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Manuscript Library

Welcome to the Booth Library manuscript index. 

The manuscript index contains links to finding aids for the collections of the Booth Library.  Each finding aid has a description of that collection along with a listing of the items within that collection.  The Booth Library staff and volunteers are updating the index daily in order to make your research experience more productive.

The Manuscript Index is arranged alphabetically by collection name.  To access a finding aid, please click on its name.

To search the Manuscript Index for a specific research topic, please enter the term into the Search Library Box below. 

Please keep in mind that many collections have not been inventoried while others are currently in progress.  If you have any questions regarding the Finding Aids or the Index, please contact the archivist at

Collection TitleMC 02 Civil War CollectionCreatorBooth Library
Processed ByKimberly Richards, Calvin Brewer
Date Completed:Spring 2006
Provenance:The Civil War Collection was donated to the Booth Library by various donors, including Historians George Farr, Michael Horigan and Carl Morell, as well as purchases made by George Farr on behalf of the Chemung County Historical Society.


Historical:Elmira, New York played a very important role during the Civil War. In 1861 Gov. Edwin B. Morgan designated Elmira as a Military Depot and in 1863 the US Government named Elmira as a Draft Rendezvous. Officers and enlisted men totaling 20, 796 were sent south from Elmira, who served in some of the most prestigious regiments including the 107th New York Volunteers and the 50th New York Engineers. Elmira first served as a place for mustering troops, some of the more famous being the 107th New York Volunteers and the 50th New York Engineers. In 1864 commanders at Elmira received word that they would also serve as a place for Prisoners of War. The Elmira Prison Camp existed for a year and four days, from June 6, 1864 to July 10, 1865. During that time over 12,000 confederates at one time or another were stationed in Elmira. Due to miscommunication, personality conflicts and malnutrition, 2963 men died over the period of that year. These men were buried by John W. Jones, an ex-slave, who became a prominent citizen within the Black Community. The Confederate War Dead are in Woodlawn National Cemetery, accessible by the Davis Street Entrance.
Scope:The largest series in this collection are boxes j-o. These boxes contain all the research information Michael Horigan put together for his book Elmira: Death Camp of the North, published in 2001. The Chemung County Historical Society is still actively collecting documents for this collection and it will continue to grow.


Extent4.5 linear feet
Date Span1860-Present
AbstractThe Civil War collection contains originals and copies of letters, diaries and documents produced during the Civil War, 1861-1865, including the Elmira Prison Camp, 1864-1865, as well as recent articles and research.

Filter by:
TitleDocumentBox NumberFolder NumberLocation
Orders - Special Orders No. 134 regarding the Elmira Prison Camp shooting and forming a military commission, Elmira Prison Camp, June 20, 1865.OrdersA0101
Document - Report of the proceedings of the military commission formed to investigate the prison camp shooting, Elmira Prison Camp, June 21, 1865.DocumentA0102
Documents - Enlistment papers, genealogical information, medical and death records, and muster rolls for prisoner of war Alfred Martin; Elmira Prison Camp; 1861-1863.DocumentsA0201
Manuscript - Excerpts from the book "The Ups and Downs of a Confederate Soldier" by prisoner of war James Huffman, Elmira Prison Camp, 1939.ManuscriptA0301
Documents - Transcript of diary kept by prisoner of war Wilbur Wightman Gramling, Elmira Prison Camp, May 6, 1864 - May 5, 1865.DocumentsA0401
Correspondence - From Theodore W. Hentz to his cousin Paul Willard about prison life, Elmira Prison Camp, January 5 - February 28, 1865.CorrespondenceA0501
Envelope - Cover addressed to Mr. Caswell King at Elmira Prison Camp, Elmira Prison Camp, February 6, c. 1864-1865.EnvelopeA0601
Correspondence - Inmate W.A. Bavis to Mrs. M.A. Richmond discussing health and prison life, Elmira Prison Camp, September 28, 1864.CorrespondenceA0602
Correspondence - From James S. Montgomery to F.J. Ferguson asking for cigars, Elmira Prison Camp, October 19, 1864.CorrespondenceA0603
Correspondence - James H. Hardaway to Reverend Edwin G. Booth asking for money and vegetables, Elmira Prison Camp, November 1, 1864.CorrespondenceA0604
Correspondence - Thomas B. Wills to Mary E. Avent informing her of her father's death as a prisoner of war, Elmira Prison Camp, January 14, 1865.CorrespondenceA0605
Correspondence - Inmate Albert A. Brooks to Reverend Edwin G. Booth requesting tobacco, Elmira Prison Camp, January 17, 1865.CorrespondenceA0606
Correspondence - Inmate W.A. Porter to James Dumars asking for favors, Elmira Prison Camp, February 23, 1865.CorrespondenceA0607
Manuscript - Memories of Thomas C. Jones regarding his experience as a prisoner of war, Elmira Prison Camp, January 26, 1904.ManuscriptA0701
Book - "Narrative of Privations and Sufferings of United States Officers & Soliders While Prisoners of War in the Hands of the Rebel Authorities", United States Sanitary Commission, December 1864.BookA0801
Bible - Inscribed by prisoner of war Thomas H. Cox, Elmira Prison Camp, 1865.BibleA0901
Newspaper - "Hospital for Prisoners of War", Elmira Prison Camp, March 24, 1865.NewspaperA1001
Pass - Prison pass for inmate A.J. Reed, Elmira Prison Camp, May 10, 1865.PassA1002
Documents - Correspondence and plans collected by Thomas E. Byrne pertaining to the Civil War Monument, Elmira Prison Camp, 1984-1988.DocumentsA1101
Handbill - Schedule of Events: Civil War Reenactment, August 24-25, 1985 (2 versions).HandbillA1201
Program - Lincoln vs. Davis Debate Reenactment, August 24, 1985.ProgramA1202
Invitation - Elmira Civil War Monument Ceremony, August 25, 1985.InvitationA1203
Program - Elmira Civil War Monument Dedication Ceremony, August 25, 1985.ProgramA1204
Booklet - "Helmira" Tours of Camp Chemung, Woodlawn National Cemetery, and John Jones Grave Site by the Chemung Valley Living History Center, ca. 1998. BookletA1206
Handbill - Presentation of banner for being first regiment under duty, 107th Regiment N.Y. Vols., August 16, 1862.HandbillB0101
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