Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Gibbs, Oramill

Van Hoosen, Joshua, b. 1830.

This collections is available online.

The papers of this Rochester, Mich., farmer include letters from a number of Civil War soldiers:

Daniel W. Cowell, of Rochester, Mich. He was in Company C, 5th Michigan Infantry, August 8, 1861-July 5, 1865, as a musician. He was reported missing in action at Chancellorsville, Va. May 3, 1863. There is one letter September 22, 1861, from Fort Richardson near Washington. He describes the destruction of farm fences and buildings in order to get fuel and building materials for their camps. He also tells of picket duty.

Josiah H. Gibbs, of Oakland County, Mich. He was in Company E, 16th Michigan Infantry, February 1864-July 1865. There are two letters: March 20, 1864 he says many have been sick; they had inspection; food was good (soft bread, pork, beef, potatoes, dried apples, coffee, sugar). In the May 19, 1864 letter, with the Army of the Potomac, he said they had been on the march, had been in a battle with many casualties; and now at the front they are lying about fifty rods from the enemy with an open field between them. They met half way and exchanged newspapers.

Oramill Gibbs. He was in Company E, 16th Michigan Infantry, February 1864-July 1865. Father of Robert and Josiah, he came into the regiment for the bounty. In one letter (June 4, 1864.) he is not well, and is in McClellan Hospital where he is able to work some.

Robert I. Gibbs, of Rochester, Mich. In Company B, 10th Michigan Infantry, January-November, 1862, he died of disease at Jackson, Tenn., November 10, 1862. There are two letters. March 11, 1862 he says they still are in the camp at Flint and don't know where they will be sent. In a letter from Deep Springs, Miss., June 25, 1862, he says many are sick from the dust and "boiling" hot sun. He gives news of the men in the regiment; and says rebel deserters are coming into their lines.

Marion Munson, of Wayne County, Mich. He was in Company E, 16th Michigan Infantry from August 20, 1861-July 6, 1865; wounded in action June 2, 1864. Twenty letters from October 27, 1861-December 30, 1864, are mostly about his activities-guard and picket duty, marches and skirmishes. He also comments on how he would like to see things done to win the war; on rain, mud, dust; on the use of balloons; chaplains; the band; the pay of officers; and drunkenness. The February 19, 1863 letter is a vehement diatribe against Lincoln and the Negroes.

Napoleon B. Taylor, of Rochester, Mich. In Company G, 22nd Michigan Infantry and Company G, 29th Michigan Infantry, March-September, 1865. One letter (July 27, 1865) is mostly a description of the country around Murfreesboro with an eye on prospects for settling there after the war.

Nathan Van Hoosen, of Oakland County, Mich. He was in Company B, 10th Michigan Infantry, January 9, 1862-February 6, 1865. There are ten letters written to his brother (1862-1863). He had quarreled with his brother before leaving home, and now was trying to patch up the quarrel. His health is not good, and he is in a hospital frequently. A member of Company E had been court-martialed, found guilty of deserting, and had been shot before the troops. Nathan described the scene. One letter has an illustrated letterhead with the inscription: "Michigan ever loyal to the Union and constitution."

This collection is available on microfilm for interlibrary loan.