Civil War Collections

The Binghamton University Libraries Civil War Collections consist of seventeen individual collections of materials. Together the collections contain over 1700 letters, diaries, photographs, account books, postcards, and other ephemera which date from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, but are centered on the Civil War years 1861-1865.

Letters are by far the largest component of the collections and many of the letters were written by soldiers at the front, or in Army hospitals, to their family and friends back home. At its core the Civil War Collections are a local history resource with emphasis on collections pertaining to the counties in the immediate Binghamton, New York area, that is Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.

Collections of particular interest from outside those counties have also been included, such as a collection from Montgomery County which consists of letters written by Ten Eyck Fonda, the grandfather of the actor Henry Fonda.

Civil War Collections and Finding Aids

Lewis H. Brown Collection

Image: Scan of Lewis H. Brown letter written in 1861
Scan of Lewis H. Brown letter written in 1861
The Lewis H. Brown Collection consists of sixty-four letters written by Lewis Henry Brown, Lewis’ brother Burritt Brown, and Albert Ransom, Burritt Brown’s friend and tent-mate. They were residents of Binghamton, Broome County, NY.  Access the Lewis H. Brown Collection finding aid.

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the letters and is accessible from the  New York Heritage Digital Collection   website and through Find It!

Patrick Casey Collection

Image: Scan from the Patrick Casey Collection
Scan from the Patrick Casey Collection

Patrick Casey, of Whitehall, Washington County, enlisted with the 104th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. He served with this regiment from 1862-1865.   Access the Patrick Casey Collection finding aid.  

The digtal collection consists of an autobiographical narrative and two diaries. This collection is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection

Ten Eyck Fonda Collection

Image: Scan from the Ten Eyck Fonda collection.
Scan from the Ten Eyck Fonda collection.
The Ten Eyck Fonda Collection consists of twenty-six letters written by Fonda while serving as a telegrapher for the United States Military Telegraph Service during the Civil War, and one political campaign card. Fonda was from Fonda, Montgomery County, New York. The letters were written to his immediate family and date from July 12, 1861 to June 14, 1863.  Access the Ten Eyck Fonda Collection finding aid.

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the letters and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection website and through Find It!

Maurice Leyden Collection

Image: Scan from the diary of Maurice Leyden
Scan from the diary of Maurice Leyden
The diaries document mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century life in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. Leyden writes of day-to-day life with entries about the weather, family life and activities, his dental practice and business travel. Leyden, a member of the Republican Party, writes of his involvement in local politics.  Access the 
Maurice Leyden Collection finding aid.  

The digtal collection includes four diaries.  The collection is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection 

Ingraham P. Smith Collection

Image: Scan from a Ingraham P. Smith Letter written in 1863.
Scan from a Ingraham P. Smith Letter written in 1863.
The Ingraham P. Smith Collection consists of forty-five letters and two medical documents. Smith, a resident of Middlefield, Otsego County, New York, served with the121st New York Volunteer Infantry, Company G. The letters, written to his mother and sister, range in date from December 03, 1861 to May 06, 1865. A letter dated July 29, appears to have been written by his brother Jeremiah, who served with the 51st New York Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.  Access the Ingraham P. Smith Collection finding aid.  

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the letters and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection.

Francis M. and Henry H. Stone Collection

Image: Scan from the Francis M. and Henry H. Stone Collection
Scan from the Francis M. and Henry H. Stone Collection
The Francis M. and Henry H. Stone Collection contain twenty-one letters written by the two brothers while they were in the 27th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry and the 1st Regiment New York Veteran Cavalry. The brothers were from Lima, in Livingston County, New York. The letters home are to their father, sister Alta, and brother George. and are from 1861-1864.  Access the Stone Collection finding aid.  

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the letters and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection website.

Joseph H. Treyz Collection

Image: Scan from the Joseph H. Treyz Collection of Civil War Patriotic Envelopes
Scan from the Joseph H. Treyz Collection of Civil War Patriotic Envelopes
The Joseph H. Treyz Collection contains 149 patriotic envelopes printed during the Civil War. They represent the Union cause and contain patriotic images such as the Union flag, state seals, soldiers, goddesses, depictions of Northern cities, prominent leaders and military officers, and cartoons and caricatures depicting Southern life. Access the Joseph H. Treyz Collection finding aid.

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the envelopes and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection website.

Fred Walster Diary

Image: Scan from the diary for Fred Walster
Scan from the diary for Fred Walster
In August, 1862 Fred Walster and his brother Christian (who died of typhoid pneumonia, in October, 1862) enlisted in the Town of Minden, Montgomery County, New York, as members of Company E, 153rd Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry. Fred was twenty-one years old and enlisted for three years. After the war he returned to his home in Fort Plain. On July 13, 1870, he passed away.  This diary documents Walster’s experiences during active duty in the war, and continues through his hospitalization in April, 1865 and to his discharge in June of that year. The diary then continues with his civilian life, with the last entry written on December 31, 1865. Access the Fred Walster Collection finding aid.  

The diary is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection website.

Anna E. Wilcox Collection

Image: Scan from the Anne Willcox Collection
Scan from the Anne Willcox Collection
The Anna E. Wilcox Collection of Civil War letters consists of forty-five letters on forty-four separate sheets, eight photographs, four envelopes which could not be matched to any letters, and ancillary materials.  Thirty-eight, possibly thirty-nine, of the letters to Miss Wilcox were written by four of her male cousins who were serving in the Union Army. Access the Ingraham P. Smith Collection finding aid.  Access the Anna E. Wilcox Collection finding aid.  

The digtal collection includes digitized scans of the envelopes and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection website.

Grace D. Nichols Collection

The Grace D. Nichols Collection of Civil War Letters consists of sixty-eight letters written on 113 sheets of paper, fifty-seven envelopes, four postcards, and thirteen pieces of ephemera.  Access the Grace D. Nichols Collection finding aid.

S. C. Pierce Collection

The S. C. Pierce Collection consists of 707 letters, written between 1869 and 1905, along with 116 other items for a total of 823 items. The majority of the letters were written in response to circulars sent out by the 3rd New York Cavalry Association announcing regimental reunions. There are 318 authors in this collection, of whom 274 were members, or representatives of members, of the 3rd Regiment of New York Cavalry. This represents about 12% of those who served in the 3rd New York Cavalry and survived.  Access the S.C. Pierce Collection finding aid.  

Edward I. Ford Collection

The Edward I. Ford Collection consists of two diaries, one for 1863 and one for 1866 written by Dr. Edward Ford, of Binghamton, NY.  Access the Edward I. Ford Collection finding aid.

Adoniram J. Hamlin Collection

Access the Adoniram J. Hamlin Collection finding aid.