Michigan in the Civil War

Lewis, William Augustus, 1825-1917.

Lewis was an officer with the 23rd Michigan Volunteer Regiment (Sept. 1862-June 1865) and later a Saginaw County, then Evart, Mich., local government official. The collection contains correspondence (1863-1865) between Lewis and his brother Fred and future wife Sarah. The letters discuss geography, camp life, battles, traveling, illness, homesickness, loneliness, theft, assault, and depression.

Lewis's diaries (1862-1865) contain brief entries, but are almost always on a daily basis. The entries usually discuss maneuvers, battles, and skirmishes.

The collection also includes official correspondence, rosters, ordnance stores and receipts, as well as reminiscences and reunion miscellanea. The official correspondence (1863-1865) is composed of orders and letters between Lewis and General Headquarters or other officers concerning misconduct, theft and loss of supplies, and assault of officers (namely Lewis). The correspondence also documents the strict and interesting procedure of collecting evidence for arrests and trials during the Civil War. Both of the Civil War reminiscences are in Lewis's handwriting and were written after the Civil War at an unspecified date, probably 1870, with references to his diaries that survived the war. These writings are unfinished and record, chronologically, the maneuvers and battles through most of 1862 and 1863.

A scrapbook consists of clippings written by Lewis (Jan. 1, 1863-May 7, 1865) when he was a correspondent for his brother Fred's newspaper, The Saginawian. In these articles Lewis wrote of skirmishes, battles, illness, and great despair.

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