Jesse Sherwood Papers
Scope and Content of the Collection
Logs and mementos of Jesse Sherwood of Missouri and Chicago, who served as a surgeon’s steward during the Civil War on the gunboat USS Somerset, mostly off the coast of Florida. Contains details of war experiences off Florida and Cuba, including attacking and capturing a Southern ship, shelling towns, taking possession of encampments and helping onboard refugees and fleeing slaves. Also, personal comments on daily life on shipboard, of his pleasure in eating, drinking and smoking cigars, and of often going ashore on hunting and fishing expeditions.
Includes three medals, his resignation letter, pension documents and information on the fate of the Somerset. Also, some biographical sketches and a folio album of photographs of Sherwood and his family, a carte de visite and a daguerreotype of an unidentified woman.
- Creation: 1862-1931
- Sherwood, Jesse, 1843-1912 (Person)
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The Jesse Sherwood Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Jesse Sherwood 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 Jesse Sherwood
Chicago businessman and Civil War veteran.
Jesse Sherwood was born in Milford, Delaware, moved to Missouri, and during the Civil War went east and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1862. He was then eighteen years old. He served aboard the gunboat USS Somerset as a surgeon’s steward under a Lieutenant Commander English. Sherwood was in service for twenty-seven months, participating in many eventful naval episodes of the war, mostly off the coast of Florida.
After being discharged in 1864, Sherwood returned to Edina, Missouri and married Isabelle Flagler of La Grange, later running a combination drug and grocery store. In 1878 he moved to Quincy, Illinois, and then to Chicago, where he became a live stock commission merchant of cattle at the Union Stock Yards.
Sherwood always had a deep interest in civic affairs and served in many official capacities throughout his life, including serving for three years on the Chicago Board of Education and as a one-time president of the National Stock Yards. He was a member of the George A. Meade Post, G.A.R., the Farragut Naval Association and several hunting clubs. In Chicago there is a public school named in his honor, which is across the street from Sherwood Park, one of seven neighborhood playgrounds created by Chicago’s Special Park Commission in 1914.
Jesse Sherwood died in 1912.
1.1 Linear Feet (1 box and 1 oversize box)
Logs and mementos of Jesse Sherwood of Missouri and Chicago, who served as a surgeon’s steward during the Civil War on the gunboat USS Somerset. Includes 3 medals, his resignation letter, pension documents and information on the fate of the Somerset. Also, a folio album with photographs of Sherwood and his family, a carte de visite and a daguerreotype.
Arranged by type of material.
Collection Stack Location
1 41 2
Virginia Hay Smith, 2007.
Genre / Form
- Florida -- Description and travel
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
- Inventory of the Jesse Sherwood Papers, 1862-1931
- Virginia Hay Smith
- Language of description
- Script of description