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Diaries of Pvt Edward S. Foster (117th NY State Infantry Regiment)

Image the diary of Edward Snow Foster


This is the diary kept by Edward Snow Foster, a private in the 117th New York State Infantry Regiment (Fourth Oneida Regiment) during the American Civil War. The original 4 volumes are held by the Archives of Hamilton College.

Biographical Information

Edward Snow Foster was born in 1842, son of Charles and Rhoda Foster of Verona, New York. He was a member of the Hamilton College class of 1861 when the Civil War broke out. On August 5, 1862, at the age of 19, he volunteered to join the U.S. Army at Verona, New York, and became a member of the 117th New York State Infantry Regiment, Company A.

He kept a diary that spanned over four small volumes and includes entries written at: Camp Morris, Maryland, Fort Franklin, Maryland, Camp Huntington, Fort Baker, D.C., a camp at Calhouns Point, Virginia, Yorktown and a camp at Julians Creek, Virginia.

Pvt Foster died of a fever at the Regimental Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, on July 22, 1963 at the age of 20.


  • Telegram from the regiment in Norfolk, Virginia, to Chas. H. Foster of Oneida, New York, July 22, 1863, announcing Edward S. Foster's death (held by Hamilton College, RARE BKS E 523.5 117th .F68 1862-1863)
  • New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York; New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900; Archive Collection #: 13775-83; Box #: 489; Roll #: 144-145,, accessed 2013-09-06.)

Other Resources

View his Enlistment Form.


This diary was digitized, transcribed and encoded in TEI (P5) by Hamilton College students. The transcriptions greatly facilitates reading and searching.
We use TEI

(Reviewed: September 6, 2013)



Diary of Pvt Edward Snow Foster (3 vols.)

[Please feel free to use the above links to view this diary, but our work on the page layout is still not finished. We will also be adding images of the original pages when digitization is complete.]