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John D. Beach papers

Identifier: WUA026

Scope and Contents

The John D. Beach papers contain letters written by Union soldier John D. Beach during his time serving with the Illinois 55th, G Company. These letters addressed to his mother, Mrs. Williams, describe life in camp, the daily diet of the soldiers, and other details of his life. In 1863 his regiment was hit with an epidemic which resulted in "five to ten soldiers buaried (sic) a day in hearing distance they die mostly of the Ague and Direah (sic) and Intermiting (sic) Fever." Beach speaks of fighting in various battles, although it is difficult to determine the location of those battles. His last letters speak of reenlistment and plans for his future.


  • 1861-1865


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

John D. Beach was twenty-one years old when he enlisted in the Union Army, Illinois 55th, G Company in 1861. He was first stationed at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois. During his time in the army, he was stationed in Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, and Arkansas. Beach served in the Army until at least July 1865. The final letter in the collection speaks of the possibility of reenlistment.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)


The John D. Beach papers consist of letters written by Beach, a Union soldier, to his mother during his time in service with the Illinois 55th Regiment, Company G, covering the years 1861 through 1865.


Materials are organized in chronological order.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library
Guide to the John D. Beach papers, 1861-1865
Finding aid processed by Rose Marie Walter.
© 2012
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States