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Finding aid for the June and Gilbert Krueger collection of Civil War letters

Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein, 2011 November

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
Beebe, Charles L.
Creator
Drake, Zachary L.
Creator
Obriham, Charles J.
Creator
Obriham, Edwin C.
Creator
Obriham, Frank W.
Creator
Obriham, Harlow H.
Title
June and Gilbert Krueger collection of Civil War letters
Collection no.
0167
Date
1861-1886, undated (bulk 1861-1865)
Extent
0.42 Linear feet, 1 box
Language
English
Abstract
The collection consists chiefly of letters addressed to Lovina Obriham of Freeport, Winneshiek County, Iowa, from her brothers, Edwin C., Charles J., Frank W., and Harlow H. Obriham, her cousin and future husband, Chales L. Beebe, and other Union soldiers serving with the 9th Iowa Volunteers and other units; written from Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, the letters deal largely with camp life, troop movements, and military engagements, with some mention of the siege of Vicksburg and the march on Savannah.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], June and Gilbert Krueger collection of Civil War letters, Collection no. 0167, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Historical note

The Obriham [Oberham] family resided in Freeport, Winneshiek County, Iowa. Charles, Frank, and Henry served in the 38th Iowa Infantry, mustered into service on November 4, 1862 in Dubuque, and mustered out of service August 15, 1865 in Houston, Texas. Charles seems to have been born in 1821 in Vermont. He entered the army on August 9, 1862 in Dubuque, Iowa and was a private when discharged. Records, now deemed incorrect, indicate that he died on June 20, 1863 in Decorah, Iowa; Henry on June 13, 1863 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Edwin Obriham served in the 9th Iowa Infantry, mustered into service on June 10, 1861 at Keokuk, Iowa and mustered out of service at Louisville, Kentucky on July 12, 1865. Charles L. Beebe was born in New York State on October 4, 1834 and married Lovina Oberham in 1866. He entered the army in 1861, was discharged in 1865 having served in both Company G of the 46th and Company I of the 40th Illinois Infantry and at time of discharge had risen to the rank of corporal.

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Scope and Content

The June and Gilbert Krueger collection of Civil War letters consists of 86 letters, 2 postcards, 1 note, 4 clippings, and one program, dated 1861-1886. The letters were written by members of the Obriham extended family--brothers Charles J., Edwin C., Frank W., and Harlow H., cousin Charles L. Beebe, and friend Zachary L. Drake. The majority are addressed to Lovina Obriham, sister of Charles, Edwin, Frank, and Harlow. The letters were written from Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and deal largely with camp life, troop movements, and military engagements, with some mention of the siege of Vicksburg and the march on Savannah. Of particular interest are the letters from Edwin Obriham and Charles Beebe; they are the most numerous and thus give the most comprehensive picture of these soldiers' experiences in the Civil War. Almost all of them were present at the Battle of Vicksburg, and Edwin's letters describe the scene in some detail. Charles's letters are more detailed than any of the others, describing in more personal terms the food, marches, and general conditions of soldiers in the Union Army. The collection also includes letters to Lovina from female relatives, and letters to and from other cousins and friends.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
2011 November
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Revision Description

 Additional content added by Lisa Ebiner Gavit, 2013 November

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Gift of June Krueger, 1960, 1966; Philip Gray, 2013.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Clippings
  • Letters
  • Postcards

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Archival resources

Personal Name(s)

  • Beebe, Charles L. -- Correspondence
  • Drake, Zachary L. -- Correspondence
  • Krueger, June -- Archives
  • Obriham, Charles J. -- Correspondence
  • Obriham, Edwin C. -- Correspondence
  • Obriham, Frank W. -- Correspondence
  • Obriham, Harlow H. -- Correspondence
  • Obriham, Lovina -- Correspondence

Subject(s)

  • Soldiers--United States--19th century--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 Beebe, Charles L. 1861 January-1863 March   9 letters

Scope and Content

These nine letters are written from Charles Beebe to his cousin Lavina between 1861 and 1863. In his letters he mentions things such as how he made another trade, he was sick with the ague, he mentions locations where the army is staying, and complains about marching barefoot without any food. In one letter he says, "I hope to see the day that this war will be at an end but I don't believe we will ever see the south subdued."

1 1

 Beebe, Charles L. 1863 April-December   6 letters

Scope and Content

This folder contains 6 letters written in 1863 to Lavina from her cousin C.L. Beebe. The letters contain various pieces of information about the health of C.L. Beebe, the activities the soldiers do, how many rebels they have captured, how he can hear the church bells from camp and how he wishes he could attend the church services. He also mentions rumors he hears about various battles in the war, and how he enlisted again for 3 more years.

1 2

 Beebe, Charles L. 1864 April-1865 December   8 letters

Scope and Content

This folder contains several letters written by C.L. Beebe to his cousin Lavina from 1864-1865. There are also several envelopes included, one of which contains a dried leaf inside. One letter instructs Lovina to sign her name "Lydia" from time to time so as to trick a "sertain person hear that trubles him self considerable about other folks busnes..." Each letter begins with a description of his health, and most letters go on to describe what is going on in the war, where he is camped, etc.

1 3

 Beebe, Mary 1886 November 29   1 letter

Scope and Content

This letter was written by Mary Beebe to her sister Abby Beebe. Mary talks about Abby being sick, and mentions that Pearl (Mary's daughter) is sick.

1 16

 Drake, Zachary L. 1861 October-December   3 letters

Scope and Content

This folder contains 3 letters, all from 1861, from Zachary Drake to Lavina Obriham, who appears to be his cousin. In the letters, he mentions (although not in much detail) the drills and the camps of his regiment, as well as his task of buying bread for his camp, for which he had to walk one mile three times a day.

1 4

 Drake, Zachary L. 1862 July 24   1 letter

Scope and Content

This is a letter written from City Hospital in St. Louis from Zachary Drake to Lavina Obriham. Zachary writes about his time spent in the hospital, calling it a "splendid hospital".

1 17

 Obriham, Charles J. 1862 September-1863 March   5 letters

Scope and Content

These 5 letters from C.J. Obriham to his sister describe the whereabouts of the soldiers, the health of all the soldiers, and contain many encouraging words asking his sister and parents to continue trusting in God for their safety. He also conveys rumors he has heard about how they hope the war will be over by the following Spring.

1 5

 Obriham, Charles J. 1863 February 3   1 letter

Scope and Content

This is a letter written by Charles J. Obriham to his sister, L.L. Obriham. Written from New Madrid, Mo., Charles complains that he does not have any postage stamps. He talks about the weather, among other things, and he mentions that tobacco is 1.00- 1.50 a pound.

1 18

 Obriham, Edwin C. 1861 November-1862 October   10 letters

Scope and Content

These letters also detail the movements of Ed's regiment, and contains a particularly interesting description of life as a soldier- "in one end of the Barracks they are writing to their friends, and the next their are dancing and playing eucher and the next are cleaning guns and the next thare is a man just breathing his last breath." He mentions his injured arm and the Surrender at Vicksburg as well.

1 6

 Obriham, Edwin C. 1862 November-1863 May   10 letters, 1 note

Scope and Content

In these letters Edwin describes the orders he has received to be ready to march at any hour of the day, he anticipates that there will be a battle at Vicksburg and in later letters describes the Battle at Vicksburg. He also mentions how it is hard to watch his army burn good houses just because they are in the rebels' territory.

1 7

 Obriham, Edwin C. 1863 June-September   7 letters

Scope and Content

This folder contains more letters from Edwin Obriham to various family members including a very somber letter informing his family of the death of his brother Harlow. Included in this folder is also a newspaper clipping from 1863 that looks to be from a Union newspaper.

1 8

 Obriham, Edwin C. 1864 April-1865 May   8 letters

Scope and Content

These letters describe what the army has accompolished in various battles and skirmishes, and in several of the letters Edwin complains about how his sister has not written back in several weeks.

1 9

 Obriham, Edwin C. 1863 June 6   1 letter

Scope and Content

This is a letter from Edwin Obriham to his sister Lavina. Written from the Yazoo River, Edwin talks about the rebels, the "Ladies of the north," and the general wartime situation.

1 19

 Obriham, Frank W. 1863 March-1865 January   8 letters

Scope and Content

These letters to his parents and sister from Frank detail parts of the Battle at Vicksburg as well as other details of life as a soldier. One of his letters is in the form of a poem written to his mother.

1 10

 Obriham, Frank W. 1863 February 2; 1864 December 15   2 letters

Scope and Content

This folder contains 2 letters from Frank W. Obriham, one addressed to his father and the other addressed to "father, mother, and sister". In the letters Frank talks about how he's doing well and how he eats well. He asks about his friends back home and mentions that he is sorry to hear that his father is lame.

1 20

 Obriham, Harlow H. 1862 January-1863 March, undated   4 letters

Scope and Content

In these letters written to his sister, Harlow mentions aspects of his daily life, a few descriptions of battles, and describes how he and several other soldiers spent New Year's Day.

1 11

 Unidentified letter 1865 December 11   1 letter

Scope and Content

This letter is simply addressed "To cousin" and "From cousin".

1 21

 Miscellaneous letters 1862 July-1863 August   6 letters

Scope and Content

Unsigned letter to Lovina Obriham; letters to Lovina from Emmaline Knight, Sylvester Robinson; letter to Lidy (Lydia Beebe?) from George Culver; letter to "cousin" (Lovina?) from Sophia.

1 12

 Miscellaneous letters 1864 July-1886 July   4 letters, 2 postcards

Scope and Content

Letter from M.M. (Malinda) Beebe to Lovina Obriham; Mary Beebe to Abby Beebe; Marcy Culver to Abby Beebe; and Rusha to Abby Beebe.

1 13

 Miscellaneous empty envelopes 1860s   4 envelopes

Scope and Content

Three of these envelopes are addressed to Lovina Obriham, one is addressed to Abby W. Beebe.

1 22

 Ulysses S. Grant Memorial program 1885 August 8 

1 14

 Clippings--songs and poems undated 

1 15

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