Calling All Sleuths! 2015 Nancy Drew Iowa Convention

Nancy Drew BungalowUniversity of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections Dept.

Come check out the 2015 Nancy Drew Iowa Convention, celebrating the 85th anniversary of Nancy Drew and the 110th anniversary of Iowa native and Nancy Drew author, Mildred Wirt Benson!

9:30am, Friday, May 1
University of Iowa Main Library, Room 2032.
This event is free and open to the public.

You can read about this event in the Iowa-City Press Citizen, and come learn even more about the life and work of Mildred Benson by exploring her papers at the Iowa Women’s Archives.

I closed up my last letter on Sunday night to go foraging

Joseph Culver Letter, April 26, 1865, Page 1

Hd. Qurs., Co. “A”, 129th Ills.
In the fields near Holly Springs, N.C.
April 26th 1865
My Dear Wife

I closed up my last letter on Sunday night [the 23d] to go foraging. We left camp at 6 o’clock & moved in the direction of Cape Fear River. The country is much finer than any we have passed through lately. When we were 23 miles from the city, we recd. orders to return to camp immediately as our corps was to march early next morning.1 It was then 4 o’clock. We fed the train & started back, arriving in camp about 2 o’clock yesterday morning after 46 miles travel. We had 4 officers & 200 men of the Regt.

Early yesterday morning we broke camp & marched to this place. It is 13 miles from Raleigh & near Holly Springs. I have not seen the Springs yet. We will remain in camp to-day, but how much longer, I do not know.2

The rumors are so numerous & so vague that we have no idea of the condition of affairs. Genl. Grant is in Raleigh. We hear one hour that Johnson has surrendered which is discredited the next. Our movement in such haste rather implies an effort to intercept him if he attempts to turn our flank. We are marching light prepared for fight & are on half rations for 30 days. The boys are out foraging to-day to make up the deficiency.3 There has been a rumor afloat for the last two days that Genl. Sherman is relieved for halting at Raleigh & capitulating with Johnson instead of pressing forward. It will be a sad hour for this Army if it prove true.4

We met a great many of Lee’s army on their way home while we were out foraging Monday. I begin to think we have accomplished much more than we ever anticipated in this war, i.e., the subjugation of the South. Their spirit is certainly broken.

We are all in good health. This is a splendid country much resembling Northern Georgia. Large fine oak timber. It is a relief from the pine forests that have lined our march all the way through from Atlanta.

I recd. your letters of the 14th & 15th on my return Tuesday morning. I am happy to hear that your health is improving. Your letter of the 15th is the first intelligence I have recd. of Leander’s [Utley] success in his suit. Is he satisfied with the amount or does he value the mare at more; if so, find out the amount & I will pay it.

Father’s estate was settled April 1st, & the money should reach you by the 15th or 20th, yet it might be delayed a couple of weeks longer. Bro. John Miller will doubtless inform you when he pays over the money.5 If we stay here a few days & get fixed up a little, I will write again. Remember me kindly to our friends. Kiss Howard for me. May Our Father in Heaven bless you. Good Bye.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. General Grant, who hand carried the message from the government that the agreement Sherman had negotiated with Johnston and Breckinridge was unacceptable, had reached Raleigh on the morning of the 24th. Word was immediately sent by Sherman to Johnston, notifying him that “the truce or suspension of hostilities agreed to between us will in forty-eight hours cease after this is received at your lines.” Sherman at the same time notified his army commanders of the situation and alerted them to have their troops ready to resume the offensive at noon on the 26th. The movement against the foe would be governed by “the plan laid down in Special Field Order, No. 55, of date of April 14, 1865.” To facilitate operations, the army commanders on the 25th would marshal their corps ready to cross the truce line at the time indicated. O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. III, pp. 208-09, 293, 295.
  2. The XX Corps, with the First Division in the lead, had marched at 7 A.M. to Jones’ Cross-Roads. This was on the road to Avens’ Ferry, where it was to cross the Cape Fear River at noon on the 26th. Ibid., pp. 297-98.
  3. On the evening of the 25th, Sherman had received a message from General Johnston, announcing receipt of Sherman’s dispatch of the 24th, reading “I am instructed to limit my operations to your [Johnston’s] immediate command and not to attempt civil negotiations, I, therefore, demand the surrender of your army on the same terms as were given General Lee at Appomattox.” It and a dispatch received the next morning indicated that Johnston was agreeable to an agreement for surrender on the terms drawn up by Sherman on the 18th for “disbanding this army, and a further armistice and conference to arrange these terms.” Sherman accordingly agreed to return to the Bennett House at noon on the 26th for another meeting with Johnston. This resulted in orders for the army commanders to suspend their advance across the truce line and for the troops to remain in camp until receipt of further orders. Ibid., pp. 294, 303-306.
  4. Although General Grant did not do so, he was under orders to supersede Sherman in command. Grant did not have the heart to tell his friend this, nor of the instructions from the War Department directing the troops in the South not to obey Sherman’s orders. Barrett, Sherman ‘s March through the Carolinas, pp. 267-68.
  5. For additional information about John Miller, see J.F.C.’s letter of February 10, 1865.

Database of the Week: Alexander Street Press Video

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

The database: Alexander Street PressAlexxander_Street_Press

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

From their website: “Alexander Street Press is a publisher of award-winning online collections and videos for scholarly research, teaching, and learning.”

Use it to find:

  • Videos + audio, text, and web resources
  • Includes materials in the following disciplines: Social Sciences (Business & Economics, Educations, Psychology, Religion & Thought, etc.), Art & Design, Diversity Studies, Health Sciences, History, Literature & Language, Music & Performing Arts, Science & Engineering, etc.
  • Business & Economic topics include:  Consumer Behavior, Corporate Communication, Corporate Governance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing Strategy, Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management

Tips for searching:

  • Use the search bar at the top, and select a discipline from the drop down menu.
  • Browse by disciplines, collections, titles, publishers, playlists, or clips

Video_example

 

Want help using Alexander Street Press? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Open Access Fund – articles in Iowa Research Online

Two years ago, the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office launched an Open Access Fund to pay the processing fees related to open access publishing.

The fund is meant to encourage the University community to publish their research in open access journals.  Articles required to be deposited according to NIH’s Public Access Policy are not eligible for the fund.

The open access publishing model allows free, immediate access to research and allows authors to retain intellectual property rights to their research. Some open access journals charge article processing fees to make the work freely available online. More information about the fund can be found here.

To date, 73 funded items have been funded, published and added to our institutional repository, with 10 published in 2015, 40 in 2014, and 23 in 2013. An additional 17 items have been approved and are awaiting publication. The author publishing charges for these 73 articles total $101,605.03, for an average cost of $1,391.85.

 
oafund-college

Open access journals which charge author fees are more common in the sciences. Our collection of articles is similarly heavy in the sciences.

oafund-dept-1024x777

 

 

Most of the articles are in journals that are completely open access. A few are in hybrid journals. (If you have an item in a hybrid journal, you can may be able to post a version of the article in IRO without paying an additional fee. Contact Janna Lawrence for more information.) One article is available freely on the publisher’s site, but we cannot add it to our collection, because the publisher required that the authors give away their copyright of the article to the publisher as a condition of publication.

 

 

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble!

Hubble Space Telescope, taken on 2nd servicing mission. Photo credit: NASA

Hubble Space Telescope, taken on 2nd servicing mission. Photo credit: NASA

On April 24, 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched from  the Space Shuttle Discovery. Previously, telescopes had been positioned on remote mountaintops and away from city lights in order to prevent distortion from Earth’s atmosphere. Now Hubble was being propelled into Earth’s orbit to prevent atmospheric distortion literally by rising above it.

That atmosphere is what causes start to look as if they are twinkling (sorry romantics, they don’t really twinkle….)1 But, once outside Earth’s atmosphere, “… [Hubble] can see astronomical objects with an angular size of 0.05 arc seconds, which is like seeing a pair of fireflies in Tokyo from your home in Maryland.” 2

As telescopes go, Hubble is not large, the mirror measures 7’10″ across (2.4 meters), the length of a large school bus3 (the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere is 30 feet).4 Hubble weighs 24,500 pounds – as much as 2 full-grown elephants5 –  and  was named after Edwin Hubble, the man who is credited with discovering the cosmos.

Jeff Hoffman (with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Story Musgrave work on the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Jeff Hoffman (with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Story Musgrave work on the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Within a couple of weeks after it was launched, it became obvious that Hubble’s mirror had a flaw.  The curvature was off by off by 1/50 of a human hair – 2.2 microns – enough to cause fuzzy images to be sent back to earth. Hubble was circling Earth at 17, 500 miles per hour and 343 miles above it, and scientists needed to figure out a way to correct Hubble’s flawed mirror. In 1993 the first servicing mission was launched and Hubble’s flaw was successfully corrected. The mission was the first chance to fix the flaw, install new instruments and conduct routine maintenance.6

Hubble was designed to work with the Space Shuttles, the plan being that once it was no longer serviceable, it would be brought back to Earth and displayed in a museum. The retirement of the space shuttles means, however, that Hubble will not be able to be brought back to Earth. Now, a robotic mission is expected to help guide Hubble out of orbit, through Earth’s atmosphere and into the ocean.7

 

Hubble "Deep Field." Photo released in 1996

Hubble “Deep Field.” Photo released in 1996. Photo Credit

 

The Hubble Telescope doesn’t travel to distance stars, planets or galaxies, it photographs them and in January of 1996 the “Hubble Deep Field” was released. At that time it was humanity’s most distant view of the Universe. For ten days scientists aimed Hubble at a single spot in Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), taking several hundred photos with exposure times of 15 to 40 minutes.  “The result was a stunning still life of more than two thousand galaxies, a flurry of budding, tumultuous light whipped up in the shadowy primordial vacuum.” (Kanipe. pg 6)8

The brightest galaxies visible in the Deep Field are between 7 and 8 billion light-years away, some from 12 billion years ago. Some of the Milky Way’s oldest stars which congregate in globular clusters, are about 13 billion years old. 9 In fact, “Hubble has peered back into the very distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light years from Earth.”10

Mystic Mountain. Photo released for Hubble's 20th Anniversary.

Mystic Mountain. Photo released for Hubble’s 20th Anniversary.

 

The photo of  “Mystic Mountain Nebula” was released for Hubble’s 20th Anniversary. Mystic Mountain is a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall. The brilliant light from nearby stars is eating away at it, while infant stars within the Mystic Mountain fire jets of gas.11

 

 

The Sombrero Galaxy.

The Sombrero Galaxy.

 

The Sombrero Galaxy is just beyond the visibility of the naked eye, but can be seen with small telescopes. There are nearly 2,000 globular clusters which range in age from 10-13 billion years old. This is 10 times as many globular clusters as the Milky Way.12

 

Pandora's Cluster. Photo published 2013.

Pandora’s Cluster. Photo published 2013.

Pandora’s Cluster appears to have a complex and violent history. It seems to be the “… result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least four separate, smaller galaxy clusters. The crash took place over a span of 350 million years.”13

 

 

 

The Rose of Galaxies

The Rose of Galaxies

To celebrate Hubble’s 21st anniversary, scientists pointed it a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.  The larger of the spiral galaxies is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy. The blue jewels across the top are combined light from intensely bright and hot young blue stars. They glow intensely in the ultraviolet light.  The series of unusual spiral patterns are signs of interaction.14

In the 25 years since Hubble was launched it has made more than 1 million observations. Astronomers using that data have published more than 12,700 articles, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.  It has circled Earth and traveled more than 3 billion miles and produces about 10 terabytes of new data each year.15 The policies governing Hubble have helped make it so rich in data and productivity. Any astronomer in the world can submit a proposal and request time on the telescope. When a proposal is chosen by a team of experts, that astronomer has a year to pursue their work. Once the year is up  the data is released to the scientific community, which has given rise to numerous findings – many not predicted in the original proposal.16

Happy 25th Anniversary!!

 

RESOURCES:

  1. Zimmerman, Robert. 2008. The universe in a mirror: the saga of the Hubble Telescope and the visionaries who built it. Princeton,
    The Universe in a Mirror Engineering Library QB500.268 .Z56 2008

    The Universe in a Mirror
    Engineering Library QB500.268 .Z56 2008

    N.J. : Princeton University Press. Engineering Library QB5.268 .Z56 2008

  2. Hubble Space Telescope. Feb. 20, 2015. NASA.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT). Dec. 29, 2011. Space.com
  5. Hubble Space Telescope. Feb. 20, 2015. NASA.
  6. The Hubble Space Telescope. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center. This website is kept for archival purposes only and is no longer updated. Accessed: April 2015.
  7. The Telescope Hubble Essentials. HubbleSite. Date Accessed: April 2015.
  8. Kanipe, Jeff. Chasing Hubble’s shadows: the search for galaxies at the edge of time. 2006. New York : Hill and Wang. Engineering Library QB500.262 .K36 2006.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Hubble Space Telescope. Feb. 20, 2015. NASA.
  11. Newscenter. April 22, 2010. HubbleSite.
  12. Gallery. HubbleSite. Date Accessed, April 2015.
  13. Newscenter. June 22, 2011. HubbleSite.
  14. Newscenter. “Rose” of Galaxies. April 20, 2011. HubbleSite.
  15. Hubble Space Telescope. Feb. 20, 2015. NASA
  16. The Telescope Hubble Essentials. HubbleSite. Date Accessed: April 2015.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  1. Chaline, Eric. 2012. Fifty machines that changed the course of history. Buffalo, N.Y. : Firefly Books. Engineering Library TJ15 .C44 2012
  2. Weintraub, David A. 2011. How old is the universe? Princeton, J.J. : Princeton University Press. Engineering Library QB501 .W45 2011
  3. O’Dell, C. Robert. 2003. The Orion Nebula : where stars are born. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap press of Harvard University Press. Engineering Library QB855.9.O75 O34 2003
  4. Zimmerman, Robert. 2008. The universe in a mirror : the saga of the Hubble Telescope and the visionaries who built it. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press. Engineering Library QB500.268 .Z56 2008.
  5. You and the rest’: twenty years since NASA’s dramatic Hubble repair mission (part 1)AmericaSpace. Date Accessed: April 2015
  6. Expect the unexpected in a Hubble 25th anniversary video. April 10, 2015. NASA.
  7. The Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 – here are its best 25 imagesApril 20, 2015. Extreme Tech.
  8. Highlights of HubbleApril 15, 2015. Nature: International weekly journal of science.
  9. Biography of a space telescope: Voices of Hubble. April 15, 2015. Nature: International weekly journal of science.

 

 

 

Wearable Tech Is All Around Us

Maxwell_Smart_Watch

Maxwell Smart’s Watch…

 

Wearable technology is all over the news these days, but we have been dreaming of it for a long time (remember Dick Tracy, Inspector Gadget, and Maxwell Smart?)

Wearable technology spans a multitude of different forms and uses – from frivolous and fun to life-enhancement and survival. From prosthetic limbs, expensive smart watches, fitness bands, to clothing you can make yourself, wearable technology is all around us.

The new Apple Watch© will be in stores tomorrow (April 24, 2015). It is the first of the major smart watches to support mobile payments and with Digital Touch you can scribble emoji or send audio messages like a walkie-talkie (remember Dick Tracy?). It also can replace the fitness band, tracking calories, exercise and even time spent standing.1

To go with that new Apple watch, Fitbit, or Jawbone fitness band, why not try having your music play faster with “Perform-o-shoes.” Developed by Andrew Schneider, Perform-o-Shoes have a photocell embedded in the heel of the shoe. The higher the heal is lifted off the ground, the faster the music track plays.This might help you reach those fitness goals more quickly!

Prosthetic body parts have been around a very, very long time. A 3,000 year old Egyptian mummy was found to have a wooden big toe grafted to her right foot. It was expertly carved and painted to match her skin tone.3 Over the years, artificial limbs have become more and more sophisticated. Prosthetic limbs that can feel are now being developed. Sensors were wired into the fingers of an artificial hand to sensory nerves in Dennis Aabo Sorensen’s upper arm. He is now able to feel “…round things and soft things and hard things….” That sensory feedback also improves a patient’s ability to control the prosthetic.4  

Liam and his Robohand

Liam and his Robohand

Richard van As and Ivan Owen launched the company “Robohand”  in 2012. Robohands are affordable mechanical prosthetics made with 3-D printers. The first one was created for five-year-old Liam, who was born with no fingers on his right hand. “Within minutes of being fitted with his newly printed mechanical hand, Liam beamed excitedly and expressed how he could now ‘pick up stuff,’ describing its movement by saying: “it copies me.”5

Google has just filed a patent for “Nanoparticle Phoresis.” It proposes tiny magnetic particles in the patient’s bloodstream, which, when activated by a smart wristband, would attack cancer cells.6

High-tech clothing is being developed with an eye for various uses. Some of this high-tech clothing is being used with autistic children. The clothing has a GPS tracker slipped inside a soft pocket on each garment. The child doesn’t see or feel it, and parents have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their wandering child can be safely tracked.7  There is another innovation in wearable tech can also put a parent’s mind at ease. A smart shirt may be able to be used with infants to help eliminate Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The smart shirt is customized to monitor vital signs and other data from sensors that are woven into the fabric.8

Are you often cold? Smart shirts and jackets can now measure skin temperature and then heat the clothing to a comfortable range. In Wearable Electronics and Photonics we learn about Reima, a survival suit. It is designed to help prevent accidents and assist in survival in harsh winter environments. With its integrated sensors it monitors the wearer’s location, movement and health. The suit will also contact an emergency office when the user has an accident or an abnormal situation is detected.9

Invisibility Cloak, developed by Susumu Tachi.

Invisibility Cloak, developed by Susumu Tachi.

Want an invisibility cloak?   Susumu Tachi developed the “Optical Camouflage,” or “Retro-reflective Projection Technology.” It uses a projector, camera, reflector and head-mounted display. A little unwieldy for sneaking out of lectures, however!10  Interested in seismology? The “Earthquake Skirt,” designed by Erin Lewis, shakes or shimmies whenever there is an earthquake in the world. It picks up the seismologic data from the internet.11

Do you have an innovative idea for wearable technology? Make: Wearable Electronics can walk you through the design process and creating a prototype. What materials, sensors, power sources, tools – everything you need – is covered. Want to try your hand at creating wearable tech, but don’t have “the” idea? Page through and find your inspiration – from safety shirts that light up to Super Hero Communicator Cuffs – your creation is just an inspiration away!

Jaymes Dec developed “Glowbowz” to help get 4th and 5th grade girls interested in wearable technology.12 If Glowbowz inspires you to want more glow in your life, LED neckties, jewelry, handbags and LED eyelashes are available.13 The eyelashes might pair nicely with the “Galaxy Dress,” designed by CuteCircuit.14

Jaymes Dec's Glowbowz

Jaymes Dec’s Glowbowz

LED Eyelashes

LED Eyelashes

The Galaxy Dress

The Galaxy Dress

 

      Wearable tech is all round – are you ready to try your hand at creating your own?

 

REFERENCES: 

Make: Wearable Electronics. QA76.592 .H37 2014

Make: Wearable Electronics. QA76.592 .H37 2014

  1. Apple watch: everything you need to know, so far and hands on impressions. March 9, 2015. c|net, CBS Interactive Inc.
  2. Hartman, Kate. Make: wearable electronics. 2014. Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media. pg. 136.
  3. Once more with feeling. Oct. 11, 2014. The Economist. The Economist newspaper Limited, 2015.
  4. Revolution in artificial limbs brings feeling back to amputees. Feb. 22, 2014. National Geographic.
  5. Carpenter who cut off his fingers makes “Robohand” with 3-D printer. Jan. 15, 2015. CNN.
  6. Conrad, Andrew Jason.Google, Inc. “Nanoparticle Phoresis.” Patent Application No. PCT/US2014054321
  7. These high-tech shirts and pants can help protect kids with Autism. Feb. 18, 2015. Huff Post The Third Metric. Huffington Post.
  8. Cho, Gilsoo, editor. 2010. Smart clothing: technology and applications. pg. 130. Boca Raon, Fla. : CRC ; London : Taylor & Francis.
  9. Tao, Xioming, editor. 2005.  Wearable electronics and photonics. pg 216-219, Cambridge : Woodhead, Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press.
  10. Pederson, Isabel. 2013. Ready to wear: a rhetoric of wearable computer and reality-shifting mediapg. 52, Anderson, SC : Parlor Press.
  11. Hartman, Kate. Make: wearable electronics. 2014. pg. 209. Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media.
  12. Hartman, Kate. Make: wearable electronics. 2014 pg. 137. Sebastopol, CA ; Maker Media.
  13. Hartman, Kate. Make: wearable electronics. 2014 pg. 149. Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media.
  14. Hartman, Kate. Make: wearable electronics. 2014. pg 145 Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media.

 

MORE RESOURCES:

  1. King, Paul H. Design of biomedical devices and systems. 2015. Boca Raton, Fl : CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.  Engn R856 .K53
  2. Cranny-Francis, Anne. Technology and touch: the biopolitics of emerging technologies. 2013. Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY : Palgrave macmillan. Engn T173.8 .C736 2013 
  3. How it’s made. Seasons 1 and 2 (DVD). 2010. [Silver Springs, MD] : Discovery Communications. Engn Circ Desk 37144 DVD
  4. Perkowitz, Sidney. 2004. Digital people: from bionic humans to androids. Washington, D.C. : Joseph Henry Press. Engn TJ211.15 .P4768 2004
  5. Smart artificial skin could give prosthetic limbs feeling. Dec. 10, 2014. IFL Science.
  6. The best fitness trackers you can buy right now. Feb. 6, 2015. c|net. CBS Interactive Inc
  7. Fab Lab Maker Space. Posted Dec. 4, 2013. youtube.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Open Access Fund Articles in IRO

Two years ago, the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office launched an Open Access Fund to pay the processing fees related to open access publishing. The fund is meant to encourage the University community to publish their research in open access platforms. The open access publishing model allows free, immediate access to research and allows authors to retain intellectual property rights to their research. To recoup publishing costs, some open access journals charge article processing fees to make the work freely available online. More information about the fund can be found here.

To date, 73 funded items have been funded, published and added to our institutional repository, with 10 published in 2015, 40 2014, and 23 in 2013. An additional 17 items have been approved and are awaiting publication. The author publishing charges for these 73 articles total $101,605.03, for an average cost of $1,391.85.

The articles come from a wide variety of colleges, with majority of articles having authors in the Carver College of Medicine and in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

University of Iowa Open Access fund article counts by College, 23 April 2015Open access journals which charge author fees are more common in the sciences. Our collection of articles is similarly heavy in the sciences.

University of Iowa Open Access fund article counts by Department/School/Program, 23 April 2015

Most of the articles are in journals that are completely open access. A few are in hybrid journals. (If you have an item in a hybrid journal, you can may be able to post a version of the article in IRO without paying an additional fee. Contact your subject specialist for more information.) One article is available freely on the publisher’s site, but we cannot add it to our collection, in part because the publisher required that the authors give away their copyright of the article to the publisher as a condition of publication.

We are very happy to have been able to support open scholarship at the University of Iowa with this fund.

I commenced to write about an hour before the mail left

Joseph Culver Letter, April 23, 1865, Page 1

Head Quarters Co. “A” 129th Ills. Vols.
Raleigh N.C., April 23rd 1865
My Dear Wife

I commenced to write about an hour before the mail left to-day, but Harry McDowell came in with the New York Herald containing an account of the Assassination & death of President Lincoln, and I laid the letter aside to read the particulars. It is now too late for to-day’s mail. The mail has not come in yet. I anticipate a good long letter from you; I have recd. none since yours of the 9th.

This has been a beautiful day and very pleasant. The first sound that greeted my ear on awaking this morning was the sweet warbling of a bird. I heard several sing very sweetly this morning. During the few years of the war, the birds have been very scarce in the neighborhood of the Army, at least, & to hear them again is a great treat.

Bro. John Lee has been sitting here for the last 30 minutes talking. He is in good health & recd. a letter from home yesterday of the 12th inst. I laid aside my letter to converse with him. I am not certain that I shall accomplish much in the way of writing until after church to-night as there are so many around. Alva Garner & James Maxwell are here,1 & there is a constant crowd around, talking of going home; but then the wind is so high that if it continues it will be impossible to keep a candle burning to-night.

It seems as if the war was over.2 Everything bears the impress of the Holy Sabbath. We had an excellent meeting this morning. Genl. Class at 9-1/2 & preaching at 10-1/2. Our Brig. Church numbers 195 members, ten joined to-day. The ordnance [sic] of baptism was administered this afternoon; I was not out. Our night meetings continue to be very interesting; there were five at the Alter [sic] last night & some conversions every day during the week.

The news of the death of the President is now established beyond doubt, and the developments implicate the ‘”Knights of the Golden Circle.”3 I am not surprised. Everyone here when the rumor first reached us exclaimed that it was the work of the Copperheads. We have spent three years in honorable warfare; this event foreshadows what we must anticipate at our “Homes.” It will be much more difficult to meet successfuly, & many innocent will doubtless suffer with the guilty. But the issue must be met, & the Army is preparing for it. Genl. Sherman’s order indicates the line of policy to be pursued.4 The order proclaiming Peace has been delayed beyond our anticipations, owing no doubt to the change of the Government and the additional time required to define the policies to be adopted.5

I was interrupted by the return of Alva Garner & James McCabe.6 They remained for supper, & I had no opportunity to write before Church as I was notified that I must preach if the Chaplain of the 70th Ind. did not come, & as it was late & quite cool, I thought I would postpone writing until morning, but I have just been notified to be ready to start on a Forage Expedition at 6-1/2 A.M. I must close my letter to-night late as it is (10-1/2).

Your letter of March 12th directed to Charleston, S.C. has reached me this evening. All the questions I believe have been previously answered save one, & that is that it is Clymer who wishes to join our Conference. He is to be married in June or July. I recd. a note from Lou Fellows through Allen this evening, dated the 9th inst., the same date of your last letter recd. She was expecting you to pay her a visit.

I have no late news from Carlisle. I hope to find mail here for me on my return. We go with two days’ rations. Bart, Allen, & Burton got up last night from Charleston.7 All our friends here are in good health. I must close for to-night. Remember me in love to all our friends. Kiss Howard for “Papa”. Write very often. I hope soon to be “Home” if it be God’s will. May His richest blessings rest upon you. Good Bye.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. It has been impossible to further identify James Maxwell.
  2. At 10 A.M. on the 22d, Generals Sherman and Slocum had reviewed the XX Corps. Two hours before, the troops, leaving their knapsacks in camp, had formed in the streets west of Fayetteville Street. The Third Division, preceded by the Second Division, had marched past the reviewing stand at the Market House on Fayetteville Street. As the troops tramped by, in light marching order, the bands played familiar airs. O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. III, pp. 268-69; Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 238-39.
  3. The theory that the assassination of President Lincoln and attempts on the lives of Vice-President Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward was part of a conspiracy involving Confederate leaders and Knights of the Golden Circle had been fostered by Secretary of War Stanton.
  4. On April 17 General Sherman, in announcing the President’s assassination, had informed his soldiers, “We have met every phase which the war has assumed, and must now be prepared for it in its last and worst shape, that of assassins and guerrillas; but woe unto the people who seek to expend their wild passions in such a manner, for there is but one dread.” O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. III, p. 239.
  5. Secretary of War Stanton, on April 21, notified General Grant that President Johnson had disapproved the memorandum of agreement between Generals Sherman and Johnston. Grant would relay this news to General Sherman and direct him “to resume hostilities at the earliest moment.” Ibid., p. 263.
  6. James J. McCabe of Pontiac, an 18-year-old, was mustered into service at Joliet, Ill., as a private in Company D, 20th Illinois Infantry, on June 13, 1861. He was promoted corporal on April 25, 1863, and was wounded at Raymond, Miss., May 12, 1863, and captured and paroled 12 days later. He reenlisted at Big Black Bridge, Miss., as a veteran volunteer on Jan. 5, 1864. Corporal McCabe was wounded a second time at Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864, and was promoted to sergeant on Oct. 31, 1864. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  7. Robert Burton, a 30-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois Infantry. Hospitalized at Bowling Green, Ky., on Dec. 30, 1862, Private Burton was medically discharged on Nov. 1, 1863, and reenlisted as a private in Company A in Chicago on Oct. 12, 1864. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.