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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.

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TitleDocumentBox NumberFolder NumberLocation
A telegram from the War Department dated July 18, 1864 stating" The depot for drafted men at Buffalo is given up; Men and Stores are ordered to Elmira instead". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0306
A telegram from the War Department dated July 18, 1864 stating" The depot for drafted men at Buffalo is given up; Men and Stores are ordered to Elmira instead". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0307
A letter from the War Department dated July 19, 1863 stating "I am directed to instruct you to assign suitable medical officers to the rendezvous for the drafted men named in the accommodation Circular". From the National ArchivesLetterJ0308
A telegram from the Erie Railway Telegraph dated Aug. 13, 1863 from Washington stating "See Telegram from this office Aug 8th which directed men to be sent to Rikers Island NY Harbor they will be forwarded from there by water to Army Potomac". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0309
A letter from the War Department dated August 28, 1863 regarding men charged with dissertation. From the National Archives.LetterJ0310
A letter from the War Department dated December 5, 1863 regarding men on duty at the rendezvous. From the National Archives.LetterJ0311
A letter from the War Department dated Feb 1865 regarding a detachment for Savannah. From the National Archives. From the National Archives.LetterJ0401
A letter from the War Department dated July 1865 stating" Col. Tracy at Elmira sends his detachments with orders to the officer in charge to deliver them to their respective regiments and not to turn them over to any intermediate rendezvous". From the National Archives.LetterJ0402
Office NY Military Telegraph from the War Department dated February 2, 1865 regarding a mix-up with men intended for Savannah ending up in Winchester, VA. From the National Archives.TelegramJ0403
A letter from Office of the Provost Marshal General dated January 7, 1865 regarding recruits from Elmira and Trenton, NJ. From the National Archives.LetterJ0404
A letter from the War Department dated Feb. 7, 1865 regarding draft rendezvous. From the National Archives.LetterJ0405
A letter from the War Department dated Feb 13, 1865 states "…you inquire whether a contract surgeon on duty at Depot of Prisoners of War at Elmira is subject to arrest and trial before a court martial". Wants to more facts about the officer in question. From the National Archives.LetterJ0406
A letter from the Bureau of Military Justice dated March 1, 1865 regarding charges against surgeons P. C. Pease and Wm. O. Smith. From the National Archives.LetterJ0407
A telegraph from Washington dated March 24, 1865 making Elmira the General Rendezvous "for all purposes for which Auburn is now used". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0408
A telegraph from Washington dated April 5, 1865 requesting Major A. T. Lee to proceed to Elmira "and assume temporarily the change of the duties of Provost Marshal General and Superintendent of Recruiting Service of the Western Division". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0409
A letter from Albany to Col. Tracy dated April 25, 1865 regarding Draft Rendezvous. From the National Archives.LetterJ0410
A telegram from Erie Railway Telegraph from Washington dated July 8, 1865 stating "All officers and enlisted men now at Rendezvous belonging to Regiments formerly in Army Potomac recently Provisional Corps and Army Ten will be relieved forth-with and ordered to their respective States to report to the Chief Mustering officer [sic] for their final papers and payment". From the National Archives.TelegramJ0411
A letter from the War Department dated July 17, 1865 regarding Draft Rendezvous ordering men to their respective states. From the National Archives.LetterJ0412
A letter from the War Department dated July 17, 1865 regarding Draft Rendezvous ordering men to their respective states. From the National Archives.LetterJ0413
Special Orders 43 from Head Quarters District of Northern New York dated July 10, 1865 regarding the stopping of pay to the officers and men of the 15th and 50th Regiments NY Volunteers because of damages alleged to have been committed by these two regiments. From the National Archives.LetterJ0414
A letter from Head Quarters October 20, 1865 regarding Capt. R. R. R. Dumans (sp?)LetterJ0415
88 pages of handwritten copies of Special Orders from March 4, 1864 through January 10, 1865. From the National Archives RG 110, Entry 2351, Special Orders, 1864 Vol. III.DocumentsJ0501
Special Orders, 1864 Vol. III. Record Group 1101 Entry 2351. Orders cover the period from March 4, 1965 to January 10, 1865. Author handwrote all information.DocumentsJ0501
Special Orders, Jan 1865-Feb. 1866, Record Group 110 Entry 2355. Covers the period from January 13, 1865 to June 20, 1865. Author handwrote all information.DocumentsJ0502
Hand written notes regarding Letter Book 1, August 1863 - May 1864 from National Archives Record Group 110 Entry 2341.DocumentsJ0601
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