Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Keeler, Ezra

Keeler family.

The papers of this Shelby Township, Macomb County, Mich., family include nine letters and four diaries (Dec. 1862-Mar. 1865) of Alonzo Merrill Keeler, written while he was serving as captain and major in the 22nd Michigan Infantry. He was taken prisoner at Chickamauga in September, 1863 and paroled in February, 1865. Most of the entries are devoted to prison life in Libby, Macon, Ga., and the military prison in Columbia, S.C. The chief topics are rations of food and wood, health, a systematic reading of the Bible, the longing for escape or parole, and the removal from one prison camp to another. He was made brevet lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious service. In later life he was a school teacher.

The collection also includes six letters (1864-65) of Alonzo Keeler's brother Ezra Keeler, in which he tells of the plight of the people in Georgia and of the siege of Atlanta. He comments on the coming election, criticizing both Democrats and Republicans. Keeler was in Company B, 22nd Michigan Infantry in 1862 but transferred to the U.S. Signal Corps in 1863.