Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Knight, Joseph W.

Dunn, Ransom, 1818-1900.

Dunn was a Free Will Baptist minister and president of Hillsdale College. Two of his sons, Francis Wayland Dunn and Newell Ransom Dunn, served in the Civil War, and his papers contain materials relating to both. Papers of July and August 1864 include references to Dunn's visit to the Army of the Cumberland. Dunn was appointed by Michigan Governor Blair as agent for the relief of sick, disabled, and needy soldiers.

The collection contains fifty-five letters written by Francis Wayland Dunn to his father. The letters repeat many of the entries of Dunn's diary in much greater detail. A letter of March 28, 1863 tells his father of the last hours and death of Wayland's brother Ransom. Dunn's appointment as sergeant major in the 1st Alabama Cavalry is described in a May 19, 1863 letter. An interesting and lengthy letter of June 13, 1863, tells of a rebel trap and skirmish in which Wayland was almost captured. A rebel surprise attack and the rapid disorganized retreat of Wayland's regiment is described in a letter of Oct. 30, 1863. A June 24, 1864 letter includes a lengthy discussion of the efforts of Union forces to seize Kennesaw Mountain. Dunn served in Company A, 64th Illinois Infantry and in Company H, 1st Alabama Cavalry (Union). Fifteen letters of Newell Ransom Dunn are also in the collection. Many of these letters were written from the hospital at Corinth, Miss., to his father while he was a member of Company A, 64th Illinois Infantry. These letters give details of camp life, food, and battles. A letter of Oct. 19, 1861 discusses Hillsdale's military training program and its officers. Letters of Sept. and Oct. 1862 describe Camp Yates near Springfield, Ill., the recruits' steamboat trip down the Mississippi River, and camp life in Glendale and Corinth. Dunn died of pneumonia in 1863.

The collection also contains letters of a number of other soldiers, many of them chaplains:

J. C. Arnold of Company C, 153rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry (May 15, 1865).

George S. Bradley, chaplain of the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers, two letters (March 15, 1864 and May 11, 1865).

Daniel P. Cilley, chaplain of the 8th New Hampshire Volunteers (June 17, 1863) describing the siege of Port Hudson.

E. R. Clark, chaplain of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry (Sept. 13, 1864).

E. N. Coolbeath of the 100th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps (May 19, 1864).

T. R. Dunn of the 2nd Vermont Battery. A letter of March 15, 1862, written from off the Florida coast. Also a letter of Dec. 8, 1862.

R. S. Howard of the 124th Illinois Infantry (April 24, 1864).

Joseph W. Knight of the 5th Wisconsin Battery (Feb. 23, 1863).

H. W. Magee of Company E, 4th Michigan Infantry, two letters (June 2 and Aug. 13, 1861). The letter of Aug. 13, 1861 relates to the battle of Bull Run.

Frank Smith of the 64th Illinois Infantry (Oct. 18, 1863).

Jacob H. Stark of Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry, two letters (May 4, 1861 and March 20, 1865).

N. Woodworth, chaplain of the 31st Wisconsin Infantry, two letters (Nov. 2, 1864 and April 1, 1865). The letter of April 1, 1865 relates to freedmen in Beaufort, S.C.

Finding aid available in library