania regiments in 1863 and 1864.

Folder 134 – contains a number of documents pertaining to the military and civil service of W.W.H. Davis. The documents include a brief abstract highlighting the ranks, assignments, and dates he served in both the Mexican-American and U.S. Civil Wars; an 1846 letter addressed to the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County notifying them of Davis’ candidacy for admission to the bar in Bucks County; a list of civil positions Davis held in both New Mexico and Pennsylvania during the 1850s; and a note detailing Davis’ wartime service in Mexico with Jubal Early and Josiah Pender, two Confederate generals that later became famous for their role in Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Folder 135 – contains a series of historical and political abstracts written by W.W. H. Davis. Besides discussing the foreign and domestic policies of presidents Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland along with the major treaties and foreign affairs of the day, they also touch upon a number of domestic issues including social, economic, and legal developments between the years 1883 and 1889.

Folder 136 – contains an 1889 catalogue of the library of W.W. H. Davis which included nearly 1,300 items such as books, encyclopedias, manuals, autographs, pamphlets, pictures, engraving, and other miscellaneous items.

Folder 137 – contains a handwritten copy of an article that appeared in the February 3, 1847 Doylestown Democrat titled “Sword Presentation.” The article details the presentation of a ceremonial sword to W.W.H. Davis for his participation in the Mexican-American War.

Folder 138 – contains a number of commencement speeches and addresses written and delivered by W.W.H. Davis both during and immediately after he attended Norwich University in Vermont during the early 1840s. Titles included “The American Indian,” “War,” and “A Dissertation on Agriculture.”

Folder 139 – contains an 1871 lecture delivered at Norwich University by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Way to Win.”

Folder 140 – contains a 1903 address delivered before the alumni of Norwich University by W.W.H. Davis. The address reminisced upon Davis’ life including his time in attendance at Norwich and his military service.

Folder 141 – contains three addresses delivered before cadets from a military academy in Portsmouth, Virginia by W.W.H. Davis. Given between 1842 and 1844, the speeches were historical abstracts titled “American History,” “Grecian History,” and “The French Revolution.” 

Folder 145 – contains several documents dealing with the rules of fencing.

Folder 146 – contains a small pamphlet published in 1844 and titled “A Full and Complete Account of the Awful Riots in Philadelphia.” Detailing street violence between “the Irish” and “Native Americans” (i.e. native born whites with Anglo-Saxon heritage), the pamphlet’s sympathies lie with the latter.  

Folder 147 – contains a printed historical abstract written by W.W. H. Davis titled “Sketches of Mexico” (1847-1848?). The article mostly deals with details from Davis’ experiences while in Mexico but it also touches upon Mexico’s geography, climate, and geology along with some history and cultural and religious beliefs of its native population.

Folder 148 – contains an 1847 historical abstract detailing an American military campaign during the Mexican-American War.

Folder 149-150 – contain two addresses delivered at the Military Harvest Home in Bucks County in 1851 and 1852 by W.W.H. Davis. They discuss the virtues of labor and republican government, patriotism, and American culture.

Folder 151 – contains a number of newspaper articles printed in the Doylestown Democrat that were written by W.W.H. Davis while he held a number of civil service positions in New Mexico during the early 1850s. Mostly observations on the local political, cultural, and social situation, the overall tenor of these articles is ethnocentric and paternalistic. 

Folder 152 – contains an address written by W.W.H. Davis around 1886 with two different titles. “Waylaid by Indians” and “Traveling on the Plains – Held Up by Indians” are identical narratives concerning an 1856 incident in which a wagon train that Davis was travelling on through New Mexico was held-up and robbed by “savages.”   

Folder 153 – contains an 1856 handwritten editorial titled “Are Republics Ungrateful.” Written by J. Warren Conrad for publication in the Daily News, it details what he believed to be the unjust arrest and imprisonment of William F. Small, a veteran from the Mexican-American War. Small, he contends was incarcerated for “…daring to take command in a peaceful parade those very men whom he had so gallantly led to victory amid the din of battle and the hail of bullets.” Without any additional information on the exact charges or violations (if any) of existing statutes, the letter is essentially an appeal for the release of Small based upon his wartime service. 

Folder 154 – contains an 1860 essay on the “ingathering of the harvest” written by W.W.H Davis. It extols the virtues of farming and agriculture and makes historical and cultural parallels between European and American farmers.

Folder 155 – contains an historical abstract written circa 1868 by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Hundred Days.” Detailing the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte between the years 1814-1815, the essay was meant to impart the magnitude of “one of the most interesting periods on the history of Modern Europe.”  

Folder 162 – contains an 1890 printed pamphlet titled “Recollections of General Grant.”

Folder 166 – contains several documents concerning the wartime service of W.W.H. Davis during the 1864 siege of Charleston, South Carolina. It includes a lecture written by Davis titled “The Story of the Swamp Angel;” a military newsletter printed in May 1864 titled The Swamp Angel; and an 1864 bill detailing the purchase of printing supplies for publishing The Swamp Angel newsletter. 

Folder 170 – contains an address read by W.W.H. Davis before the Bucks County Historical Society in 1900 titled “The Word ‘White’ in the State Constitution and How It Came to be Placed There.” The address was essentially an historical abstract detailing the legal and political fight over the introduction of the word “white” in regards to suffrage rights as dictated in the Pennsylvania State Constitution during 1837-1838.

Folder 177 – contains an outline for a speech delivered by W.W.H. Davis to the Wyoming County Veterans Association in 1882. In it, Davis details the history of slavery in the United States, and the role slavery played in both the sectional rift that divided North from South, and in helping cause the Civil War.

Folder 207 – contains the journal of Ira F. Gensil, a member of the Doylestown Guards, a militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War. According to an attached note written in the front cover by W.W.H. Davis, Gensil was later commissioned as a lieutenant in an unspecified [U.S. Regulars] regiment and killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. Written between April and July 1861, the entries detail the early activities of a nascent infantry regiment before its incorporation into a state regiment, and its passages discuss roll call, chow, drill, dress parade, inspection, various duties, and life on the march. Although they provide little circumspection or reflection on soldiering or the war itself, they do note weather conditions, the incidentals of camp life, and feelings of anticipation for orders and movement. 

Folder 207 – contains a number of documents concerning the formation of the Doylestown Guards, a militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War. They include two muster rolls; a letter from a Bucks County father granting permission for his underage son to serve as a drummer in the Doylestown Guards; and a small subscription book that details community donations towards accoutrements and family relief for volunteers in the Doylestown Guards.

Folder 208 – contains two wartime diaries kept by Colonel W.W.H. Davis while in command of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The first contains entries from May through August 1862, and include entries that detail the experiences of Davis and the 104th during the Army of the Potomac’s campaign against Richmond. These passages are filled with details on marching, skirmishing, and battle with Confederate forces including the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment’s engagement at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. Davis was wounded in the engagement. The second contains entries from February through July 1864 that detail the experiences of Davis and the 104th during the siege of Charleston and environs in 1864. These passages include operations against Fort Wagner and battle with Confederate forces in the surrounding environs. Davis was seriously wounded on July 6, the date of the diary’s final entry.

Folder 209 – contains a number of documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include a record book listing the names of the soldiers that took part in the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1861 and a number of after-action reports.   The record book generated by Colonel W.W.H. Davis lists the names of officers and enlisted men of the 104th with notes on the individuals that were absent or present for duty along with those that were killed, wounded, or missing during the battle. The after-action reports generated by officers of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1862 and 1864 detail personal recollections of the battle along with other combat operations that took place during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign.  

Folder 210 – contains several documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include several after-action reports generated for military operations between 1862 and 1864; two hand-drawn maps of fortifications and armaments of a fort at Gloucester Point, Virginia; and a list of released prisoners from the 104th that had been captured in Virginia during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. 

Folder 211 – contains several documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include a list of men from the 104th that had reenlisted as “veterans;” a list of officers and men from the 104th sent on reconnaissance of Fort Sumter in November 1863; copy of letter detailing the actions of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment’s in its assault on Fort Wagner in November 1863; an after-action report detailing skirmishes with Confederate forces near James Island, South Carolina; and several general orders detailing the rules and procedures for troop transport by sea, and the procedures for funerals and grave detail.

Folder 213 – contains a printed copy of the prospectus for the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 1861-1865.

Folder 214 – contains several wartime and postwar photographs of W.W.H. Davis.

Folder 217 – contains a handwritten copy of a manuscript written by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Doylestown Guards.” It documents the wartime service of a Bucks County militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War.

Folder 218 – contains a number of war-related documents including a surgeon’s report; request for rations; a list of companies assigned target practice; a list of men absent for duty with reasons; and a “morning report” detailing the numbers of men present or absent for duty.

Folder 219 – contains a number of documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued during 1863. Representing a period in which the 104th was transferred from Virginia to South Carolina, these documents record the more mundane aspects of military life and include correspondence, reports, requisitions, and special orders on a range of topics including manpower; inspections; duty details; desertions; arrests; troop transport; and food, arms, and ammunition stores. 

Folder 220 – (See above folder 219)

Folder 221 – (See above folder 219)

Folder 222 – contains a number of documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued during 1864. Representing a period in which the 104th was operating in and around Charleston, South Carolina, these documents record the more mundane aspects of military life and include correspondence, reports, requisitions, and special orders on a range of topics including manpower; inspections; duty details; desertions; arrests; troop transport; and food, arms, and ammunition stores.  

Folder 223 – (See above folder 222)

Folder 224 – (See above folder 222) a notable exception contained within this folder is the special orders granting a thirty day leave of absence to Colonel W.W.H. Davis for wounds he received on July 6, 1864. Losing nearly all the fingers on his right hand from the explosion of an artillery shell, Davis never resumed command of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers following this injury.

Folder 226 – contains a number of documents relating to the Ringgold Regiment. Formed in 1861, the regiment was eventually commissioned as the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The collection is comprised of correspondence, reports, and special orders, and it includes notices of camp inspection; camp rules and regulations; marching orders; courts martial paperwork; duty details; a receipt for monetary dispensation for the apprehension of deserters; and a list of soldiers selected for assignment as color guards that included future Congressional Medal of Honor winner Hiram Pursell.

Harper Collection (MSC 493)
This collection contains a number of documents and several artifacts relating to the wartime service of George W. Harper, a private in the 71st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Harper hailed from Yardley, Pennsylvania, and was mustered into service in July 1861. The following October, he was captured at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginia and subsequently held as a prisoner of war in Libby Prison until he was paroled in March 1862. He remained in the Union Army until he was paroled in 1864 when his three-year enlistment expired. Manuscript items within the collection (Box 1, folders 4, 5, and 10) include miscellaneous orders and passes pertaining to Harper’s parole; his1864 discharge papers; two small booklets: one titled “Soldiers Hymn Book” and another “A Letter on Conversion to God;” an 1862 memorial booklet commemorating the late colonel of the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteers, Edward D. Baker; and several newspaper articles detailing Harper’s role in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and his subsequent capture. Artifacts within the collection (Box 1, folder 10) include a mechanical pencil; a comb; and a lock of hair. 

Joseph Gray Letter (MSC 694)
Folder 73 – contains a letter dated April 12, 1863 from a sergeant in the Union army named Joseph Gray to his brother. The letter begins with a sentimental passage that laments the separation between soldiers and their friends and family back home. The letter also details the destruction of the U.S. gunboat George Washington by rebel forces; the hardships, privations, and camaraderie of military life; the bond between soldiers; and the first death in his company (a result of typhoid fever).  It also expresses sentiments for standing by the “old flag” as well as bitterness and contempt for the Confederacy. As contemptuous of Confederate soldiers as this letter is, however, it does argue that “sneaking” traitors in the rear were worse than “open” rebels in the front.  

Watson Papers (MSC 751)
Box 14, folder #277 – contains an 1863 letter that discusses the carnage of the Gettysburg battlefield a month following the battle. Written by J. Alfred Kay to an unspecified recipient, the letter seeks to comfort a wounded soldier by speaking of patriotism and sacrifice.
County Records: R64 – County Commissioners Bills
This collection contains a number of documents generated by the Bucks County Commissioners’ Office during the Civil War in regards to military service and relief for the local families of soldiers serving in Union armies.

R74:5, Box 3 – contains affidavits of disability, volunteer certificates, bounty receipts, draft eligibility lists, militia rolls, and substitute certificates.

Affidavits of Disability – were issued for men seeking exemption from military service. These affidavits were statements made before justices of the peace offering personal reasons why an individual was physically unable to serve in the military. Reasons given include but are not limited to impaired hearing, near-sightedness, liver pain, rheumatism, nervous stomach, inflamed kidneys, dyspepsia, weak knees, asthma, headache, crippled hands or feet, back pain, hernia, and sciatica.

Enlistment Certificates – were issued to record individuals that had enlisted for military service in Union regiments formed in Bucks County.

Bounty Receipts – were issued to record payments to individuals that had collected a bounty for enlistment within a Union regiment based in Bucks County.

Draft Eligibility Lists –recorded those individuals from Bucks County who were eligible for military service. These were issued by township.

Militia Roll Books – recorded individuals that had been present, exonerated, or delinquent from military service.

Substitute Certificates – recorded individuals that had joined Bucks County regiments as substitutes.

R64:5, Box 4 – [See R74:5, Box 3 above]

R64:6, Box 1 & 2 – contains a number of documents relating to the burial of Civil War veterans in Bucks County cemeteries. Covering the years 1885-1908, they include applications for burials and receipts for burial expenses. Information includes name, residence, regiment, rank, dates of service, occupation, date of death, and burial location.

R64:7, Box 1-5 – contains receipts issued for relief remunerations issued to the wives and families of Bucks County soldiers serving in the Union army. They include the name of the recipient, the number of weeks of relief, the dollar amount, and the date issued.

R64:31, Box 2 – contains a number of documents concerning appropriations made to Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts throughout Bucks County between 1905 and 1923. They include receipts for star markers purchased for Civil War veteran grave plots, receipts issued for the defrayment of expenses for Memorial Day services and other commemorative events, and correspondence and applications pertaining to these appropriations.

R64:8 – contains a series of documents pertaining to scrip (money raised to fund local militia) in Bucks County. They include record books that record the amount of scrip issued during 1864 and the amount of interest paid on scrip during 1865. 

dressed to Davis in which the author refers Davis to a story he was passing along about the part his father played in military operations in and around Charleston Harbor during 1863-64; the other was written to the Bucks County board of commissioners expressing gratitude for their recent custodianship and display of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers’ regimental flag. 

Folder 9 – contains an 1896 letter written to Davis in which the author shares some reminisces and anecdotes concerning Davis’ wartime service in Virginia.

Folder 15 – contains a number of postwar letters addressed to Davis. Several deal with personal the war while several others deal with veteran’s activities and the donation of the painting ‘The Rescue of the Colors” to the Bucks County Historical Society.

Folder 19 – contains a 1901 letter to Davis in which a colleague thanks him for sending a book on the Civil War admiral David Farragut. The letter also contains some personal reminisces of the war.

Folder 20 – contains several postwar letters written to Davis concerning the publication of books about the Civil War.

Folder 23 – contains several letters written to Davis concerning local Civil War veteran’s reunions.

Folder 24 – contains two postwar letters written to Davis. One describes the author’s recent walk along the Fair Oaks battlefield in Virginia; the other is a request for help in securing a veteran’s pension for a family member.

Folder 25 – contains several postwar letters written to Davis. One concerns his decision to turn down an offer to hold office in the local chapter of the Military Order of the Foreign Wars; another requests assistance in securing a place in the soldier’s home for disabled veterans for a family member; and the last concerns the manner in which black soldiers were treated in Davis’ history of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Folder 27 – contains a 1903 letter written to Davis concerning a request for regimental photographs from the war.

Folder 33 – contains a 1905 letter and a newspaper article both concerning photographs of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers as they conducted military operations in and around Charleston, South Carolina during 1863.

Folder 34 – contains a number postwar letters addressed to Davis including one that discusses the publication of the history of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; another that requests verification of company for a relative that served with the 104th; and several War Department letters that concern veteran’s affairs.

Folder 35 – contains a number of postwar letter addressed to Davis including several that deal with veterans’ affairs and others concerning artifacts that had been removed from Civil War battlefields.

Folder 79 – contains the handwritten address delivered by W.W.H. Davis at the unveiling of the painting “The Rescue of the Colors” delivered in Doylestown on October 21, 1899. The address recounts the story behind the actions of Hiram W. Pursell, a native of Bucks County, in rescuing the regimental colors of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers at the Battle of Fair Oakes on May 31, 1862, for which Pursell was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The speech was intended to underscore the patriotism, heroism, and valor not only of Pursell, but of every soldier who had fought in the Civil War. 

Folder 95 – contains a number of documents concerning the Doylestown Guards, a local volunteer militia raised in 1861 in response to the advent of the Civil War. The collection contains lists of volunteers; a reprinted newspaper article from the September 15, 1895 edition of The Times Sunday Special detailing the story of the regiments founding; and various ledgers recording early donations made to the Doylestown Guards by local citizens. 

Folder 97 – contains a list of officers and men that enlisted in the Bucks County Rifleman, a local militia that was eventually incorporated into the 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers sometime in 1861.

Folder 119 – contains a number of military documents including two enlistment certificates for Bucks County native Whittingham Livezey; a September 15, 1861 muster roll for the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; a 1901 flyer advertising a veteran’s reunion for members of the 104th; and a printed copy of an undated poem titled “The Rescue of the Standards.”

Folder 120 – contains various military correspondence generated by the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. These letters detail minor incidentals in routine camp life.

Folder 121 – contains the wartime correspondence of Bucks County resident William R. Elliot to his sweetheart, then wife, Mary Pomeroy. Written between 1861 and 1864 when he apparently served as a commissary officer in first, the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and later, the 2nd South Carolina, a “colored” regiment assigned to the 34th Regiment Infantry (U.S. Colored Troops), Elliot’s letters detail the highs and lows of soldiering and cover everything from the tedium of camp life to the rigors of life on the march, to the deadliness of battle. However the banalities and boredom of the former comprise the bulk of their subject matter. Moreover, the tone and language of these letters seem to indicate that Elliot was in a support rather than combat battalion. Perhaps the most striking element of these letters, however, is their tender and emotional tenor. Elliot was a young man that was deeply in love with his sweetheart, and his professions of love, both for her and for his family, are the most poignant and memorable elements of the letters contained within this collection.   

Folder 122 – contains a collection of addresses written by W.W.H. Davis for several annual veterans’ reunions circa 1900. Written to commemorate the campaigns and battles of 104th Pennsylvania Regiment in light of the advanced age and dwindling number of Civil War veterans, the speeches were also intended to celebrate the universal patriotism, sacrifice, and honor of both Union and Confederate soldiers. Davis refers to the “kindly feeling” that emerged between all veterans – both North and South – following the war. Moreover, he urges the restoration of “harmony” between the sections and the erasure of sectional affiliation from posterity. 

Folder 123 – contains several items pertaining to the erection of a monument in honor of soldiers of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers who had died during the war. The collection contains a subscription book detailing the names and dollar amounts of donations for the monument; a small accounting book detailing the expenses in erecting the monument; and a contract between W.W.H. Davis and the marble and stone company for the construction of the monument.

Folder 124 – contains several documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued between 1861 and 1862. They include a monthly statement recording the quantity and condition of artillery, small arms, ammunition, and accoutrement stores; forms and procedures for drawing up charges against soldiers in violation of military law; and a series of reference sheets and instructions regarding the frequency and types of field signals used during military operations.   

Folder 125 – contains several documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued between 1861 and 1864. They include a small account book detailing the funds and expenses for the regimental band; orders forbidding the “indiscriminate firing” of small army by both soldiers and civilians in camp; a series of reference sheets and instructions regarding the frequency and types of field signals used during military operations; a memo indicating corrections to be made to a list of “non-reporting Deserters;” and a handwritten copy of orders issued to Colonel W.W.H Davis detailing his assignment to take charge of and deliver to Washington the Reading Light Artillery.

Folder 126 – contains a handwritten address presented to the Bucks County Historical Society by W.W.H. Davis on January 26, 1896 titled “The Story of a Battle.”   Detailing his own experiences at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862, the address was delivered to convey some of the more noble and ignoble experiences of battle. The speech talks of the sacrifice, heroism, and valor of the battlefield, but it also speaks of war’s horrors and brutality. Davis’ horrific depiction of the sickening sights and smells of the post-conflict battlefield are both dramatic and poignant. Despite such recollections, however, the overall tenor of the speech gives the impression that the glory of war overshadows its horrors. 

Folder 127 – contains an historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis on the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1861. It was read before the Civil War veterans group the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States on May 3, 1893.

Folder 128 – contains a series of orders issued to Colonel W.W.H Davis of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers requesting soldiers and officers for a variety of duty details. The orders were issued between July 1863 and April 1864 during siege operations against Charleston and Morris Island, South Carolina. 

Folder 129 – contains a series of orders for “General Officer of the Day” and “Field Officer of the Trenches” issued between August and November 1863 during siege operations against Charleston and Morris Island, South Carolina. 

Folder 130 – contains two historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis that detail his personal experiences during the Civil War. The first, titled “Reminisces of the Siege of Charleston,” was apparently written for the annual reunion of the Society of the Department of the South and Atlantic Blockading Squadron in April 1901 but was never delivered. The second, titled “The Siege of Charleston, S.C. 1863-1864” provides no information on where or when it was delivered. 

Folder 131 – contains an historical abstract written by W.W.H. Davis that details his personal experiences during the Civil War. Titled “The Siege of Morris Island,” a handwritten note indicates that it was read before the Long Island Historical Society in 1865. 

Folder 132 – contains two copies of a legal opinion delivered by Colonel W.W.H. Davis on the court-martial of Lieutenant Charles S. Detrick of the 174th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The opinion does not state the particulars of the case or mention the charges levied against Lt. Detrick, but it does argue that Detrick should not have been brought before a court-martial composed of volunteer officers because he was not a volunteer, but serving in the militia. The opinion is essentially a legal treatise that expounds on the legal distinctions between American soldiers that enlist and serve either in volunteer units or in the militia.  An accompanying note by Davis notes that despite the illegality of the court-martial that tried Lt. Detrick and its lack of jurisdiction, he was nonetheless, dismissed from military service. In addition, Davis mentions the fact that a later Supreme Court had come to the same legal conclusions that he had by determining that military men must be tried “by his peers” and not by an unfamiliar or divergent military body.  

Folder 133 – contains photostat copies of several food inspection reports issued for various Pennsylvania regiments in 1863 and 1864.

Folder 134 – contains a number of documents pertaining to the military and civil service of  W.W.H. Davis. The documents include a brief abstract highlighting the ranks, assignments, and dates he served in both the Mexican-American and U.S. Civil Wars; an 1846 letter addressed to the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County notifying them of Davis’ candidacy for admission to the bar in Bucks County; a list of civil positions Davis held in both New Mexico and Pennsylvania during the 1850s; and a note detailing Davis’ wartime service in Mexico with Jubal Early and Josiah Pender, two Confederate generals that later became famous for their role in Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Folder 135 – contains a series of historical and political abstracts written by W.W. H. Davis. Besides discussing the foreign and domestic policies of presidents Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland along with the major treaties and foreign affairs of the day, they also touch upon a number of domestic issues including social, economic, and legal developments between the years 1883 and 1889.

Folder 136 – contains an 1889 catalogue of the library of W.W. H. Davis which included nearly 1,300 items such as books, encyclopedias, manuals, autographs, pamphlets, pictures, engravings, and other miscellaneous items.

Folder 137 – contains a handwritten copy of an article that appeared in the February 3, 1847 Doylestown Democrat titled “Sword Presentation.” The article details the presentation of a ceremonial sword to W.W.H. Davis for his participation in the Mexican-American War.

Folder – 138 – contains a number of commencement speeches and addresses written and delivered by W.W.H. Davis both during and immediately after he attended Norwich University in Vermont during the early 1840s. Titles included “The American Indian,” “War,” and “A Dissertation on Agriculture.”

Folder 139 – contains an 1871 lecture delivered at Norwich University by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Way to Win.”

Folder 140 – contains a 1903 address delivered before the alumni of Norwich University by W.W.H. Davis. The address reminisced upon Davis’ life including his time in attendance at Norwich and his military service.

Folder 141 – contains three addresses delivered before cadets from a military academy in Portsmouth, Virginia by W.W.H. Davis. Given between 1842 and 1844, the speeches were historical abstracts titled “American History,” “Grecian History,” and “The French Revolution.” 

Folder 145 – contains several documents dealing with the rules of fencing.

Folder 146 – contains a small pamphlet published in 1844 and titled “A Full and Complete Account of the Awful Riots in Philadelphia.” Detailing street violence between “the Irish” and “Native Americans” (i.e. native-born whites with Anglo-Saxon heritage), the pamphlet’s sympathies lie with the latter.  

Folder 147 – contains a printed historical abstract written by W.W. H. Davis titled “Sketches of Mexico” (1847-1848?). The article mostly deals with details from Davis’ experiences while in Mexico but it also touches upon Mexico’s geography, climate, and geology along with some history and cultural and religious beliefs of its native population.

Folder 148 – contains an 1847 historical abstract detailing an American military campaign during the Mexican-American War.

Folder 149-150 – contain two addresses delivered at the Military Harvest Home in Bucks County in 1851 and 1852 by W.W.H. Davis. They discuss the virtues of labor and republican government, patriotism, and American culture.

Folder 151 – contains a number of newspaper articles printed in the Doylestown Democrat that were written by W.W.H. Davis while he held a number of civil service positions in New Mexico during the early 1850s. Mostly observations on the local political, cultural, and social situation, the overall tenor of these articles is ethnocentric and paternalistic. 

Folder 152 – contains an address written by W.W.H. Davis around 1886 with two different titles. “Waylaid by Indians” and “Traveling on the Plains – Held Up by Indians” are identical narratives concerning an 1856 incident in which a wagon train that Davis was travelling on through New Mexico was held-up and robbed by “savages.”   

Folder 153 – contains an 1856 handwritten editorial titled “Are Republics Ungrateful.” Written by J. Warren Conrad for publication in the Daily News, it details what he believed to be the unjust arrest and imprisonment of William F. Small, a veteran from the Mexican-American War. Small, he contends was incarcerated for “…daring to take command in a peaceful parade those very men whom he had so gallantly led to victory amid the din of  battle and the hail of bullets.” Without any additional information on the exact charges or violations (if any) of existing statutes, the letter is essentially an appeal for the release of Small based upon his wartime service. 

Folder 154 – contains an 1860 essay on the “ingathering of the harvest” written by W.W.H Davis. It extols the virtues of farming and agriculture and makes historical and cultural parallels between European and American farmers.

Folder 155 – contains an historical abstract written circa 1868 by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Hundred Days.” Detailing the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte between the years 1814-1815, the essay was meant to impart the magnitude of “one of the most interesting periods on the history of Modern Europe.”  

Folder 162 – contains an 1890 printed pamphlet titled “Recollections of General Grant.”

Folder 166 – contains several documents concerning the wartime service of W.W.H. Davis during the 1864 siege of Charleston, South Carolina. It includes a lecture written by Davis titled “The Story of the Swamp Angel;” a military newsletter printed in May 1864 titled The Swamp Angel; and an 1864 bill detailing the purchase of printing supplies for publishing The Swamp Angel newsletter. 

Folder 170 – contains an address read by W.W.H. Davis before the Bucks County Historical Society in 1900 titled “The Word ‘White’ in the State Constitution and How It Came to be Placed There.” The address was essentially an historical abstract detailing the legal and political fight over the introduction of the word “white” in regards to suffrage rights as dictated in the Pennsylvania State Constitution during 1837-1838.

Folder 177 – contains an outline for a speech delivered by W.W.H. Davis to the Wyoming County Veterans Association in 1882. In it, Davis details the history of slavery in the United States, and the role slavery played in both the sectional rift that divided North from South, and in helping cause the Civil War.

Folder 178 – contains a large number of printed documents relating to the George G. Meade Post No.1 of the veteran’s organization the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). They include general orders, circulars, and memoranda pertaining to membership, committee delegations, officer elections, meetings, funeral announcements, annual encampments of the GAR, Memorial Day and 4th of July celebrations, and post inspections.

Folder 179 – contains a number Memorial Day addresses delivered by W.W.H. Davis between 1882 and 1884. The speeches touch upon a number of issues including the wartime presidency and assassination of Abraham Lincoln, slavery and its relation to the war, the honor and valor of Civil War soldiers, the reconciliation that occurred between North and South after the war, and the duty of the living to honor the dead.    

Folder 180 – contains a number of booklets printed for Memorial Day services held by the George G. Meade Post No. 1 of The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) between 1884 and 1900. Each contains a list of post officers, members on the Memorial Day committee, orders of services, prayers, hymns, anthems, benedictions, and a list of florists who had donated floral arrangements.

Folder 181 – contains an 1886 address presented by W.W. H. Davis at a reunion for Company “A” of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry held in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. The speech includes topics such as patriotism, wartime service, and the honor and valor of Civil War soldiers.

Folder 185 – contains an 1894 Memorial Day speech delivered by W.W.H. Davis at Frenchtown, New Jersey. The speech touches upon the origins and significance of “Decoration Day;” the pride and patriotism of the soldier along with their courage and forbearance in battle, the martyrdom of the Union soldier, the bravery and honor of the Confederate soldier, slavery and its relation to the war, England’s sole responsibility for introducing slavery into America, and the need for continued magnanimity and reconciliation with the South.

Folder 186 – contains two speeches delivered by W.W.H. Davis at reunions for the Association for the Department of the South held in 1897 and 1898. One discusses the successful reconciliation and renewed patriotism between North and South in light of the Spanish-American War; the other details operations involved in the siege of Charleston, South Carolina during the Civil War.

Folder 192 – contains a 1902 Memorial Day speech delivered by W.W.H. Davis before the Bodine Post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The speech highlights the patriotism of American citizens and the role it had played in previous wars.

Folder 193 – contains a 1903 Memorial Day speech delivered by W.W.H. Davis in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The speech touches upon the cheerfulness of the Confederacy in defeat; the “redeeming” qualities of war; the humanity of modern weapons; the devotion to the cause among Northern and Southern soldiers; the honor due to noncombatant soldiers; the benefits and honor of veterans organizations; the global bond between veterans; the greatness and character of former president Abraham Lincoln; the acceptable price paid for ridding the country of “the curse” of slavery.

Folder 195 – contains a number of documents relating to W.W.H. Davis and his role as a pension agent for Philadelphia between 1887 and 1890. It includes various correspondence and two booklets with reprinted newspaper articles that discuss Davis’ appointment as a pension agent for the state of Pennsylvania.

Folder 207 – contains the journal of Ira F. Gensil, a member of the Doylestown Guards, a militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War. According to an attached note written in the front cover by W.W.H. Davis, Gensil was later commissioned as a lieutenant in an unspecified regiment and killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. Written between April and July 1861, the entries detail the early activities of a nascent infantry regiment before its incorporation into a state regiment, and its passages discuss roll call, chow, drill, dress parade, inspection, various duties, and life on the march. Although they provide little circumspection or reflection on soldiering or the war itself, they do note weather conditions, the incidentals of camp life, and feelings of anticipation for orders and movement. 

Folder 207 – contains a number of documents concerning the formation of the Doylestown Guards, a militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War. They include two muster rolls; a letter from a Bucks County father granting permission for his underage son to serve as a drummer in the Doylestown Guards; and a small subscription book that details community donations towards accoutrements and family relief for volunteers in the Doylestown Guards.

Folder 208 – contains two wartime diaries kept by Colonel W.W.H. Davis while in command of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The first contains entries from May through August 1862, and include entries that detail the experiences of Davis and the 104th during the Army of the Potomac’s campaign against Richmond. These passages are filled with details on marching, skirmishing, and battle with Confederate forces including the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment’s engagement at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. Davis was wounded in the engagement. The second contains entries from February through July 1864 that detail the experiences of Davis and the 104th during the siege of Charleston and environs in 1864. These passages include operations against Fort Wagner and battle with Confederate forces in the surrounding environs. Davis was seriously wounded on July 6, the date of the diary’s final entry.

Folder 209 – contains a number of documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include a record book listing the names of the soldiers that took part in the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1861 and a number of after-action reports.  The record book generated by Colonel W.W.H. Davis lists the names of officers and enlisted men of the 104th with notes on the individuals that were absent or present for duty along with those that were killed, wounded, or missing during the battle. The after-action reports generated by officers of the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers between 1862 and 1864 detail personal recollections of the battle along with other combat operations that took place during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign.  

Folder 210 – contains several documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include several after-action reports generated for military operations between 1862 and 1864; two hand-drawn maps of fortifications and armaments of a fort at Gloucester Point, Virginia; and a list of released prisoners from the 104th that had been captured in Virginia during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. 

Folder 211 – contains several documents concerning combat operations directly or indirectly involving the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They include a list of men from the 104th that had reenlisted as “veterans;” a list of officers and men from the 104th sent on reconnaissance of Fort Sumter in November 1863; copy of letter detailing the actions of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment’s in its assault on Fort Wagner in November 1863; an after-action report detailing skirmishes with Confederate forces near James Island, South Carolina; and several general orders detailing the rules and procedures for troop transport by sea, and the procedures for funerals and grave detail.

Folder 213 – contains a printed copy of the prospectus for the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 1861-1865.

Folder 214 – contains several wartime and postwar photographs of W.W.H. Davis.

Folder 217 – contains a handwritten copy of a manuscript written by W.W.H. Davis titled “The Doylestown Guards.” It documents the wartime service of a Bucks County militia company that was called into service in April 1861 in response to the start of the Civil War.

Folder 218 – contains a number of war-related documents including a surgeon’s report; request for rations; a list of companies assigned target practice; a list of men absent for duty with reasons; and a “morning report” detailing the numbers of men present or absent for duty.

Folder 219 – contains a number of documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued during 1863. Representing a period in which the 104th was transferred from Virginia to South Carolina, these documents record the more mundane aspects of military life and include correspondence, reports, requisitions, and special orders on a range of topics including manpower; inspections; duty details; desertions; arrests; troop transport; and food, arms, and ammunition stores. 

Folder 220 – (See above folder 219)

Folder 221 – (See above folder 219)

Folder 222 – contains a number of documents relating to field operations of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers issued during 1864. Representing a period in which the 104th was operating in and around Charleston, South Carolina, these documents record the more mundane aspects of military life and include correspondence, reports, requisitions, and special orders on a range of topics including manpower; inspections; duty details; desertions; arrests; troop transport; and food, arms, and ammunition stores.  

Folder 223 – (See above folder 222)

Folder 224 – (See above folder 222) a notable exception contained within this folder is the special orders granting a thirty day leave of absence to Colonel W.W.H. Davis for wounds he received on July 6, 1864. Losing nearly all the fingers on his right hand from a cannon shot, Davis never resumed command of the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers following this injury.

Folder 226 – contains a number of documents relating to the Ringgold Regiment. Formed in 1861, the regiment was eventually commissioned as the 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The collection is comprised of correspondence, reports, and special orders, and it includes notices of camp inspection; camp rules and regulations; marching orders; courts martial paperwork; duty details; a receipt for monetary dispensation for the apprehension of deserters; and a list of soldiers selected for assignment as color guards that included future Congressional Medal of Honor winner Hiram Pursell.

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This project has been generously supported by the Honorable Larry Farnese, PA Senator, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Samuel S. Fels Fund.

 

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About the Guide Civil War in Philadelphia Philadelphia Collections Notes for Researchers