Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the David James Palmer Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1862-1887
Creator: Palmer, David James (1839-1928)
Extent: .50 linear foot.
Collection Number: MSC0438
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Civil War soldier. Typescripts of his Civil War correspondence, describing campaigns, battles, and camp life.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition:

Preferred Citation: David James Palmer Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

David James Palmer was born on November 15, 1839, in Pennsylvania. His parents first moved to Ohio when he was a child and later moved to Washington County, Iowa. Palmer attended the United Presbyterian College in Washington, Iowa. In July 1861, he enlisted in Company C of the 8th Iowa Infantry. On April 6, 1862, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Shiloh. He was sent home, unable to walk and with his left arm completely paralyzed. By July of that year, he was once again able to walk and was commissioned by the Governor of Iowa to recruit a company. He returned to the war as the captain of Company A, 25th Iowa Infantry and within a short period of time was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He served the rest of the war with this regiment, taking part in the siege of Vicksburg and Sherman's March to the Sea.
 
After the hostilities ceased, Col. Palmer returned again to Washington, Iowa, and the family farm. In the 1880s he was elected to the state senate and became a state railroad commissioner. One of the greatest honors of his life was being appointed to the Grand Commandership of the National G.A.R. in 1914. Palmer died at the age of eighty-nine, on November 19, 1928.

The papers of David James Palmer consist primarily of transcripts of his Civil War correspondence. He describes campaigns and battles as well as camp life. Also included is a typescript copy of a manuscript by Helen E. Livingston, titled "Sing the Jubilee" which is based on his letters.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Roll call Company A; Taps, obituary for D.J. Palmer
  • Letters to his parents, including his Byography of Capt. Palmer Commencing Thursday, January 1st A.D. 1863
    Carbon copies of typescript transcriptions
  • Correspondence to his parents, November 9 - 1862
  • Correspondence to his parents, December 15 - 1862
  • Correspondence to his parents, December 25-26 - 1862
  • Correspondence to his parents, February 27 - 1865
  • Correspondence to his parents, March 23 - 1865
  • Correspondence to his parents, n.d.
  • General
  • Sing the Jubilee: Compiled From the Letters, Diaries, and Papers of David James Palmer Who Marched With Sherman to the Sea, by Helen E. Livingston, Typescript
    2 folders
  • General
  • Sing the Jubilee: Compiled From the Letters, Diaries, and Papers of David James Palmer Who Marched With Sherman to the Sea, by Helen E. Livingston, Typescript
    2 folders
  • General
  • Letter to his parents Electrostatic copy of original letter and photocopy of typescript transcription, January 3 - 1863
  • General
  • Notes
  • Correspondence, January-April - 1863-1865
  • Speeches - 1887
  • Typescripts
  • General
  • Correspondence. Typescripts, August-December - 1863
  • General
  • Correspondence. Typescripts, January-June - 1864
  • General
  • Correspondence. Typescripts, July-December - 1864
  • General
  • Correspondence. Typescripts, January-May - 1864-1865
  • General
  • Correspondence. Typescripts, December-May - 1864-1865
  • General
  • Palmer, David. Recollections of War Times, in Annals of Iowa 9:2, July - 1909