George Washington Williams served in Company D of the 7th Missouri Cavalry from 1862 thru 1864. His letters are addressed to his wife, Jane, in Sage Town, Illinois, which is present day Gladstone, in Henderson County, Illinois. He described the conditions he and the rest of his unit faced while fighting Confederate forces throughout Arkansas. Williams expressed great concern for his family’s safety and well-being, but voiced little concern for himself. His letters exhibit the difficulties faced by families trying to survive during the conflict. Williams died at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on November 25, 1864 from chronic diarrhea.
Collections in the Pulaski 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.
Lyman Gibson Bennett enlisted in the 36th Illinois Infantry in 1861. Prior to the War he trained as a surveyor and civil engineer, working for the railroad. The military utilized Bennett’s skills as a cartographer, and assigned him to survey battlefields, road systems, and fortifications. Bennett’s diaries document his daily duties as both a soldier and an engineer for the military. His regiment participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, which he describes in vivid detail. Bennett was discharged from the military in August 1864.
In 1865, Bennett joined the engineering department of General Samuel R. Curtis as a civilian. He mapped the 1864 battlefields of Sterling Price’s Missouri Expedition. Bennett was then assigned to survey fortifications in Nebraska and Colorado, and eventually served as an engineering officer on the Powder River Expedition of 1865. Bennett’s diaries provide colorful insight to his perception of the Ozarks and its inhabitants.
George and Lycurgus Remley were brothers from Oxford, in Johnson County, Iowa who joined Company F of the 22nd Regiment of the Iowa Infantry. The brothers spent most of their time in service at Rolla, Missouri, but travelled further south and participated in the Battle of Port Gibson, in Georgia and the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. George and Lycurgus frequently corresponded with their parents, the Reverend James Remley and their mother Jane back in Iowa, telling them of the conditions of military life and their movements across the country. They also sent letters back and forth to their Uncle William Zoll who lived in Warrensburg, MO. Unfortunately, both brothers did not survive through the war. Lycurgus died in camp near Vicksburg from illness in June 1863. George died at the Battle of Opequan in Winchester, Virginia in September 1864.