Archives West Finding Aid
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John D. Beach papers, 1861-1865
- Beach, John D. (soldier)
- John D. Beach papers
- 1861-1865 (inclusive)18611865
- 0.5 linear feet, (1 box)
- Collection Number
- The John D. Beach papers consist of letters written by Beach, a Union soldier, to his mother during his time in service with the Illinois 55th Regiment, Company G, covering the years 1861 through 1865.
Willamette University Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to researchers.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
John D. Beach was twenty-one years old when he enlisted in the Union Army, Illinois 55th, G Company in 1861. He was first stationed at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois. During his time in the army, he was stationed in Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, and Arkansas. Beach served in the Army until at least July 1865. The final letter in the collection speaks of the possibility of reenlistment.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The John D. Beach papers contain letters written by Union soldier John D. Beach during his time serving with the Illinois 55th, G Company. These letters addressed to his mother, Mrs. Williams, describe life in camp, the daily diet of the soldiers, and other details of his life. In 1863 his regiment was hit with an epidemic which resulted in "five to ten soldiers buaried (sic) a day in hearing distance they die mostly of the Ague and Direah (sic) and Intermiting (sic) Fever." Beach speaks of fighting in various battles, although it is difficult to determine the location of those battles. His last letters speak of reenlistment and plans for his future.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
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[Identification of item], John D. Beach collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Materials are organized in chronological order.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|1||1||Letter written from Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois||1861 September 24|
|1||2||Letter written from Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois||1861 October 8|
|1||3||Letter written from Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois||1861 November 1|
|1||4||Letter written from Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri||1862 January 3|
|1||5||Letter written from Mississippi||1862 May 27|
|1||6||Letter written from Memphis, Tennessee||1862 August 22|
|1||7||Letter written from Camp Sherman, Jackson, Mississippi||1863 August 29|
|1||8||Letter written from Camp Sherman, Jackson, Mississippi||1863 September 2|
|1||9||Letter written from Iuka, Mississippi||1863 October 21|
|1||10||Letter written from Larkins Landing, Alabama||1864 February 17|
|1||11||Letter written from Chattanooga, Tennessee||1864 June 11|
|1||12||Letter written from Little Rock, Arkansas||1865 July 25|
|1||13||Various envelopes used by Beach||undated|
|1||14||Information obtained from the National Archives about the service record of John D. Beach||1991 August 27|
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- United States. Army. Infantry--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
- Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876
- Rosecrans, William S. (William Starke), 1819-1898
- Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
- United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 55th (1861-1865)
- Camp Douglas (Ill.)
- Camp Sherman (Miss.)
- Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.)
Form or Genre Terms