Rest assured that we are all well and everything is prospering

Joseph Culver Letter, September 10, 1864, Page 1

Head Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Ills.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.
Sept. 10th 1864
My Dear Wife

Though it seems very improbable that any letter will reach you for some time to come, as our communication is so seriously interrupted; yet, should this reach you, rest assured that we are all well and everything is prospering.

We have nothing to fear yet, for we have plenty of supplies for 3 months to come. We have had but the one mail since Aug. 26th. I heard this morning that the road was torn up near Wartrace, also at Gallatin and South Tunnel.1 I think all will be well. I should prefer, however, if the letters on the road were safe in your hands or my own. I sent you a ten dollar Bill in one of them. I hope, however, none of them may fall into the enemy’s hands. For fear that some of them may, & until the way is open & safe, I shall write but briefly.

May the richest of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you and our child. Give my love to the family. With the hope of soon hearing from you, I remain,

Ever your affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. General Wheeler had spent two days wreaking havoc on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. In addition, the Confederates captured two trains, several stockades, and a number of small supply depots. There was no substance to the report that the Rebels had raided the Louisville & Nashville Railroad at Gallatin and South Tunnel. Wheeler, harassed by pursuing columns, had retreated into north Alabama, crossing the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals on September 10. One of Wheeler’s brigades, Brig. Gen. John S. Williams’, had been unable to rendezvous with the main column and had recrossed the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad on the 8th at Wartrace, but it was too hotly pursued to damage the track or telegraph. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. V, pp. 841-42; pt. III, pp. 959-60.
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Our opportunities for a regular mail are growing less

Joseph Culver Letter, September 8, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters Co. “A” 129th Ills. Vols.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.
September 8th 1864
My Dear Wife

We have no mail yet, and our opportunities for a regular mail are growing less unless some other method be adopted. We hope, however, if we remain here, our facilities will be much improved. The trains run regularly but do not stop here.

I hoped to see Bro. John before this, but the 4th Corps have not returned as was reported.1 We know nothing of the movements of the Army and have no late news from the North. This place is exceeding quiet, &, if it had not been for the amount of writing and labor necessary to straighten up the books & papers, I fear I should have had the blues severely. I am almost done now, but I hope soon to have the assurance of a visit home.

I am going on Picket in a few moments, & hope to receive a letter from you before I return. Maggie’s promised letter has not yet arrived. We are all very well. May our Father in Heaven bless you and our child & grant us life, health and all needful blessings. Give my love to all the family.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. The IV Corps was camped near Rough-and-Ready until the morning of September 8, when it started for Atlanta. The advance guard passed through Atlanta at 10:30 A.M. on the 9th, and the corps went into camp two miles east of the city, south of the Georgia Railroad. O. R., Ser. I. Vol. XXXVIII, pt. V, pp. 827, 840.
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A week of intense anxiety was relieved by the news of your safety

Joseph Culver Letter, September 7, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Regiment Ills. Vols. Infty.
Chattahoochie River, Georgia
September 7th 1864
My Dear Wife

Your letters of the 23rd & 25th August came to hand yesterday evening. To “Our Father” be all praise for his loving kindness and tender mercies. A week of intense anxiety was relieved by the news of your safety.1 I would that I were more worthy of all the blessings bestowed upon me. As the mails are open again, I hope to hear from you often; but, as we are so far from the city, we get ours very irregularly.2 Yesterday being the first we have recd. for 10 days.

Since the troops left here, it is very dull, and we get no news. The Campaign is over for the present, and I took advantage of the earliest opportunity, 3 days ago, to send up an application for a “Leave of Absence.”3 There are so very many applications in that my chances seem very poor. I could do no better than try; even should I succeed, I will wait until after the troops are paid off.

Dr. [Darius] Johnson and Allen Fellows enjoy very good health. Allen has been pitching horse shoes in the Company all afternoon. He feels a little blue as he has not recd. a letter from his wife for a long time; his last was dated 16th or 18th of August. Dr. Johnson is in Atlanta.

The stamps you sent never arrived; I suppose there is a shirt also on the way. They will probably arrive soon.

I recd. a letter from Bro. Harry and Sister Jennie [Cheston] yesterday dated Aug. 20th. All were well, but they say nothing of Mother [Culver] and Hannah’s anticipated visit to the West. The farms were to be offered for sale on the 23rd August.4

Sergt. Gaff has been selling me, I suppose, or else you are sadly mistaken. He told me a few days ago that by a letter he recd., dated the 21st Aug., he was informed of an acquisition to his family of a fine Baby Boy.

Your letter of P.M. August 25th made me feel very anxious, and I did not dare hope that any further news would reach me until next mail, but I was most happily disappointed in finding a Post Script, dated just 12 hours later, containing such glorious “news.” You are certainly a “paragon” in your line.

May God restore you speedily to health and strength. I believe the desire of your heart has been granted unto you. I prayed that it might be so. Let our hearts be thankful for all the blessings we have received. I would be very happy, indeed, to give the carress you desire, & hope I may be blessed with the opportunity before long. I have written every day for the last two weeks, so that you must have quite a collection of mail when the communication opened.5

With the earnest hope that my application may be successful, and that I may very soon have the privilege of uniting my voice with yours in praise to “Our Father” for all his mercies, I remain as ever,

Your Affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver had given birth to a son, Howard Dunmire, on Aug. 25, 1864.
  2. The 2d and 3d Brigades, Third Division, XX Army Corps, were stationed in Atlanta, six miles southeast of the fortified camp occupied by Colonel Harrison’s 1st Brigade.
  3. Captain Culver on Sept. 5, 1864, had written to the assistant adjutant general, Army of the Cumberland: I have the honor to request a leave of absence for 30 days for the purpose of visiting my family in Pontiac, Livingston County, Ill. My wife has been in delicate health all summer and is now quite ill. My child and my father have died since I entered service. I have not received a leave of absence since I enlisted Aug. 2, 1862. I have never been absent from my command either with or without leave, except on duty. 1st Lt. John W. Smith is serving with the company to which I am attached and my services can readily be spared for the period desired. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. To settle the estate of Father Culver, it was necessary to sell the family farms in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
  5. General Wheeler, with a formidable mounted force, in mid-August had been sent by General Hood to operate against the railroads over which Sherman supplied his armies. The Rebels had attacked Dalton, a station on the Western & Atlantic, but were repulsed. After breaking the subject railroad in several places and cutting the telegraph, Wheeler’s horsemen swept into East Tennessee. When they returned from East Tennessee at the end of August, Wheeler and his cavalry raided the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Track was twisted, bridges burned, and the telegraph cut between Nashville and Wartrace. While labor crews repaired the railroad and telegraph, Wheeler, pursued by strong Federal columns, retreated into north Alabama. Damage had been repaired by the 10th, when the first through train in 11 days left Nashville for Chattanooga. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. V, pp. 789, 844; Cox, Atlanta, p. 196.
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Video Series Visiting Bauman Rare Books

Over the summer members of the University of Iowa Special Collections team visited Las Vegas for the American Library Association and stopped by Bauman Rare Books to chat with Rebecca Romney, who you also might recognize as the rare book appraiser on the History Channel series “Pawn Stars.”  While there they let the cameras roll as they chatted with Rebecca Romney about the rare book field, collecting rare books, and the types of research that rare book dealers do that ends up being incorporated into catalog records and supporting academic research, all while taking a look at some particularly delightful rare books that they had in the shop.

Here is the result of the trip:  A five video series.  Enjoy!

The first video:  Down the Rabbit Hole.  This one includes an edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” illustrated by Salvador Dalí.

The second video: The Game is Afoot.  The team analyzes the lasting power of favorite characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Lizzie Bennet who continue to thrive through fan works and new interpretations.

The third video: It’s a First Edition Pride and Prejudice!

The fourth video: Et Tu Brute?   Taking a close look at a Shakespeare quarto (a single play).

The fifth video: We Go West.  A very rare surviving pamphlet, 1848 Latter-Day Saints’ Emigrants’ Guide.


As we have orders to move to Atlanta to-morrow, I may not have an opportunity to write

Joseph Culver Letter, September 5, 1864, Page 1

Hd. Qurs. Co. “A”, 129th Ills. Vols. Inftry.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.
Sept. 5th 1864
My Dear Wife

As we have orders to move to Atlanta to-morrow, I may not have an opportunity to write.1 We have recd. no mail yet; I cannot understand it as the trains are running by here regularly.

I have just returned from the Picket line, where I was called to marry a couple, but they had no license & I refused as the laws of this state require a license. They seemed very anxious. The Lady was about 33 or 35 & had a daughter with her, about 12 years old. The man was 30 yrs. old. I was very sorry to disappoint them, but I sent them to Marietta where I think they can obtain a license.

We are all well. It has rained very heavy here this afternoon & we got slightly wet.

Sherman is returning to Atlanta with the Army.2 We have not learned the full result, but 3,000 prisoners have arrived, & it is rumored that 7 or 8,000 more are on the road.3 The enemy’s loss is reported at 15 to 20,000. Our loss is slight, but we have not heard any numbers.4

I hope to hear from you very soon. May God bless you.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Out-generaled by Sherman and defeated in the battle of Jonesboro, General Hood and his Army of Tennessee evacuated Atlanta on the night of September 1. Hood reassembled his army at Lovejoy Station on the Macon & Western Railroad, 25 miles southeast of Atlanta. On the night of the 1st, soldiers of the XX Corps heard heavy explosions in the direction of Atlanta, and General Slocum ordered each of his division commanders to make a forced reconnaissance toward the city. A column from General Ward’s division, on approaching the city, was met by Major James M. Calhoun, who formally surrendered Atlanta and informed Col. John Coburn that the Confederates had evacuated. The next day, September 3, the remainder of the XX Corps, except the units detailed to guard the Chattahoochie bridges, marched into and took possession of the city. Harrison’s brigade was detailed to remain on the Chattahoochie to protect the railroad bridge and the commissary and ordnance depots. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. V, pp. 19, 330, 350, 392-93.
  2. General Sherman on September 4 issued orders for his armies to take position in and around Atlanta, “until a new campaign is planned in concert with the other grand armies of the United States.” Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland was to occupy the city and protect the Western & Atlantic Railroad; the Army of the Tennessee would occupy East Point; the Army of the Ohio Decatur; and the cavalry Sandtown, Roswell, and “other points on the flanks and along our line of communications.” O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. V, p. 801.
  3. General Sherman reported that in the battle of Jonesboro, his “army group” captured two four-gun batteries, killed about 500 Confederates, and wounded another 2,500. Union losses during the period August 26-September 2 would not exceed 1,500. Confederates captured in this phase of the Atlanta Campaign totaled about 3,000. Ibid., pp. 822, 830-31.
  4. Confederate losses during this eight-day period were in excess of 6,000. On evacuating Atlanta, the Confederates destroyed seven locomotives, 81 cars loaded with ammunition, small arms, and stores, and abandoned 14 pieces of artillery and a large number of small arms. Ibid., p. 778.
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Learn how to use EndNote Basic Friday, September 5, 11am-12pm

picture of instructor

Instructor Chris Childs, Outreach Librarian

EndNote is a reference management tool that helps you to easily gather together your references in one place, organize them, and then insert them into papers and format them in a style of your choosing. This session will walk you through the basics of using EndNote to collect and format your citations. The class will be hands-on and there will be time for questions at the end.

Our next session is:

Register online:  for this or any of our other open workshops.  You can also request a personalized session!

Just need a little help?  See our guide for EndNote Basic.



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Buffalo and Iowa Connection

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
By Gary Frost

Buffalo workshopA library and archives specialty is now accommodated within art conservation programs at the University of Delaware, New York University and Buffalo State College. Iowa is among others supporting and participating in this overall initiative that is generously supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

UI has begun hosting short term Internships for students from the Buffalo State College. These students have elected to specialize in book conservation at their home program and welcome the opportunity to experience the varied service routines of a working preservation department.

The Buffalo and Iowa exchange is coordinated by Iowa Conservator Emeritus Gary Frost. He is traveling from Iowa to Buffalo to offer book conservation training sessions, three times a semester. Frost also presents a three-week summer workshop in Buffalo that is opened to students from all the art conservation programs.

The Buffalo/Iowa exchange has benefits for everyone. Beyond support of graduate education in library and archives preservation Iowa offers unique resources for the students. Beyond experience in a working preservation department the Iowa Center for the Book provides experience of traditional crafts of book production while intense learning going on between Buffalo and Iowa students is also an important factor. The mutual student learning suggests other initiatives including cross-program workshops hosted by Iowa and cross-program curricula.

The Buffalo/Iowa exchange is a classic win-win transaction. Considering the students benefits it is a win-win-win transaction.

explore the strange resilience of book transmission and the join adventures in library preservation today

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Nominate Your Librarian for UI Libraries Arthur Benton Excellence Award

The University Libraries is seeking nominations for the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence. Funded by a generous endowment, this prestigious award acknowledges a library staff member’s professional contributions in the practice of librarianship, service to the profession, scholarship, or leadership which has had a significant impact or innovation to the operations of the Libraries or the University of Iowa.


Nominate your librarian!
The deadline is Friday, September 26.


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Nominate your favorite librarian for Benton Award

The University Libraries is seeking nominations for the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence. Funded by a generous endowment, this prestigious award acknowledges a library staff member’s professional contributions in the practice of librarianship, service to the profession, scholarship, or leadership which has had a significant impact or innovation to the operations of the Libraries or the University of Iowa. The library staff member will receive $1,500 to be used for professional development activities.

Criteria for the award and the nomination form are available at:

Nominations are due by Friday, September 26. Please forward this message to faculty and graduate assistants in your department and encourage them to submit nominations. Thank you for your assistance.

*The University Libraries includes the Main Library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, and the Art, Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Music libraries. (Professional staff in the Law Library and other campus departmental library staff are not eligible.)