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Chase Hall Dickinson Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-DickinsonC

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence and a diary by Civil War soldier Chase Hall Dickinson, along with one photograph of Dickinson and some confederate money.

The letters from Dickinson are written to his Mother, Father, and sister Louise, with one to "Marcia." He writes from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Pass Cavallo, Texas. Dickinson describes daily life as a Union soldier on the march, often imploring his family to send him more letters or newspapers. In one letter (Jan. 3, 1863) he includes a hand-drawn map of the Yazoo River and Vicksburg bluffs; in July of the same year he describes the July 4 surrender of Vicksburg by the Confederate Army. On Nov. 29, 1863, he describes for his sister a bleak Thanksgiving dinner that he had to eat, including a soup of "Aqua Frogpond flavored with dead mule." In a January 17, 1864 letter he tells his father his views on becoming an officer, whether leading a white or an African American regiment.


  • Creation: 1862-1864



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Chase Hall Dickinson Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Chase Hall Dickinson Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Chase Hall Dickinson

Chase Hall Dickinson was born in 1838 (according to the U.S. Census; according to his gravestone, he was born in 1837); his family was from Vermont. He enlisted in the Illinois Chicago Mercantile Light Artillery Battery on Aug. 29, 1862. He was promoted to Full Captain on Mar. 18, 1864, the same day he was mustered out. After his Army career he became a lumberman and later a hardware store owner in Kalamazoo, Michigan He was married to Ruth Sherman Pitkin Dickinson (1842-1914) and had two children, Hellen (1874-1891) and Bartlett (1876-1936). Chase Hall Dickinson died in 1893 of heart failure after having been badly injured in a train wreck near St. Joseph, Missouri. He was buried in Kalamazoo.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Correspondence and diary of Civil War soldier Chase Hall Dickinson (1838-1893), of the Illinois Chicago Mercantile Light Artillery Battery. Dickinson wrote home to his mother, father, and sister Louise from 1862-1864, and also kept a diary from 1863-1864. Portions of both the correspondence and the diary have been transcribed. Papers also include some confederate money and a photograph of Dickinson.


Papers arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 39 2


Gift, Milo and Joan Jones, 2019.

Processed by

Alison Hinderliter, 2019.

Inventory of the Chase Hall Dickinson papers, 1862-1864
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States