This extraordinary diary contains entries written by both Union and Confederate soldiers. It originally belonged to George Falconer, enrolled in Col J. J. Clarkson’s Confederate Cavalry. During the Battle of Locust Grove, 3 July 1862, Falconer was taken prisoner, and Maj. Albert Ellithorpe, Indian Home Guards, 1st Kansas Infantry, captured the diary. Most of the entries are written by Ellithorpe, who described engagements with Confederate soldiers, Kansas politicians and bushwhackers. Ellithorpe participated in several battles including Locust Grove, Cane Hill, Prairie Grove and a smaller engagement with Thomas Livingston’s bushwhackers.
Collections in the Cherokee Category
The Isely Family Papers contain correspondence and other documents dating from the late 1850s through the 1930s. A significant portion of the collection consists of letters written during the Civil War between Christian H. Isely and his wife, Marie Elizabeth “Eliza” Dubach. Christian served in the 2nd Kansas Cavalry and they traveled throughout Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma; which was then Indian Territory. During the war, Eliza went to live with Christian’s parents in Ohio, rather than stay with her father in Willow Dale, Kansas, due to the unstable conditions in the Kansas-Missouri border region. The Isely’s were a profoundly religious family and their correspondences depict the deeply rooted connection between religion and political convictions and how their beliefs often divided their family.
In September 1857, the Kansas Constitutional convention met in Lecompton, determined to make Kansas a slave state. The Lecompton Constitution included a provisional article that guaranteed a slaveholder’s right to retain ownership of their slaves currently living in the territory, but it also prohibited future importation of slaves to Kansas. Heated debates took place in the Senate over the admission of Kansas, under the proslavery. This collection contains speeches from Missouri Senator, Trusten Polk and Illinois Senator, Steven A. Douglas on the admission of Kansas to the Union under the Lecompton Constitution.
The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was one of the earliest African-American regiments organized during the Civil War. This regimental order book documents correspondences, general orders and special orders between 1863 and 1864. During this period the 1st Kansas Colored was stationed in southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, western Arkansas, and Indian Territory, Oklahoma.
In October 1862, Soldiers from the regiment engaged Rebel troops at the Battle of Island Mound in Bates County, MO. This skirmish earned them the distinction of the first African-American troops from a northern state to see action as soldiers. The 1st Kansas Colored became seasoned veterans by the end of the war, participating in several battles and engagements. On December 13, 1864, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was re-designated as the 79th U.S. Colored Troops.