Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Civil War (16 collections)
SCUA

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Markham, George F.

George F. Markham Papers, 1902-1929.
6 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 456

The activist George Markham was born in Wisconsin on Aug. 15, 1909. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he began working with the Associated Press in 1936 where he became an ardent member of the American Newspaper Guild. During the Second World War, he served with distinction on the aircraft carriers Saratoga and Yorktown in the South Pacific, however after the war, his leftist politics and associations with Communists led to his dismissal with less than honorable discharge. Following the trial, Markham returned to college to earn a masters degree in social studies and began teaching middle school in Pelham, NY, but was released, probably for political reasons. He later taught in colleges in New York before he and his second wife, Arky, moved to Northampton in the 1960s. George and Arky remain active on behalf of peace and social justice.

The Markham Papers contain materials relating to George Markham’s McCarthy-era trial and dismissal from the Navy, along with documents relating to other aspects of his life and career and the Markham family in Wisconsin. Among these is a fine Civil War unit history of the 20th Indiana Regiment written by Markham’s grandfather, William Brown.

Subjects
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
Contributors
  • Markham, George F

Metcalf, Frank

Frank Metcalf Papers, 1862-1866.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 529

Of the six letters that make up this collection, five date from 1862-1863 and are addressed to Frank Metcalf, teacher and soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. These letters are from friends and family in New York, and relay local news, in particular updates on area schools and students. The final letter dated June 30, 1866 is from Hannah J. McLintock, to her brother, John.

Subjects
  • Education--New York (State)
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Contributors
  • McLintock, John
  • Metcalf, Frank
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

New York City Draft Riot

New York City Draft Riot Letter, 1863.
1 item (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 278

This letter, dated July 14, 1863 from New York, is addressed simply to “Brother.” The correspondent is unknown, as the letter is incomplete and consists only of a single sheet of paper. The subject of the letter is the ongoing draft riots in New York City, which began on July 13th and ended on July 16th. The rioters set fire to many businesses and homes, tore up railroad tracks and brought down telegraph lines during the three day ordeal.

Subjects
  • Draft Riot, New York, N.Y., 1863
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

North Bridgewater (Mass.). Treasurer

North Bridgewater (Mass.) Treasurer Account Book, 1858-1881.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 223 bd

Nearly two thirds of this town treasurer’s account book from Bridgewater (later Brockton), Massachusetts, is devoted to a monthly accounting of money paid to the families of Civil War volunteers, beginning in April 1861 and carrying through 1881, made mostly by town treasurer R.P. Kingman; accounts of school district expenses and revenues for the years 1858 to 1869, for the 14 school districts in North Bridgewater (teacher salaries, supplies, and accounts with textbook publishers such as Harper & Bros. and Heath & Co.); and listings of salaries paid town officers, including the Superintendent of Streets, Overseer of the Poor, city clerk, city treasurer, and the Police Department.

Subjects
  • Schools--Massachusetts--North Bridgewater
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Contributors
  • North Bridgewater (Mass.). Treasurer
Types of material
  • Account books

Peasley, Alonzo A.

Alonzo A. Peasley Diaries, 1861-1863.
2 vols. (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 608 bd

Born in Dorchester, Mass., on July 6, 1839, Alonzo A. Peasley enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry in May 1861, only weeks after the outbreak of the Civil War. Sent almost immediately into the defenses of Washington, Peasley’s regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac after the first Battle of Bull Run in July, and served with that unit through the Peninsular Campaign, Frederickbsurg, and Chancellorsville. As part of the 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps on July 2, 1863, the 1st Massachusetts suffered a 40% casualty rate during fierce fighting along the Emmitsburg Road in Gettysburg, with Peasley himself sustaining serious wounds. Hospitalized for several months, Peasley was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps to serve out his enlistment.

Well written, observant, and above all active, Peasley’s diaries offer a fine account of a private’s life in the Army of the Potomac. Particularly for the first year of service, the diaries include detailed descriptions of life in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry, and they cover the entire period from the day the regiment left the state in June 1861 until shortly after Peasley’s wounding at Gettysburg in July 1863.

Subjects
  • Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Army--Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 1st (1861-1864)
Contributors
  • Peasley, Alonzo A
Types of material
  • Diaries

Wood, Josiah

Josiah Wood Papers, 1854-1874.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 363

A veteran of the Civil War and one time resident of the Hopedale community, Josiah Wood tried his hand at several lines of work during his life, including tin-peddler, farmer, and carpenter.

The Josiah Wood Papers consist primarily of letters between Wood, living in Hopedale and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and his relatives in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the northeastern and western parts of the country. While some of the correspondence contains references to larger-scale historical events, such as the Civil War or westward expansion, the majority concerns events and routines of everyday family life. The letters illustrate the considerable effort made to keep in touch with and informed about distant family members and friends.

Subjects
  • Spiritualism--United States--History--19th century
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • West (U.S.)--History--19th century
Contributors
  • Wood, Josiah
  • Wood, Lurana P

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