I am getting impatient to hear from home

Joseph Culver Letter, February 17, 1865, Page 1Office Chief of Artillery, District of Tennessee,
Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 17th 1865.
Dear Sister Mollie:

I have just been making requisition on my memory for the recollection of writing you a letter a few days ago, but it refuses to render the account, therefore I conclude that I am mistaken – or rather as you once corrected me that I mistake in thinking that I have written you. I had fully intended to do it, about a week ago when I wrote to Leander, and am not now sure that I did not, but will proceed now as though I was sure that I had neglected my younger sister so long. I would on no account be so negligent in this matter did I not know that you have another “not a brother” who writes you often enough, almost, to keep you constantly reading. But do not think from this that I mean to relinquish a brother’s privalege to write to you as often, at least, as I feel like it and to expect letters from you. I am getting impatient to hear from home. Not a word from there, direct, since leaving it. I heard, indirectly, that Frank had left for the seat of war. I addressed a letter to him at Pontiac, but think it did not reach there till after he left. I have been very busy all week. We have been inspecting the Artillery at this post and it has been a very laborious work, but we finished it yesterday – inspected five Batteries – and now I have a leisure hour, and will devote the largest part of it to chatting with you. Some one wrote me – Gussie Kent I think – that Baby Howard was sick, had the whooping cough. I hope the little fellow is better. Write me a whole letter about your self and the baby – and I’ll not prohibit your saying a word about Frank. I had a letter from Bro. Tom dated at Cleveland, a few days ago. He was well. Did not give any news of consequence. The burden of his communication was about the girls. Mollie, I wish I was married – wish I had a good wife to bring down here. I am nicely situated for keeping house. We occupy for Head Qrs. a fine large mansion – the late residence of the rebel Col Bryan – and I could locate my family here in good style. Wouldn’t that be nice soldiering? Mollie you select me a wife and I’ll apply for a leave of absence of a week, to go and get married. I’ll beat Tom yet if he don’t be spry. But seriously, I think Sammy will beat both of us. Tom is too full of business to marry and I will never save money enough to purchase the necessary matrimonial papers. Sammy will turn out the only sensible boy in the family. He will come out of the service with five or six hundred dollars and be in circumstances to take unto himself a spouse and go into business. I have about made up my mind that it is better for me to be in the army than out of it. This is the only place in which I can support myself, and therefore I shall remain in the service of our Uncle until his rebellious children are subdued and then go to Mexico and join the Liberals. There I shall win fame enough to support me in my declining years. This is not an air castle that I am building, is it? I wish I had Sammy with me here. Write to him very often. He writes me that he gets letters from home only semi occationally. Love to all.

Goodbye Mollie
Very Affectionately
Your Brother
Wm J. Murphy

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I went to the Dock this morning to see what time the boat would leave

Joseph Culver Letter, February 15, 1865, Page 1

Home Insurance Company
Office No. 135 Broadway.
New York, Feby. 15th 1865
My Dear Wife

I went to the Dock this morning to see what time the boat would leave. We may possibly not get away to-day on account of the ice. I met Capt. Horton, Co. “F”, on the boat & went with him up to the Lovejoy Hotel to see Capt. Coolidge, Brigade Quarter Master, and Capt. Endsley, 70th Ind.1 I will have plenty of good company & feel much happier this morning than yesterday. I was a little blue yesterday when I thought of making the trip with strangers, perhaps sea-sick most of the way. God has been very kind and good to me, & I feel very happy in His love.

Capt. Horton & myself went down Wall Street to the Ferry this morning to see the sights. The gold market had not opened yet, so we will go again about noon. On our way back, we called in here at the Home Ins. Co.2 They greeted me very kindly and offer[ed] to do anything in their power to make my stay in New York pleasant. I am writing in a very neatly furnished little office for private uses. Am all alone. There is an arm chair just to my right, & I have been trying to imagine Howard and you in it, while I talk with you. “Oh, how I wish you were here.”

There will be a vessel in from Fortress Monroe [Va.] at 12 o’clock with the latest news. You will receive them by the Chicago papers to-morrow.

I am extremely fortunate in meeting Capt. Horton, as I will have barely sufficient funds to pay my living to Savannah. I have tried to be very economical but everything is so enormously high. I wished to send you some nice book from here, but you must “take the will for the deed” this time.

I see by the telegraph news this morning that it is snowing in Chicago, and probably in Pontiac also. The snow in Western New York is reported 4 feet deep. All the roads running West are blocked up, so that I cannot expect another letter before I leave.

Capt. Horton left the Regt. on the 10th January at Savannah & has been home on leave of Absence. He gave me quite a history of the Campaign through Georgia. The boys were all well. The news of the capture of Branchville and evacuation of Charleston are repeated this morning. It will either be confirmed or denied by the news on the noon Steamer.

The boat that we go down on (“Constitution”) is not a very fine one but looks strong and good. Horton says all were sea-sick coming up, so you can imagine what my condition will be two days hence. We will be Six days going to Savannah unless we have better luck than common. The sea is very rough. The weather this morning was very clear and pleasant, but it is quite cloudy now & looks as if we might have rain.

Horton went around to the Lovejoy Hotel to see what time the other Officers intended to go on the Boat. I expect him back every moment when we will return to the Sweeny Hotel for my baggage.

If I have opportunity, I will write on the boat on the way down. It will be all new to me as I was never on the water. I would like very much to hear from Howard and you this morning. I presume you are at Maggie’s, & I hope well and happy. If it be true that we have presentiments of good or evil of those we love, you are indeed happy. I had very sweet communion with Our Father last night before retiring and feel this morning as if I can freely trust in all things. May he bless you always with health and happiness. The clock is striking 12, so I must again say Good Bye. Kiss Howard for Papa and accept a sweet one for yourself. May Our Father bless you.

Your affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. George W. Horton, a 25-year-old carpenter, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as lieutenant in Company F, 129th Illinois Infantry. He was commissioned captain of his company on June 11, 1863. When the regiment left Nashville in February 1864, Captain Horton remained behind in the hospital but rejoined the company in time for the Atlanta Campaign. On January 11, 1865, he received a leave at Hardeeville and rejoined the regiment on April 4. Captain Horton was mustered out near Washington on June 8, 1865. Benjamin F. Coolidge was mustered into service on Aug. 23, 1862, at Camp Piqua, Ohio, as lieutenant and quartermaster of the 99th Ohio Infantry. In November 1862 he was assigned to General Ward’s staff as brigade quartermaster. Lieutenant Coolidge in January 1865 had been ordered to proceed to Nashville on official business. On rejoining the XX Corps at Goldsboro, he was given a temporary assignment as division quartermaster. Henry M. Endsley of Shelby County was mustered into service on Aug. 1, 1862, at Indianapolis, Indiana, as captain of Company F, 70th Indiana Infantry. Captain Endsley, having received a leave, left his unit on Oct. 20, 1864, and rejoined it in late March 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  2. Before entering service, J.F.C. had been the Livingston County agent for the Home Insurance Company of 135 Broadway, New York City, New York.

The mails must be much delayed by the deep snow

Joseph Culver Letter, February 14, 1865, Page 1

Sweeny Hotel, New York Febr. 14th 1865
My Dear Wife

I arrived here at 4 P.M. & recd. your letter of the 8th. The one sent to Carlisle I did not get. The mails must be much delayed by the deep snow. I am sorry to hear of your own and Howard’s ill health, but hope you have both recovered ere this.

I went to the Q. M. Dept. and secured transportation on the “Constitution” which is to leave at noon to-morrow if not prevented by the ice on the Bay.1 I shall probably go aboard at any rate, and this is probably the last letter I shall write before I reach Savannah, so that it will probably be two or three weeks before you hear from me again.

I hope Maggie Chappell has done well, yet I was not at all favorably impressed with the reputation I heard of him.2 I wish them much happiness.

There is but little snow here though the streets are quite slushy.

If I thought you would do much of your writing from the “preacher’s,” I should certainly “donate a new pew,” however, I was too glad to hear from you to find fault with the penmanship. You may direct your letters hereafter to the Regt., though I have no idea when I shall reach it.

I wrote to you from Carlisle yesterday morning concerning the disposition of the money coming from Father’s estate in April.3 If it does not reach you, let me know.

I feel uneasy about Howard’s arm; I did not expect him to get so sick.4 I learned in Carlisle by letters received from Bloomington, Ills., that the Small-pox had become epidemic there, so much so, that the schools are suspended. I hope it will not reach Pontiac.

Your letter does not mention the progress of the [revival] meetings, yet I hope they are still improving in interest.

Rumor says Sherman has possession of Branchville.5 I hope it is true, as it will compel the evacuation of Charleston.6 In that event, I may land there instead of Savannah. I anticipate a few days sea-sickness; I hope not severe. My health is good.

You do not mention in your letter the money I sent you from Chicago, either for yourself or for Goodwin & Smith. I presume, however, it reached you; there was $25.00 for you & $10.00 for the others. The first (yours) was enclosed in a letter with the S.S. books, the other I sent by mail.

I thought I should write to the S. School or church from this place but do not feel like it to-night. There are very many things I should like to talk with you about to-night if I were with you, as it seems such a long time before I can reasonably expect to hear from you again. Keep in Good heart, let us trust in God to control all things for our good. I know you will be very lonely, but make use of every means in your power to keep cheerful. Be assured that whatever contributes to your happiness will meet my approbation.

We can hope for the future trusting in God. I feel that He will bless and keep you both. Kiss Howard for me & Sister Maggie [Utley] & the children. I ought to have written to Bros. John and Sammy again but have neglected it. Remember me to them when you write. Jennie & Hannah complain that you do not write to them often enough.

Remember me kindly to all our friends, especially those who have recently espoused Christ. I shall remember them at a Throne of Grace. I have committed both Howard and you to the care of “Our Father in Heaven,” and I feel content though it is hard to be so far from you. May He abundantly bless you with health, happiness, and a sufficiency of Grace. With much love and a lasting remembrance of your pure and holy affection, I must say Good Bye.

Your affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Constitution was a 944-ton screw-propelled steamboat, built at Mystic, Connecticut, in 1863. She was wrecked off Cape Lookout, North Carolina, on December 12, 1865, with the loss of 40 lives. The Quartermaster Department had the responsibility of providing transportation for soldiers traveling on orders and en route to rejoin their units. Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States, 1807-1868, “The Lytle List” (Mystic, 1952), pp. 40, 264.
  2. Maggie Chappell was born in Indiana in 1836, and in 1860 she was living in Pontiac at the home of Joshua and Harriet Whitman. She had apparently married or was engaged to marry someone of whom J.F.C. disapproved. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA.
  3. The subject letter is missing from the Culver Collection.
  4. Before leaving Pontiac, J.F.C. had had Howard vaccinated for smallpox.
  5. Sherman’s line of march passed west of Branchville. On February 7 soldiers of General Howard’s wing reached the South Carolina Railroad at Midway, eleven miles west of Branchville. From there, they advanced on and captured Orangeburg.
  6. With Sherman’s columns astride the South Carolina Railroad, the defenders of Charleston found themselves in an increasingly precarious position. If Sherman turned his army toward the coast, they would be encircled by an overwhelming force and destroyed.
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I left home on the afternoon train

Joseph Culver Letter, February 13, 1865, Page 1

Harrisburg, Pa., Febr. 13th 1865.
My Dear Wife

I left home on the afternoon train and have to wait until 3 o’clock to-morrow morning for the N.Y. train. The Dr. says Mother has Erysipelas, but he thinks it will not be severe. Bro. Charlie & Sister Jennie both promised to write to you.

I called to see Mrs. Annie Van Horn Daires this evening & found the family well.1 Mr. Daires was not at home but is well. Annie played a few new pieces on the Piano for me. I left at 8 o’clock, & on my way back to the hotel came by a church where they were holding a revival meeting. I went in & remained until half past ten. They are having a good meeting, & I enjoyed it very much. There were fine ladies at the altar. It was a Winebrenenan Bethel, a denomination not much known in the West.2 I presume you would scarcely have enjoyed it as it was a very noisy meeting. But the Spirit of God was manifestly present.

I am in a study whether to go to bed to-night or not. It is nearly 11 o’clock & the train leaves at 3. I am not sleepy. I have been thinking much of Home. I wish I could spend the hours intervening with you. “When shall we meet again?”

I did not enjoy my visit [to Carlisle] as much as I anticipated. The only sleighride I had was from John Miller’s to Pagues’ & from there to Carlisle.3 The roads were so drifted that we could not drive off a walk. The sleigh bells are jingling merrily around the city to-night.

Sherman is still moving North.4 I cannot imagine where I will find the Regt. I look for a letter on my arrival in New York to-morrow morning. Kiss Howard for me. Give my love to all. May Our Father in Heaven bless you both. Do not fail in writing. With much love, I remain, as ever,

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Annie Van Horn Daires by 1867 was a widow and dressmaker and was living on Harrisburg’s Canal Street, near Walnut. The Harrisburg City Directory 1867-68, compiled by William J. Divine (Harrisburg, 1867), p. 53.
  2. The Winebrenenan Bethel Church met on Fourth Street at the corner of Strawberry Alley. Ibid., p. 193.
  3. The Miller farm was in Middlesex Township, on the Sterretts Gap Road, six miles north of Carlisle.
  4. General Sherman had advanced into South Carolina. Ward’s Third Division of General Slocum’s wing had crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina, at the beginning of the New Year, at Screven’s Ferry, and had marched to Hardeeville, while General Howard massed his wing in and around Pocotaligo. On January 29 the 129th Illinois marched from Bethel Church to Robertsville, where it rendezvoused with the remainder of the XX Corps. Four days later, on February 2, the Third Division broke camp and started north. Near Lawtonville, the 1st Brigade was engaged by Rebel cavalry. The Confederates were bested, and the Federals continued to advance, having lost ten men in the skirmish. The XX Corps, along with Sherman’s other columns, pressed steadily ahead, crossing the Big and Little Salkehatchie, and on the 7th reached the South Carolina Railroad. The next 72 hours were spent wreaking havoc on the railroad between Graham’s and Williston. Meanwhile, Howard’s wing had reached the railroad at Midway. On February 11 the XX Corps left the railroad and started north toward Columbia. Destruction of the bridge across the South Fork of the Edisto caused a short delay. Fording the river on the 12th, the XX Corps forged ahead, and nightfall on the 14th found the troops camped at Tucker’s, 18 miles southwest of Columbia. Howard’s wing meanwhile had reached Orangeburg, as it converged on Columbia from the south. Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 163-196; Cox, March to the Sea, pp. 168-70.
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Database of the Week: Sports Business Research Network

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Sports Business Research Network

“SBRnet provides extensive research related to consumer demographics, consumer behavior patterns, financial statistics, attendance and media usage trends for all three major sports market segments…fans, participants and sporting goods buyers” SBRnet

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under S in the databases A-Z list.

Use it to find:

  • Consumer expenditures
  • Sport participation
  • Fan market
  • Venue reports
  • Ticket prices
  • Social media data

Tips for searching:

  • Browse by sport: Archery to Football to Skiing to Wrestling
  • View the summaries on the home page:
  • Use the tabs across the top: fan market, participation, directories, sporting goods, sports venues, college sports, etc.
  • Try the site search at the bottom



Want help using Sports Business Research Network ? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Trial Subscription: Passport – World Market Analysis


Passport is Euromonitor International’s global market analysis software platform, which analyses the industry in countries around the world. It monitors industry trends and gives strategic analysis and a market size and market share database for products across all key countries.


The trial for this product ends March 20, 2015.  Please send additional comments to Kim Bloedel.


Passport – Trial ends 20 March 2015

Passport is Euromonitor International’s global market analysis software platform, which analyses the industry in countries around the world. It monitors industry trends and gives strategic analysis and a market size and market share database for  products across all key countries.

Please send additional comments to Kim Bloedel.

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IDL highlights for Black History Month

The Iowa Digital Library is fortunate to host the college scrapbooks of three University of Iowa students from the 1920s and 1930s, which provide views of the African-American community during their time on campus.


Althea Beatrice Moore Smith scrapbook cover, 1924-1928

Althea Beatrice Moore Smith scrapbook cover, 1924-1928

The Althea Beatrice Moore Smith scrapbook was added to the Iowa Digital Library thanks to a collaboration between the African American Museum of Iowa and the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Althea Moore and friend on steps of Old Capitol, Iowa City, Iowa, between 1924 and 1928

Althea Moore and friend on steps of Old Capitol, Iowa City, Iowa, between 1924 and 1928


Patrobas Cassius Robinson college scrapbook cover, 1923-1928

Patrobas Cassius Robinson college scrapbook cover, 1923-1928

Hal and Avril Chase of Des Moines, Iowa, funded the purchase of this album for the University of Iowa Archives.

Patrobas Cassius Robinson

Patrobas Cassius Robinson


James B. Morris Jr. photo album cover, 1937-1941

James B. Morris Jr. photo album cover, 1937-1941

James Morris was the son of James Morris, Sr., a long-time publisher of the Iowa State Bystander, an African-American newspaper.  James Morris Jr. married Arlene J. Roberts Morris, the first African-American woman psychologist to be licensed by the Iowa State Board of Psychology.

Captain James B. Morris, Jr. 1944

Captain James B. Morris, Jr. 1944


Main Library Exhibition Space Renovation

The Main Library is currently in the process of renovating the first floor exhibition space. Over the next several months, the air handling, filtration, and lighting systems will be upgraded to museum environmental standards. For the first time we will be able to safely showcase our rare books, documents, photographs, artifacts and other items.  This renovation will provide a dynamic and interactive exhibition space that will provide new opportunities for the Libraries to engage with the campus and the community.

IRO highlights for Black History Month

Here are some highlights from our digital collections for black history month.

These three books are available as free PDFs online. They were published in the University of Iowa Press Singular Lives series.

Fly in the Buttermilk - coverFly in the Buttermilk: The Life Story of Cecil Reed
Cecil Reed
Priscilla Donovan

Born in 1913 in Collinsville, Illinois, Cecil Reed has lived all his life in the Midwest as a black man among whites. This self-styled fly in the buttermilk worked among whites with such skill and grace that they were barely aware of his existence—unless he wanted to get a bank loan or move into their neighborhood. Now, in his lively and optimistic autobiography, he speaks of his resilience throughout a life spent working peacefully but passionately for equality.

The Making of a Black Scholar: From Georgia to the Ivy League - cover
The Making of a Black Scholar: From Georgia to the Ivy League
Horace A. Porter

This captivating and illuminating book is a memoir of a young black man moving from rural Georgia to life as a student and teacher in the Ivy League as well as a history of the changes in American education that developed in response to the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and affirmative action. Born in 1950, Horace Porter starts out in rural Georgia in a house that has neither electricity nor running water. In 1968, he leaves his home in Columbus, Georgia—thanks to an academic scholarship to Amherst College—and lands in an upper-class, mainly white world. Focusing on such experiences in his American education, Porter’s story is both unique and representative of his time.

The Making of a Black Scholar is structured around schools. Porter attends Georgia’s segregated black schools until he enters the privileged world of Amherst College. He graduates (spending one semester at Morehouse College) and moves on to graduate study at Yale. He starts his teaching career at Detroit’s Wayne State University and spends the 1980s at Dartmouth College and the 1990s at Stanford University.

Porter writes about working to establish the first black studies program at Amherst, the challenges of graduate study at Yale, the infamous Dartmouth Review, and his meetings with such writers and scholars as Ralph Ellison, Tillie Olsen, James Baldwin, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He ends by reflecting on an unforeseen move to the University of Iowa, which he ties into a return to the values of his childhood on a Georgia farm. In his success and the fulfillment of his academic aspirations, Porter represents an era, a generation, of possibility and achievement.

My Iowa Journey - coverMy Iowa Journey: The Life Story of the University of Iowa’s First African American Professor
Philip G. Hubbard

Philip Hubbard’s life story begins in 1921 in Macon, a county seat in the Bible Belt of north central Missouri, whose history as a former slave state permeated the culture of his childhood. When he was four his mother moved her family 140 miles north to Des Moines in search of the greater educational opportunity that Iowa offered African American students. In this recounting of the effects of that journey on the rest of his life, Phil Hubbard merges his private and public life and career into an affectionate, powerful, and important story. Hubbard graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in electrical engineering in 1946; by 1954 he had received his Ph.D. in hydraulics. The College of Engineering extended a warm academic welcome, but nonacademic matters were totally different: Hubbard was ineligible for the housing and other amenities offered to white students. Intelligent, patient, keenly aware of discrimination yet willing to work from within the university system, he advanced from student to teacher to administrator, retiring in 1991 after decades of leadership in the classroom and the conference room. Hubbard’s major accomplishments included policies that focused on human rights; these policies transformed the makeup of students, faculty, and staff by seeking to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, or other nonacademic factors and by substituting affirmative action for the traditional old-boy methods of selecting faculty and administrators. At the same time that he was advancing the cause of human rights and cultural diversity in education, his family was growing and thriving, and his descriptions of home life reveal one source of his strength and inspiration. The decades that Hubbard covers were vital in the evolution of the nation and its educational institutions. His dedication to the agenda of public higher education has always been matched by his sensitivity to the negative effects of discrimination and his gentle perseverance toward his goals of inclusion, acceptance, and fairness. His vivid personal and institutional story will prove valuable at this critical juncture in America’s racial history.

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