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Johnson M. Paisley papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Paisley


Two diaries, two cased ambrotype portraits, regimental travel record, and a miniature book of poetry belonging to Johnson M. Paisley, a Union soldier from Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill. Pocket diaries, the first dating Aug. 15, 1862-May 13, 1863 and Jan. 1-7, 1864, and the second dating Jan. 1, 1864-Feb. 8, 1865, contain brief daily entries noting the weather, regimental movements and engagements, deaths and illnesses, letters to and from home, religious services, meals, foraging, etc. Paisley also comments on the destruction of railroads and towns, crowds of Negroes on the banks of the Mississippi, and Confederate prisoners. The diaries also contain accounts, copies of good-bye letters from family, and a letter from Paisley, Feb. 8, 1865, regarding sending the completed diary home and his future. The regimental travel account, 1862-1865, records places traveled to and from, the means of travel, total miles, and remarks (engagements, deaths, etc.). Ambrotypes, ca. 1862, include full-length (with rifle) and sitting portraits of Paisley in uniform.


  • Creation: 1862-1865


Biographical / Historical

Union soldier from Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill. Johnson M. Paisley enlisted Aug. 14, 1862, as a corporal in Co. B of the 117th Illinois Infantry. He was mustered out as a sergeant on Aug. 5, 1865. After a period at Camp Butler in Springfield, Ill., Paisley left in Nov., 1862 with his regiment for Memphis. He remained in the Memphis area during the period recorded in his first diary (through May 13, 1863; Jan. 1-7, 1864). During 1864 Paisley and his regiment were in Mississippi with Sherman (Feb.), on Bank's Red River expedition (Mar., Apr., May), in Vicksburg and Memphis (late May), engaged at Tupelo, Old Town Creek and Hurricane Creek, Miss. (July and Aug.), in Missouri (Oct.), and engaged in the battles at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn. (Dec.).


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Organized by type of material.

Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Midwest Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library).

General Note

Ambrotype portraits in original cases.

General Note

Miniature poetry book, The floral wreath : an offering of friendship. Boston : G.W. Cottrell, c1851; lacking cover and p. 83-96.

Related/Analytical Title

Floral wreath.

Catalog Record Only
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