These materials all date from the American Civil War era. They were selected for digitization because they relate to the people and history of Oneida County, New York in which Hamilton College is located. A large portion of them relate to the 117th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment mustered in on August 8, 1862 at Oneida county.
Credits - Digitization of this collection was made possible by grants from the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program through CLRC (Central New York Library Resources Council).
Issued by Randall Ericson, Director, Hamilton College Library
For Immediate Release: July 16, 2001
Contact Sharon Rippey, 315-859-4691
Clinton, N.Y. -- The Hamilton College Library has received a donation of Civil War papers, consisting of enlistment papers for the 117th Oneida County Volunteer Regiment. The papers were donated by Katherine, Charles, Linda and Kevin Turley, the children of Edward M. and Doris Alberding Turley, of Clayville.
"This is a very significant contribution which we are thrilled to receive," said Randall Ericson, the Patricia Pogue and Richard Watrous Couper Librarian at Hamilton's Burke Library. "It's rare to find such a large collection of a single regiment's paper. This donation provides the foundation upon which we can build and create both a collection of resources and also a Web site focused on the New York 117th."
The papers include almost 1,000 enlistment papers for a regiment formed in Rome, NY, in July and August of 1862, which was assigned with the Army of the Potomac to defend Washington, D.C. The regiment was later attached to the IX and X Corps where it participated in major battles such as Cold Harbor and the Battle of Petersburg. The regiment was mustered out in May 1865.
Other papers included in the donation include guard reports, daily reports, special orders and miscellaneous communications and letters from the 117th. All of the papers were found in the home of Linda Turley in 1997. A newspaper found in the box in which the papers were contained indicates that the box had been there since 1955. Ms. Turley theorizes that the papers were purchased at an auction of property owned by the descendants of Charles Millard, adjutant for the regiment, at the Millard Mansion in Clayville.* The home still stands today and is known currently as Clay Manor.
Linda Turley said the family considered several historical societies and libraries before deciding to make the donation to Hamilton College. "After talking with Randy Ericson I was convinced that Hamilton College would provide long term preservation of the papers. Most importantly, Mr. Ericson presented the library's plan to build a web site for this collection that will be available to anyone who is interested in the 117th for whatever reason; making the information available and accessible was my primary concern."
The collection of papers is significant for Hamilton College because students in sophomore seminars and senior thesis candidates can use these rich primary source materials for their research, Ericson explained. This comprehensive collection of Civil War papers will supplement Hamilton's existing collection, and will be available on Hamilton's Web site for the general public.
[*This sentence in the original press release contained an error. The release asserted that the owner of the Millard Mansion at the time of the auction was a descendant of Charles Millard. The owner of the Mansion at that time, however, was a descendant of David J. Millard, who was an uncle of Charles Millard. We want to thank John DePerno, resident of Clayville, for pointing this out to us.]
Announcement of Launch of Digital Collections Web site
Issued by Randall Ericson, Director, Hamilton College Library (315) 859-4489
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2004
Clinton, N.Y. -- The Hamilton College Library has received a donation of Civil War papers, consisting of enlistment papers for the 117th Oneida County Volunteer Regiment. The papers were donated by Katherine, Charles, Linda and Kevin Turley, the children of Edward M. and Doris Alberding Turley, of Clayville. The Daniel Burke Library is pleased to announce the availability of its digital resources Web site. The resources currently available are Civil War materials, largely related to the 117th N.Y.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which was one of four infantries from Oneida County.
The contents include:
925 enlistment papers from 1862, covering about half of the members of the 117th N.Y.S. regiment.
A collection of 57 letters written by George W. Pearl from 1862 to 1865. Pearl was a private in the 117th N.Y.S. Infantry Regiment, Company F. His parents lived in Clinton, New York.
The journal of private John Humphrey, of Utica, New York, written from 1863 to 1865 while he served in the 117th, Company B.
Thirteen reunion invitations issued by the 117th Regiment N.Y.S.V. Association to attend annual reunions of the 117th between 1899 and 1918. The invitations typically include a message from a member of the reunion committee, a list of association officers, order of program, a mortuary report, and directions to the venue.
A collection of 23 colorful silk ribbons issued at annual reunions of the 117th. The ribbons usually show the regiment name, town and date of the reunion.
A collection of 67 letters written from 1862-1865 by Henry Welch of North Hebron, Washington Co., N.Y., a corporal in the 123rd New York Infantry Regiment. The letters are written to his father and mother, his brother and sisters and an uncle and aunt.
An additional 240 letters will be added by Fall 2004.
The enlistment forms are searchable by name, town, state, country of birth, occupation, place of enlistment, consentor and company.
The letters have been both digitized and transcribed. They can be browsed chronologically and are keyword searchable on the full text.
The journal has also been digitized and transcribed. It can be browsed page by page. We anticipate making it keyword searchable in the future.
It is our hope that anyone interested in the Civil War will find these resources useful. We see potential applications not only for researchers, but also for high school students, genealogists, local history enthusiasts and those with a curiosity about the Civil War, especially as depicted by local soldiers.
This work has been funded in part by grants from the Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC) through the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program of the State of New York.
Hamilton College Library owes a special note of thanks to the children of Edward M. and Doris Alberding Turley of Clayville, N.Y., who donated the 117th enlistment forms to the Library in 2001.
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